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.