All You Need to Know To Climb Kilimanjaro | Fair Voyage

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All You Need To Know To Climb Kilimanjaro

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About Fair Voyage
Business Model
Why should I book my Kilimanjaro climb with Fair Voyage?

Fair Voyage helps you find & CUSTOMIZE your best CONSCIOUS travel experience in Africa and developing regions. Through our direct relationships with LOCAL leaders in sustainability, we can offer you highest QUALITY at best prices. In addition, we INSURE your payments – all 100% free for you. Being INDEPENDENT , we only have your best interest at mind.

Sounds too good to be true? Here’s the catch: We’re passionately driven by a NON-PROFIT MISSION bigger than us – to promote SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL.

 

Best Independent Advice

We are 100% neutral and independent. Different to typical agencies, we work with all verified responsible tour operators. Different to other platforms, we do not accept listing or promotion fees. This means that we are the only agency or platform who can give you best independent advice and help you find & customize the best value-for-money offer for your unique requirements.

 

Reliable Expert Guidance

Starting with our founder's Kilimanjaro climb and book Kilimanjaro Uncovered, via our dedicated Kilimanjaro platform KiliGATE, to acting as board member of IMEC and providing technical support to the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) – we know Kilimanjaro better than any other platform or agency. More than just being experts, we exist because of Kilimanjaro – to promote fair porter treatment and create more transparency for the climbing public.

 

Curated Best Offers

We have gone to great lengths to compare the best Kilimanjaro offers and tour operators and offers for you, including onsite meetings in Tanzania with all KPAP approved outfitters and our work though KiliGATE. Based on objective price-value comparisons, we have already pre-selected the best offers, carefully vetted all tour inclusions, and made them easily comparable for you. We remain open to working with all KPAP Partner companies who can give you the best offer for your requirements.

 

Fully Customizable Climbs

All our Kilimanjaro offers are fully customizable to include any equipment, itinerary variation, pre/post climb accommodation, and more. We are fully available to advise you in person and tailor your perfect climb for you. Moreover, we can also help you combine your climb easily with a wildlife safari or other exhilarating experiences in the region for a truly unique and unforgettable adventure.

 

Verified Fair Porter Treatment

We only promote approved companies under IMEC's Partner for Responsible Travel Program. This means that all our climbs are monitored locally by KPAP to ensure minimum fair porter treatment practices.

As KPAP is the only independent organization that monitors Kilimanjaro climbs, this is the best and only way to ensure that you are booking an ethical climb.

 

Traveller Funds Insurance

Safely Insured Payments

We are insured by the Swiss Travel Security guarantee scheme for traveller deposits. This means that when you book and pay for your Tour with us, your funds are protected against bankruptcy and no-shows. In the unfortunate event that your Tour Operator would not deliver your Tour to you, you receive your full payments back & more – hassle-free. Please be careful if you consider booking directly with a local company as no such insurance scheme exists yet in many developing countries.

How does Fair Voyage ensure fair porter treatment practices?
What's the difference between tour operators and agencies?
Why should conscious travellers use international travel agencies at all?
Altitude Acclimatization & Sickness
Altitude Acclimatization
What are the 3 golden rules of altitude acclimatization?

The so-called 3 golden rules of altitude acclimatization will help you acclimatize naturally in order to reduce the discomforts and risks associated with altitude sickness. The golden rules are:

  1. Take your time: Choose a route that allows you to ascend slowly over multiple days, and walk slowly during the day.
  2. Stay hydrated: Drink at least 2-3 liters of water every day, or more if in combination with dehydrating substances such as diamox or caffeine.
  3. Walk high, sleep low: Sleep at a lower altitude at night than you've climbed during the day. Some routes offers such a beneficial altitude profile.
Altitude Mountain Sickness
Preparation
Symptoms
Treatment
Bookings & Payments
Bookings
What insurance do you recommend?

For your safety and protection, travel insurance is mandatory to participate in our trips. No insurance yet? We recommend World Nomads which offers comprehensive coverage at good prices. Apply for it online – it only takes 3 minutes:

What happens when I invite another traveller to join my trip?
Choosing Your Itinerary
Comfort & facilities
What facilities are available at the Marangu Huts?

The Marangu Huts have communal dining halls and basic washrooms. The huts at a lower altitude have flushing toilets and running water. At higher elevations, long drop toilets and buckets of water are available.

Charging stations and heating are not available. This is similar to the campsites on all other routes on Kilimanjaro.

What is different, however, is that mineral water, soft drinks and chocolates are sold at camps on the Marangu Route.

Duration
Overview
Recommendation
Safety
Summit success
Deciding When To Go
Duration
How many days do I need for my entire trip to climb Kilimanjaro?

Your entire trip to Kilimanjaro would typically take at least 7 to 10 days. This includes the days you spend on the mountain (6 to 8 on average) plus an additional one or two nights in the region before and after your climb.

Most climbers, however, prefer to take advantage of their trip to East Africa and combine their climb with a wildlife safari, Zanzibar beach vacation, mountain gorilla trekking or other experiences in the region. If you have more time, we'd recommend you to plan two to three weeks for your entire trip to East Africa.

Weather
Deciding Whether To Go
Budget
Fair Voyage tipping guidelines for Kilimanjaro climbs

It is customary to tip your crew for their assistance and hard work during your climb. While tipping is not mandatory, we strongly advocate paying recommended tips to ensure fair total compensation for your crew, especially your porters, who rely on gratuities as a substantial component of their income. Learn more about fair porter treatment.

The total recommended tip depends on the length of your climb, group size, amount of camping and safety equipment included in your climb, and the base wages paid by your Tour Operator. For specific tipping guidelines for your Tour by your local Operator, please see the Tour Operator Information section on the Tour page. If missing or in doubt, please check with us.

In the absence of more specific guidelines by your Operator, we recommend that you budget an additional minimum cost for tipping of between $250-500 per climber. Click here to calculate tips depending on climb length and group size. Please also make sure you bring lots of smaller US dollar notes to make it easier to tip crew members individually.

How much does it cost to climb Kilimanjaro?
Why are Kilimanjaro tours so expensive?
Comfort & Facilities
Difficulty
Drinks & Meals
Duration
High Altitude
Organization
Safety
Destination Information
Facilities
What are the campsites on Kilimanjaro like?

All routes on Kilimanjaro use specifically designated campsites. Most campsites have a registration office and basic toilet facilities. They are safe, provide a good way to meet fellow climbers, and almost always have spectacular views. Your meals will be provided by your tour operator in a separate mess tent where you will be able to sit comfortably.

Apart from the Marangu Route, there are no shops on Kilimanjaro. Furthermore, there are no charging facilities, and there is no heating (except for luxurious offers that can be upgraded to include a mess tent heater).

Few Kilimanjaro campsites have running water, and there are no water sources near the base camps at high altitudes.

Where do I sleep on Mount Kilimanjaro?
Are there bathrooms and showers on Mount Kilimanjaro?
What are the public toilets on Mount Kilimanjaro like?
What facilities are available at the Marangu Huts?
Location
Overview
Weather
Fair Porter Treatment
Overview
What is the porter treatment situation on Mount Kilimanjaro?

There are more than 20,000 porters who work on Mount Kilimanjaro and most of them are not treated fairly. They risk their lives to carry heavy loads for tourists yet often do not even get their due minimum salary of less than US $10 per day. They sometimes only get one meal per day and have inappropriate gear. In extreme cases, porters have been found dead, left behind by their guides when they had accidents or fallen sick. Although KPAP and its Partner companies have been able to achieve significant improvements for their porters and the industry overall, the situation is still far from satisfactory for the majority of porters on Kilimanjaro.

Who are the Kilimanjaro porters?
Safety
Tipping
Wages
Weight
Fair Voyage Internal
Traveller System Guidelines - DO NOT CHANGE
Not insurance yet? Apply for World Nomads

No travel insurance yet?

For your safety and protection, travel insurance is mandatory to participate in our trips. We recommend World Nomads which offers comprehensive coverage at good prices. Apply for it online – it only takes 3 minutes:

Finding Your Best Offer
Accommodation
Is it worthwhile to have a walk-in tent and cot for my Kilimanjaro climb?

If you prefer more comfort, it may be worthwhile to upgrade with a walk-in tent and sleeping cot for your Kilimanjaro climb. Crawling in and out of standard sized tents multiple times a day can become quite tedious for some people. The space may also feel very confined with not much room to spread out your gear or get changed, especially when shared between two climbers. A larger tent will feel more spacious and give you more room to move. On the flip side, larger tents will also feel colder because they don't trap the heat as well.

Whether you feel more comfortable sleeping on a cot compared to standard foam sleeping mats used on the mountain is very individual. Cots can feel more comfortable to sleep on for some people, as they're softer and give the feeling of a familiar frame bed. For others, however, the relatively narrow width of cots may feel less comfortable compared to sleeping closer to the ground, where you can simply rest your arms or legs on the floor if you need more space.

Will I stay dry in my tent when it rains on Kilimanjaro?
How many people do I need to share my tent with on Kilimanjaro?
Can I book private accommodation on Mount Kilimanjaro?
Getting Started
Guides
Inclusions
Open Group Tours
Prices
Private Tours
Ratings & Reviews
Responsible Travel
Safety
Toilets & Sanitation
Why Book With Fair Voyage
Gear & Packing
Electronics
How can I charge my devices when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

There are no power outlets to charge your devices on Kilimanjaro. However, one way to charge your gadgets is to bring portable power stations that can last for hours. Power stations can usually charge more than one device at the same time. Another option is to use a solar charger that uses the energy from daylight to generate enough electricity to charge your devices.

Some high-end tour operators offer packages that include solar chargers. When booking a climb with Fair Voyage, we can also customize your offer to include a rental solar charger.

What is a battery pack or portable charger?
Should I bring a portable charger for Kilimanjaro?
What is a solar charger?
Should I bring a solar charger for Mount Kilimanjaro?
Gear & Packing List
Organization
Packing Your Bags
Sustainable Practices
Hiking Routes
Comparison
What is the difference between the Machame and Lemosho Routes?

