Category Archives: Climb Kilimanjaro

How to get to Kilimanjaro!

flights-to-kilimanjaro-airportOkay, so you have decided to climb the Roof of Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain on the African continent and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world!

Apart from all the required preparation of getting fit, securing your gear, travel insurance and visas, one of the key things to plan for is how you are going to get to Kilimanjaro.

In this article we talk about flights to Kilimanjaro, and ways you can ease the burden on your wallet.

First off we have some good news and some bad news.

Let’s get the bad news out the way.

There are not many direct flights to Kilimanjaro, and there are none from the UK or US. There I’ve said it!

The good news is there are a few options to get to Kilimanjaro International Airport.

The most convenient and often affordable choice for travellers from the US, UK and Europe is to fly to Amsterdam and then catch a direct flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport with KLM. This route departs daily at around 10am and arrives in Kilimanjaro around 8pm.

If you can’t get to Amsterdam then it is possible to fly into neighbouring airports in Kenya (Nairobi) or Ethiopia (Addis Adaba), and then catch a short connecting flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). These options are great if you are flying from Southern Africa, South America or Australia. The only downside is that delays on these routes are common. More of a concern on these routes is the frequent reported issues of lost or delayed baggage. To avoid any upset we recommend wearing your hiking boots and carrying all critical gear in your carry-on luggage. In the unlikely event that your baggage is lost or delayed you can at least rent or hire some items to begin your climb on time.

Other direct routes to Kilimanjaro include a Qatar Airways flight via Doha and a Turkish Airlines flight via Istanbul. Both these flights do not occur daily and have relatively long delays and unsociable flight times. In the case of the latter the flight leaves Istanbul at 2am and departs Kilimanjaro at 3am.

Finally it is possible to fly British Airways via Nairobi to Kilimanjaro.

If you are planning to visit Zanzibar we recommend booking an open jaw ticket which has you flying out of Dar Es Salaam.

For more information on flights to Kilimanjaro Airport see here.

For information on our recommended Kilimanjaro tour operator see here.

Kilimanjaro Gear – everything that you need to take in one place

kilimanjaro-gearThis segment covers what type of gear you need to bring on your Kilimanjaro adventure, Tanzania entry requirements passport & visa, vaccinations and immunizations, plus travel insurance.

You may bring personal gear or you can buy or rent from the many tour operators in Moshi and Arusha. Communal equipment like tents, food, cooking items, etc. are usually provided by tour operators.

Below is a gear list of necessary items you need to bring, as well as some optional stuff that you can carry on your Kilimanjaro trekking adventures.

See this in-depth article for a complete Kilimanjaro packing list.

Technical Clothing

1. Water-resistant Jacket with hood
2. Insulated Jacket
3. Soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell
4. Long Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
5. Short Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
6. Rainproof Pants, breathable, side-zipper suggested
7. Mountaineering Pants (adaptable to shorts suggested)
8. Fleece Pants
9. Shorts (non-compulsory)
10. Long Underwear Underwear, briefs (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
11. Sport Bra (women)

Headwear

1. Brimmed Hat, for sun guard
2. Knit Hat, for warmness
3. Balaclava, for face coverage (non-compulsory)
4. Bandana (non-compulsory)

Handwear

1. Gloves, warm (water-resistant suggested)
2. Glove Liners, thin, synthetic, worn under gloves for added warmth (non-compulsory)

Footwear

1. Hiking Boots, warm, water-resistant, broken-in, with spare laces
2. Gym Shoes, to wear at camp site (non-compulsory)Socks, thick, wool or synthetic
3. Sock Liners, tight, thin, synthetic, worn under socks to prevent blisters (non-compulsory)
4. Gaiters, waterproof (non-compulsory)

Accessories

1. Sunglasses or Goggles
2. Backpack Cover, waterproof (non-compulsory)
3. Poncho, during rainy season (non-compulsory)
4. Water Bottle (Nalgene, 32 oz. recommended)
5. Water Bladder, Camelbak type (recommended)
6. Towel, lightweight, quick-dry (non-compulsory)
7. Pee Bottle, to avoid leaving tent at night (recommended)
8. Stuff Sacks or Plastic Bags, various sizes, to keep gear dry and separate

Equipment

1. Sleeping Bag, warm, four seasons
2. Sleeping Bag Liner, for added warmth (non-compulsory)
3. Trekking Poles (recommended)
4. Head lamp, with extra batteries
5. Duffel bag, for porters to carry your equipment
6. Daypack, for you to carry your personal gear

Other

1. Toiletries
2. Medications – aspirin, paracetamol, ibuprofen
3. Sunscreen
4. Lip Balm
5. Insect Repellent, containing DEET
6. First Aid Kit
7. Hand Sanitizer
8. Toilet Paper
9. Wet Wipes (recommended)
10. Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional)
11. Pencil and Notebook, miniature, for trip log (optional)
12. Camera, with extra batteries (optional) – I suggest taking a GoPro, as you can connect it to your head or body to have your hands-free and it is super light, not to mention amazing. Check out these GoPro Kilimanjaro videos.

Paperwork

1. Trip Receipt
2. Passport
3. Visa (available at JRO)
4. Immunization Papers
5. Insurance Documents

I always advise shopping online for all of your gear needs because prices tend to be lower online. A frequent error made by trekkers is over-packing, try stay as light as possible for Mount Kilimanjaro.

