Mount Kilimanjaro

Tanzania Travel Guide

Tanzania

  • Do US citizens need a visa for Tanzania?

    Having a visa is a requirement for US citizens visiting Tanzania. You will have to apply for a visa before you plan on visiting Tanzania, or apply for a tourist visa upon arrival.
  • Can you get a Tanzania visa on arrival?

    You can receive a Tanzania visa upon arrival from the entry port at the Tanzanian airport. While that is still a possibility, it is highly recommended to apply for a visa online ahead of time, either online or at a Tanzanian embassy.
  • How long does a Tanzania visa take?

    It takes ten days for a Tanzania visa application to be processed. It will also take some extra time to receive approval for their visa upon making payments before you can start traveling to Tanzania.
  • Can i get an e-visa for Tanzania?

    It is possible to get an E visa for Tanzania if you are required to have a visa. In order to receive an E visa, you will be required to fill out an online form, make the proper payment(s), and submit your application online. You will have to wait at least ten days for your application to be processed and approved.
  • What shots do i need for Tanzania?

    Strongly Advised Vaccinations

    - Hepatitis A: This can be spread via contaminated food and water.
    - Tetanus: Tetanus is often present in the soil, and can contaminate open wounds easily. Tetanus vaccine should be used every ten years if travelling.
    - Typhoid: Typhoid can also be spread via contaminated food and water, and poor hygiene.
    - Diphtheria: This potentially fatal disease is spread mainly via spit, but occasionally through contact with cuts on the skin.
    - Yellow Fever: This can be contracted by being bitten by a contaminated mosquito. This vaccination is not essential if you are arriving directly in Tanzania. You do need it though if you plan to arrive through any country that is subject to yellow fever. Simply stopping over at an airport in an affected country should not require vaccination, but leaving the airport even briefly would make it necessary

    Sometimes Advised Vaccinations

    - Hepatitis B: This illness is spread via contact with blood or bodily fluids. It is many, many times more virulent than HIV/AIDS. Some 8% of the population of Tanzania are believed to carry the virus.
    - Rabies: Rabies is spread via contact between the saliva of any infected animal and an open wound (including bites, but also licking existing wounds). Rabies is fatal unless treated, and treatment of an unvaccinated rabies patient can be very difficult in many parts of Tanzania.
    - Tuberculosis: TB is generally contracted through inhaling airborne sputum.
    - Cholera: Cholera is spread via contaminated food and water, and poor hygiene.
    - Measles: This disease is spread through inhaling sputum.
  • Do you need a yellow fever vaccination for Tanzania?

    Those arriving in Tanzania from countries with a high risk of yellow fever are required to get a vaccination before arrival to Tanzania. This is to prevent an outbreak and a national emergency.
  • Is Ebola in Tanzania?

    Officially, Tanzania has reported no cases of Ebola or suspected Ebola but the WHO has been investigating various claims that the country has concealed potential Ebola cases.
  • Is Zika virus in Tanzania?

    The Zika virus has been found in Tanzania. Of 533 people tested, 15.6% were positive with the virus.

Climbing Kilimanjaro

  • Do you need malaria tablets for Kilimanjaro?

    You will not run into malaria while on the mountain. However, you will be in territory that houses malaria before and after your hike so you should be taking malaria tablets while you’re hiking as a precaution.
  • How difficult is it to climb Kilimanjaro?

    We have a fantastic record of getting climbers to the summit successfully and safely. If you are a regular weekend walker with lots of determination we can get you to the top. That does not mean that it is not an incredibly tough challenge. The difficulties arise from a number of different factors. First you are walking every day for at least 6 days for an average of 7-8 hours a day. There is then one very long day of up to 18 hours. You need to be really determined to handle this.
  • How many days does it take to climb Kilimanjaro?

    The shortest route Kandoo runs as standard is 6 days. It is possible to climb over 5 days but the shorter climbs have a much lower success rate. Remember it is a long way to travel and a lot of money to spend to not reach the summit. We recommend that you take at least 7 days to give yourself a really good chance of reaching the summit safely. 
  • How fit do you need to be to climb Kilimanjaro?

    We have helped lots of novice trekkers summit Kilimanjaro safely. You need to be fit enough for "weekend walking" and able to do 5-7 hours on your feet for two days back to back. Besides being fit though you will need to look after yourself all the way and have bucket loads of determination. The best training to climb Kilimanjaro you can do is to get your boots on and cover as many miles as your can before your climb. If you follow this advice, most days will be pretty comfortable for you. However fit you are though, summit night is a very tough experience. You will be climbing for 8-10 hours and descending for 6 - 8 hours.
  • What is the success rate climbing Kilimanjaro?

    The success rate varies hugely by route and by operator. Success rates reported by the Park vary from below 50% on the shorter routes like Marangu up to 85-90% on 7 day and longer climbs. Our success rate on climbs of 7 days or longer is 97%. We get such a high success rate with great preparation, great guides and carefully managed itineraries. And of course clients with grit!
  • What training do you recommend to prepare for my climb?

