Land of Kilimanjaro,Serengeti,Ngorongoro & Zanzibar
Tanzania is a land of contrasts, from the snow-capped peak of Mt-Kilimanjaroto the endless plains of Serengeti, from the sun-kissed islands of the Zanzibar Archipelago to the gentle shores of Lake Victoria, the country contains immense cultural and natural wealth, It was here on the dusty floor of Olduvai Gorge, that early man left his first footprints. It was here on palm-fringed Zanzibar, that Swahili traders welcomed dhows and trading boats from across the Indian Ocean.
Karibu / Welcome!
On our company have detailed what we consider some of the best areas and National Parks within the listed countries to visit and as you look through we would like to invite you to contact us about what interests you most.
We don’t offer any ready-made itineraries here as we believe in talking to you and tailor making a safari to suit just you. Africa has a rhythm all of its own.
Many who come, come with the intention of inflicting western values and time scales, only to have left disheartened and broken, or they have succumbed to her tradition and rhythm.
Those that succumb find a certain peace within that only Africa can give. On Safari one will surely experience this, leaving the artificial world and all her worries far behind as one tunes into the smell, beat and life of the land. Come look through our website and let Safaris In Africa find out where you’d like to safari.
A stop over on the way to Europe or a full safari experience, or if you’re not sure let us suggest something that’ll free your soul, rekindle your spirit and enrich your life forever as only Africa can. We look forward to hearing from you and would love to talk to you about our beloved Africa.
Flora and fauna
The mountain is rich in flora and fauna. You get to see the various climatic conditions starting from the bushland on the bottom of the mountain to the arctic ice region on top of the mountain. You have the tropical rain forests, the evergreen forests, the moorlands and the alpine desert regions in between. It is something like walking from the equator to the arctic pole in a matter of days. You get to see some unique plants and flowers on the mountain which is specific to Mt Kilimanjaro. Though there is not much of wildlife on the mountain, you can see some wild buffaloes, elephants and leopards while traversing through the Lemosho Route. You are accompanied by armed rangers in the initial day of the trek while going via the Lemosho route.
Due to Mount Kilimanjaro’s proximity to the equator, this region does not experience the extremes of winter and summer weather, but rather dry and wet seasons. January and February are the warmest months, April and May are the wettest months, June and July are the coolest months, and August and September are the driest months. January, February, and September are considered to be the best months to climb Kilimanjaro in terms of weather. The journey from the gate to the peak is like traveling from the equator to Antarctica in a matter of days. This is because the routes to the Uruhu peak cross different ecological zones. Throughout the climb, temperatures vary considerably with the altitude and time of day. Mount Kilimanjaro has five major ecological zones, each approximately 3,280 feet (1,000 m) in altitude. Each zone is subject to a corresponding decrease in rainfall, temperature and life as the altitude increases. At the beginning of the climb, at the base of the mountain, the average temperature is around 70°F to 80°F (27°C to 32°C). From there, the temperatures will decrease as you move through Mount Kilimanjaro’s ecological zones. At the summit, Uruhu Peak, the night time temperatures can range between 0°F to -15F (-18°C to -26°C). Due to Mount Kilimanjaro’s great height, the mountain creates its own weather. It is extremely variable and impossible to predict. Therefore, regardless of when you climb, you should always be prepared for wet days and cold nights.
The closest International Airport is Kilimanjaro (IATA: JRO), and if coming from Europe, KLM (Delta Air Lines) has a daily non-stop flight from Amsterdam to JRO. Air Viva offers connections between Kilimanjaro and several domestic airports, such as Arusha,
Year 2012 several International Airlines launched direct flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport, these are Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways. These are in addition to other International Airlines like Ethiopian Airways, Condor Air and Kenya Airways.
