So you are thinking of climbing Kilimanjaro? Preparing for it can be quite a handful so we’ve made it easier for you with the following steps:
Join a group: If you are a solo travel or a small group that wishes to meet other like-minded climbers we would recommend you to join one of our fixed departures. Other solo travellers from around the world may join and you will share the same support team, equipment etc. The tour dates are fixed, please click on the following link and choose the date/s that suit you best: Join a group
Kilimanjaro National Park does not permit any climbers to trek without a support team of guides, porters and cooks.
Best time Good time Mixed
Astronomical happenings: make your climb special by combining it with a full moon or new moon summit. The full moon summit date should fall on the final day that you attempt to hike to Uhuru Peak; your path during the night ascent will be lit with the light of the moon. Star gazers can select a summit date that falls on a new moon – “summit under the stars”, where the night ascent will be in pitch darkness with billions of stars sparkling high en-route.
Special occasions: wish to climb on a birthday, honeymoon, anniversary or any other special date? Get in touch with us and see how we can make your adventure a special one!
Other ports of entry:
Julius Nyere International Airport (code: DAR) which is located in Dar es Salaam. From DAR airport you may take a domestic flight from DAR to JRO* or alternatively a public coach transfer to Moshi which is generally a 9-10 hour journey and not recommended.
Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (code: ZNZ) which is located in Zanzibar. We would recommend a domestic flight from ZNZ to JRO*.*Please note: if you require assistance with domestic flights, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (code: NBO) situated in Nairobi, Kenya. From NBO airport a road transfer is possible in a pre-booked shuttle to Moshi which is a 5-6 hour journey, passing through Namanga Border. Please note a Kenyan transit visa is required which should be applied for online before travel and the visa for Tanzania can be issued at Namanga Border. Alternatively a flight from NBO to JRO is recommended instead.
- Level of climber: beginner | intermediate | advanced
- Acclimatisation required
- Number of days on trek
- Price range
Please see our Route Comparison Table and the detailed information on our website about each route to help you decide; or alternatively email us.
It may not be possible for everyone to do other high altitude trekking; therefore we would recommend you to include long hikes in your training of 6-8 hours as this could typically simulate a day en-route on Kilimanjaro. Try to find natural land with various gradients to train your leg muscles. Remember to train in the hiking boots you intend to wear for your Kilimanjaro climb, and don’ t forget to carry your rucksack whilst training so that you get used to 3.5-4.5kgs on your back. Bear in mind your Kilimanjaro trek could be between 5-9 days, therefore any experience in hiking for a number of dayswould help your preparation.
Along with the hiking we would advise the following forms of exercise that will help, remember your training should be progressive so you should be able to do more or move on to harder practices.
- Walking, jogging / running, aerobics, and a gym work-out for the fitness of the physical body
- Swimming and yoga which are especially great for the breathing. Please note that there are other forms of exercises that may have not been mentioned but could also help.
Medical check: consult your family doctor / local GP / physician at least 3 to 4 months before your travel to Tanzania of the activities you will be participating during your tour, including the high altitude trek and any vaccinations and medication you may require. Your medical check-up may give you an indication of whether you are fit for the adventure.
Medication & first aid: ensure that you carry all your medication and a first aid kit for your travel. Click on: Check-list
Vaccinations: the table below is a general guideline on vaccinations that are recommended before entering Tanzania. Please consult your doctor for necessary vaccinations that you require before your travel:
|Polio||One time booster recommended for any adult travelling to any countrythat completed the childhood series, but never had the polio vaccine as an adult|
|Yellow Fever||Recommended for all travellersexposed to mosquitoes. Required for travellers arriving from a yellow fever endemic country (please note: proof of yellow fever vaccination maybe required at the port of entry into Tanzania)|
|Hepatitis A||Recommended for all travellersin case of intake of contaminated food or drink in Tanzania|
|Hepatitis B||Not generally recommend for travel to Tanzania however recommended if you are going to be exposed to contaminated needles, blood products e.g. medical procedures, piercings or tattoos or sexual contact.|
|Typhoid||Recommended for all travellersin case of intake of contaminated food or drink in Tanzania|
|Rabies||For travellers spending a lot of time outdoors e.g. hikings, camping, adventure, or in areas with high risk of animal bites, or in activities that will involve direct contact with dogs, bats and other mammals in Tanzania.|
|Mumps, Measles, Rubella (MMR)||Two doses recommended for all travellers born after 1995, if not previously vaccinated.|
|Tetanus – Diphtheria||Vaccination recommended every 10 years|
Malaria & Insect Protection: Please consult with your doctor the ways in which you should prevent Malaria, you may be required to take prescribed medication before, during and after your trip. You are likely to be exposed to malaria carrying Mosquitoes in Tanzania:
- in altitudes below 1800m
- during the evening and nights
- throughout the year
- in areas where there is dirty water
We would highly recommend you to protect yourself from Mosquitoes and other insects by:
- taking anti-malarial medication
- applying insect repellent
- wearing clothing that covers majority of your body e.g. long sleeves, long pants, hats, shoes etc.