See these online retailers and recommendation stores:

Mountain Hardwear, Kilimanjaro kit reviews and recommendations

Insurance for Climbing Kilimanjaro

insurance-kilimanjaroClimbing Kilimanjaro is a once in a lifetime experience. But because Kili’s summit sits at 5,895 meters, risks associated with trekking the mountain are pretty high. For this reason alone you should definitely consider getting Kilimanjaro travel insurance. In this short article I have outlined what thing you need to look for in an insurance providers. You can read a much more detailed article on travel insurance for Kilimanjaro here – Kilimanjaro Travel Insurance

The biggest risk you face is altitude sickness, or acute mountain sickness. This occurs when you go to altitude too fast, and can be fatal. The incidence of altitude sickness on Kilimanjaro is rather high as the ascent profile is rapid and doesn’t give much time for acclimatization.

The type of insurance coverage that you need for Kili needs to cover you for trekking or hiking up to 6,000 meters. If it doesn’t cover you up to this altitude you will need to shop around for other providers who can help with a policy that does.

Three key things on the policy to look out for, over and above cover for trekking up to 6,000 meters are:

1. Emergency evacuation and medical cover: Should anything thing go wrong whilst on the mountain or indeed abroad in Tanzania, you will want to ensure that you policy covers you for emergency evacuation and medical cover. There is usually an excess on this and you may need to keep hospital receipts to prove the costs of treatment / emergency services

2. Theft: Theft is an obvious concern. You will be carry lots of valuable items, including your trekking clothing, a sleeping bag and audio visual equipment. Tanzania is a developing country where theft is a high possibility. Make sure you policy covers theft, loss and damage to baggage. The latter is a possibility in terms of baggage getting lost or damaged on your flight to or from Tanzania

3. Delay, interruptions, cancellation and financial default: Flight delays and interruptions are a common problem when travelling. This can inadvertently set back your trekking tour and cost you money. Moreover, flight cancellation or indeed tour cancellation due to illness ect does sometimes occur. Make sure that you are financially covered for these issues under your travel insurance policy. Finally, tour operator default occasionally happens – ensure your policy includes cover for this.

The UK post office has interesting information on travel insurance, as does moneysupermarket.com – see here

But in terms of an authoritative resource on travel insurance for Kilimanjaro I suggest reading this guys in-depth article: www.climbkilimanjaroguide.com/kilimanjaro-travel-insurance/

As always be safe and have fun!

Interesting Mount Kilimanjaro Facts for you to share

climbing-mount-kilimanjaroIn this article I have outlined interesting Kilimanjaro facts about the region, geography and climbing.

First off, where is Kilimanjaro?
Mount Kilimanjaro is found in the Northern part of Tanzania, in the particular what is known as the Kilimanjaro National Park. It comprises 3 volcanic cones, Shira, Kibo (on which you will find Uhuru Peak which is the summit of Kilimanjaro) and finally Mawenzi

Height of Kilimanjaro
The summit of Mount Kilimanjaro is called Uhuru peak. It is 5,895m or if you work in feet it is 19,341 feet high

Does this make Kilimanjaro the highest mountain in Africa?
It does indeed. Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa. What many people don’t know though is that Kilimanjaro is also the highest free standing mountain on Earth.

How many people attempt to summit Mount Kilimanjaro each year?
Depending on where you look between 20k and 35k people try their hand to climb Kilimanjaro each year

What are the particular success rates regarding reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro?
The likelihood of reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro will be highly dependent on the amount of days taken to climb. The more days the higher the probability that you will have a successful summit. Why? Because the body has more time for you to adapt and acclimatize when you spend more time at altitude. Kilimanjaro National Park recently published these success rates

  • All routes aggregate = 45%
  • 5 day routes = 27%
  • 6 day routes = 44%
  • 7 day routes = 64%
  • 8 day routes = 85%

More info on Kili here

Precisely what is the fastest excursion of Mount Kilimanjaro?
The actual fastest ascent in addition to descent of Kilimanjaro was by Spanish mountain jogger, Kilian Jornet (September 2010). He reached the summit inside a record time involving 5 hours, 23 minutes, 50 seconds – beating the previous ascent record which was held by Kazakh mountain jogger, Andrew Puchinin. He beat that record by one minute. After accomplishing the summit, Kilian then went down to base camp reaching it inside a total time of 6 hours, 29 minutes. This incredible feat smashed the previous ascent / descent record set by Simon Mtuy which was an impressive 8 hours, 27 minutes!

Who may be the oldest person to be able to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?
Richard Byerley is the oldest person to achieve the Kilimanjaro summit. Byerley reached the particular summit in October 2010 at the age of 84 years and 71 days. Nontheless, there is a few controversy around who’s going to be the oldest person to obtain the summit. A Frenchman, Valtee Daniel, reached the summit at the age of 87; however, the climb hasn’t been independently verified and didn’t have sufficient documentation to be verified – like pictures and signatures of the Kilimanjaro camp log books.

How many people die on the mountain?
Many conflicting statistics are banded around on the amount of people who perish on Kilimanjaro each year. This Kilimanjaro website estimates about 3-7 deaths each year. Deaths on the Mount Kilimanjaro occur because of various reasons such as acute mountain sickness, falls, and hypothermia. Sometimes porters die as a result of onset of malaria

Looking for a few more Kilimanjaro facts that may impress your hiking partners, check this page: