Kilimanjaro FAQ

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How do we book a safari or climb with Kilele Climb Tours?
A: First you need to contact our office here and let us know when you would like to travel, how many people will be traveling, and the tour you are interested in. Please note that in many cases the safari tours we offer can be altered (shortened or lengthened, accommodations and activities changed) to suit your time frame or budget. Please let us know your requirements and we will gladly make suggestions.Bookings are confirmed after a deposit is received. To insure security of financial transactions please note:We will only ask for payment made through either our on-line credit/bank card payment system on this website or through direct bank wire deposit into DTB Bank, Tanzania; account name: Kilele Climb Tour Company Ltd. We will never ask and will not accept payments made through services such as Western Union, Money Gram, etc.Upon receipt of your deposit we will email you a confirmation e-mail, and trip details including a travel checklist and some medical questions.
Can I create a custom itinerary?
A: Yes. At present we are offering treks to the summit of Kilimanjaro all routes, as well as animal safaris and trips to various tribes. If you are interested in a variation on these, please contact us  We will work hard to accommodate your needs.
What price range are your trips?

A: Our prices are generally mid-range. We don’t compete with the cheap Kilimanjaro climb and safari companies on price because we don’t want to compromise your comfort, safety, and enjoyment, nor the wages and health of our guides and porters. On the other hand, we are far from the most expensive company because we do not have the high overhead of American and European based tour operators. We are a Tanzanian-owned and operated company helping our clients enjoys the beauty and excitement of our country and helping invest in the people of Tanzania.

Can Kilele Climb help me book flight?
A: Kilele Climb books internal East Africa travel and transfers, including flights, bus rides and shuttles. Tickets can be mailed to you prior to your trip or picked up in Tanzania.
Can I fly through Nairobi to reach Kilimanjaro?

A: It is possible to fly into Nairobi and transfer to another flight or bus to Kilimanjaro. Although Nairobi offers more international flight options and slightly lower fares, we do not recommend flying into Nairobi. Logistically it is much easier to fly directly into Kilimanjaro on KLM (via Amsterdam) or Ethiopian Airlines (via Addis Ababa). Kenyan visas may need to be purchased; your schedule may require an overnight stay in Nairobi; and the bus connection, though reliable and comfortable, is 7 hours to Kilimanjaro.

Can I pay for my Killele trip with a credit card?

A: Yes! We accept Visa & Mastercard payments as well as bank wire transfers and cash (USD, Euro or Tanzanian Shillings). To pay by bank card online, contact us and we will set up an invoice number for you to log into our online payment system.

What other expenses are required to arrive in Tanzania?

A: There is a visa required for most foreign citizens. The fee varies according to your nationality. Please check with your embassy for up to date details. Also you will need to have immunizations. Check with a travel health clinic in your country for up to date requirements.

Why is Climbing Kilimanjaro so expensive?

A: Competition is fierce in this industry, and some unscrupulous companies (often the ones offering the cheapest deals) are underpaying their staffs that have little choice but to put up with it. Kilele Climb does not cut corners on safety, food or logistical practicality. We pay all our staff fairly and look after them in times of need. A large portion of the price goes towards government regulated park fees.

Are there any other expenses besides the climb & the airfare?

A: Yes, but not much. You will need to pay for meals and drinks at the hotel (bottled water, soda, beer, wine etc.), plus laundry, phone calls and tips to the crew. Also remember visa to enter the country (can be processed upon arrival at the airport)

Can I store my clother for the Safari after the climb?

A: Good question. You will be issued a heavy duty waterproof duffel bag for the climb. As there iss no need to carry your safari clothes on your climb, just put them in your own bag and store them in the hotel for when you return.

What is your Success rate for Summiting?

A: Our success rates are phenomenal in relation to the overall success rates for all climbers who attempt to reach the top. Our success rate (reaching Uhuru Peak) is over 96% overall. The average on the entire mountain is less than 50%. Our Kilimanjaro program is designed for success and safety, which is purely a factor of dedication, experience, and a commitment to providing the best services.

How Fit Do I Need to Be?

