GENERAL  INFORMATION

There are many Kilimanjaro climbing companies, but we are the only company that gives you an unforgettable, authentic, local experience as well. Our Team is made up of local people who have the knowledge and experience to climb Kilimanjaro safely and successfully.

 

Please find some relevant information below. However, please do contact us to discuss your holiday queries and requirements. We are more than happy to discuss each point with individuals as we want to wensure that your trip with us is a memorable experience.

 

Weather conditions and temperature on Kilimanjaro varies depending on season and altitude, cold temperatures and precipitation are the main weather concerns while climbing the mountain. The warmer, drier months are the best times to climb Kilimanjaro, climbs during January, February and September are all very good, while climbs in June, July and August are equally has good it’s possible the temperature will be a little cooler. Times to try and avoid climbing the mountain are during the rainy season which fall in the months of March, April, May and November although climbers can still experience rain during the dry season, the weather on the mountain is unpredictable. Please note that this is a challenging and tough trek, which reaches an altitude of 5895m. It is possible to find this climb very difficult even if you consider yourself to be relatively fit, it mostly depends on how well your body acclimatizes to high altitude.

 

Ecological Zones;

It all begins at the base of the mountain as we embark on our climb, allowing us to pass through lush rain-forests, proceeding through heath, moorland, alpine desert and finally entering the arctic zone. Climbers need to be prepared for the wide range of temperatures has we pass through all the different zones, especially the extreme cold on entering the arctic zone. Climbers also need to be aware that the forest sections can often be quite slippery, moorland paths can at times be very wet due to poor weather conditions and the final ascent through the arctic zone is almost entirely of scree and loose rock, although it can be tricky there is no technical climbing skills needed.

 

You’re in good hands;

Once were on the mountain all you need to worry about is enjoying your experience and ascending to the roof of Africa, everything else is taken care of by the experienced staff. You will have a fully licensed head guide, fully licensed assistant guides, experienced cook and hardworking porters. Food will be fresh, healthy and in abundance making sure that you are getting the right nutrition and energy for your ascent of the mountain. All your needs will be catered for, Kilimanjaro Backcountry Adventures wish to give you the best experience upon the mountain and memories you will never forget this will be accomplished by no corners being cut and guaranteed quality of service.

 

 

 

TIME ZONE

Tanzania is 3 hours in front of GMT.

LANGUAGE

The official language of Tanzania is Swahili. You will however, find that English is spoken by most people.

WEATHER

You need to be prepared for all types of weather on Kilimanjaro. See link for the live weather forecast.

CURRENCY

The official unit of currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling. The Shilling is made up of 100 cents.

TIPPING

Tipping the staff of Kilimanjaro Backcountry Adventures is completely down to the client’s discretion whether it is done privately or as a group, it is totally down to you. It is customary to tip but certainly not obligatory.

PASSPORTS and VISAS

1. Passport.
2. Tanzanian Entry Visa. (If flying to Kilimanjaro international airport Tanzanian visas can be bought on arrival at Kilimanjaro international airport {JRO}.)
3. Air travel Documents.
4. Cash in US dollars in denominations of $10 and $20 and $1 (tipping allowance and local purchases, taxis, meals, etc)
5. Credit Card (recommended for eventualities only).
6. Travel Insurance Documents.
7. Vaccination Certificates (Yellow Fever, if visiting a ‘risk zone’ prior to entering Tanzania).
8. Traveller’s Cheques are not recommend as they are subject to very poor conversion rates in Tanzania most regions such as Arusha.

CLOTHING and KIT LIST

In order to make your climb with us as comfortable as possible we have provided a recommended clothing and kit list. The items on the list will help to make your climb more successful and comfortable. If you would like to discuss our recommendations then please do contact us.

GENERAL ITEMS

1. Camera and film or Digital Camera with spare batteries and spare memory cards.
2. Sunglasses with UV-filter lenses.
3. High energy snacks (Cereal bars, dried fruit and nuts).
4. Spare Contact Lenses and fluid, if worn.
5. Watch.
6. Head torch with spare batteries and bulb for summit night & tent admin.
7. Water bottles & Camelbak (3 litres carrying capacity) 

NB: Kilimanjaro National Park Authority does not allow climbers to carry mineral water bottles with them on the mountain. This is due to previous climbers littering the mountain with them..

