Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Everything you need to know | Fair Voyage

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Everything you need to know

So many people dream of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and standing on the rooftop of Africa.

It is after all, one of the most beautiful places on earth and it is unique because it contains 5 different ecosystems, consisting of farmland, montane rainforest, alpine dessert, moorland and the glacial zones.

Kilimanjaro is also considered to be a sacred place by the local communities who live around it and the summit is believed to represent the seat of God.

Although you do not need any technical skills to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, it does require a great deal of grit, stamina, as well as mental and physical preparation.

At 5,895 metres, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest freestanding mountain in the world. It also forms part of the Seven Summits, which are comprised of the highest mountains on each of the 7 continents.

Uhuru Peak is the highest point of the mountain and it offers some of the most breathtaking, glacial views you’re ever likely to see. It also offers the most profound sense of satisfaction and achievement when you make those final steps towards the summit.

Of the 60,000 who attempt to reach Uhuru Peak every year, just 60% on average, manage to achieve their goal.

There are a number of reasons for this, and the main reason is that the high altitude makes it difficult to reach the top. This is why preparation is so important.

The good news is that Kilimanjaro is accessible to all and anyone can potentially climb the mountain if they are in good health and have made the right preparations beforehand.

With that in mind, we have put together a complete checklist of everything you need to know before climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. You can also find further information on our Climb Kilimanjaro Experience page. Read on to find out more about how you can conquer the challenge of a lifetime!

How to organize a climb:

, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Everything you need to know

When organising a Kilimanjaro climb, your tour operator will do most of the work for you locally. However, you'll still need to decide what kind of climbing experience you prefer, make travel arrangements and organize your gear.

Start by deciding your personal preferences: When and how long? Which route? What level of quality & safety standards? Do you prefer a private tour or to join a group? Browse through our content to find out for yourself, or book a free personal consultation with us.

Once you know what you want, it's important to find a reputable and reliable tour operator who consistently receives high ratings from past climbers. Of course, you will also want to get your best value-for-money quotation for everything that you'd like included in your package. Search climb offers online, or request your custom quote for a climb quote from us.

Once you've booked your climb, you will also need to organize your flight, insurance, vaccinations and health checks, etc, so make sure you start planning well in advance. You will also need to organize your gear, though most items you need can also be rented locally when booking with a high-quality company.

Finding a suitable tour operator

, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Everything you need to know

One of your most important tasks is to find the most suitable tour operator for your requirements.

The best place to start is the current partners of the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) listed by the International Mountain Explorers Connection (IMEC). Porters often face exploitation and poor working conditions, and KPAP is the only independent organization that monitors the treatment of porters.

We believe responsible companies who treat your porters fairly are also more likely to offer you higher quality standards. Porters who are treated fairly by their companies are also more likely to have your safety and your best interests in mind.

You rely on your porters for your water and food to be treated properly and in the worst case, you might have to rely on them for a safe descent. Will your porters be able to do a good job if they are hungry, cold and get paid significantly less than their colleagues camping right next to your group? While there is no guarantee, we believe that booking your climb with a responsible tour operator who treats your porters fairly will be the safer choice for you.

Read more about this issue here.

When selecting the best tour operator to climb Kilimanjaro, you should consider the following criteria:

1) Experience and composition of your mountain crew, especially your guide(s);

2) Quality of equipment – tents and rental sleeping bags, usage practices

3) Nutrition and variety of food;

4) Group sizes, notably the ratio of hikers versus guides;

5) Specific itinerary (the longer your itinerary, the better to acclimatize and maximize your summit success chance)

How much does it cost to climb Kilimanjaro?

, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Everything you need to knowAnother major consideration when you are booking your climb to Kilimanjaro is the cost.

A typical Kilimanjaro climbing package costs anywhere from about $1,500 USD on a short 5-day low budget climb in a group, to $5,000 USD or more on luxurious climbs with high-end services and equipment.

For a reasonable mid-range offer to join a group climb, you’d be looking at around US $2,000 to $3,500.

In addition to your tour price, you will have significant additional costs for the tipping of your mountain crew, flights, medical costs, insurance, gear rentals or purchases, and more. Altogether, your entire trip will easily cost US $3,000 even on a low budget tour, and usually around US $5,000 and more for mid-range travellers.