If you are coming from Nairobi, Kenya, you can fly with Kenya Airways which works with Precision Air, and that would cost you about $400/person for a round trip ticket. Alternatively, you can schedule shuttle buses, which are at 8am and 2 pm daily, for about $35/person, one way, and its a 5-6hrs bus ride. Shuttle buses can be booked in advance by visiting Bus Africa.net.
There are six routes officially sanctioned for climbing Kilimanjaro and two routes used for descent. These are:
- Mweka (descent only)
Marangu Route Commonly called the Coca-Cola Route, because it is considered the easiest route and vendors sell Coca-Cola at some of the huts. Marangu is by far the most popular route to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Typical duration is either 5 or 6 days depending upon whether you elect to spend an extra day for acclimatization to the altitude. This is the only route that offers huts versus tents. In spite of these, do be aware that 1) a faster ascent means less time for acclimatization and a lower chance of reaching the summit and 2) it is actually colder to stay in huts compared to staying in tents.
- Day 1: Marangu Gate (1980 m) – Mandara hut (2700 m). Hiking time: 5 hours
- Day 2: Mandara hut (2700) – Horombo hut (3720 m). Hiking time: 6 hours
- Day 3: Horombo hut (3720 m) – Acclimatisation day (if necessary)
- Day 4: Horombo hut (3720 m) – Kibo hut (4700 m). Hiking time: 6 hours
- Day 5: Kibo hut (4700m) – Uhuru Peak (5895 m) – Horombo hut (3720 m). Hiking time: 8 hours to Uhuru – 6 hours to descend to Horombo
- Day 6: Horombo hut (3720 m) – Marangu Gate (1980 m). Hiking time: 6 hours
Machame Route Some call this the most beautiful route up Kilimanjaro. Where accommodation on the Marangu route is in huts, the Machame route offers strictly tents only. This makes Machame (also referred to as the “Whiskey route”) better suited to the slightly more adventurous hiker, however rewarding him/her with a scenic splendor such as not seen on the Marangu route.
- Day 1: Machame Gate (1490 m) – Machame camp (2980 m). Hiking time: 4-6 hours
- Day 2: Machame camp (2980 m) – Shira camp (3840 m). Hiking time: 6 hours
- Day 3: Shira (3840 m) – Lava Tower (4630 m) – Barranco camp (3950 m). Hiking time: 7 hours
- Day 4: Barranco camp (3950 m) – Barafu camp (4550 m). Hiking time: 7 hours (frequently broken into 2 days) to allow for acclimatization)
- Day 5: Barafu camp (4550 m)- Uhuru Peak (5895 m) – Mweka (3100 m). Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak: 7/8 hours to descend to Mweka (frequently broken into 2 days with an overnight stay at Mweka camp)
Lemosho Route Little used and more remote than other routes. The route is one of the few where groups may be accompanied on the first day by an armed ranger, as the forests around the Lemosho Glades are rich in buffalo, elephant and other big game animals.
- Day 1: Londorossi Gate (2100 m) – Mti Mkubwa camp (2750 m). Hiking time: 3 hours
- Day 2: Mti Mkubwa camp (2750 m) – Shira 2 camp (3840 m). Hiking time: 6/7 hours
- Day 3: Shira (3840m) – Lava Tower (4630m) – Barranco camp (3950m). Hiking time: 7 hours
- Day 4: Barranco camp (3950 m) – Barafu camp (4550 m). Hiking time: 7 hours
- Day 5: Barafu camp (4550 m) – Uhuru Peak (5895 m) – Mweka (3100 m). Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak 7/8 hours to descend to Mweka
- Day 6: Mweka camp (3100 m) – Mweka Gate (1980 m). Hiking time: 3 hours
‘ A variation on the Lemosho Route inserts two extra days in the itinerary for acclimatization and also to avoid having to climb up to the summit in the dark.
- Day 4: Barranco (3950 m) to Karranga Valley (4000 m). Hiking Time 4 hours. This segment takes you up the infamous ‘Barranco Wall.’
