The trek to the Kibo huts is only moderately difficult with a good trail. The final push from Kibo to the the summit ridge takes 4 to 6 hours and is very steep. This last steep section is mostly switchbacks and then some easy rock scrambling near the top. Your guide will set a very slow pace. Most reasonably fit individuals can make it so long as they are not having any difficulty acclimatizing.
The official age limit set by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority for climibing Uhuru Peak is 10 years old, we usually recommend a minimum age of 13 years. If anyone in your group is under 16 years of age please inform us in advance so arrangements can be made.
Guides are a requirement on Kilimanjaro set by the Tanzania National Park Service
While it's not technically required it's a good idea. Kilimanjaro is not the easiest trek and its good to have some previous experience and know what you are getting into and what trekking is.
March and April are the rainy months at Kilimanjaro so we recommend that you avoid this time period.
We generally advise flying into Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) as you will likely end up spending several hundred dollars getting to and from Nairobi. There is a shuttle service from Nairobi operated by Riverside Shuttle which takes 6 to 8 hours and costs $35 to $40 each way. You will need a Yellow Fever Certificate to cross the land border into Tanzania. You will also need a separate visa for Kenya. Flights are also available from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro and generally cost $200 one way.
Permits are required and included in the cost of the trek. You will get your permit at the Marangu gate on the first day of the trek.
Your park entrance fee includes cost of rescue off the mountain which will be organized by the Tanzanian National Park Service in conjunction with our team. In addition, it is strongly recommended that you have adequate travel insurance. While the park service will provide rescue services your travel insurance will cover any cost related to cancellation charges, unexpected curtailment of your holiday, medical and repatriation expenses including air ambulance, personal accident, delay loss or damage to your personal effects. If you don't have it already we recommend either Cover More or World Nomads.
The Marangu Route is the shortest approach and requires 5 days of trekking. Some individuals opt for an extra acclimatization day.
The typical time spent walking is about 5 to 6 hours. On the summit day you will spend 10 to 16 hours trekking. However, you will be given a few hours to rest at Kibo so that this long day of trekking is broken into two parts. We make the summit push and decent all in one day to avoid acclimatization problems.
The Marangu Route is the only route up Kilimanjaro with an established mountain hut system. Rooms are small but comfortable and shared by up to 4 people. Each room has 4 beds with mattresses, sheets and pillows provided by the park service. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag. Rooms have solar powered lighting but no electrical sockets. Indoor dining areas are available as are modern bathrooms with running cold water. The hut at Kibo is more primitive and rooms are more dormitory style and shared by up to 16 trekkers.
Your mobile service may work at one or two points on the mountain but don’t count on it. We have tested mobile internet cards from both Vodacom (Tanzania) and Safaricom (Kenya) and were not able to access the internet. If you have a phone call that needs to be made during the trek please advise your guide and he may be able to arrange it.
In general its best to bring extra batteries or a portable solar charger. In some cases the park rangers may be able to assist you with charging a device for an extra fee.
We provide plenty of drinking water on the climb. Drinking water is obtained on the mountain and then boiled before it is provided to you. Disposable plastic water bottles are not allowed on the mountain.
The hut bathrooms have no shower facilities. Your guide can provide you with a bucket of hot water both in the evening and the morning for washing.
Lunch are packed and eaten on the trail during the day. You will take lunch and dinner in the dining huts.
You should be in good enough shape to walk continuously throughout the day. Good overall fitness, flexibility, and healthy will ensure you trek safely and comfortably. Those with acute or chronic health conditions impacting their stamina, range of motion, coordination, or balance may have difficulty completing the trek. If you are in doubt about your own physical readiness, consult a physician well in advance of booking your trip! Please review our blog post (Training for Kilimanjaro).
The best scenario is to acclimatize slowly. The 5 day trip up Kilimanjaro is a fairly rapid ascent and trekkers should report any problems to their guide. Common symptoms of mountain sickness include headaches and cough.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but your skin is in more danger of sun damage on the mountains than while at the beach! The sun’s intensity increases dramatically as we rise in altitude, and fresh snow reflects exponentially more UV rays than does the sand. You will need to protect your skin with clothing and sunblock. A sunblock specifically for mountain conditions is recommended. If you wear prescription eyeglasses its recommend that you get your prescription fitted to sunglasses.
We take all possible precautions to proactively ensure the safety and wellness of our trekkers, but rest assured that our guides are trained and experienced in dealing with emergencies. Each guide is trained in first aid and is Wilderness First Aid Certified. In the case of altitude sickness, you will immediately be taken to a lower altitude. If necessary, your guide will utilize the park rescues services for immediate evacuation.
Yes, we ensure the travel safety of all our trekking guests, both male and female. We have longstanding, strong relationships with the lodges we frequent, and know them to be safe and reliable. In addition our guides are consistently mindful of all guests' whereabouts while trekking. We travel in small groups, all the better to easily maintain continual contact.
Please see our complete packing list. You can rent gear once you reach Moshi but it tends to be expensive and the quality is not great. If you request beforehand we may be able to help you with some supplies free of charge.
A good pair of hiking boots are important for the final climb as they help to keep your feet warm and provide adequate ankle support. Tennis shoes are sufficient on the other days of the trek.
Porters on Kilimanjaro are allowed to carry 15Kg plus their own personal belongings.
Tipping is an important part of the culture in Tanzania. Please review our tipping guidelines.
Its not required to bring any money on the mountain and you can give tips at the hotel at the end of the climb. The hotel has a lock box where you can store valuables during the climb. Our treks are all-inclusive. We cover accommodation, food, park fees, permits, and many other costs, as a means of making your adventure as stress-free and convenient as possible. Once you get on the mountain there are no opportunities to spend any money.
Your guide should be able to arrange a phone call or to get a message relayed in the case of emergency. Don't expect any communication options although it is possible you will have cell signal in some locations.
Some climbers may actually finish the climb ahead of schedule and get back to Moshi early. Its also the case that sometimes climbers either have problems with altitude or decide to come down earlier for other reasons. If you do get back to Moshi early you are responsible to pay the costs for your extra hotel nights ($35 per/night) and meals. The reason behind this is that our costs are the same regardless of when you end the climb. So even if you are climbing less days than scheduled keep in mind that we have already paid the staff, purchased, food and rented gear for all the days you were supposed to be on the climb.
Please check our Terms and Conditions page.