Things to consider when comparing prices on a Kilimanjaro tour:

Budget tour companies that offer very low prices usually do so either illegally or at the expense of the porters who help to carry your luggage and supplies up the mountain. Some of these companies offer cheap tours because they do not pay their porters fair wages, nor do they give them adequate equipment to prepare for a climb on the mountain. This means that tourists may be pressured into giving bigger tips than they ordinarily would to make up for the shortfall.

Read more about why it is important to book with a responsible operator that treats their porters fairly here:

For a 6-day climb, the mandatory Kilimanjaro National Park fees alone amount to over US $800 per person. So when you add up all the costs incurred by a tour operator (including paying fair salaries to the mountain crew, park fees, equipment, food, transfers, etc), there is in fact only a small margin left for the tour operator, which is why responsible tour operators charge more for their prices.

To get an idea of the costs you will pay for your tour, visit our Climb Kilimanjaro Experience page which lists the price of our most popular tours. You can also customize your tour information to get a more accurate idea of the costs.

Tipping porters on Kilimanjaro

, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Everything you need to know

When budgeting for the cost of a Kilimanjaro climb, don’t forget to factor in the cost of tipping.

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 a 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.

Group tours vs Private tours

, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Everything you need to know

Before you plan your trip to Kilimanjaro, you will first need to decide which type of tour you want. If you have a smaller budget and you don’t have anyone to travel with, you may benefit from a group tour.

Group tours have their advantages and disadvantages. If you can find a Kilimanjaro group tour that runs on a date that is convenient for you, we would certainly recommend this option. This is because joining a group tour helps to keep costs down and allows you to meet other like-minded people. This aspect of a group tour cannot be understated. Many lasting friendships have been formed while climbing. Climbing Kilimanjaro is a very unique and challenging experience and the bonds you share with others who climb with you can be profound and life-changing.

There are many advantages of taking a private Kilimanjaro tour. The main advantage is that you can set your own schedule and it means that you have the full flexibility to go where you like. If there is something on the itinerary that you don’t like or you need to change the schedule for any reason, you have more freedom to do so. All the items included in the tour will be set according to your individual requirements. You can also take the tour at a time that suits you and climb the mountain at your own pace.

The main disadvantage associated with a private tour is that it works out to be more expensive for single people or couples. For single people it is a particularly expensive option as it means they will have to pay a single person supplement. On a private tour it is also unlikely that you will get the same group bonding experience that you would on a group tour. This can be a rather lonely experience if you are by yourself. However, you will still meet other hikers along the way and at campsites, so there is still some opportunity to socialise with others.

Preparations before your Kilimanjaro trip

, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Everything you need to know

Once you've booked your Kilimanjaro climb, if not sooner, it is important that you take these steps:

1. Take out travel insurance

Travel insurance is mandatory to participate in climbs booked via Fair Voyage (read more here). To protect your financial investment in case of cancellation due to illness or other unforeseen changes, it is best to take out your insurance (that should cover cancellations) as soon as you've booked your Tour. We recommend the travel insurance by World Nomads which has good coverage at affordable prices. You can easily apply for it online within few minutes (get it now).

2. Book your flight

To maximize your chances of finding a convenient & affordable flight, it's best to book your flight as soon as you've booked your climb. Kilimanjaro International Airport is conveniently located within 20-60 minutes drive of most hotels in Moshi and Arusha, which are both commonly used as a base to climb Kilimanjaro. It is best to arrive at least 2 nights before the start of your climb and to depart a day after you finish your climb. If constrained by time, it is also possible – but not recommendable – to arrive on the evening prior to the start of your climb, and to depart on the evening of your last climbing day.

3. Make sure your passport will be valid for 6 months

Visas can be obtained upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport and must be paid for in cash (US$100 for US citizens and US$50 for most other nationals). Tanzania has also just launched an electronic visa service – apply for your visa here. To obtain a visa, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of your entry to Tanzania.

4. Get a health check & required vaccinations

It is important that you are in good physical health. If you are at increased risk due to age, level of fitness, or health condition, you must get a medical check and confirm with your doctor that strenuous exercise in high altitude is permissible for your condition. Please also check all required & recommended vaccinations and medications for travelling to Tanzania. As some vaccinations may need to be administered over longer periods of time to become effective, it is best to consult your medical expert well in advance of travelling to Tanzania.

