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HOW TO PREPARE FOR KILIMANJARO

F irst of all, you should book your flight to arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). We recommend arriving at least the morning before your climb or ideally the evening two days before your climb starts. Booking this rest day allows for any flight delays and for any delayed or lost bags. This also gives you a day to recover from the long flight and attend the trip briefing. We can arrange additional nights at the lodge if you need them.

Secondly, you do not need to exchange your money for Tanzania Shillings. US Dollars are accepted everywhere in Tanzania. We recommend bringing $700-$800 USD for your trip depending on if you booked a safari for after the climb. The bills should be 2009 and newer, undamaged bills. They should be an assortment of $100s, $20s, $5s, and at least 40 in $1s.

Using $100s for the Kilimanjaro climb tips is also better than using $1s. The exchange rate is better for the larger bills.

Finally, begin training and assembling the gear that you’ll need on Kilimanjaro, around town, and potentially on safari.

flight to JRO

KILIMANJARO TRAINING

train for kilimanjaro

T raining is very important to do before you head to Kilimanjaro. Science has not specifically pinpointed the cause of altitude sickness, but being fit will definitely reduce the wear and tear on your body as you ascend Kilimanjaro. This will reduce the stress on your body and in turn allow you to better adapt to the extreme elevation.

Most of our clients have never hiked for so many consecutive days at such high elevations. We strongly encourage you to be in great shape. The daily hike is at a slow pace and most days end in the early afternoon, however, the combination of physical activity, lack of sleep, poor appetite, dehydration, weather, and elevation are working against you. As you ascend toward the summit, your physical and mental aptitude will be tested.

We recommend training a minimum of eight weeks before your climb. 12 weeks is better. You may require more or less depending on your current fitness and your hiking skill. Click on the orange bars to see our recommended training regiment. Keep in mind that hiking should be the focus of your training. Hike as much as you can. It is much more effective than weight training.

10-12 Weeks Before Climb

Make a training schedule and force yourself to do it each day. Your trip will arrive quicker than you expect.

  • Day 1: Hike or StairMaster for at least one hour
  • Day 2: Light leg workout with weights, cycling, or jogging
  • Day 3: Hike or StairMaster for at least one hour
  • Day 4: Rest
  • Day 5: Open day to do any exercise you like
  • Day 6: Hike or StairMaster for at least one hour
  • Day 7: Rest

Notes: For your hikes and StairMaster training wear a daypack with 8-10 pounds in it.

8 Weeks Before Climb

Build your foundation of strength and endurance. Try to keep workouts challenging and fun.

  • Day 1: Hike or StairMaster for at least one hour
  • Day 2: Moderate leg workout with weights
  • Day 3: Hike or StairMaster for at least one hour
  • Day 4: Rest
  • Day 5: Open day to do any exercise you like
  • Day 6: Hike at least three hours with a weighted pack
  • Day 7: Rest

Notes: Increase the weight in your daypack to about 20 pounds. At least once a week do a long hike of eight hours. Work in overnight backpacking so you get used to sleeping outdoors.

4 Weeks Before Climb

You have reached a month before your trip. Your workouts should be more intense. Increase the weight of your pack, hike faster, challenge yourself.

  • Day 1: Hike or StairMaster for at least one hour
  • Day 2: Hard leg workout with weights
  • Day 3: Hike or StairMaster for at least one hour
  • Day 4: Light leg workout with weights, cycling, or jogging
  • Day 5: Open day to do any exercise you like
  • Day 6: Hike at least four hours with a weighted pack
  • Day 7: Rest
2 Weeks Before Climb

With two weeks to go, you should start to reduce your training to prevent injury.  Now you just want to maintain your endurance and strength. Make sure to get as much sleep as possible to allow your body to recover before you begin your trip.

  • Day 1: Hike or StairMaster for at least one hour
  • Day 2: Light leg workout with weights, cycling, or jogging
  • Day 3: Hike or StairMaster for at least one hour
  • Day 4: Rest
  • Day 5: Open day to do any exercise
  • Day 6: Hike or StairMaster for at least one hour
  • Day 7: Rest

GEAR LIST

kilimanjaro gear list

I t is very important to bring the proper gear to climb Kilimanjaro. We will check your gear at the trip briefing before you start the trek. IF you require anything we will take you to a rental shop to rent any missing items. Our guides have climbed Kilimanjaro many times, some even more than 200 times. Listen to them and make sure you pack everything you need.

During your trek, you will encounter many different types of weather and a wide range of temperatures. The gear you bring must be able to adapt to the changing environment. Below is our recommended gear list. You are required to bring all the necessary items for your climb. Note that some items may be rented from us on location and some are optional, but highly recommended.

Kilimanjaro Sunrise will provide your sleeping tent, sleeping pad, dining tent, tableware, food, and clean water. If you would like to have a private toilet tent, it can be rented. See here: https://youtu.be/cxZopwU1_8g

WHAT TO WEAR

Clothing

  •  Warm, Waterproof Jacket – Shell
  • 1 Soft Jacket, Fleece or Soft-shell
  • Lightweight Rain Jacket
  • 2 Long Sleeve Shirt, moisture-wicking fabric
  • 2-3 Short Sleeve Shirt, moisture-wicking fabric
  • 1 Waterproof Pant
  • 1-2 Hiking Pants/Convertibles
  • 1 Fleece Pants (highly recommended)
  • 1 Short (optional)
  • 1 Base Layer, moisture-wicking fabric
  • 3-4 Underwear, moisture-wicking fabric
  • 2 Sports Bra (women)

Technical Equipment

  • 1 Sleeping Bag, at least 0° F (Rental: -15° F)
  • 1 Trekking Poles, collapsable (highly recommended)
  • 1 Headlamp, with extra batteries
  • 1 Duffel Bag, 70-90L, for porters to carry your gear
  • 1 Day pack, 30-35L, for you to carry personal gear

Accessories

  • 1 Sunglasses
  • 1 Backpack Cover, waterproof (optional)
  • 1 Water Bottle (Nalgene, 32 oz.)
  • 1 Water Bladder (3 liters)
  • 1 Pee Bottle, to avoid leaving tent at night
  • Stuff Sacks, Dry Bags, or Ziploc Bags, various sizes, to keep gear dry and separate

Handwear

  • 1 Gloves, waterproof and windproof
  • 1 Gloves, thin

Headwear

  • 1 Cap or Hat, for sun protection
  • 1 Beanie
  • 1 Balaclava/Buff, face coverage for wind, sun, and dust

Footwear

  • 1 Hiking Boots, warm, waterproof, broken-in
  • 1 Gym Shoes, to wear at camp (optional)
  • 4-5 Socks, wool, or synthetic
  • 1 pair of Gaiters, (optional)
  • Camp Slippers (optional)

Other

  • Toiletries
  • Prescriptions – Malaria tablets, Diamox (optional). Diamox may make you susceptible to sunburn
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip Balm
  • Insect Repellent
  • First Aid Kit
  • Painkillers (optional)
  • Blister kit (optional)
  • Anti-diarrhea tablets (optional)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Toilet Paper
  • Wet Wipes (recommended)
  • Snacks, lightweight, high calorie (optional)
  • Electrolytes, powder, or tablets (optional)
  • Camera, with extra batteries (optional)
  • Hand warmers (optional)

Paperwork

  • Immunization Papers
  • Trip Receipt
  • Passport
  • Visa (available to JRO)
  • Insurance Documents

Available to rent and pay for in cash at the trip briefing

VACCINATIONS

vaccinations for tanzania

I f you are going to Tanzania from The United States, there are no required vaccinations. However, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) recommends the following vaccinations and medications:

  • Malaria
  • Yellow Fever (required if entering Tanzania from an ‘infected area’ such as Kenya)
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Rabies
  • COVID

Additionally, the CDCP recommends routine vaccinations for measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) and polio, if you are not up to date.

Consult with your doctor before traveling to Tanzania.

We strongly recommend that you bring:

  • Diamox, an FDA-approved prescription used to prevent and treat altitude sickness. May make you susceptible to sunburn.
  • Ciprofloxacin, a powerful anti-diarrhea medication
  • Doxycycline, Mefloquine, or another anti-malarial drug, designed to prevent or cure malaria
  • Ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug to treat headaches (do not use aspirin since it thins your blood)

Having these four medications in your kit covers you for the most common medical conditions experienced on the mountain. Prescription medications are not readily available in Tanzania, so you should obtain these items before your trip. Note that our guides do not carry and will not administer medications. Please let the guide know before you plan on taking any of these medications.