- Day 5: Karranga Valley (4000 m) to Barafu camp (4550 m). Hiking Time 3 hours
- Day 6: Barafu camp (4550 m) – Uhuru Peak (5895 m) – Crater Camp (5640m). Hiking Time about 8 hours
- Day 7: Crater Camp (5640 m) – Mweka (3100 m). Hiking time: 7/8 hours to descend.
Rongai Route The Rongai route provides ascent up Kilimanjaro from the northeastern side of the mountain, along the border between Tanzania and Kenya.
- Day 1: Rongai Gate (1950 m) – 1st Caves camp (2600 m). Hiking time: 5 hours
- Day 2: 1st Cave (2600 m) – Kikelewa Cave (3600 m). Hiking time: 6/7 hours
- Day 3: Kikelewa Cave (3600) – Mawenzi Tarn camp (4330 m). Hiking time: 3/4 hours
- Day 4: Mawenzi Tarn camp (4330m) – Kibo hut (4700 m). Hiking time: 4/5 hours
- Day 5: Kibo hut (4700 m) – Uhuru Peak (5895 m) – Horombo hut (3720 m). Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru – 6 hours to descend to Horombo
- Day 6: Horombo hut (3720 m) – Marangu Gate (1980 m) . Hiking time: 6 hours
The various food requirements are met by the porters and cooks who come along with you on the mountain. However, the quality of the food depends on the reputation of the tour operator you are climbing with. The quality of the food tends to go down towards the end of the trek due to reduction in rations carried by the porters and also due to the food becoming stale by the end of the trek. It is recommended to carry along some high energy food like chocolates and nuts for surviving and successful completion of the trek. It would be worthwhile to carry along some ready made noodle packets and like items for cooking them at the end of the trek.
Staying hydrated on the mountain is very important. A key reason why people suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness is because they become dehydrated. You should aim to drink at least 3L of water a day. Your guides will provide you with water on Day 1 of the hike and from then on porters collect water from streams on the mountain. It is important that you purify this water using water purification tablets. Also recommended is adding high energy powders to improve the taste and give you an added boost. Also, a lot of oral rehydration salts (ORS) are recommended for preventing dehydration while trekking on the mountain.
Lodging on the mountain is limited to designated campsites. Cave sleeping is now prohibited. A number of huts are available, but generally not advisable. Pre-climb lodging is generally found in Moshi or Arusha.
- It is permitted to camp on Mt Kilimanjaro for as many days as you want by paying the designated fees to the Kilimanjaro national Park authorities and camp in any of the nearest camps like the Machame Hut or the Mweka Hut.
GSM mobile phone coverage is available on the summit of the mountain. Various networks like Vodacom, Airtel,Zaintel and Tigo operate in the region and can be accessed from various high points on the mountain. However, with no electric supply on the mountain, it is advised to carry portable mobile travel chargers along for accessing the mobile services atop the mountain.
Several immunizations are recommended for yellow fever, tetanus, typhoid, polio, Havrix (Hepatitis A Vaccine), and an anti-malaria prophylactic.
Air at the summit of Kilimanjaro contains only about half the amount of oxygen that it does at sea level. Altitude sickness is caused by the failure of the body to adapt quickly enough to this reduced level of oxygen as one gains altitude. It is likely that you will experience some form of altitude sickness at some point while climbing Kilimanjaro.
During a trek on Kilimanjaro it is likely that more than 75% of trekkers will experience at least some form of mild altitude sickness caused by a failure of the body to adapt quickly enough to the reduced level of oxygen in the air at an increased altitude.
This type of altitude sickness is known as altoxia, a term which is used almost exclusively on Kilimanjaro, since this is the only commonly trekked mountain where these extreme altitudes are encountered so quickly.
LIFESAVING TIPS: This can be a life or health saving resource site: http://www.africaserengetisafaris.com. This organization provides essential free tips and referrals re: high altitude hiking, as well as some tours that are often funded mostly by lodges.