8. Optional but recommended: Nuun hydration aids (portable electrolyte replacement tablets).
9. Water Purification Tablets / Iodine drops.
10. Plastic bags (for dirty washing, wrappings, etc.)
11. Walking poles.
12. Mobile phone. There is signal reception on most parts of the mountain. It is a good idea to unlock your phone before you come out so that a local sim card can be used.
13. Optional but recommended: a good, strong, thermally efficient blizzard survival bag. We strongly recommend that all climbers possess one of these, especially when training alone or in small groups while preparing for Kilimanjaro. On Kilimanjaro, perhaps 10 – 15% of climbers complain to their guides of being cold in their sleeping bags, despite using a bag that is rated for minus 20 degrees C or lower.
This is because the body generates less heat when there is relatively little oxygen available. Having one of these bags will reflect much of that precious heat back to where it’s needed.

NOTE: WE HAVE OUR KILIMANJARO KIT RENTAL STORE HERE IN TANZANIA. IF YOU PREFER TO HIRE KIT THEN PLEASE EMAIL US TO DISCUSS YOUR REQUIREMENTS AND ARRANGE HIRE. 

 

Your hired kit will be given to you at the hotel on your arrival.

HEALTH and WELLBEING

Your health and wellbeing is of great importance to us during your climb. We are trained to recognise and deal with a number of medical conditions. Whilst you do not need to have mountain climbing experience, a reasonable level of fitness may be required to be successful. We will also climb the mountain in a recommended way, considering the health and fitness of the group. There is no rush to reach the summit, the joy is in the climbing of the route and arriving there safely.

 

It is vital that you speak to a medical professional/doctor who specialises in travel medicine before you depart. Advice on your current level of fitness, pre-existing medical conditions is important. You will also need to discuss where you will be travelling and undertake an appropriate immunisation programme and other medical requirements. Preventative measures as advised by your doctor are very important, such as applying DEET mosquito repellent from dusk to dawn as well. We also recommend that you carry a small personal medical kit.

 

Please note that airports and other points of entry to Tanzania may require you to show a certificate of vaccination for Yellow Fever. We recommend you seek medical advice regarding other vaccinations such as Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Tetanus. Malaria precaution is essential, we suggest you consult your GP on which Malaria tablets to take. It is the responsibility of all travelers to make sure they have passport, visa, vaccinations and suitable insurance in place for this journey.

CLIMB PREPARATION

 

Climbing Kilimanjaro doesn’t need any technical mountaineering skills, although a reasonable degree of fitness would increase your odds of a successful summit, safe climb and most of all an enjoyable experience. Please note that being physically fit doesn’t guarantee anyone to overcome problems with altitude although it can reduce the impact of your climb on the body. If anyone wishes to train for their climb we recommend that you take part in daily walks that should include uphill and downhill sections, it is also necessary to increase your endurance and confidence levels all of which will play a part in your success.

 

TRAINING TO CLIMB KILIMANJARO

AEROBIC TRAINING
A
erobic training (also known as cardio) uses oxygen to adequately meet the energy demands of exercise via aerobic
metabolism.The types of exercise that use aerobic metabolism are generally light-to-moderate intensity activities like long distance jogging, swimming,cycling and walking. This differs from anaerobic exercise like high intensity weight lifting and sprinting which uses anaerobic metabolism to supplement the aerobic system due to increased energy demands. Aerobic exercise builds the cardiovascular system which is key when training to climb Kilimanjaro, as a strong cardiovascular system will help you process limited oxygen in a more efficient way. There is a flip side though. The more fit you are, the harder and faster you can
push yourself, and the quicker you think you can ascend Kili.This is a huge mistake! Going  as slow as possible, even when you are on the lower reaches and feeling great, is key to your success on Kili. You will hear your porters say Pole
Pole, which means Slow Slow in Swahili. This is possibly the best advice you will get! Your body needs time to acclimitize to
high altitude and a strong cardiovascular system can help but not if you have pushed yourself too hard. A good recent example of how a strong cardiovascular system can trick one comes from an accomplished Australian marathon runner who collapsed at Stella Point because he had gone too fast early on in his hike. If you are relatively unfit I recommend
setting yourself a 3-6 month training regime where you focus on long distance walking / running (6-12 km at least three times a week). You can do this on a gym treadmill but remember to set a consistent pace and vary the slope (a slight incline is best).
For relatively fit people who already undertake a fair share of cardiovascular exercise we recommend maintaining your regime until 1 month before your climb. At this point we recommend increasing the duration, but not intensity, of your exercises.

