Kilimanjaro national park
You may climb Mount Kilimanjaro by several routes which have been established by the Tanzania National Parks Authority in order to preserve the pristine beauty of the wilderness for the generations to come and ensure the safety of climbers.
We recommend Lemosho and Rongai routes for novices, Northern Circuit and Machame for the beginners, and Marangu and Umbwe for climbers with prior hiking experience. Camping is required on all routes except Marangu (where climbers sleep in huts).
Briefly, it does not take spending a fortune for a safe, comfortable and successful climb. However, the price below USD 1600 should alert you, as it is the first signal that your tour operator forsakes basic safety measures and hires semi-qualified (or unqualified altogether) guides and porters, who agreed to work for a pay far below the market average. Some tour operators do not pay their crews at all, who sign up for the expedition relying on tips only.
In addition to that, “budget” means poor diet, second-rate obsolete equipment and no operations in place. Thus, though embarking on a cheap trip may seem attractive financially, in reality, it jeopardizes your safety and perpetuates porters mistreatment.
East sun tours and safaris offers various packages that differ in pre- and post-climb accommodation and extra services and amenities on the Mount. However, each expedition of East sun tours and safaris features the same safety standards and the same professionalism of our crews.
Read this article “How much does it cost to climb Kilimanjaro?” to know more about price breakdown.
What is the Best Time for tour trip
In short, you may climb the Mount all year round. Climbs during the dry season are, however, more comfortable. The dry season spans the periods from the second half of from December till March and from June till November.
At the same time, a the rainy season has some advantages as well.
Read our article “When is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro?” to understand which season is the best for you.
Useful Climbing Tips
For all those climbing with us and with other tour operators, we have prepared the following insider tips:
- It is not about your level of fitness only. Determination, motivation and well-planned acclimatization transition are more important.
- Do not save up on your personal equipment. Branded high-quality clothes and sleeping bags often have decisive impact on successfulness of your climb. All personal equipment is available for rent in our office.
- Be ready to have no shower for a week or so. Portable showers are, however, available for extra fee.
- Public toilets may be uncomfortable, especially for the ladies. Thus, renting a portable toilet makes sense.
- Taking an mp3 player or an Ipod is a good idea. Enjoy the sceneries on the way and better preserve battery for the summit rush.
Mount Kilimanjaro in a nutshell:
Location: Kilimanjaro region, the United Republic of Tanzania
Geographic coordinates: 03°04′33″S 37°21′12″E
Type of the mount: Stratovolcano
Altitude: 5,895 m/19,308 ft
First climb: Hans Meyer and Ludwig Purtscheller on October 6, 1889
Climbs annually: Over 30,000
Administrative authority: Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA)
How fit do you have to be?
In short, ordinary fitness level is sufficient to reach the peak. If you can walk a 10-14 km/6-7 miles per day, certainly you can climb.
Many websites recommend intensive training. Our practice, however, showed that people with ordinary fitness level who got proper acclimatization always reach the summit. Yet, professional athletes, who failed to get acclimatized well (either because they “rush”, or because their guides fail to control their trekking progress) are at serious risk of high-altitude sickness and evacuation.
We do recommend you to take some exercises for your Kilimanjaro adventure. See our training program. Good fitness level will always be a good advantage for a Kilimanjaro adventurer, as it will help you to tackle daily trekking challenge with ease and comfort.
If, however, for some reason you do not have an opportunity to take some workouts for your Kilimanjaro adventure – do not give up. Consider choosing a more extended program (such as Lemosho 8-day) with less daily trekking distance
How long does it take to walk up Kilimanjaro?
Depending on the route which you choose for your climbing adventure, it may take from 5 to 8 days. Longer programs with camping in Kilimanjaro crater are also available.
Do I need to have an insurance for the tour?
Yes, travel insurance is mandatory for taking part in our trips. If you are climbing Mt Kilimanjaro with us, make sure to check that your insurance package includes high-altitude trekking (up to 6,000 m) and helicopter evacuation.
Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will give you a competent insurance advice for your Kilimanjaro adventure.
Do I need to have a vaccination for the trip?
It is imperative to have a vaccination against yellow fever to enter Tanzania in case you are travelling to Tanzania from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. In all other cases there are no immunization/vaccination restrictions to enter Tanzania.
For all those interested in getting more information we recommend reading our article Tanzania vaccination requirements.
Trekking, hiking or climbing?
Though three terms are often used interchangeably, there are some semantic differences. Hiking refers to the easiest type of leisure “walking” activities and implies that a hiker is walking by specially designated and adapted trails or human-made roads.
Trekking also refers to the process of walking, yet this concept implies that a “trekker” walks a longer distance than a hiker and exerts himself physically above ordinary level. Another noticeable difference is that trekking expeditions take place in the areas with no transportation.
The idea of “mountain climbing”, on the other hand, is fundamentally different from “hiking” or “trekking”. There are two distinguishing features of mountain climbing. Firstly, it means using special equipment (clothes and gear), which is not usually used for hiking or trekking expeditions. Secondly, the purpose of a climbing expedition is reaching the top of a mountain, while hiking and trekking may be practised in other wilderness areas.
Thus, semantically Kilimanjaro tours are both climbing and trekking. One-day adventures to the lower camps may be classified as “hikes”.
We at Eastern sun tours are tolerant to the conceptual differences and use all these terms interchangeably.
High altitude acclimatization
In short, at 6000 m (19700 f) altitude the proportion of oxygen molecules in the atmosphere is substantially lower than at the sea level. It is discomforting for a human body, which is accustomed to getting certain amounts of oxygen.
We can get adapted to the shortage of oxygen molecules, but it is possible only when we progress upwards slowly to allow our body to make the necessary transformations in your respiratory system. Too fast ascent is the shortest way to HAPE and HACE, which are both life-threatening conditions.
Proper acclimatization is the most important aspect of a successful climb.