Adventure Essentials

Overview

Our Kilimanjaro Essentials listing is a must-read for all our future Kili prospects and it is aimed at preparing, informing and providing them a reason to be excited about their climbing adventure. The right preparation, providing accurate facts and information are the most commonly overlooked joys of traveling on most adventure trips. From getting fit for the trip to secure adequate travel insurance and appropriate clothing for the type of adventure trips we operate, we’ve got you covered.

Get Fit For Your Trip

Get Fit For Your Trip

To ensure that you are in the best possible shape for your adventure, Wanderlust Adventures has partnered with one of North America’s leading adventure fitness guru’s, Fit For Trips to offer training programs crafted specifically for your itinerary. Consider replacing your current workout with one from the experts at Fit For Trips.

Mountain Safety

Mountain Safety

Climbing Kilimanjaro is a rigorous, but non-technical, hike that goes to high altitudes. All travel in the mountains involves inherent dangers, which can never be totally controlled. With that said, seeing to your safety is our #1 concern. Learn more about our mountain safety guidelines and emergency evacuation protocol.

Trip Gear & Packing List

Trip Gear & Packing List

Preparing for your trip is part of the fun, so we’ve tied up with Calgary-based outfitter Live Out There, Canada’s leading retailer of adventure travel goods, gear and clothing. Live Out There mission is to inspire, equip and guide all Canadians to find their own adventure!

Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading

We have created customized recommended reading list for trips to Tanzania in partnership with Longitude, a leading specialty mail-order bookseller. Look out for Essential Reading packages that include a set of several items (books, maps and more!) recommended for your trip. All orders via Wanderlust web site are entitled to a 15% discount, off the listed price and includes shipping within the US.

Charity & Private Groups

Charity & Private Groups

We have extensive experience planning private group trips and charity treks. Whether you’re looking for a departure date we don’t offer, or hoping to trek with specific companions, or want to organize a charity climb, Wanderlust Adventures can plan your dream adventure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Kilimanjaro15: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers. We do receive various questions about climbing Kilimanjaro all the time. We have compiled a list of answers to the most frequently asked questions in general, and about climbing Kili with Wanderlust Adventures specifically.

Latest News & Press

Latest News & Press

Wanderlust Adventures is Canada’s only dedicated expert for Kilimanjaro climbs. Because of our reputation as a guide service on Kilimanjaro, we are cited in the local travel media on a regular basis. Additionally, our clients have been featured everywhere – magazines, television, newspapers, books and movies. Here, we are making an attempt to bring you a reproduction of some of the articles that have been published and news that make essential reading for your adventure.

Tipping & Donations

Tipping & Donations

The local crew are the heart and soul of your climb. Without their hard work we would not be able to fully experience the magnificence of Kilimanjaro. The truth is porters are often impoverished Tanzanians who depend on this labor-intensive employment to feed themselves and their families. Here’s a guideline for how much you should set aside for tips. We believe that anyone who can afford to trek Kilimanjaro as a leisure activity, can also afford to tip to their support crew as reward for good service.

GET FIT FOR YOUR TRIP

Personalized Fitness Training For Your Adventure

Wanderlust Adventures team will take great care of you while on your trip with us. Be rest assured that the trip of a lifetime begins from the moment you depart your home. If however, you have the inclination and motivation to boost your self-assurance and energy levels before you depart then here is a special option available to Wanderlust Adventures travelers.

To ensure that you are in the best possible shape for your adventure, Wanderlust Adventures has partnered
with one of North America’s leading adventure fitness guru’s, Fit For Trips to offer training programs crafted specifically for your itinerary. Consider replacing your current workout with one from the experts at Fit For Trips. When you book your adventure with us, you automatically receive a 25% discount on pNew Fit for Trips logourchase of any fitness program from Fit For Trips.

Regardless of your fitness level, and whether you will train at the gym or at home, Fit For Trips easy to use step-by-step fitness programs will help you get the most out of the trip that you have booked.

Regardless of your fitness level, and whether you will train at the gym or at home, Fit For Trips easy to use step-by-step fitness programs will help you get the most out of the trip that you have booked.

Get Fit For Your Trip

What are the training options available with Fit For Trips?

  • Select from 8-12-week training programs
  • Choose a home-based or gym-based training program
  • Choose the resistance program that fits your level of experience
  • Instruction by audio, video, and personal support
  • Customization available for busy schedules, injuries, etc.

What will a workout look like?

Be prepared for plenty of squats, lunges, stair climbs and endurance exercises meant to get you ready to successfully achieve your adventures goals anywhere in the world. Below is sample video from Fit For Trips.

Ready to get started?

Fit For Trips programs can give you self-assurance, boost your energy level, and help you physically prepare for all of the activities in your itinerary. Bring back great memories! Let Fit For Trips help. For more information, go to www.your mini-site.

Mountain Safety: Our # 1 Priority

Climbing Kilimanjaro is a rigorous adventure and the outfitter you choose makes a difference. Although Kili climb is a non-technical mountain walk, it reaches high altitudes. All high altitude traverses in the mountains involve inherent dangers, which can never be totally controlled.

With that in mind, providing adequate precautions and ensuring your safety in the mountain is our team’s sole concern. One of the integral aspects to our high success rates on Kilimanjaro climbs is our diligence in implementing effective protocols for the health and safety of every climber – from the food they consume to the medical support they receive.

Our Trip Leaders and local mountain guides are the most experienced on the mountain. All our leaders are Certified First Responders (WFR) and undergo extensive training beyond the normal standards of WFR to provide our climbers with the safest possible trek up Kilimanjaro. Every year our guides go through Wilderness First Aid (WFA) training in Arusha, Tanzania.

This certification and ongoing training is mandatory for all of our Kilimanjaro guides. The WFR course is well known internationally and is often regarded as the world standard in outdoor medical care.

Each of our local mountain leaders and guides have climbed Kili over one hundred times. They know the mountain as a second home and are incredible resources of knowledge and expertise on how to prepare for each day, safety precautions, and keeping climbers healthy in the hike toward the summit. They will monitor each climber’s health and wellness throughout the ascent and are trained to detect early signs of altitude sickness as well as in the protocols for high-altitude emergency evacuation.

Every time we take our clients up the mountain, be it one solo climber or a group of 50 or more, Wanderlust’s local team is always equipped with the following health and safety equipment at their disposal:

  • Supplemental Oxygen for emergency use
  • Pulse Oximeter, thermometer and automatic blood pressure machine
  • 2 way communication radios and satellite phones with easy access to our base office in Arusha
  • A fully kitted professional expedition medical & first aid kit with full resuscitation capabilities
  • Durable Mountain Hardware© 2 & 3 man sleeping tents
  • Chemically treated water flushable portable toilet
  • Katadyn Expedition Water Filtration Units and proper hand sanitization protocols where all food and water consumption are concerned. Clean water is critical to your health on the climb. We supply high volume Katadyn water filters which can produce the vast quantities of clean drinking water that your body requires for hard work at high altitudes. Katadyn is one of the only water filtration systems endorsed by the World Health Organization to guarantee pure water. We also use Micropur to disinfect.

Emergency Evacuation Protocol

When the need arises to evacuate a climber from the mountain, the final decision lies entirely at the discretion of the trip Leader (if present) and the lead mountain guide. All climbers must heed the trip leader and lead mountain guide’s words should they recommend returning to lower altitudes. Remember, impaired judgement is one of the key symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)!

The definitive treatment for AMS is rapid descent. While this can be simulated through additional features like the use of a Gamow Hyperbaric Bag, there is no true substitute for getting the patient down and off the mountain as soon as possible. Besides, Gamow bags are rarely used on Kilimanjaro. On worst cases, there are stretchers designed to allow us to carry a climber down the mountain over rough terrain.

Should you need to descend, Wanderlust mountain team will get you down the mountain safely and our action plan goes like this:

  • ASSESS THE SITUATION
    Trip leader and/or Guides will determine the safest and fastest descent route.
  • CONNECT WITH BASE CAMP
    A call to base camp ensures appropriate medical attention (if needed) and accommodations will be ready.
  • DEPLOYMENT OF MEDICAL NEEDS & FIRST AID
    If necessary, guides will use Wanderlust’s extensive medical equipment to stabilize the climber.
  • DESCEND THE MOUNTAIN
    An Assistant guide and trained staff accompany the guest down the mountain.

Trip Gear with

Trip Gear & Packing List

Preparing for your trip is part of the fun, so we’ve tied up with Calgary-based outfitter Live Out There, Canada’s leading retailer of adventure travel goods, gear and clothing.

Live Out There mission is to inspire, equip and guide all Canadians to find their own adventure!

  • All adventures — in mountains, deserts, forests, jungles or your own hometown — are worth finding and exploring.
  • Having the right gear — that fits, is comfortable, performs and lasts — allows you to go farther and longer, be safer and have more fun.
  • Your online shopping experience should be quick, easy and rewarding — allowing you to get into your active pursuits with a smile on your face.
  • Building partnerships with outdoor industry leaders will continue to makes us better and offer you the best technology and advancements.
  • People who spend time in the natural world will become champions of the environment and play a role in preserving our precious resources.

Recommended Reading

Learn More About Your Destination Before you Go…

Book-image-for-Recommended-ReadingNBook image for Recommended Readingow that you are considering a Kilimanjaro and Tanzania adventure trip with Wanderlust Adventures or have just signed up for a trip, it is time to start reading more about the places you’ll be visiting. Look for the book icon in the Introduction menu of the trip pages for a comprehensive selection of our hand-picked classics, new and hard-to-find books and maps that can help you prepare for your journey.

We have created these customized recommended reading lists in partnership with Longitude, a leading specialty mail-order bookseller. You may also click on the trip titles below to view a selection of items recommended for all of upcoming Wanderlust trips.

Discount-buttonLook out for Essential Reading packages that include a set of several items (books, maps and more!) recommended for your trip. All orders via Wanderlust web site are entitled to a 15% discount, off the listed price and includes shipping within the US.

Click Here for the Essential Reading Package for Kilimanjaro

Click Here for the Essential Reading Package for Tanzania

Challenge yourself to make a difference

Whatever your dream, whatever your motivation, you are guaranteed to find some inspiration within the pages of this web site to travel to Tanzania, challenge yourself to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and enjoy a safari with local people.

One part of our vision at Wanderlust Adventures is to help and build lasting solutions to some of the poverty-stricken communities where we operate. We work with our allies in Canada and Tanzania to change the policies and practices that perpetuate human suffering in many forms. We support local organizations in their struggle to secure basic rights and we believe that through adventure travel as a fair trading business can contribute in a small way to support communities free of poverty and injustice. What do we mean by this – we respect the basic rights of all human beings to: earn a decent living to support themselves and their families, enjoy basic education and health care, get help in life-threatening disasters, speak out for their rights and be treated as equal.

Tanzania is a beautiful country with warm and welcoming people and an excellent tourism infrastructure. Yet poor school facilities, HIV/Aids, and unemployment blight the lives of many Tanzanians. Over the last 15 years, Wanderlust Adventures founder has personally contributed towards the vital work of community Projects Africa in Arusha by funding school building projects, providing materials, educational bursaries and giving vocational training to Tanzanians (especially women) affected by HIV/Aids. We have also organised three community challenges where our clients have travelled to Tanzania to get directly involved in the building of the schools we have helped to fund.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Wanderlust Adventures Canadian-owned and TICO (Travel Industry Council of Ontario) approved travel company?

Yes. We are a 100% Canadian owned company. We are an Ontario registered corporation and a independent travel associate of one of Canada’s leading tour operators, Tourcan Vacations, a well known travel company doing business in Canada for more than 27 years. Tourcan and Wanderlust are TICO approved travel entities qualified to sell outbound leisure and adventure travel. Your travels dollars are protected by adventuring with a TICO approved outfitter and we encourage it. Visit www.tico.ca for more information.

Does Wanderlust accept international clients?

Yes. We are based out of Ontario, Canada and primarily serve our clients from Canada. However, we have clients who book our trips from the USA, Europe, Asia and Far East.

How do I book my Kilimanjaro trek or Tanzania Safari?

Call 905-783-3384 or Toll free: 800-783-3384 to reserve your trek with a 15% deposit. The final balance will be due by Visa or Master card, check, money order, or wire transfer 90 days prior to departure.

How many people are in a group climb?

Our small group treks have no minimum size, so all departure dates are guaranteed to run with minimum of 2 climbers. We take a maximum of ten climbers on Grand Traverse route, twelve on Western Approach and Lemosho routes and Sixteen on Machame Route treks.

What is included in your prices?

Our prices include hotel accommodations in Arusha before and after the climb, private group transfers from Kilimanjaro airport to your hotel in Arusha and back; transportation from the hotel to the trail and back: 2 nights Arusha accommodation prior to the climb with most meals included and 1 night post climb accommodation with a farewell celebratory dinner, visits to our community support projects during your stay in Arusha, pre-climb training and acclimatization trek on Mt Meru, All Kilimanjaro park fees, and all meals on the mountain. Prices do not include flights, some meals and beverages at the lodge in Arusha, personal gear and equipment and tips for local guides, porters and rest of the crew. Our prices are listed in Canadian Dollars.

Explain the “Depart & Return dates” of your climbs?

If you are not spending any extra days in Tanzania or any other country before or after the climb, you should book your flight from Canada or US to Kilimanjaro on the “Depart Date” and leave Kilimanjaro the ” Return Date” which is usually the day after your climb ends, after spending the final night at the hotel.

International travelers from countries other than Canada or US, must ” Arrive” in Arusha on Day 3 in the itinerary as we have our trip briefings that evening at your hotel, though we can schedule a personal trip briefing for you later in the evening or the next morning if you arrive late. Should international arrivals land or depart at the same time as the Canada/US clients, such clients can make use of the group transfers between airport and hotel, which is included in your trip cost. If such international arrival and departure times are different to those from Canada/US, airport transfers can still be arranged on a private vehicle with an English speaking driver cum assistant at a minimal cost.

What routes do you offer for group climbs?

We only offer 4 out of the 7 official routes on Kilimanjaro. We specialise in offering longer routes that aid our client’s with longer time for altitude acclimatization and high rate of summit success, beautiful scenery and smaller crowds. Our preferred four routes are The Grand Traverse (also known as Northern Circuit), Western Approach Route, Lemosho route and Machame route. Machame is a nice route as well, but has a lot of other climbers on it. We will explain you briefly why we do not run climbs on shorter, crowded, physically tough and less appealing routes like Marangu, Rongai or Umbwe.

Marangu – The Marangu Route is the shortest, cheapest, least scenic, most crowded, and most punishing way to climb the mountain. Climbers have the least chance of summit success as the dramatic changes in altitude leave little time for the body to acclimatize. Along this route, climbers stay in crowded dorms that accommodate up to 200 people. The summit day, from Kibo Hut, requires a difficult 8-9 hour hike to the peak, with climbers waking at midnight to set out in the cold for a grueling 4,000-foot ascent at high altitudes on a steep slope in the dark. Descent is another 5-7 hours by the same route, so not only do you have a terribly long day, but a very limited experience of the mountain. Approximately 40% of all Kili climbers choose this route and fewer than half of them make the summit.

Rongai – Rongai Route approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, near the Kenya side. The first three days follow a route which, while remote and less traveled, is featureless and scenically uninteresting. This route then joins the crowded Marangu route to get to the summit. Once again, a long, difficult summit day from the Kibo Hut is required. The descent is via the Marangu Gate.

Umbwe – A technically challenging route with few trekkers and is suggested only for experienced climbers who are short on time. The first two days are long and steep, although the views are breathtaking. This quick ascent is only recommended for climbers who have been to high altitude before and understand how their bodies react to rapid ascent. This route also includes the night at Barafu and the long, difficult summit day.

Why do you always include a Pre-acclimatization climb on the slopes of Mt Meru?

Prior to beginning our Kili climbs, we always spend day on the slopes of Mt. Meru at 6,500′ (most other companies spend their pre-climb nights in Arusha town which is only at 4,600′). This extra training day hike in the Arusha National Park we can enjoy a wonderfully scenic warm-up hike with views of both Mt. Meru and Kilimanjaro itself. In addition to being enjoyable, this day provide a huge jump-start to our body’s acclimatization process and make things easier in the days ahead. Additionally, you may even get to see some wildlife in the park

What is a group climb and private climb?

Group climbs only runs on the Depart/Return dates specified under the Dates & Prices section of the web site and you will be in a party of up to 10, 12 or 16 climbers who have booked with us separately (Yes, they may be strangers). If you book a private climb, you will be in a party of people you specifically booked with (friends, family, etc.) or it could be a solo climb booked just for yourself. Private climbs can be scheduled on any date you choose and on any route. There is no maximum number of climbers for a private climb. The service on the mountain is exactly the same.

If I am a single climber, do I have to share a room and tent with someone else on a group climb?

We pair same sex single climbers to share a double room before and after the climb and to share a three person tent during the trek. You can get a single room and single tent for yourself by paying for a single supplement. Single supplements must be arranged at the time of booking.

What is Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS)?

The summit of Kilimanjaro, at 19,341 feet, is considered extreme high altitude. As you climb the mountain, the air becomes less compressed and contains fewer molecules of oxygen per breath. At 9,000 feet, there is 75% of the air pressure there is at sea level. At the summit of Kilimanjaro, there is half. Altitude Mountain Sickness is the name given to the physiological and symptomatic reactions of the body caused by rapid ascent to high altitude.

What is the best way to increase my chance of making it to the top, before the trip?

First and foremost, choose a longer route whilst in the mountain (not including the stay in Arusha). 7 days in the mountain should be the minimum and 8 or 9 days is even better. Next, put effort into your training and do it for at least 3 months, incorporating some long hikes if possible. Third, assemble the right gear for your climb.

What is the best way to increase my chance of making it to the top, during the trip?

Avoiding altitude sickness is key. Do this by walking slowly. Drink lots of water and eat enough food. Go on all optional acclimatization hikes. Consider taking Diamox. Also prevent other illnesses by disinfecting your hands after every time you use the bathroom and before any meals.

What are the mountain camps like?

The mountain camps are set up in the park designated camp sites and broken down each day by our team of expert camp porters. You’ll stay in double occupancy all-weather tents with full-ground pads to keep you and your gear dry. Private toilet tents, comfortable dining tents with tables and chairs. Our camp helpers provide basins of hot water for washing every morning and evening. Grand Traverse treks include upgraded walk-in-height sleeping tents for additional comfort.

What gear do I need for my climb?

There is a variety of technical clothing and equipment you will need for your climb. A detailed gear list is available here.

How much of my gear can my porter carry for me?

The weight limit is 15 kgs (33 lbs). The sleeping bag is included in the limit. Porters will carry your duffel bag in a waterproof bag.

How much should my day pack weigh?

Try to keep it under 20 lbs. In fact, try to keep all of your belongings to under 40 lbs.

How should I dress for Kilimanjaro?

You should follow the layering principle when you dress. Layering is a systematic, logical approach to wearing multiple layers of clothing. The layers you will have are: base layer, mid layer, and outer shell. Learn how to use these layers here.

What rental gear is available?

We have sleeping bags and trekking poles available for rent. You do not have to reserve them. You can acquire your rentals and pay for them at the trip briefing. If you need other gear, our staff can take you to independently owned shops to purchase or rent gear. However, we are not responsible for the quality of the gear you obtain at these shops. We provide foam sleeping mats for all climbers.

