Questions and Answers about Kilimanjaro

Medical check up

Reaching Uhuru Peak requires great physical effort especially when getting to higher altitudes. Because trekking at high altitude can exacerbate any pre-existing medical conditions, a physical check-up is recommended for every client. While hikers with high altitude experience most likely are already aware of their physical condition, for those clients without prior hiking experience, a physical check-up is of utmost importance. Know thyself starts with a medical check-up. The minimum age of climbers on our treks is 16 years, and all clients 65 years or older are required to bring a written doctor’s approval.

Passports and visas

In order to enter Tanzania, most nationalities will need a passport and visa. Please note that your passport must be valid for 6 months AFTER the intended length of stay in Tanzania. Visas can be obtained at the airport upon arrival (the Tanzanian Government requires a crisp $50 bill newer than 2006), at the Tanzanian Embassy in your respective country prior to departure, or online: The price for a visa varies depending on citizenship, with the cost for US passports being $100, and most other passports $50. Detailed visa and passport requirements pertaining to individual countries can be found on the Tanzanian Embassy Website designated for the particular country.

Recommended vaccinations

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) recommends the following vaccinations: Malaria, Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Rabies. The Tanzanian Government requires Yellow Fever vaccination for travelers 1 year of age and older coming from - or who have been in airport transit for more than 12 hours within - a country at risk of Yellow Fever transmission and you may be asked to show your vaccination record. Consult with your doctor about any additional vaccinations or medications concerning your personal circumstances.

Medical / travel insurance

Medical travel insurance covering high altitude trekking is a mandatory requirement to participate in our climbs. Although not required, you may wish to investigate acquiring repatriation insurance (covers airlift to your home country) as well as travel insurance (covers theft). For more information about medical/travel insurance please click here.

Training and acclimatization

What makes Kilimanjaro so attractive is that anyone can do it. Although being in good shape is helpful, there is no training for the prevention of altitude sickness which can affect even the fittest of all. In fact, being fit may make it difficult for some trekkers to pace themselves while trekking on the mountain, subjecting them to altitude sickness since walking slowly is crucial for acclimatization. Nevertheless being in good shape will increase your chances of having a safe, enjoyable climb and a successful summit. Reaching Uhuru Peak may take anywhere from six to nine days of hiking. From as little as 4 hours per day to as many as 14 hours on summit day. Starting training which simulates the actual conditions encountered while hiking on the mountain at least three months prior is highly recommended. If outdoor training is not possible, a combination of walking, stair master and weight training for your legs and upper body is advisable. For a more detailed Kilimanjaro training plan click here

Altitude sickness

The higher the altitude the less oxygen in the atmosphere. Altitude sickness occurs when your body is getting less and less oxygen from the air at higher altitude. It manifests itself in symptoms ranging from mild to severe and even experts do not know how to determine who will be affected. Neither physical fitness, nor age, nor being male or female plays a role. Common mild symptoms while climbing Kilimanjaro include headaches, loss of appetite, nausea, feeling light-headed and sleeplessness. Severe altitude sickness can affect your lungs (pulmonary edema) and your brain (cerebral edema). Pulmonary edema, caused by fluid build- up in the lungs, is diagnosed by crackling noises from the chest and the coughing up of pink sputum. Cerebral edema includes symptoms such as confusion and loss of balance. Both conditions are life threatening unless an immediate descent is made. There are many different symptoms of altitude sickness and we suggest that everyone planning to climb Kilimanjaro familiarize themselves with the warning signs indicating the onset of altitude sickness. Diamox is an FDA approved prescription medication and used to prevent and treat altitude sickness and aids in acclimatization. The use of Diamox is a personal decision, however since Diamox itself can produce side effects potentially making it more difficult to differentiate actual altitude sickness from the side effects of Diamox. Please consult with your doctor to determine whether Diamox would be a good choice for you. While mild altitude sickness can be treated by ample fluid intake and over the counter pain killers, serious altitude sickness can only be treated by immediate descent. It is our recommendation to acclimatize naturally (without drugs) and to take longer to reach the summit. The longer you take to acclimatize the more likely you are to avoid the pitfalls of altitude sickness. That said, there is no way to guarantee success and no way to know in advance how your body will react. It's all just part of the adventure!

