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Frequently Asked Questions About Kilimanjaro Climb

MOUNT KILIMANJARO CLIMB FAQ

What You Should Know before Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Tanzania Local Travel Expert

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KILIMANJARO ROUTES:

Lemosho, Machame which approaches Kilimanjaro on the western side of the mountain are regarded as the most scenic of the trails up Kilimanjaro while using camping accommodation and they are routes which takes more days on the mountain. The Marangu Route is the route most taken by people, being the easiest way up the mountain with hut accommodation which consists of a group of comfortable wooden A-frame with bunk beds and mattress. The Rongai is coming from the north side of the mountain and this trail is as well only for camping but not scenic as that of western of the mountain since it receives a short period of rain. Lemosho and Machame route descend down to Mweka gate while Marangu and Rongai descend down via Marangu route to the gate. Learn More from our Guide to Kilimanjaro Routes.


WHICH QUALIFICATION DOES THE GUIDE HAVE?

All our guides are trained and approved by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority (TANAPA) before awarded the certificate and License to carry out the service for mountain guiding. During low seasons all of our guides undergo different training based on mountain guiding and first aid techniques.


KILIMANJARO HISTORY:

Kilimanjaro began to grow about 750,000 years ago as a result of lava spewing out of three main centres – Shira, Kibo and Mawenzi, It kept growing until their cones reached a height of about 5000 metres about half a million years ago. About this time, Shira collapsed into a Caldera and became inactive, but Kibo and Mawenzi continued to erupt until their peaks reached about 5500 metres. Mawenzi was the next to die, but Kibo continued to be active until about 360,000 years ago, during which time there were some particularly violent eruptions, including one which filled the old eroded caldera of Shira with black lava.

From an estimated final height of 5900 metres, Kibo gradually fell silent, and through intermittent eruptions continued for thousands of years, the whole mountain began to shrink and Kibo’s cone collapsed into a series of concentric terraces. Erosion in the form of glaciers which came and went, wore the peaks down even more, as did a huge landslide about 100,000 years which created the Kibo Barranco.


HOW ABOUT YOUR LUGGAGE?

Our esteemed porters will be responsible to carry your pieces of luggage with the limit of 20kg  which means you need to bring less with the maximum of 15kg and the rest of your belonging which are not in use during the climb can be stored in the Hotel in Moshi town. You will just need to carry your backpack with you which you can put your essential belongings and personal stuff that you need them regularly during your climb.


IF IT BECOME DIFFICULT FOR ME, CAN I TURN AND DESCEND DOWN?

The answer is yes, you can always turn around whenever you feel that you can not continue and you will be escorted with the assistant guide and one porter and descend down to the gate where you will find the transport ready to pick you up and drive you to the Hotel.


KILIMANJARO ACCOMMODATION:

During your climb, you will have two options for accommodation. You can either camp in the reserved campsite on the mountain for Lemosho, Machame, Rongai and Umbwe route where you sleep in a small all-weather modern mountain tent only for sleeping and then you will have a mess tent and dining tent together with chair and tables. The toilets are public which are the permanent wood famous known as “long drop” and they are in each camp during your climb, make sure you keep your expectation low since they are maintained by the Kilimanjaro National park authorities and hence not very hygiene and clean while other option could be using a portable flush and simple chemical toilet which one of our porters will be carrying it from one camp to another and he will be tipped USD 20 per group or for Marangu route you can spend nights in a hut accommodation, these huts must be better described as lodges and consist of a group of comfortable wooden A-frame huts with bunk beds and mattresses. Water is piped in from springs above the hut and there are flush toilets. There is a dining area in the main cabin and since they consist of a large central chalet surrounded by many smaller huts. They almost constitute villages. there is often quite a lot of mud along the area, so wear good boots.