- closing all room windows (by late afternoon) unless there is a net / screen to prevent insects and mosquitoes entering
- using mosquito nets preferably impregnated with insect repellent, over your bed during overnights
- a mosquito coil only as a last resort which will fill the room with insecticide throughout the night, although this method is not pleasant.
Traveller’s Diarrhoea: is the most common travel-related ailment which is acquired by the intake of contaminated food and / or water. It is characterised by an increased frequency of unformed bowel movements, i.e. three or more loose stools in an 8 hour period or five or more loose stools in a 24 hour period which could be accompanied with urgency, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, bloating, fever or blood in the stool. In most cases traveller’s diarrhoea are mild where fluid intake and oral rehydration solution may be enough, and medication may not be necessary. Oral rehydration solution comes in sachets of powder which have to be mixed with treated or boiled water. They are generally available in pharmacies worldwide and it aims to restore the fluids and salts lost in diarrhoeal stool. In worst cases an anti-diarrhoeal drug such as Loperamide (Imodium) or Diphenoxylate (Lomotil) should be taken as needed to reduce the frequency of stools, however please seek advice from your doctor before travelling.
- from street vendors
- that is not piping hot or cooked food that has been left out for a period of time
- undercooked or raw meat and fish
- fruits and vegetables that have not been washed, peeled and cooked
Avoid the following beverages:
- tap water that has not been boiled, filtered and treated
- un-bottled drinks
- drinks with ice
- unpasteurised milk and any products made from it
|Passport (with 6 months validity after your proposed return date) and a TanzanianTourist visa||Cash in USD $ (Bank notes printed after 2006, notes printed before this year are not accepted anywhere in Tanzania)||Yellow fever certificate (If transiting/travelling from ayellow feverendemic country/region)|
|Airline travel documents||Credit / visa card for emergency,(surcharges are high5-7%)||Health/travel insurance documents|
|Glasses (recommended over contact lenses if worn)||*Water-proof / wind-proof jacket||*Water-proof / wind-proof trousers|
|*Hiking trousers / pants||*Raincoat or Poncho||Regular underwear|
|*Scarf / Neck warmer||Shorts||Sports bra / underwear|
|Sunglasses (UV filtered)||T-Shirts||*Sun hat, warm hat|
|Thermal underwear||Watch||Thermal long johns|
|*Glove liners||*Waterproof gloves|
|Light shoes (Trainers / sneakers, running shoes etc. for walking around the camp)||Water-proof hiking boots (Well worn-in)||*Thermal socks|
|Hiking socks||Thin liner socks||*Calf Gaiters|
|Deodorant||Hairbrush / comb||Sanitary products|
|Soap||Toothbrush + toothpaste||Wet wipes & tissue packets|
|Personal First aid / Medical kit|
|Acetazolamide (Diamox) if required||Pain killers (e.g. Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Paracetamol)||Plasters / bandages / plaster tape|
|Own prescribed medication||Sun protection cream (spf 30+)||Lip salve/balm (With UV protection)|
|Malaria tablets||Anti-Nausea tablets||Antiseptic cream|
|Rehydration packets||Blister pads||Anti-diarrhoea tablets|
|Throat lozenges||Water purification tablets||Small scissors|
|Food and drink|
|High energy snacks (e.g. Cereal bars, dried fruits, nuts, chocolates and sweets)||Powdered sports drinks/ energy drinks||Water purification tablets (for 1-5 lts) / Water purification system|
|Personal food products (e.g. for special dietary requirements, allergies etc)||*Water bladder / Water bottle (hard plastic, metal etc. – no soft plastic bottles permitted on the mountain by National Park)|
|Baggage and sleeping|
|*Waterproof day pack (20-35ltscapacity, for personal use on the mountain / daytime hike pack)||*Duffel bag / large rucksack/ holdall – 70-90 Lts capacity to be carried by porters||Plastic / carrier bags (to keep wet / dirty clothing separate|
|Ziploc bags (for cameras, binoculars etc.)||*Sleeping bag (with at least a -10 rating or colder)||*Roll-able sleeping mattress|
|Waterproof rucksack cover (or a large heavy duty bin liner)||Sleeping bag liner|
|Binoculars||*Head torch (with batteries)||Ear Plugs|
|Video / picture camera (with spare film / memory cards / batteries and a disposable camera just in case)||Torch / flashlight (with extra batteries)||Pocket knife|
|Kilimanjaro Map, Town map||Candles||Purse / Wallet / Money belt|
|Mobile phone (there is some signal reception available on most parts of the mountain)||Matches / lighter||Playing cards, books etc. (for evening entertainment)|
|*Trekking /Walking poles (a pair)||Luggage lock||Notebook and pencil / pen|
|Insect / mosquito repellent||Hot water bottle|
So what kind of hiking footwear is suitable for Kilimanjaro?
- Fitting: should not be tight, you should be able to wear thermal socks or two-three pairs of socks comfortably. To get a great fitting, wear the pair of hiking boots (without socks) and slide your finger in at the back of the shoe. If your finger does not slide in this means that they are too tight for you. There should be a gap of the width of your finger between the back of your foot and the shoe.
- Waterproof: ensure that your boots are water proof
- Support: your hiking boots should support the whole foot including the ankle and heel, therefore a recommended hiking boot for Kilimanjaro would have the mouth of the shoe higher up, covering more of your foot than normal sports shoes i.e. trainers / sneakers.
Wear your boots on board:
Have your hiking boots with you at all times while you fly or travel to Tanzania, best to wear them in case your checked-in main luggage gets delayed or in the worst cases lost! You can hire most things, however comfortable, well-worn in boots for your feet may be hard to find!
|Mountain Inn rental equipment list:|
|ITEM||BRAND / MODEL||PRICE (US $)
(per item, per trip)
|Anorak / Bivanorak||Mixed brands||20.00|
|Boots – walking / trekking||Mixed brands||20.00|
|Duffel Bag||Ortleib ‘Packsack PS490, 109L||20.00|
|Head Torch||Mixed brands||10.00 (excl. batteries)|
|Gloves / warm mitts||Mixed brands||8.00|
|Glove liners||Mixed brands||5.00|
|Neck warmer||Mixed brands||7.00|
|Rain coat / poncho||Mixed brands||10.00|
|Rain / wind / water proof trousers||Mixed brands||20.00|
|Ruck Sack / Day pack||Mixed brands||20.00|
|4 season sleeping bag||Snugpak Chrysalis 5||30.00|
|Sweater / fleece / jumper||Mixed brands||10.00|
|Walking poles||Black Diamond ‘Expedition’||10.00|
|Water bottle||Mixed brands||10.00|
|Water bladder / Water hydration system||Mixed brands||15.00|
|Shah Tours rental equipment (to be pre-ordered):|
|ITEM||BRAND / MODEL||PRICE (US $)|
|Foldable travel bed||Mixed brands||15 per person, per day|
|Single Light dome tent supplement||Vaude Campo grando / Hilleberg tarra||10 per person, per day|
|Oxygen Cylinder*||Summit Oxygen||150 (1 cylinder) / 180 (2 cylinders)|
|Pulse Oximetres||Mixed brands||10 per item per trip|
|Portable toilet||Mixed brands||45 per day|
- All items are subject to availability
- All prices are valid between 01.07.2014 – 30.06.2016 subject to change per item / tour unless otherwise stated
- Additional equipment other than above may be available, please request anything that is not listed above and we shall advise whether it is possible to make arrangements accordingly.
- All equipment hired is non-refundable and items should be checked before departure, and handed back in full working order to our equipment store.
Portable toilet: the hire includes, the portable toilet itself, the toilet tent, porter, cleaning chemicals, air freshener and toilet roll / paper. Please note that the Kilimanjaro National Park does not allow the set up and use of the portable toilet/s during the trek on route. These can only be set up and used at the campsites.
Emergency Oxygen system : is used to treat a whole host of medical emergencies as well as altitude related illnesses whilst on Kilimanjaro. Its uses are usually as a last resort, and in most cases descending to a lower altitude where the oxygen is richer is the best way to cure oxygen related altitude sickness.
Once receiving oxygen via the emergency system, you would need to descend immediately and would not be able to ascend further, or re-attempt ascension.
The oxygen system will be carried by an assistant guide who accompanies you on your trek, and the decision to use the system will be either the assistant guides or head guides as they are trained to detect symptoms of acute mountain sickness and are trained in using these systems. There may be some instances where altitude symptoms have risen however the emergency oxygen may not be necessary and the guides will recommend you to descend to a lower altitude, usually curing problems faced over taking treatment from the cylinder.
