Here is a list we have written in order to help you pack all the appropriate items for your Kilimanjaro trek.
We suggest that you check with your current insurance provider and make sure that you would be covered in cases of illness or accident while travelling in a foreign country. In many cases, this coverage can be purchased within your current policy.
In cases where it is not available, we highly recommend that you purchase additional insurance coverage to cover your expenses and/or trip back home in cases of illness or accident.
Also consider insurance for:
- Delayed Baggage
- Evacuation from Mountain
- Accidental Death and Return of Remains
You may also be interested in purchasing trip cancellation insurance as well. As this trip is planned months in advance and many things may happen between your booking date and departure.
Here are two insurance companies that we recommend:
AIR TICKETS AND VISAS
There are no direct flights from North America to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).
We have found that flying with KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) is the most convenient and efficient way to fly to Kilimanjaro. They provide the most flights out of the USA and Canada on a weekly basis.
Most of the flights from the East Coast of North America will fly into Amsterdam and after a short 2 hour lay-over, will fly directly to Kilimanjaro International Airport. Arrival to Kilimanjaro is usually around 8:00 PM local time.
A Visa is required for entering Tanzania. The Visa can be obtained after landing at Kilimanjaro International Airport. Airport authorities will help guide you through the process which takes approximately 1 hour.
You can avoid the 1 hour lineup at the airport and obtain your Visas directly from the following embassies:
As with all travel, certain immunizations will be required when travelling to Africa. For more information, and the recommended vaccines and other health related advice, please visit this website:
DIARRHEA AND STOMACH ACHES
To avoid diarrhea and stomach aches, common sense should prevail
- Drink only bottled water and beverages.
- Avoid contact with local animals.
- Avoid purchasing food from street vendors.
Mosquito bites and the concern over malaria are not great in the Arusha and Mt. Kilimanjaro area. Malaria is a bigger concern as you make your way towards the coast and more humid areas.
We still do recommend that Malaria medication be taken during your stay in East Africa as a precaution. See your doctor for the preventive medication that is right for you.
Use of insect repellent in altitudes below 9,000 feet containing DEET can also be effective.
Wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants can also help.
To help you acclimatize to the altitude, all our treks begin with 2 days in Arusha at 4,593 feet (1,400 meters).
During the climb, the Head Guide will monitor your blood oxygen level and heart rate twice a day, to ensure you are doing well. It is normal that your blood oxygen level may drop during the climb and your heart rate increase.
Most climbers will experience a mild form of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) at one point or another. Common symptoms of AMS are: headaches, upset stomach, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, and general malaise. Most of these symptoms can be reduced by taking medication and drinking 3-4 liters of water a day.
Diamox is a drug commonly used against AMS. Consult your doctor before using Diamox.
Be sure to communicate any symptoms to our Head Guide. In some cases, a return to a lower altitude will reduce or eliminate pronounced symptoms. In severe case, you may be placed in our Portable Altitude Chamber (PAC or GAMOW Hyperbaric Chamber) and then evacuated to a lower elevation.
Mt. Kilimanjaro is known as a non-technical mountain. No special climbing equipment or skill is required to successfully climb to the summit. You do however have to be in fair shape and general good health.
We strongly recommend that you do get a Complete Physical Exam by your doctor and let him know that you are planning on climbing the mountain.
Individuals with heart issues should NOT attempt to climb to Mt. Kilimanjaro.
It is a good idea to start an exercise regiment 6 months prior to climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, if you don’t normally exercise. This regiment would include:
- Daily Walking, if possible with your hiking boots (if not broken in) of at least 2 miles.
- Walking on routes with high and low elevation, will strengthen your calves and leg muscles.
- If you have a treadmill, set a variety of inclines to simulate gentle and steep slopes.