The biggest difference between the Machame and Lemosho Routes is their length: Lemosho is about 8km (5miles) longer. Therefore, the Lemosho Route takes one more day to complete: While Machame can be completed in 6 or 7 days, Lemosho takes 7 or 8 days.

Another difference is the starting location: Machame starts in the south, not far from Moshi, while Lemosho starts in the west. This makes the Lemosho Route a longer drive on your first day if you arrive from Moshi, therefore also slightly more expensive.

As both routes join mid-way, they are otherwise identical and offer the same scenic highlights further up the mountain.

What is the difference between the Lemosho Route and Northern Circuit?
Which is the most authentic hiking route on Mt Kilimanjaro?
Which is the most dangerous hiking route on Mt Kilimanjaro?
Which is the shortest route to climb Kilimanjaro?
Which is the most difficult hiking route on Mount Kilimanjaro?
What is the difference between Northern Circuit and the Grand Traverse?
Which is the best hiking route on Mount Kilimanjaro?
Which is the easiest route on Kilimanjaro?
Which is the most popular route on Mount Kilimanjaro?
What is the safest hiking route on Mount Kilimanjaro?
Crater Camp
Grand Traverse
Lemosho Route
Machame Route
Marangu Route
Overview
Rongai Route
Shira Route
Umbwe Route
Western Breach Route
Preparing Your Trip
Fitness
How fit do I need to be to climb Kilimanjaro?

If you dislike working out at the gym, or you are not an athlete or mountaineer, then fear not. While you do have to be in reasonably good health to climb Kilimanjaro, the type of fitness you have is more important than working out. You could be walking for anywhere up to 10 kilometres for hours on end at high altitudes, so it is important that you are able to do this.

Altitude sickness can strike anyone randomly, regardless of their fitness level. The key to reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro is to give yourself more days to climb the mountain, so that you can acclimatise better.

How can I prepare physically for my Kilimanjaro climb?
What is the best cardio activity to prepare for my Kilimanjaro climb?
What are the best muscle exercises to prepare for my climb?
Getting started
Money & Insurance
Summit Success
Vaccinations & Medications
Responsible Travel
Be a responsible traveller
How to Climb Kilimanjaro Responsibly: #1 Fair Porter Treatment

Are you about to book your trip to climb Kilimanjaro and wonder what you should look out for in your tour operator? Or are you already about to embark on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, and wonder what you could do to climb responsibly?

There are a few things to watch out for. Fair porter treatment is one of them. In this article, we'll explain the porter treatment situation, what we do to improve it, and what you can do to make a difference.

Why It Matters

The predominant problem caused by Kilimanjaro tourism is the exploitation of porters. Porters are the ones who make Kilimanjaro tours possible for the vast majority of climbers, and who do all the heavy lifting. Sadly, our summit success often comes at the cost of the very people who help us reach our mountaintop.

For example, porters may be subject to the following practices:

  • Not receive their due minimum salary and client tips intended for them
  • Carry company weight in excess of the official 20kg park limit
  • Not even receive three (3) meals per day, despite their hard labour
  • Sleep in conditions that expose them to health and safety threats
  • Not be assisted with descent and medical treatment in case of accidents but simply left behind by their guides to die (unless a responsible tour operator finds them on time to assist)

There is only one organization that monitors Kilimanjaro porter treatment practices – the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP), a Tanzanian non-profit organization. Participation in their Partner for Responsible Travel Program is voluntary, but companies must adhere to minimum fair porter treatment standards. Only climbs contracted with a KPAP Partner company are verified ethical climbs.

How We Care

We partner with KPAP to only promote verified ethical climbs operated by approved Partner for Responsible Travel companies to you. Because there are differences even between the KPAP Partner companies (meeting minimum standards or going far beyond), we will also make the porter treatment score of each tour operator partner transparent to you (optional by the company).

Furthermore, as voluntary Board member of the International Mountain Explorers Connection (IMEC), KPAP's head organization, our Founder is dedicating personal time and resources to provide hands-on support and assistance.

How You Can Make a Difference

We believe that the travel community has the power to change the world through our collective actions. Each and every one of us can choose to travel consciously and make a difference.

By your actions, you can have a tangible impact for the life of your porter and contribute to upgrading industry standards overall. Here's what you can do – and avoid to do – to support fair porter treatment:

Please do:
Please don't:
  • Contract with a non-KPAP Partner company to save costs
  • Save on tips, even though you're satisfied with the service
  • Feel guilty for luxury climbs or hiring additional services such as a private toilet tent or personal porter. They provide more employment opportunities.

We hope that this article has helped you understand the porter treatment situation and how you can make a difference. If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave your comments below or contact us.

To climb Kilimanjaro responsibly, you may also want to read about Safety and Leave No Trace.

How to Climb Kilimanjaro Responsibly: #2 Safety
How to Climb Kilimanjaro Responsibly: #3 Leave No Trace
What's the etiquette when using nature for my toilet business?
Choosing A Responsible Operator
Fair Voyage Critiera