 

STRENGTH TRAINING
In addition to aerobic exercise you should also be doing light strength training, particularly for your legs, core and upper body.
In terms of your legs we suggest for the following exercises:
-Lunges
-Squats
-Front and Reverse Leg-curls (thigh muscle and hamstrings)
-Step aerobics
-Building the strength of your core muscles (stomach and lower back) and upper shoulder muscles is also important as you will be carrying a lightweight pack for up to 6-7 hours a day. We recommend the following exercises:
-Sit-ups
-Kettle-bell rows / swings
-Shoulder presses
-Back and shoulder flies

 

PRACTICE HIKING
Climbing Kilimanjaro is in fact just one long hike. The best way to prepare for a long hike is to do a few yourself. We recommend doing at least two long distance hikes (over 5 hours). If you can do back to back days that would be even better. Doing a few practices hikes as part of your training to climb Kilimanjaro has a few benefits: You get to experience what a 5 hour hike on difficult terrain feels like, going up and down (for most people going down is often more grueling as your knees and joints can take a battering)You get to wear in your boots. There is nothing worse than arriving in Kilimanjaro with unworn-in boots . This can seriously effect your summit attempt as you will get blisters and sore feet early on in your hike.

 

MENTAL STAMINA
So often the thing that gets climbers to the top of Kilimanjaro is there mental stamina. There will be times during the
summit night that you will want to give up and go back down. Being able to dig deep and pull on your mental reserves
is so important. Thankfully there are activities to train your mental stamina. Most require some form of pushing your body to the extreme, or to what you think your limits are, and then pushing through to accomplish your goal.
We recommend long distance running, particularly marathons, but half marathons can do the same thing if you are not accustomed to running long distance. This type of activity really requires one to draw on their mental reserves to get to the finish line.Most people who run marathons will tell you the last mile was all mental. If you can get in that state of mind at least once before Kilimanjaro then you will be perfectly prepared for the final push up the slopes of Kibo.

 

IN CONCLUSION – TRAINING TO CLIMB KILIMANJARO
We truly believe most people – regardless of age or physical condition –can climb Kilimanjaro (within reason,of course!). All one needs to do is ensure their cardiovascular system is firing on all engines and that they have the mental strength to see the hike to the end. Over and above the importance of training to climb Kilimanjaro is the having the knowledge of how the body
acclimatizes to altitude. Kilimanjaro Backcountry Adventures provides detailed information

HEALTH RELATED ITEMS

Please be aware that there are health/first aid recommendations when climbing Kilimanjaro.

 

1. Malaria Tablets (if you choose to take these. Most will seek advice from their GP. Note that some anti-malarial courses need to commence several weeks before departure)
2. Factor 30+  sun cream.
3. Sun barrier cream white / blue for nose and ears.

PERSONAL SMALL FIRST AID KIT TO BE CARRIED BY EACH CLIMBER ON KILIMANJARO;

1. Pain Killers (Ibuprofen).
2. Diamox (Acetazolamide) if you choose to use this.
3. Paracetamol.
4. Zinc oxide tape and small scissors.
5. Compeed Blister Pads.
6. Loperamide Diahorrea Tablets.
7. Any medication you normally use.
8. Dioralyte sachets or similar rehydration packs.

Note; that your guide will carry a more comprehensive medical kit.
Where a climber has specific health concerns that they or their doctor anticipate being exacerbated by exposure to high altitude, or if he has a history of heart disease in the family, we would advise that he requests that we carry an additional canister of emergency oxygen.

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT ALTITUDE SICKNESS WHILE CLIMBING KILIMANJARO;

If you are planning to Climb Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro Backcountry Adventures is highly recommend reading our  altitude sickness (Acute mountain sickness guide) to be familiar what it is, its cause and prevention.

THE DEFINITION OF ALTITUDE SICKNESS (ACUTE MOUNTAIN SICKNESS):
It  is an illness that ranges from a mild headache and weariness to a life-threatening build-up of fluid in the lungs or brain at high altitudes. Acute altitude sickness is the mildest and most common form. Because more people are traveling to areas of high elevation like climbing kilimanjaro.