Do you have gear recommendations?

Please visit our blog for gear recommendations. We recommend shopping online
at backcountry.com, moosejaw.com and usoutdoor.com for all of your gear needs.

When is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro?

Kilimanjaro is best climbed when the weather is dry. There are two rainy seasons in Tanzania. The long rainy season is from mid-March to early June. The short rainy season is from November to early December. Therefore the best times to climb Kilimanajro are mid-December to early-March, and mid-June to end of October. Read more here.

If I climb during the dry season, do I need rain gear?

Definitely. It can rain and snow all year round. The base of the mountain is in the rainforest. A quality waterproof jacket and pants is an absolute must.

How cold does it get on the mountain?

In general, expect to sleep in temperatures as low as 20F and to hike in temperatures as low as -20F. It can be even colder. Be prepared.

What kind of food is prepared on the mountain?

We serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, which consist of western style meals. Read more here.

Can you cater to special diets?

We can accommodate vegetarian and vegan diets. For more specific requirements, we will try our best but please contact us to discuss.

How do I use the bathroom on the mountain?

At each campsite, we set up a private toilet tent, which contains a plastic toilet. Each campsite also has public “long drop” toilets. If you need to use the bathroom on the trail, find a spot behind a tree or rock. We recommend bringing pee bottles so that you do not have to leave your tent multiple times during the night to urinate.

How do I shower on the mountain?

You don’t. You can use wet wipes if you like to towel off. We also provide wash bins with soap for you to wash your hands and face.

What safety measures are taken by the staff?

Our guides are highly experienced to manage altitude sickness, which is the biggest obstacle on the mountain. They are certified Wilderness First Responders. They conduct twice daily health checks to measure your oxygen saturation and pulse. A rescue plan is in place in the event of an emergency. Bottled oxygen, a portable stretcher, and a first aid kit is carried on every climb.

What happens if someone in my group needs to descend? Does the entire party also have to descend?

No. We bring multiple guides on every climb so that when a climber needs to descend, it does not affect the rest of the party.

If I have to descend early, are the additional nights at the hotel covered?

Additional hotel stays are not covered and must be paid in country.

What do I need to enter Tanzania?

You will need a passport that is valid for at least six more months. You will also need a flight card which you will receive on the plane. Finally you need a Tanzanian visa. Read more here.

Can I obtain my visa at the airport?

USA, Canadian, British and most European citizens can obtain their visas upon arrival at Kilimanjaro National Airport. The cost is $100 for USA passport holders and $50 for others. If you are a citizen of a different country, please check with your embassy whether you can obtain a visa upon arrival.

What vaccinations or immunizations do I need?

Nothing is required but many are recommended. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required for entry into Tanzania when arriving from countries where yellow fever is present. Read more here.

Where do I fly into?

Our climbs begin and end in Moshi. Moshi is about 25 miles from Kilimanjaro National Airport (JRO). You should fly into Kilimanjaro National Airport and we can arrange for pick up.

Do you assist with flights in and out of Tanzania?

We do not book flights. We recommend flying on KLM. Flights from the USA to JRO typically range from $1,500 to $3,500, depending on the season. Vayama is a good source for domestic Tanzanian flights if you want to extend your vacation to other parts of Tanzania or East Africa.

Do you offer group safaris?

Unfortunately, we do not. With so many different safari options, it is difficult to put together groups who want to travel on the same itinertary on the same dates. Therefore we only offer private safaris.

Can I book a safari on the spot?

No, we must make preparations for your safari before your trip begins. All safaris must be pre-booked.

What gear do I need for the safari?

The only additional item you need for the safari is perhaps binoculars. Other than that, the clothing you have for your climb is sufficient.

20 amazing Kilimanjaro facts and figures

Below are 20 amazing Kilimanjaro facts and figures, which we hope will inspire you to climb Kili!

  1. Mount Kilimanjaro is in fact a dormant volcano. The summit is 5,895 meters above sea level (19,340 feet) and is called Uhuru Peak. From the summit you can look down into the crater ash pit. It is possible to camp in the crater, however, at over 5,300 meters, altitude sickness is a very real concern.
  2. Kilimanjaro is the highest volcano in the world and the highest free-standing mountain on the globe. The behemoths mountains of the Andes and Himalaya are all part of ranges.
  3. There are 7 official routes on Kilimanjaro. Five routes use the Southern Circuit to the summit, via Stella Point. They are the Lemosho, Shira, Machame, Umbwe and Marangu Route. Two other routes – the Rongai and Northern Circuit – approach from the North-East and use Gilman’s Point to the summit.
  4. Marangu route is the oldest and only route on Kilimanjaro that has hut accommodation. All other routes require camping.
  5. The mountain is situated in Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro National Park and requires a permit to enter. All trekkers have to use a registered guide company and most treks are fully supported with porterage crews. Average ratio of support staff to trekkers is 3:1.
  6. Over 30,000 trekkers from around the World try to climb Kilimanjaro every year. Success rates vary on route and number of days taken. But as a rule of thumb, treks over 7 days tend to have success rates over 80%.
  7. There are two rainy seasons on Kilimanjaro. They are April-May and November. The busiest season is June-September. December-March is not a bad time to climb, but the weather tends to be colder in the evenings and on the summit. Snow on the summit is more likely during this period.
  8. There are five climatic zones on Kilimanjaro. The lowest altitude zone is characterised by tropical weather, high rainfall, humidity and forest fauna and flora. This zone gradual becomes semi arid with flora dominated by shrubs and small bushes. As one continues up the landscape and flora becomes more arid and desert-like, eventually reaching the glacial zone at the top of the mountain.
  9. Kilimanjaro’s glaciers are receding due to climate change. Since records began in 1912, Kilimanjaro’s glaciers have reduced in size on average by 85%. Some glaciers have disappeared altogether.
  10. Deaths on Kilimanjaro are not actively reported to the media, but some commentators estimate that between 3-7 people die on Kilimanjaro every year. That may sound like a lot but as far as big mountains go, the death rate is less then o.o1% of climbers. Most climbers die from pre-existing diseases like heart conditions or from altitude related issues like HACE and HAPE.
  11. The first recorded ascent was by a German geologist called Hans Meyer in October 1889.
  12. The fastest ascent on Kilimanjaro is held by Karl Egloff, a Swiss runner who used the Umbwe route to reach the summit and returned back to the starting point in 6 hours 42 minutes. An incredible feat given that most people take 6 days to reach the summit. Egloff pre-acclimatised on Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro before setting the record.
  13. The youngest person to climb Kilimanjaro is American Keats Boyd, who reached the summit in 2008, aged 7. The feat is even more remarkable given that the minimum age to gain access to Kilimanjaro National Park is 10 years old.
  14. A number of octogenarian’s have climbed Kilimanjaro. The oldest person to reach the summit is Angela Vorobeva, who summited in October 2015 aged 86 and 267 days.
  15. Many disabled people have also climbed Kilimanjaro. The most impressive is probably Kyle Maynard who crawled to the summit of Kilimanjaro in 2012. Kyle was born with a genetic disease that resulted in him having no arms below the elbow or legs below the knee.
  16. The highest base jump off Kilimanjaro was achieved by Russian, Valery Rozov, in February 2015
  17. The highest cricket match in the World was played in Kilimanjaro’s crater in September 2014
  18. A number of climbers have hit golf shots off the summit and into the crater.
  19. The highest Pizza delivery was recorded by Pizza Hut in May 2016
  20. Tour de France team, Tinkoff-Saxo, climbed Kilimanjaro in October 2014

Source: Climb Kilimanjaro Guide

How Much Do I Tip my Guides and Porters?