Most high altitude medical experts recommend against using the ALTOX Personal Oxygen System. Please consult your physician prior to considering this product that is sold at an additional expense by some agents.
Preparing for kilimanjaro trekking adventures need update current information about nature of Kilimanjaro formation, weather at Kilimanjaro,volcanic rocks, kilimanjaro elevation on particular route of choice, Kilimanjaro climbing routes details, safety and security, forest and wildlife, acclimatization and even price cost to climb kilimanjaro. These information can be found online for free and through inquire online contacts. More go here Mount Kilimanjaro blog:- About Mount Kilimanjaro and Tanzanite
There are seven main factors that affect the incidence and severity of Kilimanjaro altitude sickness:
- Rate of ascent
- Altitude attained
- Length of exposure
- Level of exertion
- Hydration and diet
- Inherent physiological susceptibility
- Use of oxygen systems or drugs
Always be prepared and use a tried and tested kit list. Make sure that you do your homework and that you have all the essentials. Keep up to date on the weather on Kilimanjaro. Conditions can be unfavorable and dangerous to favorable and pleasant, and a well planned trip has to take the weather patterns into consideration
Duration: 6 days 5 nights
Best time to travel: all year round
Day one – Marangu Gate (1980m) – Mandara hut (2700m)
Hiking time: 3-4hrs
Distance: Approximately 12kms
Habitat: Montane forest
The drive from arusha to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate, takes about 2hrs. The journey passes through the village of Marangu, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. Once you reach the park gate, all hikers are requested to sign in at the Park office and make their final preparations for the climb. Porters will be seen arranging and loading their packs, containing the food, water, cooking gas as well as most of your equipment. Make sure that you have all your daypack items (containing at least drinking water, your lunch pack and extra clothing) with you as the porters ascend a lot quicker than the hikers. Our guides will be available to assist with any additional information or needs you might have. You now leave the Park gate and ascend on a cleared ridge trail through the rain forest. The forest, suffused with mist and dripping with beards of moss, is also where most of Kilimanjaro’s animals are found. (An alternative and more scenic parallel forest trail branches off to the left a few minutes after the gate. This trail follows the edge of a stream through the undergrowth and offers you the option to rejoin the main trail either after 1.5 hours hiking, or 1 hour before Mandara hut.)
Your first night stop, Mandara hut, is a group of wooden A-framed huts in a forest clearing. Each hut features 6-8 sleeping bunks with solar generated lighting. The total capacity of the camp is 60 climbers. Water is piped into the camp from springs above and there are flush toilets behind the main hut.
Day two – Mandara hut (2700m) – Horombo hut (3720m)
Hiking time: 6h
Distance: Approximately 15kms
From Mandara hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, then skirts the base of the Maundi Crater and then emerges into the transition from rain forest to moorland. It is well worth a short detour to scramble up the rim of the Maundi Crater for your first really impressive view of the Kibo Crater. On a clear day, Kibo will glimmer in the distance, showing off her majestic glaciers in the morning sun. Once you are in the open moorland you will get the chance to see some of Kilimanjaro’s most spectacular plants – the endemic giant lobelia which grows up to 3 m in height and the giant groundsel (Senecia Kilimanjari), which can reach heights of 5m! After about 6 hours from here you reach the Horombo hut, where you will have hot washing water, rest; an evening meal and overnight.
Day three – Horombo hut (3720m) – Acclimatisation day
Horombo hut is a village of huts perched on a small plateau, with buildings similar to Mandara, but with a total capacity of 120 climbers! Horombo is normally bustling with hikers, guides and porters, with an atmosphere of adventure and excitement. You will meet both ascending and descending hikers here. This extra day and night at Horombo is for additional acclimatisation. A hike towards the Mawenzi hut, passing the Zebra Rocks on the way (about 3 hours up and 1,5 hours down), is strongly recommended. This hike will further assist with the process of acclimatisation. Remember to drink enough water and move slowly! All meals for the day are provided at the hut. Retire to bed early and get a last good night’s rest.
