- When is the best time to trek this mountain?
Mt. Kilimanjaro can be climbed at any time of the year except during the long rains in April and May, a period of long rains.
January, February, July, August & September are the most popular months for climbing Kilimanjaro.
August & September are the coldest & driest months.
- How many crew members are provided?
Approximately, 3 - 4 porters per person (depending on group size & route),
One (1) cook, and an English speaking guide for every 3 - 4 pax.
If assistance is required on the summit day, for a small fee, a summit porter can be arranged to accompany you one-on-one.
Many of the porters have grown up on the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro, and do not speak English very well. It will be worth your while to interact with them and learn more about their lives on the mountain.
- What duration do I need to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro?
We recommend itineraries with minimum of 8 – 10 days this will include 2 - 3nights in Arusha and 5 – 6 nights on the mountain.
Machame or Rongai route: We recommend 7 days trek and 2 nights hotel accommodation in Arusha.
Marangu route: We recommend 6 days trek and 2 nights hotel accommodation in Arusha.
For those coming on long haul flights, an additional rest day in Arusha prior to the trek will be found useful.
We can customize itineraries or routes to offer more days.
- What distance do I hike each day?
Most people find it reasonable to measure each day in hours walked rather than distance travelled. After breakfast, on most days, except the summit day, will begin at around 7:00am. You will walk about 5 hours with a lunch break followed by another 1 – 2 hours of hiking in the afternoon. These days aren't too difficult and you will be constantly reminded by your guide to walk "pole-pole" (slowly).The ascent day is a very long day of hiking. Some people may require 12 - 15 hours to reach the summit and to return to the campsite for that day.
- What does the price include and exclude?
It includes: Park entrance fees, hut / camp fees and rescue fees, transfers to / from the mountain gate from / to Arusha, 3-meals a day whilst on the trek, tea / coffee / drinking chocolate, guide, porters and cook. On camping routes it includes: tents, dining tent, camp stools & table.
It excludes: drinks, bottled water, clothing or hire of any equipment, tips, personal toiletry requirements, insurance and all items of a personal nature.
* Additional costs apply for hire of oxygen cannisters & hpyerbaric chambers.
- What sort of bag do I bring? Who carries it and what is the limit on the weight of the bag? Where can I leave things that I do not need on the climb?
Waterproof sausage / duffel bag or rucksack is fine. This will be placed in a waterproof lining bag & a porter will carry it (limit 15kgs max). If your baggage weight exceeds 15kgs, you will have to pay for an additional porter. Any things you do not need on the climb can be stored with us or at the hotel you are staying at.
A day pack with necessities for the day (raincoat, medication, water bottle, scarf, camera, snacks, etc). This should not weigh more than 5kgs for your comfort
- Is there a limit to the weight of our bags? And what kind of bags can we bring?
Yes, you are permitted 1bag per person (soft, waterproof duffle / sausage bags preferred) maximum weight 15kgs.
No suitcases or hard bags will be carried. A day pack which you will carry should not weight more than 5kgs for your comfort.
- What if I do not want to carry anything, and I need a porter to carry my daypack, camera, etc?
This is fine but will cost extra. You also need to tell us in advance, so we can arrange an additional porter. Cost approx.US$60 per porter.
- What if I need a porter to help carry / accompany me with my daypack to the summit, is this possible and what will it cost?
This is possible, and it will cost you US$20 per porter additional to accompany you from the last hut / camp to the summit & back.
- What are the accommodations like on the mountain?
On the Marangu route, the huts are just large enough for four bunks built against the walls of A-frame wooden huts. Tall people do tend to feel cramped. Kibo Hut is a large dorm style stone house. Gear is stored on the floor.
Wash and toilet facilities are shared and located outside of the huts.
On camping routes: Your tents are waterproof mountain tents with sewn-in ground sheets. They are rated as three-person tents, but we use them for 2 people.Tents are erected and packed up by the porters. There is space to store your gear in the tent.
- What sort of meals do we get?
Your cook works with a variety of MOSTLY fresh, a bit of canned food, and other ingredients to produce a variety of meals. We emphasize drinking plenty of fluids as you will be provided with a choice of beverages like: drinking chocolate, tea, coffee, cocoa, milk, and water.
Most people have a good appetite until about 4,000m. Light foods especially carbohydrates like bread, cereals & rice are recommended. Citrus fruits and bananas are good too. Avoid fats, rich foods, alcohol & tobacco.
Below is a brief description of the meals provided:
- Breakfast: Fruit juice, fruit, cereal/porridge, eggs, toast/pancakes, salami/sausages, margarine, jam/honey, tea/coffee/drinking chocolate.
- Snacks: Peanuts/Crisps/Popcorn/Cookies.
- Lunches: Sliced carrots & cucumber strips/avocado slices, boiled eggs, vegetable/meat cutlets, sandwiches (eggs/cheese/tomato/tuna/meat/peanut-butter) or pasta salad, fruit.
- Dinners: Soup (mushroom/asparagus/chicken/tomato/vegetable), bread, salad, rice/ pasta/potatoes, chicken /meat/fish. A vegetarian course (mixed vegetables or lentils) a dessert, tea/coffee/Milo/drinking chocolate.