Every client should have a medical check-up to see whether he or she has any medical conditions that increase the risks of trekking at high altitude. All clients 65 years of age or older are required to bring a doctor’s certificate stating they are fit to climb Kilimanjaro.

TRAVEL INSURANCE & DOCUMENTS

passport for tanzania

PASSPORT AND VISA

A passport and visa are required to travel to Tanzania for most citizens, including clients from the United States, the United Kingdom, and other European Union countries, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

The passport must be valid for 6 months after the intended length of stay. For example; Your departure date from Tanzania is January 30th, your passport should be valid until July 30th.

Visas can be obtained prior to departure from the Tanzanian embassy or at points of entry into Tanzania, including Kilimanjaro Airport. The visa cost for US citizens is $100 and $50 for others. The visa must be paid for in USD only. No other currency or credit card is accepted.

Obtaining a visa at Kilimanjaro Airport is a relatively simple process. Once you enter the arrival side of the airport. You’ll fill out arrival documents and approach the visa line. They will take the documents, and your passport and direct you to the line to your left. In that line, you’ll get your photo taken and then move to the third line to your left. There you’ll pay for the visa.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

T ravel insurance is mandatory to climb with Kilimanjaro Sunrise. Travel insurance provides you with coverage against unforeseen circumstances. Deposits are nonrefundable upon trip confirmation and balance payments are nonrefundable within 30 days of the trip start date.

Travel insurance may cover your trip costs if you have to cancel your trip due to the following situations:

  • Flight cancellations or delays
  • Injury or illness – most travel insurance does not cover COVID
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Unemployment

Other items that are reimbursed by travel insurance:

  • Lost or delayed luggage if replacements are rented
  • Traveling expenses
  • Hospital costs
  • Evacuation

You must have a valid travel insurance policy to climb with us. Travel insurance should cover high altitude trekking up to 6,000 meters. This is not mountaineering. It should also cover medical, repatriation costs, and trip cancellation. Without travel insurance, helicopter evacuation and medical treatment may be denied.

TIPPING

T ipping in Tanzania is customary. We are proud to be members of the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project. These are their tipping guidelines for how to tip on Kilimanjaro, in town, and on safari.

The graph below will help you determine the tipping amount for the Kilimanjaro mountain staff.

The total number of staff depends on how many climbers are in the group and the number of days on the mountain.

We will cover tipping more in-depth at the trip briefing. If you want to know the number of people on your climb, keep an eye on it on the Dates and Prices page.

We book a total of 12 people per climb.

KPAP

TIPPING GUIDELINES

At the trip briefing, you will be given instructions on how the tipping process works. The tips will be for the guides, cooks, and porters. Most groups discuss their tipping amounts collectively. The tips will be distributed to the crew later on.

GROUP SIZE 6 DAYS 7 DAYS 8 DAYS 9 DAYS
1 $350 – $380 $400 – $430 $450 – $480 $500 – $530
2-3 $275 – $305 $305 – $345 $340 – $370 $375 –$415
4+ $200 – $230 $220 – $250 $245 – $275 $270 – $300

This tipping procedure conforms to the guidelines set forth by the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project. We have found this to be the most practical and transparent method for tipping.

If you don’t know the size of your group, you can use this KPAP guideline to decide how much to tip:

  • Guide: $25 per day
  • Assistant Guide: $25 per day
  • Cook: $15 per day
  • Summit Porter $15 per day
  • Porter: $10 per day

TIPPING ON SAFARI

The general guideline for tipping during the safari is $25-$30 per day for the guide total. So for a 5-day safari, a good tip to the guide is $125-$150 regardless of the number of passengers.

MOUNTAIN STAFF

Our mountain staff to client ratio is one of the best on Kilimanjaro. For instance, on summit night, you’ll have you own porter along side you as well as all the guide ands assistant guides. The graph below gives you an idea of how many guides and porters with be on your climb.

CLIENTS GUIDE ASSISTANT GUIDE(S) COOK(S) PORTERS
1 1 0 1 4
2 1 1 1 7
3 1 1 1 10
4 1 1 1 13
5 1 2 1 16
6 1 2 1 19
7 1 2 1 21
8 1 3 1 24
9 1 3 1 27
10 1 3 2 30

TIPPING IN TANZANIA

Throughout your trip, people may carry your bags or do other tasks.  For example, a person may carry your bag or a the lodge, someone may bring your bags from the taxi to the lobby or your room. You can tip each person $1 if you like.

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