SAFARI FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When is the best time to go?
Tanzania is great to visit any time of year. Most people avoid the rainy months of April, May, and November. Some people like to go during peak migration season.
What is the migration?
The migration in East Africa is world-renowned. Millions of wildebeests participate in the migration through Tanzania and Kenya. Hundreds of thousands of zebra join them. Although lions and other carnivores do not migrate with the grazing animals, they feast on them when their paths cross.
When is the best time to see the migration?
The best time to see the migration in Tanzania is often January-March and June-August. In the Kenya, it is often best September-October. These are also the most popular times to go, so you will need to book well in advance. You will see an abundance of wildlife all year round.
What's the food like on the safari?
Lodges and tented camps serve breakfast and dinner, typically buffet-style. Lunches are often a box lunch eaten while on your game drive.
What type of vehicles do you provide?
We use 4 or 6 passenger 4-wheel-drive Land Cruisers, all with viewing roofs for the safaris.
Are the guides on safari certified?
They are licensed, trained, friendly, and have years of experience!
Can we buy extra bottles of water along the safari?
You can buy any drinks along your way to the safari. There will be mini-markets in town.
MOUNTAIN CLIMBING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When should I go?
Kilimanjaro is climbable all year round. The best months to climb are December-March, and September-October, which are the warmest and driest months. The next best are June to August, but they are colder. July, August, and September are the busiest months.
Summiting on or soon after a full moon is very beautiful and helps illuminate the landscape without using headlamps. However, it is also very bright for sleeping and stars are not as visible.
What is the weather like on Mt. Kilimanjaro?
Temperatures range from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius at the foot of the mountain and -15 to -20 degrees Celsius on top plus wind chill. Lower down, it can be wet and humid, but higher up, there can be snow. Rain and snow may be encountered any time of the year! See our Weather page for more details.
How difficult is it to climb Kilimanjaro?
It requires no technical climbing experience, and any moderately fit person can summit the mountain. However, for most people, it is the most difficult thing they have ever done.
Which route should I take?
Your decision will depend on where you want to sleep and the hiking distance each day and number of days of each route. On the Marangu Route, you sleep in huts with simple beds, while on all the other routes, you sleep in tents. There are two main routes on the mountain: the Marangu and Machame. You may also want to consider the Rongai Route as it is far less traveled. The Lemosho Route is a good choice if you want a longer route (8+ days). None of these routes are technical.
How long does it take to reach the summit?
It will depend on the route you pick and your pace. It can take from 4-8 hours to reach the summit from the high camp.
How do I cope with change of altitude?
Always remember to maintain a slow, steady pace from beginning to end. Going slowly allows the body to acclimatize while hiking. Those who start out too quickly will have troubles higher up the mountain as the body will be overexerted. This still holds true if you are spending and extra day on the mountain. Drink lots of water and get lots of sleep.
What kind of climbing gear do I need?
What shots should I get?
Talk to your doctor about getting
• Hepatitis A
• Hepatitis B
• Yellow fever
• MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)
• Meningococcal Meningitis (Africa/Asia)
Can children climb Kilimanjaro?
The minimum age set by the National park Authorities for summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro is 12 years old. However, younger children can attempt the summit with special permission. Younger children can also trek on the mountain without reaching the summit.
How big will my group be?
Groups are limited to 10 people, but they are typcally around 5 people. We will combine groups up to this limit if they are starting the same route on the same day. However, we can also arrange for private groups at no extra cost. We will try to add single travelers to a group if at all possible, but we cannot guarantee it. We can also accommodate large groups of any size.
How many guides, and porters and cooks do we get?
Expect 1 guide per 2 hikers, 1 assistant guide per 3 hikers, and 1 cook per 8 hikers. Porters as follows:
• 2 porters per hiker on the 5-day Marangu Route and Mt. Meru (minimum of 4 porters)
• 3 porters per hiker on a 6 or 7-day trek (minimum of 5 porters)
• 4 porters per hiker on the 8-day Lemosho Route (minimum of porters)
• Sometimes extra porters are required based on the weight of the luggage.
