KILIMANJARO TRIP NOTES
What to Expect
You are embarking on an adventure in a place and amongst people whose lives are very different from your own. The languages you hear will not be familiar, and some aspects of life in Tanzania will seem unusual. Remember that these are often the same aspects that make an area an exotic and attractive destination.
In addition to the personal physical challenges you may face, travel conditions can present unexpected obstacles, such as rough and bumpy roads and changeable weather. To prepare for this “pack” a flexible and relaxed attitude. Bring a spirit of adventure and inquiry, a healthy sense of humour, and a willingness to encounter the unexpected and you will find your trip to Tanzania the adventure of a lifetime!
When Is The Best Time To Hike Kilimanjaro?
While Kilimanjaro can be climbed all year round, there are three distinct seasons.
The Long Rain: This is during April and May when it pretty much rains all day. This is when the landscape replenishes and while this is great for the environment it’s not so great for hiking.
The Short Rain: This is a short period of rain after the dry that usually starts mid-October and ends early November (give or take two weeks). Again great for the environment but not so great for hiking.
Our favourite months are? Our favourite months are January and February as well as July, August, and September. These are the times when there is less rain and the weather is more stable, so these are the months you should think about trekking in.
Trekking on the Full Moon doesn’t mean your are crazy, quite the opposite: Another factor to take in is the moon. We love hiking on a full moon. Seeing the Moon rise above Kili is a wonder to see and summitting on a full moon means you hardly need a head torch for the ascent. However, if you can’t do a full moon trek, then the next best is no moon. On these treks, the universe explodes above us at night and is not diminished by the brightness of the moon.
So much to think about, sorry!
A valid passport is required by all foreigners travelling to Tanzania. Passports must have at least 6 months before they expire.
Note: You will be required to sign a Liability Release Form at the hotel before the expedition. The conditions for this form are the same as the ones you have agreed to when booking. This form must be signed before you depart on your trek.
Tanzanian Tourist Visa
Tourists don’t need a visa. You may apply for a Tourist Visa online. An Ordinary Visa allows you to stay for up to 90 days and will cost US$50. Click here to apply for your Visa online.
You will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter Tanzania.
For the most current entry and exit information (for Australian travellers), please consult https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/africa/tanzania
International guests, please consult your relevant government advisory body.
In Moshi, our home away from home will be the Marangu Hotel. The Marangu Hotel started as a farmhouse in the early 1900s but was converted into a hotel in the 1920s. The hotel is situated on 12 acres of prime land at the base of Mt Kilimanjaro. While sipping on a cold beer, you can see the summit of Kilimanjaro, a place you long to reach or a place you have just returned from.
There are 26 farm cottages on the property as well as a swimming and an excellent restaurant.
Hotel accommodation details: Marangu Hotel – Himo Marangu Road, Marangu Tanzania Ph: +255 754 886 092
Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance is mandatory for all trekkers. Trip cancellation insurance will reimburse you for any non-recoverable air or land expenses should you have to cancel your trip due to personal or family illness or leave the expedition early due to other reasons. It will also cover any emergency medical evacuation expenses should you become ill during the expedition. We strongly recommend that you take out baggage loss and accident insurance. You can avail such policies in most western countries. In the event that an aircraft evacuation is required, No Roads Expeditions will undertake to arrange the evacuation on the condition that the expenses will be reimbursed by the passenger before departing the country. You can obtain the correct insurance, assured you will be covered for evacuation through our website at www.noroads.com.au.
Please bring 2 copies of your Travel Insurance Certificate to Peru to give to your Guide. Please make sure you also carry a copy for yourself whilst travelling.
If you should receive an injury 12 months prior to your travel date, you must contact the insurance company with details to ensure you are covered for this injury whilst travelling. Should you not do this and you require medical assistance for this injury whilst travelling you may not be covered by the insurance company.
Note: Accidents caused by the inappropriate consumption of alcohol or drugs may void your travel insurance.
COVID 19 Insurance Disruption: COVID has affected all of us and it is no different for the travel insurance market. Providers had to deal with an unprecedented amount of claims and as a result, many of them had to undertake procedure changes.
During this process, No Roads has reviewed the insurance policies of different providers to ensure we can offer our guests the best options on the market and you are covered adequately.
We are currently in the process of finalising an alliance with a new provider and will be able to sell domestic and international travel insurance to all of our guests again soon.
For all other nationalities please explore insurance providers in your country.
Again, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting There and Away
Kilimanjaro does have an International Airport. Flights from Doha with Qatar Airlines are the best connection to Kili International.