5. Fill in the Traveller Details Form

Please fill in the Traveller Details Form for each person in your booking and send it back to us and your local Tour Operator as soon as possible prior to the start of your Tour. This allows your local Operator to prepare your Tour (including your arrival and departure arrangements; as well as any dietary, medical or other requirements they should be a aware of), and to ensure that we have all your details for emergencies.

6. Start to train

It is never too soon to start your training.

The best training you can do to prepare for your Kilimanjaro climb is hiking. Running, swimming and cycling are all very good exercise but what you will be doing on Kilimanjaro is hiking. You will need to condition your body to walk in ascension, over uneven terrain for long periods. If you live in an area with hiking trails and mountains, this is a great opportunity to practice. If you live in a city or somewhere flat, taking stairs instead of elevators and targeted muscle exercises are excellent practice.

7. Organize all required gear, documents, medications, etc.

Organizing your gear can be a very time-consuming process. It is best to review our recommended packing list and start thinking about how to organize any missing items as soon as you've booked your climb. Most gear can be rented locally, which is a cost-effective and environmentally friendlier alternative to buying new gear. Please check with us for a full list of items available locally.

8. Be aware of all risks, notably altitude sickness and malaria

It is important that you familiarize yourself with all risks involved with your tour and travels to Tanzania. The biggest risk for Kilimanjaro climbers is altitude sickness. Another risk when travelling to Tanzania is malaria. Please familiarize yourself thoroughly with all the risks involved so that you can take adequate precautions.

9. Carefully read your pre-climb briefing

Please carefully read our pre-climb briefing. Your local Tour Operator may also provide you with their own pre-climb briefing. Please carefully also read their documents. If in doubt about any information, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Essential things to pack before a trip to Kilimanjaro

, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Everything you need to know

Before you attempt to make it onto the rooftop of Africa, you must be prepared. However, knowing what to bring on your journey can be an overwhelming task. Unfortunately, many of the packing lists that are widely available are either incomplete or difficult to access.

To help you with your journey, we have put together a complete list of all the gear, accessories, toiletries, documents, medication you will need before climbing mount Kilimanjaro.

Equipment to take to Kilimanjaro

Most of the equipment you will need can be rented locally in Tanzania. This includes waterproof jackets, gaiters, campers beds, thermals and other items.

The majority of tour operators will also help you to rent equipment or provide this as part of their package.

Below is a list of clothing and equipment that will be available to rent locally.

You'll need a lot of gear to stay warm, dry and safe during your Kilimanjaro climb. Here's a complete checklist of everything you'll need, including required gear, additional items that we recommend as well as optional items that you may wish to bring. Click here to download our gear & packing list.