Are the guides trained in first aid and altitude sickness?
Kilimanjaro guides are trained in acute mountain sickness (AMS) and basic mountain first aid. However, they are not doctors or paramedics. Climbers are responsible for bringing their own first aid kit and medical supplies.
Are the guides licensed / certified?
Kilimanjaro guides are trained and certified by the Kilimanjaro National Park. They start out as porters and work their way up to assistant guide. When they are ready (after about 2-4 years), they go through the national park certification process.
Do guides carry cell phones or radios on the mountain?
Yes, all guides carry cell phones, but reception on the mountain can be spotty.
What kind of tents do you provide?
Our tents are 3-person 4-season dome-style mountain tents, two people each.
Does the company have a 24 hour emergency telephone number?
Our 24 hr. emergency phone is +255 754 478 117/+255 715 478 118(Jackson)
Will there be oxygen for our group on the trek?
Oximeters are included on all treks at no charge. Oxygen is available for $30/group.
Will there be a hyperbaric pressure bag for our group?
We can provide hyperbaric bag for $120/group.
What happens if we one of us gets ill and has to return earlier? Is there an extra charge or is our money returned in case of illness or injury?
All climbers pay a rescue fee to the Kilimanjaro National Park (included in the price). If a client cannot walk because they are injured or sick, the guides, assistant guides, and porters will assist this climber down. There is no extra charge for coming down and taken back to the hotel, but you will not get money back for the mountain days you missed, and you will be responsible for medical assistance and extra hotel nights. We highly recommend travel insurance to cover any medical expenses and further evacuation.
What additional costs can I expect when I travel with you?
Extra expenses include:
• Tips for guides and porters
• Rental equipment (sleeping bags, hiking poles, etc.)
• Lunches, dinners and drinks at your hotel in Moshi/Arusha.
• Any personal expenses (visas, airport taxes, etc.).
How much is a good tip?
The typical tip is $20/day for guides, $15/day for assistant guides and cooks, $10/porter/day for porters. These tips are from the whole group, not per hiker. Remember, tips should not be dependent on whether you summit or not, but rather whether they were professional and had your best interests in mind.
What kind of accommodation is provided for the 2 nights before and after the climb that are included in your climbing prices?
The trek price includes 2 nights at a 3-star hotel like the Bristol Cottages, which is a comfortable tourist hotel near the center of Moshi.
What kind of accommodation is available during climbing?
On the Marangu Route, the first two huts sleep four people each, and the last hut is dorm-style with bunk beds. While on the other routes, you sleep in 3-person 4-season dome-style mountain tents, two people each.
Do you have luggage (weight/size/number) limitations on your climbs?
The one pack that the porters carry for you is limited to 15 kg (35 pounds). Overweight or extra luggage will require an extra porter at $20/day plus tips.
What's the food like during the climb?
The staple foods in Tanzania are meats, starches, vegetables, and fruits. Most meals will also have a selection of hot drinks like instant coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.
Who prepare the food on the mountain?
Your trekking party will be supplied with a cook to prepare your meals in a safe and hygienic manner.
What about drinking water?
The porters will purify water for you at each camp.
Can we buy drinking water/ soda on the Kilimanjaro?
You will be able to buy any drinks before getting to the gate at local mini-markets in town. Sometimes there are drinks available at the lower camps, but that service is unreliable and expensive.
Can we bring something for the porters?
Donations are easier to take with you when you travel to Tanzania rather than mailing them after you get back from your trip. Porters welcome old hiking boots, warm clothing, and cash donations.
Is it better to do a safari first....then the trek? Or do the trek first?
Most people start with the trek and end with the safari, so they get done with the hardest part of their trip and are able to relax on their safari. However, we can accommodate either order.