    We always answer this question by saying you should try and get out and do as much hill-walking as you can. Nothing prepares your body better for climbing Kilimanjaro than some weekends doing long walks of 7-8 hours.
  • What are the toilets like on Kilimanjaro?

    The public toilets on Kilimanjaro are horrible. Fortunately, we now provide private toilets on Kilimanjaro as standard on all climbs. This is a chemical toilet in a small tent. This is kept clean and hygienic by our crew. Lots better than the long drop public loos.
  • How well do you treat your crew? Are you a member of KPAP?

    We treat all our crew and guides really well. This is recognised by KPAP ( the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Program). 
    KPAP do great work to ensure porters are treated fairly on the mountain. This is not just about wages, but food, clothing, tents and tipping policy. Sadly far too few Kilimanjaro operators are members of KPAP. We have been a leading member of KPAP since we started on Kilimanjaro. There is a KPAP porter on all our climbs to ensure that our treatment of porters always is up to high standards.
  • What is altitude sickness?

    Altitude sickness (often just called AMS) is caused by climbing to altitudes where the air pressure is much reduced. By the time you have reached the summit of Kilimanjaro air pressure is down to 49% of what it is at sea level. The first effect of this is that every lungful of air contains only half the amount of oxygen it would normally have. This make any physical exertion very hard work. Slowly, slowly is the key. The second and most dangerous effects of low pressures are on the parts of the body where fluid and air meet. The two most important are in the skull and lungs. With low air pressure fluid gets into the lungs and the gap between the brain and the skull. In the lungs this causes something like pneumonia, where your lungs fill with water. In the brain it causes bad headaches. Both of these can become so bad they will kill you. The good news is that we plan our ascents very carefully to minimise the risk of you getting AMS and we have well tested emergency plans on how to prevent altitude sickness.
  • What kit will I need?

    A well-equipped weekend hiker will have most of the essential kit you need. You can find a full list of required clothing and equipment on your trip dossier.
  • What is the difference between an open group climb and a private climb?

    Private climbs to climb Kilimanjaro are your own personal tailor-made adventure. They give you total flexibility and the highest chance of success. Just choose your date, route and any of our tailor-made options. Perfect for a group of friends or a charity group. Or perhaps for a couple looking to celebrate a special birthday or anniversary. Upgrades to private climbs start from £100 per person depending on the size of the group.

    If you want the company of others while you climb Kilimanjaro then an open group is perfect for you. Our group climbs run every week during the main climbing season from June - October and December - March. They are limited to a maximum of 12 climbers to make sure you get the best chance of summit success. Particularly popular are our open group full moon climbs which run every month.

  • What is the difference between the Kilimanjaro routes?

    The differences between the routes can be looked at in different ways. First and most critical is how many days they take.
  • What will the food be like?

    The food our cooks prepare on Kilimanjaro is amazing. What they can create on a mountain is beyond belief and everybody raves about our food. This is really important as keeping yourself hydrated and ensuring you eat well is one of the most important factors in success. If you have special dietary requirements or are a vegetarian then just let us know when you book so that we can be sure to have a suitable menu planned.
  • What are your tents like?

    We use two types of tent on Mt Kilimanjaro. For sleeping we use top of the range Mountain Hardwear Trango 3 man tents. These are the same tents used by most expedition teams on Everest. They are very strong, have lots of space and are warm. Our mess tents are made for us by a supplier in Nepal who makes them for Himalayan expeditions. Good head-height, warm and extremely tough. Along with comfy camp chairs they make for a relaxing meal time.
  • What tips do you recommend?

    We are leading members of KPAP, the Kilimanjaro Porters protection group and comply fully with their recommendations about tips. Depending on the group size recommended tips are between $200-300 per person. These are simply recommendations: if for any reason you are not happy with the service provided you are not required to pay.
  • How will i wash during my climb?

    Every morning and evening you will be provided with a bowl of hot water for washing. As well as this we strongly recommend a good supply of baby wipes for cleaning hands during the day. Also when it gets very cold higher on the mountain you can get by with what we call a "pits and bits" wash for which a baby-wipe is perfect. Remember though that whatever you take up the mountain has to come down so you will need a waste bag to carry used wet wipes.
  • Is there an advantage to climbing Kilimanjaro on the full moon?

    This is really a matter of personal preferences. On a full moon there is lots more light and the route and path to the summit are much clearer. Some people prefer this, some prefer to get their head down and just keep plodding. Of course when there is a full moon there are almost no stars visible so if you want a great night sky give the full moon dates a miss.
  • Do you organise trips to climb kilimanjaro for charity?

    We arrange lots of climbing Kilimanjaro for charity. We do not however organise climbs where the cost of the trip is funded by donations as we only believe in self-funded charity challenges.
  • What do you do to support the local community?