You can also arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport via Kenya.
Travelers whose itineraries will take them above an altitude of 1,829-2,438 m (6,000-8,000 ft) should be aware of the risk of altitude illness. Travelers are exposed to higher altitudes in a number of ways: by flying into a high-altitude city, by driving to a high-altitude destination, or by hiking or climbing in high mountains. Examples of high-altitude cities with airports are Cuzco, Peru (3,000 m; 11,000 ft); La Paz, Bolivia (3,444 m; 11,300 ft); or Lhasa, Tibet (3,749 m; 12,500 ft).
Travelers differ considerably in their susceptibility to altitude illness, and there are currently no screening tests that predict whether someone is at greater risk for altitude illness. Susceptibility to altitude illness appears to be inherent in some way and is not affected by training or physical fitness. How a traveler has responded in the past to exposure to high altitude is the most reliable guide for future trips but is not infallible.
Travelers with underlying medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, myocardial ischemia (angina), sickle cell disease, or any form of pulmonary insufficiency, should be advised to consult a doctor familiar with high-altitude illness before undertaking such travel. The risk of new ischemic heart disease in previously healthy travelers does not appear to be increased at high altitudes.
Altitude illness is divided into three syndromes: acute mountain sickness (AMS), high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE), and high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE). AMS is the most common form of altitude illness and, while it can occur at altitudes as low as 1,219-1,829 m (4,000-6,000 ft), most often it occurs in abrupt ascents to >2,743 meters (>9,000 ft). The symptoms resemble those of an alcohol hangover: headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, and, occasionally, vomiting. The onset of AMS is delayed, usually beginning 6-12 hours after arrival at a higher altitude, but occasionally >24 hours after ascent.
HACE is considered a severe progression of AMS. In addition to the AMS symptoms, lethargy becomes profound, confusion can manifest, and ataxia will be demonstrated during the tandem gait test. A traveler who fails the tandem gait test has HACE by definition, and immediate descent is mandatory.
HAPE can occur by itself or in conjunction with HACE. The initial symptoms are increased breathlessness with exertion, and eventually increased breathlessness at rest. The diagnosis can usually be made when breathlessness fails to resolve after several minutes of rest. At this point, it is critical to descend to a lower altitude. HAPE can be more rapidly fatal than HACE.
Determining an itinerary that will avoid any occurrence of altitude illness is difficult because of variations in individual susceptibility, as well as in starting points and terrain. The main point of instructing travelers about altitude illness is not to prevent any possibility of altitude illness, but to prevent the person from dying of altitude illness. The onset of symptoms and clinical course are slow enough and predictable enough that there is no reason for someone to die from altitude illness unless trapped by weather or geography in a situation in which descent is impossible. The three rules that travelers should be made aware of to prevent death from altitude illness are:
Learn the early symptoms of altitude illness and be willing to admit that you have them.
Never ascend to sleep at a higher altitude when experiencing any of the symptoms of altitude illness, no matter how minor they seem.
Descend if the symptoms become worse while resting at the same altitude.
Studies have shown that travelers who are on organized group treks to high-altitude locations are more likely to die of altitude illness than travelers who are by themselves. This is most likely the result of group pressure (whether perceived or real) and a fixed itinerary. The most important aspect of preventing severe altitude illness is to refrain from further ascent until all symptoms of altitude illness have disappeared.
Children are as susceptible to altitude illness as adults, and young children who cannot talk can show very nonspecific symptoms, such as loss of appetite and irritability. There are no studies or case reports of harm to a fetus if the mother travels briefly to high altitude during pregnancy. However, most authorities recommend that pregnant women stay below 3,658 m (12,000 ft) if possible.
Three medications have been shown to be useful in the prevention and treatment of altitude illness. Acetazolamide (Diamox; Lederle Pharmaceutical, Pearl River, NY) can prevent AMS when taken before ascent and can speed recovery if taken after symptoms have developed. The drug appears to work by acidifying the blood, which causes an increase in respiration and thus aids in acclimatization. An effective dose that minimizes the common side effects of increased urination, along with paresthesias of the fingers and toes, is 125 mg every 12 hours, beginning the day of ascent. However, most clinical trials have been done with higher doses of 250 mg two or three times a day. Allergic reactions to acetazolamide are extremely rare, but the drug is related to sulfonamides and should not be used by sulfa-allergic persons, unless a trial dose is taken in a safe environment before travel.