Day four – Horombo hut (3720m) – Kibo hut (4700m)
Hiking time: 6h
Distance: Approximately 15kms
Habitat: Alpine desert
After breakfast you now continue your ascent into the Alpine desert habitat. From Horombo there are two trails to the “Saddle” (which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo). There is an upper route (right hand fork) and lower route (left hand fork) to choose from. The upper route (right hand fork) will be very familiar, as you will have climbed most of it the previous day towards Mawenzi hut. It is very stony and eroded. The recommended lower route (left hand fork) is much easier and nearly an hour shorter, and it also passes the last watering point at 4130m. You will have to fill your water bottles with all the water you will need until your return to Horombo hut in two night’s time (unless you are willing to buy Mineral water at Kibo hut). Once again remember to slow down and drink enough water!!
Situated in the barren Alpine desert is Horombo hut, a stone build block house which has bunk beds for 60 climbers, but no streams with water nearby. It is however possible to buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office. There are platform toilets behind the hut. The summit is now a further 1195m up and you will make your final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, ski-stick and thermal clothing for your summit bid. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get as much rest and sleep as possible.
Day five – (Summit Attempt) Kibo hut (4700m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo hut (3720m)
Hiking time: 8h to Uhuru, 6h to get to Horombo
Distance: Approximately 6kms ascent, 21kms descent
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night, and this is where the going really gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting spot. The path then zigzags up to Gillman’s point (5 681m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring a great physical and mental effort. This is probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly.
From Gillmans Point you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Total exhilaration and satisfaction – you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you will be able to spend, taking photographs, before the 3 hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest you gather all your gear you left behind for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) for your overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day. Later in the evening you enjoy your last dinner (with soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp office) on the mountain and a well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions.
Day six – Horombo hut (3720m) – Marangu Gate (1980m)
Hiking time: 6h
Distance: Approximately 27kms
After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. Click here for more info on tips. At Marangu gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Gillman’s Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m), receive gold certificates.
You now drive back to Arusha for a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations!!
SAFARIS TO TARANGIRE SERENGETI & NGORONGORO
Day 1: Arrive to Arusha
Arrive anytime at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). We will arrange a private transfer from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) to your hotel, where the rest of the day is at leisure. We shall gather in the hotel for a pre-safari briefing and an equipment check.
We shall also confirm you have the appropriate mandatory medical coverage and travel insurance.
Day 2: Safari to Tarangire National Park.
Today we drive to Tarangire National Park, for excellent game viewing. Tarangire is a small park which offers some excellent sights. Generally in the dry seasons Tarangire comes alive as wildlife and birdlife congregate on the Tarangire River, which is a permanent source of water.
Day3: Safari to Lake Manyara National Park.
This is one of Tanzania’s small parks but still offers a rewarding and diverse safari experience. The lake shore at Manyara teems with birdlife, and while you are looking for the birds, you might spot one of the elusive tree-climbing lions. There are a surprising number of other large mammals and the striking cliffs on the Rift escarpment form a dramatic backdrop. In the late afternoon we make a short journey from the park to our special tented camp.
Day 4:Safari to Serengeti National Park.
We head towards the Serengeti National Park. En route there is an opportunity to visit Olduvai Gorge. After lunch we drive into the Serengeti itself and the rest of the afternoon is spent game viewing in the vast plains that are broken only by stands of acacia trees and the occasional kopje. In December, January and February we will normally meet the migration with large herds of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle. There are always plenty of resident animals, such as giraffe, buffalo, and elephant, and many large predators such as lion, cheetah, and leopard.
Day 5: Full day game drives Serengeti National Park.