Kilimanjaro tour booking confirmationPrint or save electronically.
Flight ticket(s)Print or save electronically.
Additional hotel reservations (if any)Print or save electronically.
Airport transfer arrangements (if any)Carry emergency contact number in case of no-show.
Other tavel arrangements (if any, e.g. safari tour)Print or save electronically.
PassportMust be valid for 6 months.
Passport photocopyStore separately from passport and/or electronically.
Medical & travel insurance detailsPrint or save electronically.
Yellow fever vaccination certificate (if applicable)Required for immigration to Tanzania if travelling from/via a country with risk of yellow fever.
Medical and first aid
Anti-malarial medicationPlease consult your medical expert. Malaria is a potentially lethal risk that requires preventative measures.
Anti-diarrhea drugsPlease consult your medical expert. Travel diarrhea is a common ailment.
Anti-nausea drugs (recommended)Please consult your medical expert. Nausea is a common AMS symptom.
Pain killers (recommended)Please consult your medical expert. Headache is a common AMS symptom.
Cold remedies (recommended)It's easy to catch a cold on the mountain.
Sore throat lozenges (recommended)It's easy to develop a sore throat on the mountain.
Remineralization tablets (recommended)To prevent muscle cramps; flavored options may also enhance the taste of your drinking water.
Plasters for random cutsTo keep any wounds clean and prevent infections.
Plasters or Moleskin for blistersBlisters are a common pain for many Kilimanjaro climbers, especially if you are not used to your hiking boots.
DEET-containing insect repellent (optional)Not required on Kilimanjaro (no mosquitoes), but recommended before and after your climb in Tanzania.
Permethrin-containing insect spray (optional)For clothes & other materials because DEET may damage them. Not required on Kilimanjaro, but recommended before and after your climb.
Antihistamines (optional)If you are allergic to insect bites.
Prescription medication (if any)You may want to take photos of all medication leaflets and save electronically for ease of reference.
Anti-bacterial ointment (optional)Sometimes listed on other packing lists, but not required; can be sourced locally after your climb if required.
Water purification tablets (optional)Not required if you book your climb through Fair Voyage or with a good operator who provide adequately treated drinking water.
Gauze (optional)Sometimes listed on other packing lists, but not required. Good operators would have this in their first aid kid for emergencies.
Adhesive tape (optional)Sometimes listed on other packing lists, but not required. Good operators would have this in their first aid kid for emergencies.
Personal care and sanitation
Ear plugsHighly recommended to improve your sleeping quality as campsites will be noisy (snoring, talking).
Toilet paper1 roll is enough if your tour includes a private toilet tent and your operator provides paper.
Wet wipesUseful also as "storable" toilet paper (leave no trace).
Hand sanitizer
Toothbrush and small toothpaste
SunblockHigh risk of sunburn at increased altitudes.
Lip balm with sun protection
Thick cream (e.g. Vaseline)To protect your skin against dry air and wind.
One-time expanding towels (optional)Highly recommendable, especially in combination with an insulated bottle (keeping hot water overnight) for a warm wet towel in the morning.
Anti-odor/Refreshing spray (optional)Less for your body, more for your hair that may start to smell after few days.
Dry shampoo/baby powder (optional)Baby powder works wonders to remove grease and oder; commercial dry shampoo rarely is as effective for an entire week.
Other toiletries (optional)E.g. hairbrush, tweezers, nail file, nailbrush, small mirror, etc.
Paper tissues (optional)
Cloth tissue (recommended)Tie one to your glove for summit night so you can quickly wipe your nose without exposing your fingers to the cold.
Prescription glasses / contact lenses (if any)You may also need eye drops if you tend to have dry eyes.
Pee bottle for overnight (optional)
WOMEN ONLY: Panty liners (recommended)
WOMEN ONLY: Sanitary pads or tamponsThe strenuous physical activity and high altitude may interfere with your natural cycle.
WOMEN ONLY: FUD (optional)FUDs have been made known by some female bloggers. We do NOT see the need for them. Listed for completeness only.
Waterproof jacket – 1x
Insulated jacket – 1x
Mid-layer jackets – 2xFleece or merino.
Long-sleeved thermal shirts – 2-3xIf merino, 2 is enough (body-odor resistant).
Short-sleeved shirts – 2x
Waterproof pants – 1x
Hiking pants – 2-3x
Mid-layer fleece pants – 1x
Long thermal underwear pants – 2x
Underwear – 3x or moreIf merino, 3 is enough (body-odor resistant).
WOMEN ONLY: Sports bra – 2x or more
Hiking boots
Thick hiking socks – 2xYou could also use ski socks.
Thin hiking socks – 2x or moreWe recommend at least one pair for every 2 days.
Gaiters, waterproofRecommended for any season: Against dust when it's dry, against mud when it's wet.
Thermal insoles (recommended)Recommended for summit night.
Heating badges for toes (optional)Heating badges tend to be unreliable. We'd rather recommend that you invest in high-quality thermal socks and insoles.
Spare laces (optional)
Flip flops for camp (optional)
Sneakers/comfortable shoes for camp (optional)Sometimes recommended, though many climbers will find it's too cold and dusty. Handy for shower before/after.
Brimmed hat (sun protection)
Knit hat (warmth)
Balaclava / Windproof ski maskHighly recommended for summit night; make sure it is windproof which makes a big difference.
Bandana (optional)Very versatile. If you have, you may want to bring 2.
Cap (optional)You'll likely want to hide your hair after a few days. Note even your hats/caps will get dirty (dust!) so you may want to bring a spare head cover.
Warm gloves or mittensFor summit night. We recommend mittens which are more effective than finger-gloves to keep warm.
Mid-layer fleece gloves (recommended)Recommendable as third layer for summit night, as well as for other cold days and nights.
Glove linersRecommendable as third layer for summit night, as well as for other cool days and nights.
Heating badges for fingers (optional)Heating badges tend to be unreliable. We'd rather recommend to invest in high-quality gloves and mittens.
SunglassesMake sure they are 100% UV blocking and wrap-around for side protection.
Water bladder (camelbak, 2-3l)
Nalgene bottle 1l
Insulated bottle (Thermos) (recommended)Great for summit night, hot drink in tent & washing with expandable towels.
Zippable plastic bags / stuff sacks (recommended)Great for extra rain protection, and to keep your gear tidy in your duffel bag.
Small waste bagTo carry your waste during the day (incl. sanitary wet wipes).
Towel, light-weight (optional)
Bag lockTour operators cannot assume liability for any items lost or stolen. To prevent theft, it's best to keep your unattended bags securely locked.
Poncho (optional)You may not need it, but it's easy to carry as it does not weigh a lot.
Safety pins (optional)You may not need it, but it's easy to carry as it does not weigh a lot.
Sleeping bagIt's best to rent from a reliable operator, if you don't already have one rated for freezing temperatures.
Sleeping bag liner
Sleeping mattressOften provided by Operators as part of your package, but not always; please double-check.
Trekking polesCan also be rented locally.
Head lamp
Spare batteries for your head lampBatteries drain quickly in the cold. Make sure to keep your batteries in your sleeping bag overnight.
Duffel bag (or big backpack)Most operators state duffel bag, but will accept backpacks. Please check with your tour operator.
US dollarsFor tipping, visa, rentals, souvenirs and other purchases
Snacks / comfort food (optional)Nuts are great for high-caloric energy.
Phone (optional)You may want to add a travel package to save roaming costs, or obtain a local SIM card upon arrival.
Camera (optional)
Camera spare battery (optional)Note that batteries may break or drain quickly in cold temperatures.
Book(s)/E-reader (optional)
Small notebook/Pen and paper (optional)
Solar power charger (optional)
External battery pack (optional)Solar panels may be more reliable as batteries tend to drain quickly in cold temperatures.
Phone and camera charging cables (optional)
Power adapter (UK style) (optional)For your travels in Tanzania before/after your climb.

