HIKING & TREKKING FAQ's

Will the altitude affect us?

In the higher altitudes, the air is thinner than you would normally find in the atmosphere at sea level, where most of us live. Although everyone will experience the altitude differently and to varying degrees, slow and steady is always the order of the day. The more time you give yourself to acclimatize to high-altitude environments, the easier your climb will be.

What else will we do?

Few experiences open up the heart, lungs, and mind quite like hiking in a new place. When you go with us, you won’t just climb the mountain; you’ll meet the people who live on and around it and come away with a greater sense of alpine life. On several of our treks, we’ve allowed free days for you to experience the best of the culture of the country you are visiting. There’s more to most places than just the hiking!

Who carries the gear?

On the majority of our trips, our expert staff carries all the supplies and equipment (including food for hearty, delicious meals). All you have to do is carry your own stuff, stay hydrated, and focus on is putting one foot in front of the other. On some of the tougher hikes, you will need to carry all your gear for some periods. But the views and surroundings will be worth it.

Where will we sleep?

It depends! Some treks involve full-service camping experiences where all the equipment is provided, including sleeping mats (all you need to bring is your sleeping bag and pillow). Tents are always of high quality and vary according to the specific environmental conditions of your chosen trek. Other treks involve mountain huts with single beds.

Will I have to share my accommodation?

Unless you book the “My Own Room/Tent” option, yes, you’ll be bunking with someone else. Space on the mountains and trails is at a premium, so be prepared to share your lodgings with trekkers who aren’t travelling with your group and possibly members of the opposite sex. Mountain accommodations usually feature shared toilets and washing facilities.

Who’s leading the way?

Our guides, sherpas and porters have all hiked their respective hills for years, and they’re well-versed in all the tricks you need to master them. They’ll help you with your pack, keep you motivated, and coax you through the rougher spots with care and compassion.

I’ve never trekked before. Is that a problem?

You don’t have to be an elite endurance athlete to enjoy a day’s exercise abroad. Many of our Active itineraries are built for the first-time active traveller and offer a more relaxed – but still active – experience. You don’t have to be a high-endurance athlete, just someone who’s in good, healthy shape. And if you’re unsure whether a trek is right for you, simply ask us and we’ll get you sorted out.

So you have decided that you would like to climb Kilimanjaro; what next?

You will obviously have many questions that you would like answer to help you to prepare for your adventure of a lifetime; but where do you start? You will find below some of the most frequently asked questions that will help you prepare to climb Kilimanjaro.

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  Rongairoute 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 routes…

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 is 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 insurance page.

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 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).

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.

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