Frequently Asked Questions

Climbing Kilimanjaro is quite an undertaking and we understand that you will undoubtedly have many questions about what you can expect on the mountain, what to bring, and what is included in our service to you.  Listed below are some answers to frequently asked questions, but please feel free to contact us with any queries you have regarding your expedition with Kilimanjaro Climbing Company.

1.        Is this a mountain climb or a “trek”?

None of the advertised routes require specialized mountain climbing experience or equipment.  You will walk up Kilimanjaro not climb, but don’t underestimate the difficulty of the ascent. See our “Health” section on this page for further information.

2.       What kind of experience will our lead guide have?

Kilimanjaro Climbing Company uses only highly trained and licensed guides accredited by Kilimanjaro National Park Authority. Guides are trained to deal with medical emergencies on the mountain. All lead guides have Wilderness First Responder training.  Each climb will have a head guide and assistant guides, the exact number dependent on the size of the group.

3.       How many people will be on the trek?

We keep the group sizes to a maximum of eight to ten people.

4.       What fitness level is required?

A reasonable level of fitness is required to climb Kilimanjaro. But having said this, many people into their 70’s have successfully summited, leaving younger climbers in their tracks. A key factor is the number of days spent on the mountain, allowing adequate time for acclimatisation. We have prepared a few fitness guidelines to assist in your preparation. Click here to download our  Physical training guide .  Remember to consult a physician prior to starting any new exercise regimen.

5.       Can I get an itinerary for the trek?

You will receive a detailed itinerary when you book with us.  Selected itineraries are also available on our Routes web page as downloadable pdfs.

6.        Is there a minimum number of people on the trek?

No – we can cater for individual climbers and small groups. However the larger your group size, the less expensive it will be per climber.

7.       Is it guaranteed that I will reach the top?

No – there is no way that any operator can guarantee that you will summit. Even the fittest climbers may succumb to altitude sickness and thus be unable to safely continue the climb. Your safety is our first priority, however our climbs are planned and executed to maximize your chances of reaching the summit.

8.       If I fail to reach the summit, can I get a refund?

No. We cannot pay a refund to those who do not make it to the summit. This is consistent with the policies of all companies operating on Kilimanjaro.

9.       Is there a discount available for large group bookings?

Yes there are discounts for larger group sizes.  Larger groups enjoy cheaper price per person. Please contact us for a quotation for group bookings.

10.   What is included in the price?

Our all-inclusive prices include the following:

  • pick up at Kilimanjaro Airport and transfer to your hotel in Arusha
  • a night’s accommodation both before and after your climb
  • all climb costs, salaries, food, park entry fees, etc.
  • all transfers to the mountain and back to your Arusha hotel again
  • transfers back to Kilimanjaro Airport for your return flights.

11.   Can I stay in a hotel of my choice?

We offer a choice of several hotels covering a range of budgets. We can provide you with links to the websites for these hotels and lodges so you can opt for an accommodation that meets your needs and budget.

12.   Can I get a refund if I need to cancel my trip?

We require 25% deposit at the time of booking confirmation and 25% 90 days prior to climb departure date. The final balance is payable 30 days before departure and is non-refundable.

13.   What do I need to bring?

We provide you with a comprehensive list of what to bring. You may wish to hire bulky items such as sleeping bag, summit jacket, waterproofs, and walking sticks. We have good quality items for hire and this is a good option for many people who may be also visiting Zanzibar or booking safari as part of their trip and not wishing to carry bulky luggage. Please email us for prices.

14.   Do I need insurance to climb Kilimanjaro?

Yes, definitely. You are advised to take out full travel insurance including comprehensive emergency evacuation insurance. When you make your final payment you are requested to provide a copy of your insurance details so that in case of emergency, aerial evacuation can be organized by your head guide.

15.   How many days before the start of the climb should I arrive in Tanzania?

We advise you to spend at least one full day in Tanzania before beginning your trek.

16.   What if I have special dietary requirements?

You can tell us about any dietary requirements you may have. As long as you give us enough notice, we will be able to satisfy any dietary demands you may have.

17.   How much will I need to tip my Kilimanjaro crew (i.e. the porters and guides)?

Tipping is an essential part of the wages received by porters and guides. We recommend a tip of between 10-15% of the cost of your climb. That is approximately $200-300 per person depending on which route you take and how many days you spend on the mountain. Tips should be paid to the head guide who will distribute to the team according to the standard company tipping procedures which are understood by all employees and monitored to ensure fair and equitable distribution.

18.   What is Diamox – is it worth taking on Kilimanjaro?

Acetazolamide (traded under the brand name Diamox) is the first treatment doctors give to somebody suffering from mountain sickness. Many travellers take it during the trek up Kilimanjaro to prevent altitude sickness. Diamox works by acidifying the blood, which stimulates breathing, allowing a greater amount of oxygen to enter into the bloodstream.  Diamox is a sulphur derivative and can have serious side effects for those sensitive to sulphur.  We recommend you consult with your doctor before taking Diamox to discuss the risks and benefits.