Kilimanjaro FAQs

About Kilimanjaro

When is the best time of year to go?

Many trekkers avoid the rainy months of April and May, and to an extent November.A�Pathlighter Adventures hikes 365 days per year, and we are happy to accommodate your adventure preferences. Learn More

Are there age limits to climbing Kilimanjaro?

The official lower age limit set by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority for trekking to Uhuru Peak is 10 years old. We usually recommend a minimum age of 13 years.

Robert Wheeler is the oldest person to climb Mount Kilimanjaro at age 85 and 201 days, reaching the summit on October 2, 2014.

How much do the porters carry?

The national park regulations state that porters can carry 20kg and their personal items

Trip Preparation

What level of fitness is required?

While it is not necessary to undergo any specific training regimen, we do recommend achieving a reasonable degree of fitness.

Being in good shape will make your experience much more enjoyable. It will help your body handle the physical challengesA�of the climb, making acclimatization more likely.A�The best way the prepare your body is to hike.

More tips to prepare!

What kind of equipment do I need? Can I rent/hire equipment?

The absolute essentials are as follows.A�Bring the first two with you in your hand luggage, just in case!

  1. Broken inA�hiking boots
  2. Waterproof jackets and trousers
  3. Breathable fabric that can be worn in layers

Pathlighter Adventures does rentA�equipment on prior request, such as sleeping bags, down jacket and mittens.

We provide you with a full checklist to help you determine what you need for your big adventure! Learn more

Is there snow on Kilimanjaro?

Yes there is snow, along with amazing glaciers that persist on Kilimanjaro’s crater plateau year-round

What is the weather like? And how cold does the summit night get?

Kilimanjaro is near the equator, so the weather varies due to altitude and time of day rather than by season. The climate ranges from warm tropical forest in the beginning (70 to 80A�F / 21A�toA�27A�C) to ice and snow on the summit (-20 to 20A�F / -7 to -29A�C).

You will crossA�five main ecologicalA�zones, offering a wonderful variety in scenery and plant life: lower slopes, montane forest, heath and moorland, alpine desert and summit.

The final night hike to the summitA�can see temperaturesA�drop to -5A�F / -20A�C , but with wind chill may make it feel asA�low as -40A�F/-40A�C.

When should I arrive?

At the very least 1 day before your trip, preferably 2 nights before your trip to really relax and adjust to your new surroundingsA�prior to your adventure.

Do I need to bring a water filter?

No, you do not need to bring a water filter or purification tablets. We will take care of this for you.

Do I need travel insurance?

Yes, you must buy travel insurance. You must also make sure that your travel insurance includes high-altitude trekking (Kilimanjaro is 19,341 feet (5,895 meters)), as this is often an optional extra.

Climbing Kilimanjaro

What is your guide to client ratio?

We provide a very high guide to client ratio: 1 guide for every 2 clients

What do I carry? What do the porters carry?

You will carry a day sack (small backpack) around 15 – 30 litres, carrying your readily accessible items. This shouldA�fitA�your waterproofs, a fleece, gloves, sunglasses, sunscreen, sun hat and warm hat.

The rest of your gear is carried by porters in yourA�largerA�backpack. This bag should be around 65-90 litres, and will contain the rest of your clothes and equipment. It will only be accessible to you each morning and eveningA�at camp, and will not be accessible to you duringA�the day as you hike.

Are the guides trained in safety procedures?

Our guides have been trained in high altitude medical care and carry a first-aid medical kit on all hikes. Oxygen is also carried in the event of altitude sickness, though is only used as a last resort. The guides are trained to recognize altitude sickness early, before it becomes necessary to use the oxygen containers.

What is the food like?

We prepare hot fresh food for every meal, as well as water and hot beverages. We also cater to special dietary requirements.

How many people sleep in each tent?

Two people sleep in eachA�three-person tent

What are the bathrooms like?

We have private toilet tents set up at every camp. They are clean, sit down toilets with water and toilet paper.

How do I prevent altitude sickness?

Pole pole (Swahili for: slowlyA�slowly).

Allowing your body enough time to acclimateA�to high altitudeA�is the best way to prevent altitude sickness. Choosing experienced guides,A�spending more days on the trail, and selecting a favorable climbing route improves your summiting chance and makes the experience more enjoyable.

Preventative medicines (e.g. Diamox/Acetazolamide) and drinking plenty of water will also help.

Can I do acclimatisation trips?

Yes, we also hike Mt Meru (3-4 days), a great way to acclimate and prepare for Kilimanjaro.

We can help you arrange shorter hikes, such as Arusha National Park up to 10,000 feet (3000 meters) or village walks in Arusha.

What happens if I get sick / in an emergency?

Frequent and accurate communication with your guide and careful self-monitoring are the most important ways to ensure personal safety on the mountain.A�You must tell your guide immediately if you have any problems at all. Being honest is extremely important: early reporting of any problems can make all the difference.

If you do have any problems your experienced guides willA�monitor and make assessments to keep you within safe limits. They will make judgement calls as to how serious a given problem is and act accordingly. If there are challenges in acclimatisation, descent is often the safest solution. Even a small descent can be potentially life saving in serious mountain sickness.

Almost all altitude related illnesses tend to resolve themselves on descent and so you may simply be referred to a doctor for a check-up, and then head to a hotel. For more serious (and extremely rare) emergencies you may even be evacuated as far as Nairobi hospital.

How much should I tip?

Most climbers tip between 10 and 15% of their climb package. For most, this means between 200 and 300 dollars.A�Tipping is discretionary and is in no way compulsory.

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