We have another full day in this wonderful park, rising early to make the most of our time. Our guides will choose the best spotting locations for the time of year; we can spend time at the Hippo pool watching these majestic animals laze about in the cool water happily living alongside the crocodiles, watch a big pride of lions, be in the middle of the migration, sometimes surrounded by wildebeest, sometimes by zebras, which travel with the wildebeest. This diverse and interesting landscape will provide us with the ultimate in game viewing, we will hopefully see all of the plain games; elephants, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, lions and it you are lucky the elusive leopard and cheetah, as well as huge amounts of interesting bird life, from the elegant secretary birds to the flightless ostrich.
Day 6:Safari to Ngorongoro Crater.
We start the day with an early morning game drive before heading to Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Ngorongoro is a special place in that it is a Conservation Area, not a National Park; this means that the whole area is managed for both the animals and the local Masai people who graze their cattle alongside the indigenous wildlife. The only animal you won’t see in here is a giraffe, whose long legs are unable to cope with the steeps sides of the crater. In the late afternoon we travel just outside of Ngorongoro Conservation Area to Crater Forest .
Day 7: Arusha to Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO)
Free morning to relax after your great northern safari or explore the town, especially maasai market.
Our Tour Include:
Full board accommodation whilst on safari in the above mentioned en suite tented camps and lodges
Private 4 x 4 safari jeep with pop up roof for game viewing
Transfers in both directions between the International Airport
Airport Arrival/Departure Meet and Greets at the airport
On safari – Vehicles equipped with ice chest with mineral water,
Tanzania Visa: $50 per person on arrival, USA and CANADA passport holders $.100
Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)
Meals not listed above
Optional Tours (balloon rides $. 500 per person etc)
Tips and any items of personal nature.
- Good quality hiking boots You don’t need alpine mountaineering boots, but you do need good quality, supportive, waterproof hiking boots. Over the years I’ve used both these Asolo TPS 520 GV boots and these Zamberlan Vioz GT boots and have found both to be superb. A couple of others in our group got the Asolo’s on my recommendation and found them to be a great choice. They’re not cheap, but they’re worth every cent–you don’t want to be caught out on the mountain with flimsy boots–and because they’re dark leather they also work well as versatile travel boots. They also last for years of regular use. And make sure you break them in properly before your trip–blisters can become a serious problem on the mountain. Gaiter: I hadn’t really used gaiters much before and expected them to be mainly for snow, rain, and mud. But we used them all day every day. On the lower levels, there’s a heavy dust that gets into everything (you won’t get it out from under your fingernails until after you get back). Once you get higher, it’s replaced by a course volcanic grit. Both will cause discomfort and problems if you get it in your boots. The gaiters were great at keeping it out. There are high-end versions available that are lined with Gore Tex (like these from Outdoor Research) and more basic and cheaper options (like these). Your guide company might have these available to borrow or rent. Hat: A hat is essential. You’ll be outside all day every day. As you get higher, the atmosphere gets thinner and lets through more UV rays. And some malaria medications make your skin more susceptible to sunburn. Of all the things you’ll be dealing with on the climb, a bad case of painful sunburn is completely avoidable. I’m a big fan of Tilley hats. They’re incredibly durable, comfortable, and handle whatever the weather throws at you. My favorite is this one. There’s a reason they have such loyal customers and rave reviews. Sunglasses It gets glary up there. There can also be a lot of dust blowing around. Make sure they are rated for full UV protection. Take a spare pair, because inevitably you’ll drop, break, or scratch a pair on the volcanic gravel. Sunscreen: There’s not a lot between you and the sun once you get above the clouds. Don’t let the cold air fool you–the sun’s rays are harsh. Some of the malaria medications also have a side-effect of making your skin more susceptible to sunburn. Bandana: Bandana comes in handy in all sorts of useful ways. It can shield your neck from the sun, help keep a cold wind off, keep dust out if the wind’s blowing it around, or if you make it damp it can help keep you cool. Hand