Dexamethasone has been shown to be effective in the prevention and treatment of AMS and HACE. The drug prevents or improves symptoms, but there is no evidence that it aids acclimatization. Thus, there is a risk of a sudden onset or worsening of symptoms if the traveler stops taking the drug while ascending. It is preferable for the traveler to use acetazolamide to prevent AMS while ascending and to reserve the use of dexamethasone to treat symptoms while trying to descend. The dosage for both indications is 4 mg every 6 hours.
Nifedipine has been shown to prevent and ameliorate HAPE in persons who are particularly susceptible to HAPE. The dosage is 10-20 mg every 8 hours.
Newer medications have recently been tried to help prevent AMS and HAPE. In two small trials, gingko biloba, an herbal remedy, was shown to reduce the symptoms of AMS when taken before ascent. Gingko has not yet been compared with acetazolamide, although a study is planned. Inhaled salmeterol (a beta-adrenergic agonist) was demonstrated to help prevent HAPE in a small group of climbers who had previously shown susceptibility to HAPE. Whether salmeterol will prove beneficial in a more general population remains to be seen. The mechanism of action of salmeterol suggests that it could be of benefit in treating already established HAPE, but there are no studies yet to confirm this.
For most travelers, the best way to avoid altitude illness is to plan a gradual ascent, with extra rest days at intermediate altitudes. If this is not possible, acetazolamide may be used prophylactically, and dexamethasone and nifedipine may be carried for emergencies.
No Roads Expeditions trip itineraries have been professionally designed to minimize the affects of altitude sickness. Extensive medical kits are carried on all our trips. In addition, Portable Altitude Chamber (a life saving device in case of AMS) is being carried as precautions on high altitude treks and climbing expeditions. All our group leaders / guides are well trained in Wilderness First Aid Course to recognize any symptoms and to act accordingly on the very spot.
Packing for Trekking
During your trek you will only carry a day pack. Your luggage will be transfered by a porter. This bag cannot exceed 15kg. If it does you may be required to either remove some gear or employ another porter to help out. However, you will need to carry a day pack with your daily needs in it. With this in mind, please try and pack as light and efficiently as possible.
The luggage that is transferred for you during the day will be packed in a large duffle bag which we will supply.
In your day pack, you will carry water, a raincoat, some snacks that will be given to you at the start of the day and whatever you would like to take.
To sleep on, you will need a Thermarest sleeping pad or similar. To sleep in, we suggest you bring a Sleeping bag (rated to at least -5°C).
If you’re unable to obtain, or don’t wish to carry one from home, we can arrange one for you.
Ultimately you want to be comfortable. Consult our recommended packing list, but try to ensure that what you wear during your trek, is not being worn for the first time!
Nothing is worse than being on the trail and discovering there that your brand-new boots give you blisters…
Camera, spare camera batteries, lens cleaner & paper. A small supply of favorite snacks – a bigger supply for longer and remote area trips.
If you have any questions regarding the above list or any other items that you want to ask about please contact us. We can provide you with additional information at any time.
- Insurance Papers (3 copies)
- Tourist Visa
- International Airtickets
- Comfortable clothes for travel
- Plastic Zip Lock bags for paperwork
- Smart clothes for nightlife
- Trekking trousers
- T-shirts – long-sleeved
- Waterproof coat & trousers (poncho)
- Good, well-worn-in walking boots
- A warm fleece or down jacket
- Thermal underwear
- After-trek trousers & t-shirt
- Additional Energy or Snack Food
- After-trek shoes (sandals)
- Warm hat & scarf
- Sleeping bag (-5°C)
- Travel Pillow
- Spare bootlaces
- Warm bed-clothes
- Day Pack & rain-cover
- Trekking poles & biking gloves
- Water bottle (2 litre)
- Sunglasses & retaining string
- Small towel
- Head torch & spare batteries
- Book, notepaper & pen (optional)
- Suntan lotion factor 50 + / After sun
- Lip balm
- Binoculars (optional)
- Sleeping bag liner (optional)
- Insect Repellent
- Money belt (optional)
- Headlamp or Torch
- Quick-dry towel
- Earplugs (optional)
- Personal first aid kit to include: painkillers, plasters (band-aids), moleskin, anti-septic cream, after-bite, anti-diarrhoea tablets, throat lozenges, re-hydration salts & personal medication. (No Roads Expeditions carries an extensive first aid kit & Oxygen on all trips, but these are generally for emergencies only)
- Two-person tent
- Extensive First-aid kit including Oxygen
- All eating and drinking equipment
- Dining, cooking and toilet tents
All trekkers should make special effort to get in top physical condition for the trip they have signed for.