A: Though many deem Kilimanjaro “easily accessible”, it is the most underestimated mountain in the world. The trails themselves do not require technical mountaineering skill, yet the effects of altitude consistently turn back many trekkers from Kibo’s upper slopes. You’ll also need to commit yourself to a physical training regimen. We recommend a varied physical routine to include strength training, aerobic cross training, and hiking (not necessarily at high altitude), simply to familiarize your body with the rigors and nuances of being on the trail. Generally, all things constant, the fitter you are, the easier it will be for you to handle the rigors of the trek.

What if I can’t make it to the top?

A: There are many wonders on Kilimanjaro, and the experience is rewarding even for those who never reach the top. If one or more members of a group decide they cannot continue, or if a guide deems it unsafe for an individual (or a group) to continue, they are escorted (laterally or downward) to the most convenient campsite or hut. Our guides intimately know the network of shortcuts to escort climbers to safety, and they are trained to act quickly and calmly under any circumstance.

How qualified are the Kilele Climb Guides?

A: Each of our guides has summiting Mount Kilimanjaro over 100 times and over 7 years of experience. They receive lots of training from us on a regular basis they are Certified High Altitude First Responder and Emergence Wilderness Medicine. Their English is excellent, and their knowledge of the flora and fauna is remarkable. When you trek with Kilele Climb, you can count on having the best-trained guides on the mountain who lead trips with passion and confidence.

Why do we make final ascent to Uhuru at midnight?

A: The final ascent to Uhuru is made at night because of the weather patterns on Kilimanjaro. Clouds begin to roll in almost every day at 10am. If you summit during the day, you run the risk of being caught in snow, hail or rainstorms. The midnight trek to the summit is designed to ensure your safety. You will also have the best views from the top at dawn.

What equipment Do I Need?

A: There is no special mountaineering equipment needed. We provide mountain tents along with closed-cell foam mattress pads. There are many items you’ll need to bring, but most people find they already own the majority of the items on the packing list. If you have cold weather/snow gear and hiking clothes, then you’ll have most of what you need. Please review our packing list page that explains what to bring on your climb.

Can I rent equipment from Kilele Climb for my climb?

A: Kilele Climb  rents everything from headlamps to waterproof hiking boots. Please contact us for prices and availability.

What Will the porters carry and what will I carry on the climb?

A: Porters will carry most of your luggage. You will carry a small day pack that contains your drinking water, rain gear, camera, lunch and a day energy snacks.

How many people will be in my Group?

A: You will be accompanied by porters, guides, and assistant guides. You can expect a ratio of two guides for every two climbers, and three or four porters for every climber.

What Type of Baggage/ Laggage Should I take?

A: Luggage should be kept to a minimum – 12 kgs / 26 pounds per person packed in a soft duffel bag (15 kgs /30 pounds per person on Adventure Series safaris). Hard sided suitcases and soft-sided internal frame carry-on luggage are not acceptable. On your Climb the porter will carry your duffel bag with your gear.

What do I do with my Valuables?

A: You will deposit them in the hotel safe. Its extremely safe there. You won’t need any valuables on the mountain other than a few dollars to buy a soft drink or beer (if you can’t wait) on your last night at Mweka camp/ Horombo Hut .

Do you provide for special Diets?

A: If you require a vegetarian diet, just let us know ahead of time and we will prepare vegetarian meals for you. You should consider bringing along some energy food to supplement your meals. “Specialty foods” are not available in East Africa, so if you are on a strict diet, such as gluten-free or if you have any food allergies, then you must bring your own specialty foods, which we will carry on the mountain and prepare for you. Be sure to plan carefully and bring enough for every meal. E-mail our office and we’ll be happy to discuss this with you.

What is the coldest it is expected to be at the summit of Kilimanjaro?

A: Temperatures vary considerably with altitude and time of day. On the plains surrounding Kilimanjaro the average temperature is about 30°C. At 3000m frosts can be encountered at night while daytime temperatures range from 5 to 15°C. Nighttime temperatures on the summit can be well below freezing especially with the strong winds at times.

What is hypothermia?

A: Hypothermia is a condition where the body becomes dangerously cold. It can be caused by brief exposure to extreme cold, or by prolonged exposure to mild cold.

A: Hypothermia occurs when a person’s deep-core body temperature drops below 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit). It is the lowered temperature of the organs inside the body that is important – an ordinary thermometer cannot measure this.

