Climbing Kilimanjaro Tips & Safety
Its important when choosing to climb Kilimanjaro that you read the following climbing Kilimanjaro tips and safety advice for a successful climb.
Proper Gear for Climbing Kilimanjaro
Proper gear is absolutely essential to successfully and comfortably climbing Kilimanjaro. Since Kilimanjaro is non-technical, you only have to worry about bringing your personal clothing and toiletry items. Weather can change often on the mountain and varies greatly between various camps and depending upon the time of day and altitude. If you are climbing during the dry season, you must still bring a rain layer. If you are climbing during the summer, you must still bring your warmth layers. We highly suggest that you follow our gear checklist. If you arrive in Arusha without proper gear you will be out of luck – there are very few places to purchase gear in Arusha. Also, all of your gear must fit into a 30x12x12 duffel bag and weigh no more than 33lbs. Follow our gear list, and your stuff will fit and should easily be within the weight limit.
View our Kilimanjaro Hiking Gear Checklist for a full detail list.
Choosing Your Route for Climbing Kilimanjaro
There are 6 recognized routes you may choose when climbing Kilimanjaro. KiliBound can guide you up any route that you choose, but we recommend the following routes:
Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route (9 Day Tract)
One of the least-traveled routes, you will have the first few days of the climb almost entirely to yourself! This route is very beautiful, clean from litter, and not overcrowded. The Lemosho route was designed by the famous mountaineer, Scott Fisher, in order to maximize acclimatization. From the trailhead, you reach the summit on day 7, and this route offers frequent ascents and descents which are very helpful to your acclimatization process. Also unique to this route, you get to camp at the crater just below the summit among the glaciers! This means that in addition to getting to see parts of the mountain and glaciers that others miss out on, your summit day is also shorter. Summit day starts at 5 or 6 am, usually resulting in a summit around noon, and arriving to camp at 2 pm – with plenty of daylight left to explore the glaciers! All other routes leave camp at midnight the evening before to summit at 6 am, then descend back down the mountain that same day. This route allows 2 days to descend.
Kilimanjaro Machame Route (7 Day Tract)
Similar to the Lemosho-Crater route, the Machame route starts in the forest and ascends through the heather, moorland, alpine desert, and arctic climate zones. When taking the Machame route, you skip camping at the crater, and awake at the Barafu campsite at 12am on the 6th day to reach the summit by sunrise. After summit, you descend back down to Barafu camp for lunch, and continue down to Mweka camp. The summit day trek can take anywhere from a total of 12 hours ‚Äì 18 hours, so we only recommend this route to trekkers who feel very confident in their physical abilities. The advantage to this trek is that it is shorter and less expensive, however it is more physically demanding.
Choosing Your Outfitter for Climbing Kilimanjaro
There are a number of outfitters on the mountain that you can choose from. Of course, we do hope that you choose Kilibound Adventures for climbing Kilimanjaro!
Most outfitters easily fit into one of two categories, budget outfitters and luxury outfitters. If you have done your research, you will notice that you can book a climb for as little as one thousand dollars to upwards of ten thousand dollars. Beware of outfitters that climb dirt cheap, as they are likely cutting corners that could bring harm to you or your porters.
The Tanzanian Park Authority (TPA) regulates how many licensed guides are needed per client on the mountain, sets weight limits on how much a porter can carry, and sets guidelines for payment. Unfortunately, in an effort to cut costs, some outfitters ignore these regulations. Be equally wary of operators that charge upwards of six to ten thousand dollars a climb. Many of the luxuries these companies offer (such as private toilets, shower tents, and cots) we also offer.
The only difference we can see between these high dollar outfitters and KiliBound Adventures, is that the porters who work for the high dollar outfitters wear matching outfits – seriously! KiliBound Adventures was created to be an ethically sound, affordable, luxury outfitter. Our goal is to offer 5 star service at 3 star prices.
Why Kiliboud Adventures for Climbing Kilimanjaro
Our Tanzanian partner and head guide has worked for just about every outfitter on the mountain. During the time spent planning the launch of KiliBound Adventures, we were horrified to hear stories of how porters and guides are treated. On the other hand, we were also happy to hear that there are still some outfitters who treat their staff fairly, follow TPA rules and regulations, and have a good reputation on the mountain.
At KiliBound Adventures, we strive to be a company that porters and guides want to work for. We follow rules and regulations to a tee and always plan ahead for emergencies by hiring additional porters. At times, our porters have gotten sick on the mountain or have had to abandon their normal duties to assist clients struggling with AMS. In these situations, we never put our staff in a position to need to carry more weight than is legal.
The TPA recommends that porters are paid a minimum wage. We pay our staff above and beyond what is expected, and offer incentives for outstanding performance along with rewards for continuing to climb with KiliBound Adventures. At our office, we keep a constant supply of good quality used gear donated by our friends, family, or picked up by others at yard sales. Good gear is difficult, if not impossible, to find in Arusha. Although our porters are paid well, proper gear is still expensive.
As soon as our box of gear is full, we mail it to KiliBound Adventures headquarters in Arusha, where it is distributed among our staff according to who needs it the most (mail your donations to 402 Zorayda Avenue, St. Augustine FL 32080, USA). Feel free to ask our staff any questions about how they are treated by KiliBound Adventures! And as you already know, we are Climbers For a Cause – each and every climb up the mountain raises money for local charities in your community and the communities surrounding Mt. Kilimanjaro.
KiliBound Adventures was created out of a deep love for Africa, a desire to make a difference, and our dream to quit our day jobs and make a living out of sharing Africa with you. We are not willing to sacrifice quality or ethics in the process. Therefore, we have developed a conservative business plan that allows us to continue to invest in the highest quality gear for our clients, pay our staff top rates, and give back to the community, while eventually allowing us to follow our personal dream. Our slow and steady business plan keeps your trip costs affordable while giving you peace of mind that nobody is being taken advantage of in the process. In fact, the world is becoming a better place with each climb!
KiliBound Adventures aims to provide a comfortable, quality experience to the everyday average Joe. Therefore, we offer such extras as a private toilet tent, hot showers at lower elevation camps where there are nearby water sources, personal porters, and additional camping gear to ensure a proper night’s rest. That being said, we also provide a “no-frills” version of the climb – some people just love to rough it! But for the rest of us, KiliBound puts the snows of Kilimanjaro in the hands of the average Joe by lowering rates of exertion during the climb to maximize proper acclimatization and get you to Uhuru Peak safely.
View more on Why Kilibound Adventures.
Ready to Climb Kilimanjaro?
Contact Kilibound Adventures by calling 904-325-9920 or by inquire online for questions or a quote on your next adventure to Kilimanjaro.