What to wear on Kilimanjaro

Imagine you are going from a tropical jungle, which is hot & humid to the North Pole, which is freezing cold and dry. Those are the extremes of Kilimanjaro. Our recommendation is to LAYER. For warm areas: shorts, t-shirt and sun hat. For the summit: Warm hat, thin inner gloves, down outter gloves, down coat, moisture wicking underlayers, as well as both thin and thick woolen socks with good waterproof hiking boots. We have a list of recommended gear which you can check out here.

Tanzanian plastic bag restrictions

As of June 1st 2019, travelers to Tanzania will no longer be allowed to bring plastic carrier bags into the country. Authorities will set up a check-in area at points of entry to confiscate plastic bags. The only exception are reusable ziploc bags used to carry personal items.


Tanzania uses 220/230V, 50Hz AC, and sockets take mostly Type G (3 prong large rectangular) and some Type C (2 prong narrow and round). It is advisable to bring an adaptor/converter combination.

What are the meals like on Kilimanjaro?

High altitude can cause the loss of appetite, which is a symptom of altitude sickness. However, it is imperative to continue eating to ensure you have the energy for hiking at altitude and for your summit bid. Keeping in mind your nutritional needs while on the mountain, our head chef has developed a meal plan which is tasty, healthy, easy to digest and includes the proper ratio of liquids, carbohydrates, protein and vitamins to keep your daily energy level up. Our chef will try to accommodate any dietary restrictions or preferences you may have. Please be sure to inform us at the time of booking. Below you will find the varieties of food we will be serving during your climb. Breakfast

  • Toast with honey, jam and butter
  • French Toast
  • Crepes
  • Sausage
  • Bacon
  • Eggs (scambled, fried, omelette)
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Fresh seasonal fruits - mango, banana, watermelon, oranges, pineapples
  • Hot cereal
  • Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, juice
  • Cold meat sandwiches
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Fresh seasonal fruits
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Muffins
  • French fries
  • Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, juice
  • Popcorn
  • Cookies
  • Peanuts
  • Tea, coffee, hot chocolate
  • Hot soups - pumpkin, carrot, vegetable
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Vegetables
  • Roasted, stewed or curried beef and chicken
  • Corned beef and cabbage
  • Fresh seasonal fruits
  • Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, juice

Hotels before and after your climb

The town of Moshi is a gateway to Kilimanjaro National Park. Due to its proximity to Mt. Kilimanjaro our clients stay in Moshi the night before and after the climb. Our partner hotels include backpackers, budget, mid-range and 4 Star accomodations. All cater to Kilimanjaro climbers and are safe, clean and comfortable, with friendly and helpful staff. All hotel accomodations are on a bed and breakfast basis. Each hotel has its own lunch and dinner menu. If you wish to eat outside, Moshi has many restaurants and cafe bars where you can grab a bite. Please note not all hotels and restaurants can accept credit card payments, therefore you may wish to use an ATM to obtain Tanzanian Shillings. Our mid-range and 4 Star lodges feature a swimming pool where you may like to relax before or after your climb.

How do I get to Tanzania?

The easiest way to reach Moshi is to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). Alternative ways of getting to Moshi are buses from Nairobi or Dar Es Salaam, taking anywhere from 7-9 hours. All of our climbs have an arrival and departure day build in, but please note, if your flight arrives at night, by the time you go through customs and take the 45 minute drive to your hotel it will be 9:30 pm. If your travel to Tanzania involves a long flight and major time change, we recommend arriving a day early to give your body time to adjust and recuperate. It also gives you a cushion in case your flight is cancelled or your luggage is delayed.

Transportation from/to Kilimanjaro International Airport

All of our itineraries include airport transfers from/to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) to your hotel in Moshi. Upon exiting the customs area at JRO a Local Moshi Adventures representative will be waiting in the arrivals area holding a sign with your name. Your local contact number is +255 782-985-005. This number is also available on WhatsApp. We recommend you enter this number into your phone contacts before you depart to Tanzania.

What kind of luggage should I bring?

When climbing Kilimanjaro you will need to bring at least 2 bags.