    As one of the very few non-Tanzanian companies that actually operate its own climbs we are closely involved in many aspects of supporting the local community. This extends from promoting porter welfare, supporting a local children's charity to being active members of the Leave No Trace and Travellers Against Plastic organisations. Our own charity, the Kandoo Foundation has also funded a number of projects in Tanzania to benefit the community.
  • Can i climb without porters and guides?

    In a word, NO. The National Park Authority do not allow anyone on the mountain without qualified guides and they mandate strict minimum ratios of guides to clients which roughly work out as 1 guide for every 3 people. Porters are actually optional but unless you are super, super-fit and happy to alpine camp for 7 days living on dried food don't begin to think about it. We provide 3 porters per client to carry everything you need to have a comfortable enjoyable climb.
  • What vaccinations will I need?

    You will need to have a number of up to date vaccinations to visit Tanzania. You should always visit your GP and check exactly what you require. Also please note you will need to take an anti-malarial drug. Although there are no mosquitoes on the mountain itself, there is malaria in Moshi.
  • What happens if I need to descend?

    As a condition of our public liability insurance we run a fully integrated Safety Management System. This includes detailed procedures for emergency descent. Depending where you are on the mountain this may involve being carried by porters, being transported on a mobile stretcher, using a 4x4 or helicopter.

  • What travel insurance do you recommend?

    There a number of specialists who provide Kilimanjaro travel insurance. We particularly like Dogtag and World Nomad. Whoever you arrange insurance with, you must be sure it covers you to an altitude of 6000m.
  • Are there any age restrictions on climbers?

    Kilimanjaro Park Authority do not allow any climbers on the mountain younger than 12 years of age. There is no maximum - our oldest client who summited was 75. You should be aware though that we do not allow children younger than 16 to join an open group. This is primarily because we feel that for children under 16 we need to provide the more personalised care that is only available on a private trip. Also, we have sometimes had negative feedback from adults about having children on a climb with them.
  • What is the best way to get to Kilimanjaro?

    Kilimanjaro has its own international airport (JRO) which is about an hour's drive from the mountain itself. For flights to JRO there are an increasing number of good options. There are currently no direct flights available from countiries other than the Netherlands, the Middle East and Turkey. From Europe the best options are with KLM via Amsterdam or Turkish Airlines via Istanbul.
  • Where is mount Kilimanjaro?

    Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania and sits right on the Northern border with Kenya. The nearest airport is Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and the nearest town is Moshi.
  • Will i be able to get a mobile signal on Kilimanjaro?

    Yes most of the time but don't plan on 4G. And don't be surprised that when you drop into a valley there will be deadspots.
  • Which famous celebrities have climbed Kilimanjaro?

    One of the most publicised celebrity climbs of Kilimanjaro came in 2009 when a team of 9 celebrities attempted to conquer the roof of Africa for Comic Relief. The celebrities climbing were Alesha Dixon, Gary Barlow, Ben Shepard, Denise Van Outen, Cheryl Cole, Chris Moyles, Fearne Cotton, Kimberley Walsh and Ronan Keating. They took the 8 day Lemosho route and, amazingly, every single one of them summited! However, it was reported that nearly every climber suffered some form of altitude sickness along the way. The aim of the climb was to raise awareness and money for Malaria which is a huge killer in Tanzania. The team raised just shy of a million pounds.


Going on safari in Tanzania

  • What is the best safari in Tanzania?

    Among the three safari circuits in Tanzania, the Northern circuit has one of the best safaris. The Northern circuit is where the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater are located. If you plan to go during the right time of the year, you will be able to witness the annual wildebeest migration.
  • How much does a safari in Tanzania cost? 

    There are a lot of features that factor into the cost of a safari in Tanzania, such as lodging and varying group rates. A mid-range budget lodge for a Tanzanian safari would cost somewhere around $320 per person per day, while a more private and luxurious lodge with extra features and accommodations would cost around $350-$400 per person per day.
  • Is it safe to safari in Tanzania? 

    Organized safaris in Tanzania are absolutely safe; in fact, most Tanzanian safaris occur without any reported issues. Overall, Tanzania is a safe country to visit and can provide you and your family with an amazing safari experience.
  • Where can you go on safari in Tanzania? 

    There are plenty of amazing safaris located within Tanzania. The Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater, Arusha, Zanzibar and Tanzania Islands, and the Ruaha National Park are among some of the best locations in Tanzania to go on a safari. 
  • What is the best time of year to go on safari in Tanzania? 

    Late June to October, otherwise known as the Dry season in Tanzania where wildlife viewing is at an all-time high, is the best time of year to go on a Tanzanian safari. Other times would be late January to March when you can witness the wildebeest migration, and June to July when the national parks dry out and large numbers of animals congregate around the watering holes.