The person may not actually feel cold but if they stay in a cold environment and do little or nothing to keep warm, then they may run the risk of becoming hypothermic or becoming ill with bronchitis or pneumonia. Both are cold-related illnesses.

Danger signs to watch out for:

  • Drowsiness
  • Very cold skin on parts of the body normally covered, for example, stomach or armpits
  • Slurred or incoherent speech
  • Absence  of complaint about feeling cold, even in a bitterly cold environment.
What is the highest altitude we will hit on this trek?
A: The highest altitude reaches 5895m.
How can I prevent altitude sickness?
A: 1. Stay hydrated. Try to drink at least 3-5 liters per day.
  1. Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and other depressant drugs including barbiturates, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills.
  2. “Don’t go up until symptoms go down”. People acclimatize at different rates, so make sure that you properly acclimatized before going higher.
  3. Before your trip, maintain a good work/rest cycle, avoid excessive work hours, and last minute packing.
  4. Listen to your body. Do not over-do things the first day or two. Avoid heavy exercise.
  5. Take your time. Pace is a critical factor on all routes. “Pole pole” (go slowly) is the phrase of the day.
  6. Walk high sleep low: If you have enough energy, take an afternoon stroll further up the mountain before descending to sleep. (Not if you have any symptoms of altitude sickness!)

Six factors that affect the incidence and severity of altitude illness:

  1. Rate of ascent
  2. Altitude attained
  3. Length of exposure
  4. Level of exertion
  5. Hydration and diet
  6. Inherent physiological susceptibility
Will the effects of the sun be stronger on the mountain?

A: Absolutely, so precautions are required. About 55% of the earth’s protective atmosphere is below an altitude of 5000m. Far less ultraviolet light is being filtered out, making the sun’s rays much more powerful, which could result in severe sun burning of the skin. It is strongly recommended to use a 20+ sun protection cream at lower altitudes, and a total block cream above an altitude of 3000m. It is also important to wear dark sun glasses preferably with side panels above 4000m in daytime and essential when walking through snow or ice. Snow blindness can be very painful, and will require your eyes to be bandaged for at least 24 hours.

How much do you recommend we tip the porters and/or local guides?

A: Tipping is an expected and highly appreciated component of you that you can have a positive economic impact within the East African community. Although it may not be customary for you, it is of considerable significance to your guides, assistants, cooks, and porters, as an important source of and supplement to their income.

During the welcome meeting the CEO can confirm to the travelers the total number of guides and cook but not porters, the total number of porters will only be confirmed once all the luggage and equipment are checked by Kilimanjaro national park rangers at the gate. Normally  2-3 porters per hiker.

You are not introduced to the porters at the gate because there is no enough time and when you arrive at the first hut or camp on Day 1 the staff  are busy and travelers are tired. On Day 2 of the hike travelers will have enough time to meet everyone when they arrive at the hut or camp.

Upon completion of your climb it is ideal to have a tipping ceremony with the crew at the last meal on the mountain. Tips should be placed in a group envelope and a member of the climbing team can hand the envelope directly to the Lead Guide because there are many people to share the tips with. It is encourage to announce the amount in front of the group to ensure each crew member knows the total amount.

A method that’s popular is for everybody to contribute 10% of the total cost of their trek towards tips. So if you paid US$2000 for your trek, you should pay US$200 collectively for your crew. (If there were only one or two of you, it would be better to pay slightly more than 10%.).

A realistic amount for a trip of 5-7 days length would be between 200-300 USD per climber for tips. Here is a suggested amount per trip:

  • 5 days on Mountain, common tip amount = $200-250
  • 6 days on Mountain, common tip amount = $225-275
  • 7 days on Mountain, common tip amount = $250-300

NOTE:***Please note that these are only guidelines and tips can be based on personal opinion

If paying each crew member individually, you can use the following chart as a guideline:

Tipping guide in USD (or equivalent in local currency) per group per day spent on the mountain:

  • Per Chief Guide: US$10-15 per day
  • Per Assistant Guide : US$8-10 per day
  • Per Cook: US$7-$10 per day
  • Per Porter: US$5-8 per day

Gifts in addition are also appreciated – e.g. warm clothing or footwear.

These are mere guidelines, and you may wish to alter them if you feel, for example, a certain porter is deserving of more than his normal share, or if your trek was particularly difficult.