All trekkers must make special efforts to get in top physical condition for the trip they have signed for. Every participant should consult a physician well before the expedition date and make sure that they do not suffer from any chronic heart, lungs, cerebral, physical or any other serious illness. As your service provider and hosts, we will take all necessary steps needed to evacuate injured or ill clients on the understanding that all costs involved will be paid to us before leaving the country (see Insurance).
The following is a basic training regime for the next few months. You do not need to be superman to complete the expedition but the fitter you are the more enjoyable you will find it. All members should be either walking or jogging everyday, where possible. Resistance and endurance training (i.e.: stair climbing, hills, inclines and anything that goes in the upward direction). At least 1/2 an hour per day should be a minimum.
To make jogging / walking interesting try the local parks or the odd mountain or three. Also invite a friend along, that way both of you will benefit from the exercise and you have someone to talk to.
Upper body strength is also important. A person with overall muscle tone is going to be far better off than someone who has sculpted their body for aesthetics. For those without access to gyms, pushups and sit-ups and chin-ups are excellent. All can be done at home or when you are out jogging.
Below is a small exercise regime, which will condition and tone muscle groups necessary to enable you to cope with the rigors of altitude trekking.
Sit-ups: repetitions of 20 daily – increasing by 5 at the beginning of each week – max level 50
Pushups: repetitions of 10 daily – increasing by 5 at the beginning of each week – max level 100
Chin-ups: repetitions of 5 daily – increasing by 5 at the beginning of each week – max level 30
If you have a gym at your disposal then aerobic exercise, boxercise and the like are all excellent ways to increase your oxygen intake capacity and muscle fitness. Swimming is a low-impact exercise but has the same benefits as aerobic exercise. If you don’t like to perspire then give swimming a try.
The secret is to do exercises that simulate what the expedition will be like, so hiking with a pack up and down hills for a few hours is ideal. We all have busy lifestyles so if this is not possible, a hike into the hills every 2 or 3 weeks would be beneficial.
We hope this helps you all enjoy your time on the expedition.
A valid Covid-19 vaccination is currently required for entry to Tanzania. You should also consider typhoid and hepatitis vaccinations and make sure your tetanus cover is up to date. Please consult your doctor on these matters.
COVID 19: To protect yourself, fellow guests and our team, a full COVID-19 vaccination status is a mandatory requirement to participate in any of our expeditions.
Typhoid: Recommended for Tanzania. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Hepatitis A: Recommended for Tanzania. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Influenza: Recommended for Tanzania. Most common vaccine-preventable illness in travellers. Vaccine recommended, effective for 1 year.
Hepatitis B: Recommended for Tanzania. Ideally 2 months before travel.
If you are travelling to Australia straight from Kenya or Tanzania a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is essential or you will not be allowed into Australia. Yellow Fever injections are only available at certain doctors.
Malaria: Consider this seriously.
Plan ahead for getting your vaccinations. Some of them require an initial shot followed by a booster, while some vaccinations should not be given together. This also applies to some malaria prophylactics, which have to be begun at least a week before you leave home.
Most plumbing in Tanzania leaves a lot to be desired. Visitors should drink only bottled water, which is widely available. Do not drink tap water, even in major hotels, and try to avoid drinks with ice.
Note: However, no matter how safe the water may be, we insist that all trekkers use either water purification tablets such as Aquatab (iodine) or Steri Pen.
On top of the normal health considerations, women are advised to bring a tube of Canesten and an applicator. The Canesten is used for the treatment of thrush (which can be very painful if left untreated) and can be applied to both internal and external thrush.
Prescriptions can be filled at pharmacies; it’s best to know the generic name of your drug, however, to save time and possible confusion, it is recommended you bring most of your medicinal and sanitary needs with you.
TIPS FOR GOOD HEALTH
Here are some general pointers to maintaining good health:
DON’T trust ice cubes.
DON’T expect alcohol to sterilise water.
Bottled beer and bottled soft drinks are generally safe.
DON’T risk unboiled milk.
DON’T risk ice cream.
DON’T eat salad vegetables, except at major hotels and eating places.
DO eat cooked foods and fruit that you can peel yourself.
DO drink tea or coffee.
MEDICINES AND FIRST AID
All trekkers are recommended to carry a personal first aid kit with medicines for common ailments, cuts and bruises, pain killers, etc. Anyone using any prescription medicines regularly should carry a supply for the whole duration of their expedition. Please consult your doctor and include items and medicines that may be required for you or for the area you are traveling in. No Roads does not supply any medicines and takes no legal responsibility for any medical treatment or professional medical support to our clients.
