Frequently Asked Questions about Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

Wild Guanabana - Apr 20, 2021

When you show your interest in climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, you have a whole lot of questions. As we have received those questions over the years, we have decided to compile them all here to make sure your concerns are addressed right away. If you have more questions, we will be happy to answer them and add them to the list here.

Pre-booking Questions:

Do I need a visa to enter Tanzania?

Yes, you need a visa as well as a passport that is valid for at least six more months and your returning flight ticket. You can simply obtain your visas upon arrival at the airport. The cost is $100 for US passport holders and $50 for others. 

Are the flight tickets included?

They are not, yet we can help you book your flights. For more information on inclusions and exclusions, please click on the tab Date and Prices.

What is the arrival airport in Tanzania?

The arrival airport is either Arusha or Kilimanjaro (JRO) airport. A Wild Guanabana representative will be waiting to pick you up from either airport. 

Will Wild Guanabana arrange PCR tests in Tanzania?

Yes, we will. More details are shared after booking. 

What are the required vaccines?

The only required vaccination is the Yellow Fever, for which you must provide a certificate. The others mentioned in the info pack are not obligatory yet recommended. 

What’s the fitness level required for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro?

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro does not require previous experience. In fact, it is quite often the mountain that many choose to start with. The biggest challenge is not your level of fitness, it is the possibility of altitude sickness. Having said that, this can largely be avoided by adhering to specific guidelines we recommend like walking at a gentle pace, drinking plenty of water, good nutrition, and sleep. As we mentioned, your fitness level doesn’t affect your body’s ability to acclimatize; very fit people can experience difficulties, while people who have never hiked before feel fine, and the difference is following the guidelines above. Ultimately, you need to help your body adjust to the altitude through proper rest, hydration, and food. Hydration is essential. It’s a must to make sure you drink at least 3 liters of water every day as it helps with acclimatization.

What training plan do I need to follow?

We recommend that you follow our training guidelines before the trip so that you can be best prepared before the ascent. We share those with you once you are signed up for the trip.

Pre-climb Questions

Will I need to take medication to acclimatize?

You may take Diamox tablets, which is optional for altitude sickness. If you choose to take it, please only take one to two 250mg tablets a day, with enough time between. If you take one tablet, split it in half and take a half in the morning and the other before going to bed. You can always talk to us if you have any concerns.

What is the average number of hiking hours per day?

The average hiking hours per day is 4-6 but of course, this depends on the pace of the group. Going at a steady pace is key to keep your energy level at its maximum. It is not a race and no one will rush you to get to the next camp in record time. You will hear “Pole, Pole” a lot on the mountain which means “slowly, slowly” and this is exactly how you should be walking.

Is it hard to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro?

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is more of a hike than a climb. The route to the summit consists of well-trodden trails on low angle slopes, which can be quite challenging due to the daily gain in altitude, but other than that, it is not an impossible goal at all. 

When can I climb Mt. Kilimanjaro? 

You can climb it all year round with the exception of 6-8 rainy weeks a year. Those weeks are typically around April till mid-May and a couple of weeks in November, when it’s the short rain season. However, given climate change, the weather has been changing in Tanzania. If you want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro any time of the year, just shoot us a message and we'll advise you.

What is the weather like on the mountain?

You will experience all kinds of weather as you go higher in altitude, so make sure you pack according to the packing list.  

What’s the accommodation like on the mountain?

You will reside in high-end Mountain Hardwear tents on days 2 through 7. The tents will be set up by the camp crew and you will also have a thick foam pad to sleep comfortably in your sleeping bag. On the day before the trek (arrival day) and the day after the trek (departure day), we stay in Ilboru Safari Lodge, which has lovely rooms and great facilities. After a week on the mountain, you will definitely want to have a nice, hot shower, treat yourself to dessert, and perhaps throw a small celebration party!

Can I rent some of the gear?

Yes, of course! The complete gear list is included in the info pack followed by the items that you can rent either from our office in Mohandeseen, Cairo or over there in Tanzania.  

Can I stay connected?

In most places, you'll be able to get cellular reception to make calls or check your email with 3G or 4G, but the connection is patchy and intermittent. You will still be able to send photos and WhatsApp your loved ones, but not all the time every day.  

In the end, going on a trip to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro is a chance to disconnect and take a digital detox for a few days. 

Can I charge my phone, camera, etc?

Unfortunately, no. You can, however, depend on high Ah power banks. Try to keep your phone on airplane mode most of the time and battery saving mode and it will last you the entire trip with two full charges. 

Are there going to be private bathrooms?

Yes! Those are portable, private tents. Depending on the size of the group, the bathroom tents could be gendered.

What is the food like?

The food may be the best thing you will experience on this trip, second only to the climb. It is so good, filling, and nutritious! You will always have three meals a day that cater to all dietary requirements, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets. You’ll have a hearty breakfast, a packed lunch for you to eat while climbing, and a 3-course dinner that will surely help with muscle recovery.  

Will the water be filtered?

It is filtered water that is first boiled and then passed through a ceramic filter and then cooled. It will not be bottled water.

What if I need medical assistance during the climb?

We deeply care about your safety and that is why our guides are the best in class. All guides and assistant guides are WFR (Wilderness First Respondent) certified. The porters are all first-aid trained. Guides, assistant guides, and porters get a training refreshment every off-season.