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Mount Kilimanjaro Frequently Asked Questions


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Mount Kilimanjaro Frequently Asked Questions

A THING OR TWO ABOUT CLIMBING KILIMANJARO

The Kilimanjaro climb involves multiple days of hiking and climbing. To train your body to handle the sustained periods of activity that you will encounter on the mountain, We recommend maintaining aerobic fitness, train by walking long distances on consecutive days and If you are a runner you can substitute long runs for long walks.

This is your knowledge base for the Do's and Dont's while interested in climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. You get the all insightful information to help you prepare adequately and help you avoid any unwarranted surprises and to help you make informed choices.


1) How much time do I need to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

We recommend a minimum of eight days from the USA and Europe, although some people may wish more time for the trip. We can customize itineraries or routes to offer more days in the park(s).

Some people may wish to climb nearby Mount Meru as well. If you have more than eight or nine days, you can choose any of the main routes on the mountain and still have time for a wildlife safari before or after your trip.

2) What is the best time of year to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

You can climb any month of the year. At lower elevations, April, May, and November are quite wet while March and June are transitional months. August and September are the coldest and driest months. January, February, July, August, and September are all popular climbing months.

3) How far do I hike each day?

We can measure each day in walking hours rather than kilometers. Most days, other than the summit day, will begin with breakfast around 6:30 AM and departure at 7 AM. You will walk four to five hours with a break for lunch followed by another hour or two of hiking in the afternoon. These days are not long or difficult and you will be advised to walk slowly.

4) Why do we make the final ascent in the pre-dawn darkness?

Most groups will start for the summit on ascent day around 11 PM to midnight, depending on the perceived fitness of the group, the weather and the route. The pre-dawn hours are ideal to start the ascent to the summit as it is cold but also calm and clear. It is rare find cloudy weather at the summit at dawn any time of year and at dawn, you have the best view.

On the other hand, if you leave in early morning, it could be very windy and the ascent becomes more difficult. The ascent day is a long hiking day, so it is better start early and walk slowly. It can take up to 15 hours to reach the summit and descend to the camp for that night.

5) How much weight will I have to wear and where can I leave unnecessary luggage?

You will simply carry a day pack of about two to four kilograms, although some people carry more or less. Your gear (not to exceed twelve kilograms) will be placed inside a waterproof duffle at the trail head and a porter will carry this for you. If you have things that you do not need on the climb, you may leave a bag behind at Moshi Town.

6) What kind of staff will accompany me on the climb?

The usual ratio is three or four local staff for each climber, although small groups may have four or five staff per climber. The staff usually consists of an English speaking guide or guides, a professional cooker, and gear-carrying porters. We encourage you to interact with your staff. They are all trustworthy, local people who have grown up in the shadow of the mountain. Many of them have climbed the peak a hundred or more times.

7) What is provided and what do I have to bring?

We provide tents, camping gear, food, utensils, and leadership. You should bring your own sleeping bag, water system, personal clothing, light duffle bag, and day pack. Hiking poles can also be rented.

The following is our reccomended list, Of what you should bring :-

Technical Clothing

1 – Waterproof Jacket, breathable with hood
1 – Insulated Jacket, synthetic or down
1 – Soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell
2 – Long Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
1 – Short Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
1 – Waterproof Pants, breathable (side-zipper recommended)
2 – Hiking Pants (convertible to shorts recommended)
1 – Fleece Pants
1 – Shorts (optional)
1 – Long Underwear (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
3 – Underwear, briefs (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
2 – Sport Bra (women)

Head wear

1 – Brimmed Hat, for sun protection
1 – Knit Hat, for warmth
1 – Balaclava, for face coverage (optional)
1 – Bandana (optional)

Hand wear

1 – Gloves, warm (waterproof recommended)
1 – Glove Liners, thin, synthetic, worn under gloves for added warmth (optional)

Footwear

1 – Hiking Boots, warm, waterproof, broken-in, with spare laces
1 – Gym Shoes, to wear at camp (optional)
3 – Socks, thick, wool or synthetic
3 – Sock Liners, tight, thin, synthetic, worn under socks to prevent blisters (optional)
1 – Gaiters, waterproof (optional)

Accessories

1 – Sunglasses or Goggles
1 – Backpack Cover, waterproof (optional)
1 – Poncho, during rainy season (optional)
1 – Water Bottle (Nalgene, 32 oz. recommended)
1 – Water Bladder, Camelbak type (recommended)
1 – Towel, lightweight, quick-dry (optional)
1 – Pee Bottle, to avoid leaving tent at night (recommended)
Stuff Sacks or Plastic Bags, various sizes, to keep gear dry and separate

Equipment

1 – Sleeping Bag, warm, four seasons
1 – Sleeping Bag Liner, for added warmth (optional)
1 – Trekking Poles (recommended)
1 – Head lamp, with extra batteries
1 – Duffel bag, for porters to carry your equipment
1 – Daypack, for you to carry your personal gear

Other

Toiletries
Prescriptions
Sunscreen
Lip Balm
Insect Repellent, containing DEET
First Aid Kit
Hand Sanitizer
Toilet Paper
Wet Wipes (recommended)
Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional)
Pencil and Notebook, miniature, for trip log (optional)
Camera, with extra batteries (optional)

Paperwork

Trip Receipt
Passport
Visa (available at JRO)
Immunization Papers
Insurance Documents

8) What kind of tents will I sleep in? What are the huts on the Marangu Route like?