High Altitude: 1500 – 3500 m (5000 – 11500 ft)
Very High Altitude: 3500 – 5500 m (11500 – 18000 ft)
Extreme Altitude: above 5500 m (18000 ft)

ALTITUDE SICKNESS CAUSES:

Altitude sickness symptoms occur  when the rate of ascent into higher altitudes is too quickly that the body doesn’t get time to acclimatize. Altitude sickness generally develops at elevations higher than 8,000 feet (about 2,400 meters) above sea level and when the rate of ascent exceeds 1,000 feet (300 meters) per day.

The following actions can trigger altitude sickness:

  • Ascending too quickly (rapidly)

  • Overexertion within 24 hours of ascent

  • Inadequate fluid intake

  • Hypothermia

  • Consumption of alcohol or other sedatives

One way to avoid altitude sickness is allowing the body to get used to the altitude slowly (Acclimatization)

Acclimatization is the process by which the body adjusts to high altitudes.
The goal of acclimatization is to increase ventilation (breathing) to compensate for lower oxygen content in the air.
To compensate for this extra ventilation, blood needs to have a lower pH. In response, the kidneys excrete bicarbonate into the urine, which in turn lowers the body’s pH to accommodate for this extra respiratory effort.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS SYMPTOMS:

Acute altitude sickness may be associated with any combination of the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue

  • Headache

  • Dizziness

  • Insomnia

  • Shortness of breath during exertion

  • Nausea

  • Decreased appetite

  • Swelling of extremities

  • Social withdrawal

People with acute altitude sickness often attribute their symptoms to other causes such as an uncomfortable bed, bad food, or a hangover. However, it is important to recognize that these symptoms may indicate a high altitude illness which are  High altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) and High altitude cerebral edema (HACE).

High altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) fluid build up in the lungs,  An advanced form of acute altitude sickness, causes the following progression of symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath at rest

  • Gurgling respirations

  • Wet cough with frothy sputum

  • Possible fever

  • Respiratory failure

  • Onset of HAPE can be gradual or sudden.

  • HAPE typically occurs after more than one day spent at high altitude.

High altitude cerebral edema (HACE) is fluid build up in the brain. It can begin with confusion.

  • A person developing HACE begins having trouble keeping up with the group.-

  • Next, walking and coordination become impaired.

  • As the brain continues to swell, lethargy and then coma will develop.

  • If left untreated, HACE will ultimately result in death.

  • Both HAPE and HACE are potentially fatal but are thankfully extremely rare during a well planned Kilimanjaro climb.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS TREATMENT

  • Delay further ascent until symptoms improve.

  • Rest and stay warm.

  • Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) for headache. ( Ask your doctor for subscription )

  • Do not use sleeping pills or other central nervous system depressants to treat insomnia because they can suppress breathing.

 

NOTE:
If symptoms continue, do not travel any higher.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS
INCLUDED IN YOUR TRIP
  • All national park fees.

  • Rescue fees.

  • Camping/Hut fees

  • Good salary for the crew.

  • All meals and water on the mountain.

  • A nice and comfortable mattress {camping routes}.

  • Tents {guest personal tent, mess tent for our guests to have their meals, kitchen tent as cooking place and to store our food, as well as shelter tent for the porters use}. This is for camping routes.

  • Transport in general.

  • Hotel staying in Moshi with bed and breakfast for two days (1 day before and 1 day after your climb)

  • Professional and experienced Mountain Guides, amazing chef and trusted porters to make your adventure with us in Tanzania the most successful one.

  • Portable chemical toilet

  • Emergency Oxygen

  • Pulse Oximeter

NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR TRIP
  • Flights

  • Visas

  • Travel Insurance

  • Personal drinks and snacks

  • Tips for the climbing team

  • Personal equipment

  • Sleeping bags

BOOKING CONDITIONS

In th first instance please contact us via the Contact Us section of the website. We can then discuss with you your holiday experience requirements. we can answer any questions, discuss the route you wish to take, the cost of the climb and any other related queries.

 

We aim to ensure your experience is an incredible journey so please do contact us so we can offer you the re-assurance you may need to make the decision to climb Kilimanjaro.

 

We look forward to hearing from you !!

 

A deposit of 20% of the tour cost is required on time of confirming booking. Payment in full is required on your arrival where bookings are made before the tour begins. Notwithstanding any prior confirmation of arrangements, the right is reserved not to execute tours if payment has not been received in accordance with our conditions..

Booking will be considered confirmed upon receiving from the clients the deposit of 20% of travel cost. Balance payments can be made on arrivals for your trip with us such as African safaris, Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru climbing, Village Tours and Stays as well as a day trip to a Hot Spring 'Chemka'