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+254 745 961032 info@privateexplorers.com

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Trekking Preparations

Hiking to Mount Kilimanjaro is adventure of a lifetime, especially since everyone, from seasoned trekkers to first- time enthusiasts can scale the snowy peak. Although no previous climbing experience is necessary, it’s important to prepare yourself as much as possible, to help you achieve this amazing accomplishment.

Equipment

The communal items are supplied like tents and cooking utensils however you will need to bring all personal items, clothing, sleeping bags and sleeping mats. Upon inquiring with us, you will be given a full pre-climb information kit, which includes a hiring price list. Many of these items are expensive to buy from home therefore we offer an inexpensive hiring service in Moshi.

The day before your climb, we will give you a climb briefing, equipment check and help you hire anything additional you need.

Physical

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a physical undertaking, so you should prepare yourself accordingly. Being in good shape is important in many respects. Obviously, strong legs make it easier to walk uphill and downhill for sustained periods of time whereas aerobic fitness allows the body to function efficiently with less oxygen. A fit body is more likely to withstand the stress of consecutive days of hiking.

The best training for a Mt Kilimanjaro climb is walking – the same as you will be doing on the mountain. Walk as often as you can and as much as you can. Wear the boots you will be wearing on the climb, especially if they are new. If you’ve never done much hiking, start a few months before your departure date and start slowly. Try it with a backpack weighing 5-8 kilos, which will give you practice in carrying your daypack.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness is happening when the body is not adapting fast enough to the reduced level of oxygen in the air, at an increased height. There are many different symptoms of altitude sickness, but the most common are: headache, lightheadedness, nausea and sometimes a decreased appetite. These mild forms are not serious and may disappear quickly or certainly when you descend at the end of your climb.

The guides are trained and very experienced in accessing your symptoms and will ensure you are well looked after. If you do not feel well during the Kilimanjaro climb, or you find out that one of the other climbers is unwell, please always inform the guide(s). Often all that is needed is a little motivational talk or some medication. If it’s more serious, the guide will organize descend as this is the only way to treat severe altitude sickness.

There is no way to ensure you will not suffer from altitude sickness however there are 3 golden rules, which may assist.

  1. Walk slowly – this gives your body more time to acclimatize. Our guides are particularly slow paced, which is why we have such a high success rate of making it to the top.
  2. Drinks plenty of water, 3-4 litres per day.
  3. Give yourself the most amount of days possible on the mountain, at least 6 days, however 7, 8 or 9 is even better.

There is a medication called Diamox, which is an altitude prevention medication. It works by acidifying the blood, which stimulates breathing and therefore allowing a greater amount of oxygen to enter into the bloodstream. We have seen a higher success rate from clients who are taking this however you need to speak to your doctor before travelling because in most countries, this is a prescription medication and he/she will need to discuss whether it’s right for you.

 For many people, the most important thing once on the mountain, is a positive mental attitude, which can work wonders for you when fatigue and doubts arise. Be positive, relax and enjoy this incredible experience.

Choosing a company to climb with can be based on many factors such as cost, recommendation, safety and reputation, guides experience & training etc. Whilst all of these are important, there may be other hidden factors you have not thought about which are worth your consideration.

Porter Treatment

Fair treatment practices have become very important to the climbing public. The International Mountain Explorers Connection (IMEC) created the Partner for Responsible Travel Program, through their local NGO, Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP). This was to highlight and work alongside those climbing companies in compliance with Proper Porter Treatment Guidelines.

We are very proud to be a member of these organizations and we have voluntarily agreed to be scrutinized thoroughly on all of our climbs, to ensure our porters are being treated properly.

The Partner for Responsible Travel program, is a select group of companies who have proven to provide fantastic treatment to their guides, cooks and porters. Unfortunately, porters on Kilimanjaro are often not treated and looked after well and we are working with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project to bring awareness about this, which starts by giving a good example.

How do we do this?

  • We pay very good salaries.
  • We provide 3 meals per day which is a rarity for Kilimanjaro mountain crews.
  • We ensure they have adequate tents for the conditions.
  • We ensure they have adequate clothing to climb Mt Kilimanjaro.
  • We ensure each porter is carrying no more than 20 kilos.
  • We encourage clients to tip directly to each crew member and we provide envelopes at the climb briefing for this. If all tips are given to a guide to distribute, we have procedures for this, which ensures all tipping is distributed fairly.
  • We have medical insurance cover for the crew if anything happens to them on the mountain.

A comment we always get from clients is how happy our crew look on the mountain and by treating them well, we have the luxury of having the best guides, cooks & porters wanting to work for us.

Environmental

In order to protect environment please adopt the below practices so we can ensure the protection of this incredible mountain…

  • Do not litter anywhere on the mountain, including cigarette buts.
  • Dispose of toilet paper correctly at the campsites, not leaving it in bushes along the trail.
  • Do not to carry disposable plastic bottles.
  • Stay to the paths and do not walk through vegetation.
  • Make sure you are leaving each campsite in the same clean way you found it.