- What if I have special dietary requirements (health-related or religion-related), will this be catered for?
Yes, PROVIDED we have advance notification of this. Remember, we purchase in advance & carry all the food we need on the mountain from Arusha. So we do need to know what we should/should not take so as to meet your dietary requirements. A list of your preferred foods will be useful (people allergic to gluten, dairy, etc).
- Is there enough DRINKING WATER for all climbers? And is it safe?
There is always plenty of water in each campsite. It is boiled before distribution to climbers. You may wish to bring water purification tablets, and some flavoring.
- What are the health issues on Mt. Kilimanjaro?
If you have a cold, cough, or any respiratory problem do not attempt to trek this mountain. It can get worse, become dangerous and could prove fatal. If you do attempt it anyway, park regulations restrict you to trek ABOVE 3,000m.
You are NOT permitted to trek this mountain if you have any of the following: cardiac problems, high/low blood pressure, pulmonary diseases as well as respiratory problems.
We recommend also that you have a thorough dental check up prior to trekking Kilimanjaro.
Persons undergoing medical treatment should obtain prior approval from their G.P. prior to booking the trek.
- What kind of help is available in case of an emergency?
We always have a first aid kit close at hand. More serious injuries are rare. Porters will assist injured climbers to the base of the mountain and onward to a clinic or hospital.
- Are oxygen-filled canisters necessary for the trek and available on the climb?
Oxygen-filled canisters are not included in the price of your trip and are not routinely carried on our treks unless arranged & paid for prior.
They are however, available for hire at our offices, prior to the trek and are to be paid for separately. The most immediate treatment for serious altitude sickness is rapid descent, which is always possible on Kilimanjaro. If upon reaching the final campsite before the ascent your guide judges you to have serious symptoms of altitude sickness, you will not be permitted to attempt the final climb.
- What happens if some members of the party need to turn back prior to reaching the summit?
There are always enough staff to split the party according to need 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 they can wait for the climbers to come back down the same way or take a lateral path to the descent route. However, if any member has to go down (ill health), then there will be an extra cost for an additional transfer as well as hotel, hospital costs that may be incurred.
- Why do we make the final ascent in the pre-dawn darkness?
Most groups will start for the summit on ascent day between 11:30pm to 13:00am, depending on the weather, the route and the perceived fitness of the group. These pre-dawn hours, while cold, are often the calmest and clearest. The best views from the summit are at dawn. Often clouds and high winds develop not long after sunrise making the summit much less attractive and the descent more difficult. Guides who have been to the summit scores of times report that it is very rare to find it cloudy at the summit at dawn in any season. The ascent day is a very long day of hiking. Some people may require 15 hours to reach the summit and descend to the campsite for that day.
- Is tipping necessary and how much do we tip the crew?
Tipping is expected, and a recommended tipping guideline is as follows:
- Guide / Asst. guide: US$10 - 15 per day (from group).
- Porters: US$15 per porter for the duration.
- Summit porters: in addition to the porter tip, an additional US$15per porter
- Cook: US$10-15 per day (from group).
- What clothing / equipment are required?
CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT CHECK LIST (to be used as a guide only)
- Sunglasses / Snow goggles
- Rucksack & day pack
- 3 - 4 season sleeping bag
- Insulation pad
- Balaclava or woolen hat
- Long sleeved shirt
- Several pairs of socks
- Waterproof trousers & jacket
- Warm sweaters
- Anorak / raincoat
- Wooden walking stick
- Hiking boots
- Pair of light walking shoes
- Warm scarf
- Toiletry requirements
- Flashlight with spare batteries (head-mounted lights are handy)
- Sun protection cream
- Small first aid kit
- Lip salve
- A whistle and some plastic bags
- Is insurance necessary? And what cover do you recommend?
- Whilst every measure will be taken by Roy's & its crew to assure your safety on the trek, it must be noted that the trek is taken at the clients own risk.
- It is strongly recommended to have your own insurance covering, travel, medical, baggage, evacuation and personal injury.
Roy's will assume you have necessary insurance cover when signing up for our treks
- Are children permitted to trek Kilimanjaro?
Yes, however for children 9 - 13years: we require a waiver / consent letter from parent / guardian addressed to the Park warden, Kilimanjaro National park & cc'd to Roy's so we can acquire prior permission from the park.
- Why, when looking at different companies who offer Kilimanjaro climbs, the itinerary appears similar yet the costs often vary significantly?
The major sources of cost variations are the money spent on food, number of porters / guides provided, porter and guide wages, quality of tents and the cost of getting to the mountain. ROY SAFARIS strives to provide quality food, well trained guides and porters, good tents and equipment, a full professional pre-climb orientation, inclusion of all park permits, and transfers in well maintained vehicles. All this comes at a cost.
We CHOOSE not to compromise on the quantity & quality of food, we will not exploit guides & porters by making them carry more than what they are required to by laws & regulations set by the park, we do not send some staff back on the second day of the trek so as to reduce costs, We pay our guides & porters properly.
The tents we buy are not easily available in Tanzania, and the mountain is hard on tents, so we purchase longer lasting ones which do cost more.
All in all, our aim is to increase your chances of summiting whilst enjoying the experience which can only be successfully implemented if quality is not compromised and if the staffs provided are well taken care of.