E1 – 1 cylinder package
Consists of a 3-litre or 2-litre light weight carbon composite oxygen cylinder, supplied with a medical oxygen regulator, medical facemask and backpack.
E2 – 2 cylinder package
Consists of two 3-litre or 2-litre lightweight carbon composite oxygen cylinders, supplied with one medical oxygen regulator, a medical facemask and backpack.
- All valuables: phone, camera etc.
- A pair or two of clothing for the initial day or so
- Wear your walking boots!
We highly recommend our guests to arrive at least two-three days prior to the start date of the climb or tour to take precaution.
In case the luggage does not arrive with you, report immediately to the officials at the port of entry and you will be guided on the following steps. If for example your arrival is at Kilimanjaro International Airport, please ensure that you report to the Swissport desk, where you will be given a form to fill in and if possible to request them to deliver the luggage at Mountain Inn or the Shah Tours office. A copy of your completed form should be given to you, please present this to Mountain Inn’s reception staff upon arrival and we will do our best to keep track and help in this situation. In most instances if luggage is delayed it usually arrives within 24 hours, however not at all times.
In the unfortunate event that the luggage has not arrived by the time you start your climb; the items are usually available on hire at the rental equipment store located in Mountain Inn. At this point we would recommend you to assume that the luggage may not arrive at all and prepare accordingly. The staff at Mountain Inn will help you to select the equipment and if in case it is not available do not worry, it can be arranged for. If your luggage arrives whilst you are on the mountain you will be informed, and if you wish for us to send an additional porter with your luggage, this can be arranged.
We will do everything possible to help during this situation, however any additional costs that may occur, e.g. extra equipment hire, transport to the airport, additional porter etc. will have to be paid locally (and claimed from the company of transportation or insurance with the collated receipts).
Visa: all foreigners are required to have a valid visa, unless the country you are a citizen of has an agreement with Tanzania where the visa requirement is waived. A visa for Tanzania can be issued from:
- Entry points of the United Republic of Tanzania including:
- Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)
- Julius Nyere International Airport (DAR)
- Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ)
- Zanzibar Harbour
- Namanga Border
- Horohoro Border
- Tunduma Border
- Kigoma Port
- Tanzania representatives abroad: e.g. embassy / high commission
Airline travel documents: a valid return flight E-ticket is required for your travel. The Immigration Control Officer should be provided proof of an onward journey from Tanzania or a return ticket, proving that you will not be exceeding the length of stay for the visa. Remember to check-in online!
Insurance: should be obtained from the country of your residence, in case of any unforeseen circumstances. We would recommend insurance coverage for:
- Trip Cancellation / interruption / delays
- Accident / Injury
- Lost, stolen or damaged baggage, personal belongings and travel documents.
Please ensure that your insurance company is aware that you will be participating in high altitude trekking and other tours in Tanzania.
Flying Doctors: the Flying Doctors Society of Africa (FDSA) provides free medical support and evacuation services such as air ambulance for members that are eligible. For more information on how to become a member please download the Flying Doctors document.
Yellow Fever: proof of yellow fever vaccination may be required upon arrival in Tanzania, especially if transiting through or travelling from a yellow fever endemic country.
E-booking tour confirmation: once you have confirmed your tour booking, an E-booking confirmation will be sent to you. A copy of this may be presented to the Immigration Control Office for the purpose of your stay in Tanzania.
Cash -US Dollars: considered to be the unofficial secondary currency accepted in most places. Only US dollar bank notes printed after 2006 are accepted in Tanzania, notes printed before this year are not accepted by banks in Tanzania.
Other currency: may not be known as well as the US Dollar and may not be accepted.
Credit / Debit cards: advised in case of emergency. Surcharges to withdraw or make payments using a card may be between 5-7% in Tanzania.
We frequently get asked suggestions for tipping amounts. For a 5-8 day trek the following guideline is an average of what we recommend, however you may decide the final amounts to be greater or lower than recommended:
|Kilimanjaro Crew||Tipping Guideline (US $)|
- Clear any questions you may regarding tips during your briefing
- Never feel pressurised to give a certain amount of tips
- Avoid discussing the subject of tipping with your Kilimanjaro crew
- The distribution of tips can be done either at the last campsite / hut on your descent or at the park gates after your descent before heading back to the hotel. To distribute the tips you may either:
- Put the amount of tip money for each crew member in an envelope and personally hand it to them.
- To give the whole amount to the head guide and announce to the whole team, the amounts that you wish each crew member to receive.