KILIMANJARO SAFETY:

To give yourself the best chance of reaching the top, it’s a very good idea to choose the route with more hiking days, though this will not guarantee you plain sailing. Remember the old mountaineering adage: ‘go high, sleep low’. Also, whatever else you do, walk slowly “pole pole” in the Swahili language, drink a lot of liquid, suck glucose tablets and eat as much as you can even though you won’t feel like eating much but it is advised to take a lot of food especially in the first days since as you trek high you will lose appetite,  eating enough food much will help your body to acclimatize best (you shouldn’t be worried about gaining weight as many visitors will lose weight after days of trekking even though Shizi safaris provides enough food for everyone). Other travellers recommend taking medicine which is useful in treating altitude sickness. Staying more night in the mountain camps or huts are going to make the trek into a more days affair and increase your costs, so bear this in mind and make sure that the mountain experts understand what you have in mind before setting off. Learn more about How to stay safe whilst Trekking Kilimanjaro.

Since Shizi Safari has a high success rate for reaching to the roof of Africa with our experienced guides, chefs and rest of crew together we will make sure that you have the best experience during your climb and reaching to the highest peak (Uhuru Peak) of Mt. Kilimanjaro.


WHEN TO CLIMB KILIMANJARO:

At Shizi Safaris we recommend that you trek Kilimanjaro during month January to March and July to October since these months are our favourite months because the weather is usually good and the skies are often clear during these months. For the Month April to May and November will have rainy season even though still you can keep on hiking. The weather in Kilimanjaro is unpredictable and every time visitors are advised to contact their tour operator for the weather forecast prior to their climb.


KILIMANJARO TIPPING CULTURE:

Regardless of whether you go on which route to Kilimanjaro peak the guide, assistant guide, porters and the cook (where provided) will expect a reasonable tip at the end of the trek. Be generous, you may think you have paid a lot of money for your climb but most of it will have gone to national parks, transport and food. The wages of the guide, assistant guide, porters and the cook will have been minimal hence most of them will highly depend on gratuities. Most of the tip will be described like this:

Tipping guide per group per day, not per climber. 

Guides: US$20 per day

Cook: US$15 per day

Porter: US$10 per day

And it is always appreciated to give more to anyone who made your Kilimanjaro trip more exceptional and with the best experience

 


HOW MANY HOURS DO YOU HIKE EACH DAY:

The shortest hours for climbing Kilimanjaro will be 3 to 4 hours and mostly this will be on the starting days of the climb and the average hours per day will be 5 to 7 hours which will take place several days before the summit day which is the day you take long hours from 10 to 14 hours and then you will start descend down which you take short hours again until you reach the gate.


IS DRINKING WATER PROVIDED DURING THE TREK?

Yes. we advise you to bring your own bottle which you can get water from the main streams that are coming from Kilimanjaro mountain, the water will be boiled and treated to make them safe and clean and ready for use.


SUMMIT KILIMANJARO. HOW IS IT LIKE:

Slowly, slowly which means “pole pole” in Swahili is our slogan for summit Kilimanjaro. You will wake up in the midnight prepare for the summit. You will have to put on all your layers since it is going to be very cold during the summit. Around 1 am we will leave Kibo Hut for Marangu and Rongai route or Barafu camp for Lemosho and Machame route and heading to Uhuru peak before passing Gilman’s point where it will take you again 2 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, The highest point on Africa, once at Uhuru peak you will be amazed by the breathtaking views and incredible sunrise if the weather permits then later you will descend down after having a short time at the peak and reach Kibo Hut where we will collect our belongings and walk through the saddle and then down to Horombo Hut or Mweka Camp where we will get our lunch and then rest before reaching to the gate the next day.


KILIMANJARO CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT:

No specialist equipment is required to climb Kilimanjaro but you do need a strong pair of good boots, and plenty of warm clothing, including gloves, a woollen hat and waterproof overclothes. You also need a sleeping bag and a small mattress or air bed. If you lack any of these, they can be hired in Moshi town at a very reasonable price. Read More about Clothing and Equipment rent.


KILIMANJARO WEATHER:

At Kilimanjaro mountain, the temperatures will decrease as you move through Mount Kilimanjaro’s ecological zones. On the plain area the temperature will go up to 30c while after 3000m the temperature will hit to 5 to 15 c during a day and At the summit, Uhuru Point, the night time temperatures can range between -7 to -29 c. Due to Mount Kilimanjaro’s great height, the mountain creates its own weather. Learn more about the ultimate guide to Tanzania Weather and Climate.

 


You can find more Questions and Answers about Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in different languages like Dutch, German, Spanish and English.


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