Warmers / Toe Warmers / Body Warmers I rarely use chemical warmers. But I appreciated having them at Crater Camp, when I put one in the foot of my sleeping bag to keep my feet warm. I did the same trick sleeping on the ice in Antarctica. I also used toe and hand warmers on the very early morning crossing of the Western Breach. Don’t take too many, though–they’re heavy, and they create more trash you need to pack out. Headlamps We used these a lot. It gets dark pretty early on the mountain–12-hour days mean 12-hour nights–and the campsites are often amongst fields of rocks which are very easy to trip on in the dark. I liked the Petzl Tikka XP2 headlamp because it had a red light filter, which preserves your night vision. That came in very handy while trying to take photos at night. The headlamps were also great in the tents–putting on several layers of warm clothing often takes two hands. Make sure to take spare batteries. Tent Light:I used one of these Black Diamond compact lanterns in the tent. It’s light, collapsible, and hooks on any loop or strut in the tent ceiling. Again, take spare batteries. Trekking poles For nearly the entire way the ground will be uneven. Altitude can make you dizzy. Throw in a bunch of steep sections and you have a bad mix. Walking poles were great for balance. As with most outdoor gear, there’s a big range of options. I found these to be good. You don’t need fancy, but you want ones that are strong yet light, that collapse for when you’re not using them, and with joints that won’t lock up at the first sign of grit or ice. An all-terrain foot will be more useful than ones for ice or snow. Your guide company might have these available to borrow or rent. Packing cubes Compartmentalizing my gear into smaller segments (like these Eagle Creek packing cubes) saved a lot of time fishing around in my duffel bag in the dark when all I wanted to do was collapse in my sleeping bag. Large Ziploc bags will also work well and have the added benefit of keeping water out (or in, as the case may be). Duffel bag Any gear you’re not wearing or carrying in your day pack will go in a duffel bag and be carried by a porter. You want something that is soft (ie. no wheels). The large duffel from REI was perfect and cost-effective–the XL was too big. Take a few contractor bags to line your duffel bag and keep things dry. Pillow This is something you can certainly get by without by just scrunching up some clothes, but I found that sleep was hard enough at altitude that anything that made things just that little more comfortable was very welcome. It’s a small luxury, but one that serves a purpose. These Thermarest Compressible Pillows are light and scrunch down small. They also help keep your head up off the frozen ground. And they come in handy as a travel pillow on long flights. Water bottles You’ll want at least two to carry with you during the day, but take a third. It’ll come in handy. Nalgene wide-mouth bottles work well–the narrow-mouth version is harder to use with the expedition water filters and can freeze up in the cold at the top of the mountain. Mark them with tape or marker in some way to personalize them so they don’t all get mixed up when the porters take them each morning to refill them. Take a spare carabiner clip to attach the bottle to the outside of your day pack while on the trail. Hand sanitizer Camp hygiene is something you’ll want to keep vigilant about. Take several small bottles of hand sanitizer so you can keep some in your pockets or day pack. I also find individual packs of hand sanitizer wipes to be very handy to keep in pockets and day packs, especially with all the dust your hands will inevitably get caked in. Ziploc bags Keep a few small Ziploc bags in your day pack for trash like candy wrappers, used sanitizer wipes, etc. This is a national park, after all. There’s nothing more disappointing and unnecessary than coming across litter on the trail. Journal you’re looking to record your own journal of your climb, Rite in the Rain notebooks and pens are good for all-weather, even in the wet. They’ll make sure you don’t come back with an unreadable smudge. You can get handy kits like this or get the notebooks and pens individually. These are a staple of my backpack whenever
Included In The Price
Overnight stays in mountain Huts
Professional, experienced, mountain guides:
All Park fees
All meals while on the Mountain
Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees
Quality Mess tents with table and chairs
Large portions of fresh, healthy nutritious food
Clean, purified drinking water
Fair and ethical treatment of porters
Gratuity (20% of Kilimanjaro climb per person)
Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)
Optional Tours (short safari after your climb etc)
Need Travel & Evacuation Insurance? Ripcord Has Your Back.