It is customary to tip your mountain crew upon completion of your trip. The decision on how much to tip should not be determined based upon whether or not you reached the summit, but by how well the guides, cooks and porters served you while you were on the mountain. The standard tipping amounts are roughly $20/day for guides, $12/day for assistant guides, $12/day for cooks, and $6/day for waiters, toilet porters, and standard porters. These figures are based on recommendations by the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP), the independent organization that advocates fair treatment of porters and is responsible for many of the improved working conditions of those who work on Mount Kilimanjaro.

Each group will have one lead guide. There is generally one assistant guide per three clients. There is one cook for every 10 climbers. There will be one waiter per group and one toilet porter per group. The number of porters in your party depends on the selected route and the number of days. Generally, there are two porters per person on the Marangu route, and three porters per person on all other routes. However, the number of porters is larger for small parties. Make an effort to know your porters and their roles if possible. They will appreciate the recognition.

Below are some approximate figures on how much to tip your staff on a full eight day climb, provided that their service was satisfactory. These figures are the total tips given by the group, not per client.

8 Day Route (per 12 person group)
1 Lead Guide, $150 – $170
5 Assistant Guides, each $90 – $100
2 Cooks, each $90 – $100
1 Waiter/Porter, $45 – $55
1 Toilet Porter, $45 – $55
34 Porters, each $45 – $55
44 Total Staff, $2,400 – $2,850

On a six day trip, each client should expect to tip between $140 to $190.
On a seven day trip, each client should expect to tip between $190 to $225.
On an eight day trip, each client should expect to tip between $215 to $260.
On a nine day trip, each client should expect to tip between $240 to $290.
Clients in full group climbs (12 people) should expect to tip on the lower end of these ranges. Clients in groups with fewer people (4 to 6 people), should expect to tip on the higher end of these ranges. Small party climbs of 1-3 people should expect to tip more.

It is against company policy for guides or porters to discuss tips during your climb. Unless there were extenuating circumstances that justify higher tips, please try to stay close the guidelines above, as gracious tips from customers have raised staff’s expectations for ever increasing amounts. Likewise, if staff did not perform well, you should tip less.

Tipping Ceremony on Kilimanjaro

The tipping ceremony occurs the last night on the mountain, after the summit day. The group will receive two envelopes. One envelope is for tips for the guides and cooks. The other envelope is for tips for all porters.

Each envelope will have a form attached detailing the number of staff in each role. The clients should then fill in the amount of tip money to give each person. One representative from your party, a spokesperson, should collect the tip money from the group and place the total tip money into the corresponding envelopes (see attached forms).

The guide will assemble the entire staff. It is customary for the spokesperson to say a word of thanks to the staff. The guide will translate. Then the spokesperson shall hand one envelope to the lead guide and the other envelope to porters’ representative.

Each crew member signs a tip distribution report which we review after every climb to ensure each staff member received their fair share of the tip money. We operate under KPAP’s guidelines for tip disbursement and provide oversight of the entire process to enforce fair and proper payment.

Tips can be made in US dollars or Tanzanian Shillings. It is very important that US bills be new, crisp and untorn. Do not tip with marked, wrinkled, torn or old (older than 2002) US bills; they are not accepted in the country. It is very helpful to bring an assortment of dollar denominations for tipping.

Donation of Clothing & Equipment

Please consider donating your clothing and equipment to the climb team in addition to tipping them. Remember that the staff climbs Kilimanjaro many times a year and can go through their clothes and gear rather quickly. Your donation is of great assistance to these individuals, many of who are unwilling to spend their money on material goods they consider a luxury rather than a necessity. They will appreciate your generosity tremendously. Avoid giving items to your guide for distribution to porters. Donations should be given directly to individuals they are intended for, perhaps those with the greatest need or who were of particularly good service.

Tipping for Safaris, Hotels and Restaurants

The suggested tips for the safari are $15-$30/day for the guide (who is also the driver). So for instance, in a five day safari the guide can be tipped $75-$150 total from the entire group (not per individual).

Small tips ($1) may be given to hotel staff or drivers for their service, however this is not customary.

It is not customary to leave tips at restaurants.