Your tents are mountain-style, double-walled, mosquito-netted, and durably-floored with waterproof material. While technically rated as three-person tents, they accommodate two people very comfortably. Tents are erected and packed up by the portering staff.

There is enough space for tall people to stretch out and room for your gear within the tent. On the Marangu Route, the huts are just large enough for four bunks built against the walls of A-frame cubicles. Tall hikers will feel cramped. Gear is stored on the floor. Wash and toilet facilities are shared and are outside of the bungalows.

9) What is the food like?

Breakfast includes tea, coffee, milk, eggs, toast, porridge, cereals, bread, fruits, bacon, sausages, etc.

Lunch is a picnic lunch on the way the first day while it is hot lunch the next days with hot soups, bread, vegetables, fruits, salad, cookies, beef, chicken or fish, potatoes, pasta, or rice with sauce.

Dinner starts with hot soups, followed by the main course (pasta or rice, meat), desserts and ends with hot drinks.

10) Drinking water—is it safe and is there enough for all climbers?

You will have enough drinkable water during the trip. To keep your system running normally, we recommend you bring two bottles and use tablets to purify water (you can buy tablets in Arusha or Moshi Town).

11)What happens if some members of the party need to turn back before the summit?

No one is forced to go on. There is always enough staff to split the group accordingly to needs and regroup later at the camp. Most people have no trouble reaching the highest campsite.

If some party members decide not to climb the final distance to the peak or cannot proceed at any point in time, they can wait for the other group climbers to come back or can go down with a guide following the same way or take a lateral path to the descent route.

12) What are the healthy issues on Mount Kilimanjaro?

You must arrive healthy and fit. A simple cold or other respiratory sickness can become worse during the trekking. There is no malaria risk on the mountain and insect bites are very rare.

13) What kind of help is available in case of an emergency?

We always have a first aid kit with us and guides are well trained on first aid. Serious injuries are very rate and Kilimanjaro National Park has a rescue team in case of emergency.

14) Do I need to get any vaccinations before I leave?

Check with your doctor and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for current recommendations. None are required for entry to Tanzania from the USA and Europe or for re-entry to the USA and Europe. If you come from a yellow fever endemic country by road, proof of vaccination is required.

15) Will I need a VISA?

Yes, you can obtain it in advance or on arrival in Tanzania at the international airport.

16) Why can I find cheaper prices for the same route?

The major sources of cost variations are the money spent on food, off-mountain accommodation, porter and guide wages, tents, and the cost of getting to the mountain.

Bantu Pori Journeys is determined to provide the best food, best guides and porters, best tents and equipment, top quality before-and-after-climb accommodation, a full professional pre-climb orientation, insurance for all staff and inclusion of all park permits, meals, transfers and local hosting costs.

On some of the least expensive trips, food is minimal and often prepared by frying. As guides and porters are expected to cover part of their wages with tips, these companies cannot attract the best staff. Often, they do not provide full warm clothing to staff. The mountain is hard on tents which are expensive in Tanzania, meaning that tents on cheap trips are often worn or dirty.

Our approach is not to provide the cheapest trip, but rather to do everything we can to increase the likelihood you will reach the summit and enjoy the overall experience with a staff of people who are well qualified and compensated for the extraordinary assistance they provide to you.
We invite you report your issues/requests/questions to the Bantu Pori Journeys office or to your guide during the hiking.

17) What is included in your prices ?

Our prices include hotel accommodations (BB Basis or Bed & Breakfast) before and after the climb, transportation from the hotel to the trail and back, transportation from the airport to the hotel and back, Government tax, all park entry fees, 18% VAT on tour fees & services, Guide, porters and cook salaries, Team Kilimanjaro Rescue fees, equipment like tents and chairs and tables, toilet and meals on the mountain.

Prices do not include flights, lunch, dinner or beverages at the hotel before & after climb, personal gear and equipment, or tips.

Our prices are listed in US Dollars.

18) Which route do you recommend ?

We recommend the 9 day Northern Circuit, 8 day Lemosho, and 7 day Rongai routes. These routes offer the best balance of high success rates, beautiful scenery and smaller crowds. 7 day Machame is a nice route as well, but has a lot of other climbers on it.

19) Do you offer western breach packages ?

Yes we do, We offer 3 different options for those thrill seekers and extreme climbers/hikers.

1. 6 Days Umbwe (Via Western Breach) Route Option
2. 8/7 Days Lemosho (Via Western Breach) Route Option
3. 7 Days Machame (Via Western Breach) Route Option

Please get in touch with us early with your wishlist. or explore our packages here Click here

20) What is the deposit to hold my spot ?

A 10% deposit is required at time of booking to hold your climbing spot.

21) What about the balance ?

Final (90%) payment has to be paid 15 days before your arrival in Tanzania. Or in cash on your arrival day.

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