Tips & Plan Successfull climbs
Prior the climb be properly equipped
- An essential part of your preparation will be to ensure that you are well equipped for your summit attempt.
Adequate travel insurance
- Make sure that you have adequate travel and medical insurance, which will also provide you with cover for the climb up Kilimanjaro.
On The Mountain
- Go slowly – “Pole Pole” as they say in Swahili! This is also very important during your first days of climbing. Even if you feel well, slow down and enjoy the scenery.The biggest cause of altitude sickness is ascending too high too fast! The slower you hike to more time you give your body to acclimatize.
Drink enough water
- Make sure that you drink at least 3 – 4 litres of liquid a day – preferably water. Running water on the mountain is safe to drink we treaty it. If you are not used to fresh water in nature, prevent any inconvenience by using water purification tablets. REMEMBER! A functioning “body water balance” is one of the keys to a successful climb!
Walk high – sleep low
- If possible and especially on your acclimatisation day “walk high – sleep low” Try to do a short evening stroll to a higher altitude and then descend to sleep at the camp at a lower altitude.
Take a ski – pole
- A ski – pole is essential. Use of ski poles reduces external and internal loads on the knee joint by up to 20%. Using 1 ski pole is a must, but 2 poles are recommended. Buy one or hire one but take one – view our Gear Rental options.
- Climb as lightly as possible; this becomes even more important on your summit night. Extra weight will slow you down and will also make breathing more difficult.
- Remember that you will be on the mountain for at least 5 or 6 days. You need to take enough clothing, especially socks to last for this period. Due to frequent rainfall as well as numerous streams on the routes, it is advisable to pack items individually in your bag. These individually packed items should be wrapped in plastic bags to prevent them from getting wet in case of rain or of being accidentally dropped in a stream.
- Replace your head lamp and camera batteries with new ones on your summit night.
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
- AMS commonly affects people at high altitude, who are not accustomed to high altitude conditions. AMS can be lethal if not treated immediately or if its symptoms are ignored. Probably 70% of all people climbing Kilimanjaro will suffer to some extent from AMS. You should familiarise yourself with this condition and take preventative care. Click Altitude Sickness for more information on this medical condition.
- Malaria occurs below 1800 meters and you should use the recommended prophylactics. Please consult your doctor about these. Currently, there are various preventative medication products available which will be effective against the malaria strains currently found in Tanzania. Women using oral contraceptives should consult their physicians before using prophylactics.
Other useful cups
- There is no washing water at Barafu, Kibo and Arrow Glacier camps. Wet Wipes are very useful
- Take enough snacks like energy bars etc. Avoid the toffee like energy bars (as they get very hard and difficult to eat in low temperatures) but rather but the cereal type energy bars.
Adequate sun protection
- Wear a good quality pair of sunglasses (with UV protection) and use adequate sun protection cream with a protection factor of at least 20+.
- Cameras exposed to cold do not cease functioning, but remember that if you keep your camera inside your jacket and the lens becomes warm, chances are that it will form condensation when suddenly exposed to extreme cold. This condensation will freeze under conditions at the summit. Therefore, keep your camera dry at all times. Moisture will freeze at the summit which WILL cause your camera to stop functioning.
- The stream water high on the mountain Kilimanjaro has been tested and has been found to be fit for drinking.
THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP OF ALL – ENJOY THIS ONCE IN A LIFE TIME EXPERIENCE!!!
Other useful tips:
- Make sure all your clothes and sleeping bag are packed in plastic bag inside the duffel bag, to ensure they stay dry in the event of rain, even if your duffel bag is waterproof. Once something gets wet on the mountain it is difficult, even impossible to dry!
- Something good Vaseline or Vicks Vaporub are good on the summit attempt.
Moist air coming from your noise or on your lips will freeze and become very uncomfortable
- Sound travel at night and many people snore on Kilimanjaro – bring some ear plugs to sleep with.
- The trail is very dusty and sinus congestion is a problem with many hikers. Bring a good decongestant spray or tablet.
- Female hikers suffer more from the cold than male hikers. Hand and feet warmers are a good idea
- Travel with your most important gear as hand luggage – e.g. wear your hiking boots in the plane – missing luggage is a common problem.
- Bring some blister plasters, Vaseline and liner socks. If you start to get blisters it will help a lot.
- There is mobile reception on most of the mountain (except the first days on the Rongai route). If you bring your mobile, make sure you activate international roaming. Because you cannot recharge the battery, only have the phone on an hour or two daily.