  • The first bag should be a small daypack which you will carry with you during the day. This daypack should weigh about 15 lbs and should accomodate your water, snacks, raingear, an extra layer of clothing as well as any personal items you may need during your hike. We recommend a backpack which includes a three liter hydration pack. If your hydration pack is new, we suggest thoroughly rinsing it many times prior to its first use as there is an inherent plastic taste that comes along with the hydration pack. If pre- rinsing does not work, you might consider a fruit flavored electrolyte powder.
  • Your second bag will be carried by a porter from campsite to campsite and you will not have access to this bag during the day. It will be waiting for you upon arrival at your campsite.The bag should not weigh more than 30 lbs and contains all of your other gear, toiletries and personal items you don't need during the day. This bag can be a duffelbag or a backpack, either way it does not need to be waterproof as the porter will place it inside a larger waterproof bag.
Personal items you don't need on the mountain can be safely stored in a designated storage room at your hotel.

Lost or delayed luggage

If your luggage is delayed or lost, we will do everything we can to keep your climb schedule on track. We recommend you wear your hiking boots and pack as much gear as possible in your carry on luggage. If it becomes clear that your luggage will not arrive on the evening before your climb, we will help you determine which gear needed for a successful climb is missing. In the morning, prior to the start of your climb, one of our representatives will take you to an outfitter where you can rent any missing gear. All out-of pocket costs, including transportation to the airport to collect your luggage, as well as to outfitters to rent your gear, will incur additional costs to be paid by you. Be sure to check your travel insurance policy includes coverage for lost luggage.

Can I use my drone on Kilimanjaro or on safari?

Without a license and special permit, drones are illigal to use in Tanzania. In order to get a permit, the drone operator needs to have a drone pilots license. After optaining a pilots license a special request needs to be send to the defense department for appoval. Due to the cost and length of time it takes to receive the approval and permit, we recommend you leave your drone at home. If you choose to bring and use your drone and get caught, you and your guide can end up in jail.

Toilets and showers on Kilimanjaro

Toilets: Because the public facilities at the campsites are very basic to say the least, we include a private toilet tent on all climbs. If nature calls during your hike between camps, please don't leave your indisposible wipes behind. Leave no trace is the motto on the mountain. Take a small bag with you to store your wipes and dispose of it when you get to your next camp. Showers: All water on the mountain is carried from the closest stream to the camp. Therefore there are no showers on the mountain. It is advisable to bring wet wipes to clean up. We also provide a bowl of warm water for you to wash your hands and face at every campsite. For more information about toilets and showers on Kilimanjaro please click here.

Keeping hydrated and filtering water

Staying hydrated is super important to avoid altitude sickness. Drinking 3 liters of water per day is recommended when climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Our cook will be providing boiled water every morning, evening and during mealtime for you to refill your water bottles/hydration packs. While there are many ways to purify and filter water. Boiling water is the safest. Any bacteria and other organisms in a batch of water are killed simply by bringing it to a boil. Below are two additional common methods of purification:

  • Chlorine tablets are intended to kill bacteria, but spoil the taste of the water, discouraging you from drinking it, which is counterproductive as you should be drinking a lot of water while on the mountain.
  • A water filter is intended to filter out dirt, however the water on your climb comes from clear water streams running off the glaciers of Kilimanjaro.

How big is the crew?

For 2 climbers our crew consists of: 2 guides (lead guide and assistance guide) 1 cook 10 porters

Can I climb Kilimanjaro without a guide?

Mount Kilimanjaro National Park is a protected park and the Kilimanjaro Parks department (KINAPA) requires licensed guides to lead groups, as well as trained porters to carry equipment. Leave no trace (LNT) is the motto on the mountain and without this rule Kilimanjaro would be littered with trash and covered in graffiti. Additonally there would be many more injuries and deaths. Without the guides and porters only very few elite groups would be able to summit Mount Kilimanjaro. Thus these rules were established to make Uhuru Peak accessible and safe for all, while protecting the beauty and environment of the mountain.

How do I tip on Kilimanjaro?

Tipping for good service after the climb is customary. In order to ensure all crew members receive their fair share, it is suggested to collect the tip from all climbers in your group and then have one climber say a word of thanks and distribute the tips to each crew member individually. For detailed information about Kilimajaro tipping guidelines please click here.

More Kilimanjaro Resources

Above the clouds Horombo Hut Kilimanjaro
Kettle bell training preparing for Kilimanjaro
Equipment needed to climb Kilimanjaro