We will do everything we can to support guests that have disclosed a medical condition, allergy or anaphylaxis, by informing all in country personnel and ensuring reasonable provisions are made. We do however, suggest and encourage all guests in this situation to assist us by reconfirming this information in situations or instances where it may be required to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable adventure experience.
*If you have something you are particularly prone to such as ear infections, sinus problems or mild asthma bring what you need with you.
The No Roads Guide will be carrying an extensive Wilderness First Aid Kit.
Your personal first aid kit should contain:
Band aids, Paracetamol, Deep Heat or other muscle liniment, Blister pads, Crepe bandages, Antibiotic cream for cuts and scratches, ‘Imodium’ tablets, Strapping tape (for knees and ankles), Anti chaffing cream e.g. Pawpaw cream, Foot powder, Waterless hand disinfectant, Anti-malarial drugs (see your doctor. This is largely only if you are also visiting the Peruvian Amazon in the Loreto Department), Anti-inflammatory cream, Broad-spectrum antibiotic tablets, Anti-Nausea Tablets.
The unit of currency in Tanzania and Kenya is the respective Shilling. It is not permitted to export or import any of them. In general, hotels charge higher rates to change money. There are ATMs in Moshi and Arusha if you need extra cash.
You will need some money for a few meals and a celebration drink. There is nothing to buy on the mountain but there are things to buy such as souvenirs (if that’s your thing) in Moshi and Arusha.
You will also need money for Tipping which is usually about 10% of your trek fee.
Of course, this is just a guide and depends on what you are thinking about doing before and after the trek.
Guides and porters on Kilimanjaro traditionally work in the expectation that there will be a tip directly from climbers in addition to the contract payments for their labour. The contract payment rates at No Roads Expeditions follow the National Park and Kilimanjaro Porters’ Assistance Project (KPAP) guidelines, with increments.
We believe that tipping should be regarded as a discretionary matter and a thank you for good service. Nearly all climbers do return with grateful sentiments towards their crews.
So that climbers can budget appropriately within their means, we suggest the following guidelines, which are based on wide-ranging discussions over time and observations of what the average climber can afford.
As a general guideline, if each climber contributes US$100-150, or even US$200 in very small groups on longer climbs, the amount raised is then divided among the crew. Usually, the chief guide receives the largest tip, the assistant guides something less, the cook and his assistant(s) on a par with, or slightly below, the assistants and the remainder divided equally between the porters.
If individuals want to contribute higher amounts they may, of course, do so. It is understood by everyone that single travellers and members of small groups may not be able to give as much (in total) as larger groups, although they will likely each contribute more (per trekker) than climbers in bigger groups in order to give a reasonably generous tip to each of their crew members. The bigger the group the less each participant needs to contribute while still providing a satisfactory tip.
It must be stressed that these are guidelines, not rules and that climbers should also be guided by their own discretion and means.
Details about the method and timing of distribution are discussed further at the pre-climb briefing. The (KPAP) guidelines are available on their website. No Roads porter pay is at the 15,000/- shillings and above per day category. By the KPAP guidelines, this would indicate a tip for a porter of around $30US (from the group as a whole, not from each climber) for a 6-day climb. KPAP does not provide guidance for guide and cook tipping.
Many of the places you will visit are pristine. As travelers, we should try to have as little impact on these natural environments as possible. As such we recommend the following:
- Please do not dispose of plastic bags and wrappers along the trail. These may be put in your backpack and disposed of at your local hotel at the end of the day.
- Follow the well-marked walking trail (for both your safety and to maintain the integrity of the landscape).
- Do not touch or feed any wildlife spotted on the way as you might cause severe harm to the animal.
By abiding by these simple guidelines, you will be protecting the local environment for the people who live there and for their children’s children.
POWER IN TANZANIA
The standard voltage is 220 volts/50 cycles.
TREK BRIEFING MEETING
Please ask our representative for the time and location of your trip pre-departure meeting. Please bring with you a copy of your passport, a copy of your insurance details, please remember any medical or dietary requirements and any outstanding payments in cash.
- How to walk.
- Lodging, meals, and other conditions while on expedition.
- Security and safety.
- Evacuation Procedures.
- Cultural and Environmental Considerations.
- Other relevant information.
Please make sure you have all the items on the packing checklist before you travel to the airport for your flight to Tanzania.
Our Contact Phones & Address
Please make sure to carry our full address with contact numbers (given at the end of this message) in case you need to contact us for any reason.
NO ROADS EXPEDITIONS
In Australia Office : (03) 95988581
24 Hr Access Peter Miller : + 61 425 726 623 Irene Miller: + 61 430 705 222