Which route should I choose?
There are 6 routes used to climb Kilimanjaro, each
has its own characteristics and offers a different
perspective and challenge. The most popular route is
the Marangu route; or Coca Cola route as it is also
known, which attracts the majority of all visitors
to Kilimanjaro. The Machame; or Whisky route as it
is known is also a very popular route and as a
result can also be very busy; these routes are
typically completed in 5-6 days. The Lemosho and
Shira routes approach Kibo from the West and offer a
quieter approach as these are less populated routes.
The Rongai route approaches from the North and is
also a quieter route. These three routes can be
completed in 6-8 days which will assist with
acclimatization and increase the chances of reaching
the summit. Finally there is the Umbwe route the
shortest and most direct route to the summit; it is
also the least popular and toughest of all the
When is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro?
It is possible to climb Mount Kilimanjaro all year
round; however the months outside of the rainy
seasons are more desirable. The best months are from
December to March, and July to October. The finest
weather is usually at the beginning of the year from
January to March, which are typically the warmest
and driest months of the year.
How many people will be in a group?
We have a maximum of 8 people per group. We believe
that a small, intimate group is one of the most
important factors to ensure our guests will have an
amazing experience on Kilimanjaro. We can arrange
trips for larger groups if required.
Will I need to purchase travel insurance?
You must arrange adequate travel insurance for your
Kilimanjaro trek. You should ensure that your policy
covers you for high altitude climbing as most
standard policies will not include this. More
information is available on our Kilimanjaro
How fit will I need to be?
Anyone of reasonable fitness should be capable of
summiting Kilimanjaro; it is more likely that
altitude sickness, rather than a lack of physical
fitness will prevent you from summiting. That said
the more preparation and training that you can do
prior to climbing Kilimanjaro the more enjoyable you
will find it.
What clothing & equipment should I take?
You do not require any technical equipment on Mount
Kilimanjaro; however you will experience changing
weather conditions and be exposed to temperatures
ranging from +30 degrees to -25 degrees, so you
should be prepared for this. You should take thin
layers that can be added, or taken away depending on
the weather conditions. But remember there is a
limit to the weight that the porters can carry and
your kit bag must be a maximum of 15Kg. You will
also have a rucksack that will contain your basic
kit for a day’s walking.
How much equipment will I carry?
Your rucksack should contain all of your
personal kit for the day ahead; a 30L - 35L rucksack
will be sufficient. On an average day you would
expect to carry; waterproof clothing, hat, gloves,
water, first-aid kit, spare laces, valuables, pack
lunch and snacks.
How far will I trek each day?
On average you will walk between 3 and 6 miles per
day, apart from the summit night when you will walk
up to 15 miles. You will usually start your days
trekking around 8am and walk for between 4 and 8
hours per day (longer on summit night).
Please see routes overview page for more details.
What are the walking conditions like on Kilimanjaro?
The trail conditions on Mount Kilimanjaro are
challenging, but relatively easy compared to the
other mountains in the seven summits. The rainforest
zone can be wet and slippery underfoot especially if
there has been heavy rain. The higher slopes are a
mixture of heath covered land, alpine desert and
finally the ice covered summit. The terrain changes
through the climate zones but are generally
comfortable to negotiate with a pair of 3 season
walking boots. Some people prefer to use walking
poles but do not feel that you have to have them; it
is a matter of personal preference. They are however
very useful on summit night, particularly on the
descent from the summit when you will be tired and
will have to negotiate the loose scree on the way
back to camp.
What are the toilet conditions?
The toilets on Kilimanjaro consist of small wooden
huts in the campsites with a hole in the ground for
you to go to the toilet in. They are very basic, but
then you are on a mountain in the middle of Africa!
However, there is another option…..included in your
Bush Explorer trek price is your own personal toilet
tent, that will be solely for the use of your group.
The porters will carry this up Kilimanjaro and it
will be emptied and cleaned on a daily basis. Please
ensure you bring enough toilet paper and hand
sanitizer for the trek.
What is the success rate of reaching the summit?
Although you can train for climbing Kilimanjaro to
ensure you are in good physical condition, whether
you manage to reach the summit could be decided by
how well you react to being at altitude. There are
drugs available that may help you with altitude
sickness such as Diamox, or you could visit the
Altitude Centre for an AMS susceptibility test.
However the best way to increase your chances of
reaching the summit is by spending as many days on
the mountain as possible to allow your body time to
acclimatize. You could also consider climbing Mount
Meru before attempting Mt Kilimanjaro, but again
this will not necessarily guarantee your chances of
reaching Uhuru peak.
What food will be provided on the mountain?
Your porters will carry all of your food for the
duration of the trip. Your meals will be prepared by
you own cook and will consist of cooked breakfast,
with tea and coffee. Either a packed lunch or cooked
lunch at camp depending on the length of the days
walking. Dinner is usually soup, followed by meat,
or vegetables in sauce, with potatoes, pasta or
rice. You will also have fresh fruit daily and more
than enough food to keep you well fueled for the
Is the water safe to drink?
