What you need to climb Kilimanjaro and the support we provide.
A certain amount of equipment can be rented from the park or the hotels before departure, including sleeping bags, walking stick, rucksack, warm clothing, rain wear and water-bottles. However, bring your own shoes that have been broken in, including a light pair for walking and use around camp and a pair of boots for mud, rain, snow and ice. Other useful items include a sweater, wind/rain-proof jacket, thermal underwear, hat/balaclava, gloves, thermal socks, scarf, sunglasses, sun-block cream, toilet paper, basic first aid kit, personal medicine, sweets, nuts, fruit, money (to purchase drinks at Mandara Hut) and a flash light with spare batteries. If sleeping in any of the huts other than those on the Marangu Route (which have bunks and mattresses), it is essential to rent or bring a good ground cloth or foam mat.
People attempting to reach the summit should be in good physical condition, able to slowly jog for an hour or more without feeling short of breath or manage a walk of several hours. No-one with a sore throat, cold or breathing problems should go above 3,000m. People with heart or lung problems should not attempt the mountain, without consulting their doctor. Being in the right mental state is also important.
Everyone should drink four to five litres of fluid each day. Water is best, but fruit juice is a good supplement. Carry your own water bottle at all times, as dehydration is a real problem on the mountain. The air is very dry above 4,000m, so panting should be avoided and breathing ought to be through the nose. Controlled sweating is managed by wearing removable clothing and walking at a gentle pace. Sip fluids frequently.
Appetites are usually good until around 4,000m. After that, few people feel like eating. Light carbohydrate food like bread, cereals and rice, is highly recommended. These foods help increase oxygen in the blood, as well as provide the body with the necessary 4,000 calories per day. Citrus fruits and bananas are good to eat, as they reduce the alkaline condition of the blood. Nuts, fruits and sweets are excellent, but avoid fats, rich food, alcohol and tobacco.
Above 3,000m, some people begin to experience mountain sickness, which is caused by the body being unable to acclimatise fast enough to the altitude. The best way to prevent this is to ascend very slowly, taking care to eat and drink properly. The symptoms include headache, nausea, fatigue, sleeplessness and the swelling of hands and feet. Above 4,000m, most people have some of these symptoms. If food and fluid intake has been adequate and symptoms persist, we will have you descend immediately.
Porters are the backbone of a climber’s trip. They are the silent ones: the ones who carry the loads, have your equipment set up hours before you arrive and sweat the same vertical path to the summit. They too are human and suffer from mountain sickness, frostbite and hunger. Please advise us if you see porters being treated unfairly, under-dressed or over-loaded.
Rescue Team and Medical Facilities
The park has a reliable, well-equipped rescue team on the Marangu route. In case of emergency while on another route, the park headquarters is in radio contact with the guides. For medical emergencies, there are the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre and a large hospital in the Moshi area.
How many guides will be on my Kilimanjaro climb?
Depending on how big your group is, the ratio is about one guide per three climbers. For example, a group of twelve will have 4 medically qualified guides and a group of two to five people will have two medically qualified guides. In case of any emergency, there will always be a medically qualified guide with the evacuation team.
How many porters will be on my Kilimanjaro climb?
The ratio is three porters per one climber. We use more porters than other companies, as we carry extra safety and camping gear. For a group of twelve people there will be 36 porters, 1 cook and 1 assistant cook and 4 medically qualified guides, making it a 42-person crew.