Apart from the first day when you will bring bottled
water from the hotel for your first days walking,
the porters will collect your drinking water daily
from streams located near the camps. Although the
water is generally clean enough to drink, your
porters will boil enough water for your next day
walking. You may wish to bring additional water
treatment tablets, if you have a particularly
Water bottle or Hydration Bladder?
Everyone has their preferred method of carrying
water in their rucksacks. There is no right, or
wrong method; the most important thing is that you
have the capacity to carry around 2 litres of water
in your rucksack for a day’s walking. The bladder
system encourages you to drink more frequently as it
is easily accessible; however on summit night the
tube and mouth piece are likely to freeze even with
an insulated hose making it impossible to drink
from. Bottles are often carried inside your rucksack
and are not as easy to reach on the go, however
bottles are less likely to freeze on summit night
and can be placed in an inside jacket pocket to keep
warm. We would suggest a combination of the 2; a 1-2
litre bladder for day-to-day drinking and additional
storage for summit night and a 1 liter bottle for
summit night and for evening use in camp. You may
also wish to take a small flask so you have a hot
drink for summit night.
How many days should I go for?
To increase your chances of reaching the summit of
Kilimanjaro you should pick a route with as many
days ascending as possible. The Lemosho and Rongai
have the best acclimatization schedules allowing 8
and 7 days respectively.
Can I prevent AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness)?
Unfortunately there is no way of ensuring that you
will not suffer from AMS as it affects everyone
differently. The safest way to ascend to high
altitude is by going slowly; the more days you have
at altitude and the slower the rate of assent; the
greater that chance you have of acclimatizing and
ultimately reaching the summit. If you have had no
experience of altitude climbing, or trekking; then
you may wish to consider the Kilimanjaro treks
lasting 7 days or more; such as the Lemosho route,
or Rongai routes. In addition to this you should
drink plenty of fluids and you may wish to consider
taking medication such as Diamox and Ibuprofen to
help treat the symptoms. Please visit the altitude
sickness for more information.
What vaccinations do I need for Tanzania?
For information on health and vaccinations for
Tanzania, please visit our vaccinations page.
Do I need a Visa?
Yes you will need to obtain a visa to enter Tanzania
from the USA/ EUROPE. Please see our visa page for
details. You should also ensure that your passport
has at least 6 months before expiry when you arrive
Who will take us up the mountain?We are Local
Tanzania operator based in the base of the mountain.
Our guides are among the best qualified and
experienced on Kilimanjaro and unlike other
operators, they are all Tanzanian. All the guides we
use speak excellent English, and in addition to
their knowledge and experience of Kilimanjaro they
have received training in; first aid, mountain
rescue, local flora and fauna, and history of the
mountain and are registered with Kilimanjaro
National Park (KINAPA). More information is
available on our guides and porter page.
How much should I tip the guides and porters?
It has become customary to tip your guides and
porters after completing your Kilimanjaro trek.
However this is a tip and is not obligatory. We have
provided a guide for how much you may wish to tip
your staff; please view our tipping guidelines page
for detailed recommendations on how much to tip each
Can I hire equipment in Kilimanjaro?
We would advise you to purchase all your equipment
prior to arrival in Kilimanjaro, as there is no
guarantee of the availability or quality of the
equipment for hire at your hotel in Moshi. However
hiring items such as trekking poles and gaiters
which you may wish to have for this trek, but
wouldn’t ordinarily use may be useful. The cost of
hiring these items is in the region of; $10 per week
for trekking poles and $7 per week for gaiters. If
you have any issues with your luggage getting lost
in transport then the majority of the kit that you
would need could be hired from the hotel if
required. We would highly recommend wearing 1 full
set of clothes and packing essential items in your
rucksack and using this as hand luggage, especially
your hiking boots, as hiring poor fitting boots in
Kilimanjaro could cause issues on the mountain.
What should I pack in my hand luggage?
To avoid any serious issues of your luggage getting
lost in transit to Kilimanjaro; wear and carry as
much of your essential items in your rucksack and
use this as hand luggage. We would suggest that you
wear a complete set of clothing including; socks and
liners, trousers, long sleeve shirt, fleece and
hiking boots. In your rucksack, pack as much
additional equipment as possible such as;
waterproofs, down jacket, sleeping bag liner,
medications, camera, water bottle/bladder, spare
underwear, spare laces, gloves, hat and all
Where can I leave my valuables when on
Essential items such as money, credit cards and
passports can be left in the hotel before departing
for Kilimanjaro. There are safety deposit boxes
available for hire at $0 per day. We would highly
recommend locking your valuables away before
climbing to avoid them getting lost or stolen on the
mountain. You may wish to take some Dollars or
Tanzanian Shilling with you to purchase refreshments
Do you have a question that you still need
We have tried to include as much information as
possible on this site, but we would be happy to
answer any other questions that you may have, please
get in touch we are here to help. Our details are
available on the contact page.