How difficult is it to climb Kilimanjaro?

, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Everything you need to know

In terms of the technical aspects of ascending a summit, Mount Kilimanjaro is not a difficult mountain to climb. Its slopes are mostly gentle, and its paths are well-trodden.

Trekkers can walk up to the summit without any expertise or mountaineering skills required. Tour operators organize climbs, while porters carry the gear, supplies and personal items.

Despite the relative ease on the technical side, many people find Mount Kilimanjaro very difficult to climb due to its high altitude. The difficulty varies from person to person and will depend how a trekker acclimatizes to the thin air at high elevations.

However, you should not underestimate the difficulty involved.

Even though Kilimanjaro is not technically difficult to climb, an average summit success rate of 60% (and historically less than 50%) suggests that it's not just a walk in a park either. What makes Kilimanjaro difficult to climb is its altitude. Its summit at 5,895 meters (19,340 feet) above sea level is in the so-called extreme altitude zone.

From as low as 1,500 meters (4,921 feet), climbers may start to feel the effects of high altitude. Altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness (AMS) becomes a serious risk at higher altitudes, typically above 3,500 meters (11,482 feet).

Symptoms of altitude sickness

, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Everything you need to know

Due to the high altitude, Kilimanjaro climbers will typically experience shortness of breath even at a relatively slow walking pace.

Other common symptoms of altitude sickness while climbing Kilimanjaro include headaches, nausea and dizziness. Loss of appetite and insomnia are also common. More severe symptoms include blurred vision, disorientation and the inability to continue walking.

If such symptoms arise, immediate descent assisted by your guide is imperative to avoid more serious and lasting consequences.

How to beat altitude sickness

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.

Is climbing Kilimanjaro dangerous?

While any mountain can be dangerous to climb, Kilimanjaro is a lot less dangerous than most. The average fatality rate is estimated to be 0.03%, or one for every 3,000 climbers who attempt to scale the mountain.

The main cause of death is altitude sickness due to not acclimatising well, while the risk of rockfall or falling to death is mostly avoidable.

If you are in good health and ascend slowly on a safe path under the guidance of an experienced and well-trained mountain guide, you are not likely to suffer injury or death on your climb. Educate yourself thoroughly about all risks involved so you will know how to avoid them.

Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes

, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Everything you need to know

The routes on Kilimanjaro vary by length, duration, difficulty, scenery, altitude profile, accessibility, and (lack of) facilities. The better a route scores on all these criteria, the more popular it is.

Popularity is great if you like to share your experience with many other climbers and make lots of new friends. It's also great if you're looking for an affordable climbing package. If solitude and wilderness are what you're looking for, then the most popular routes may not be your best choice.

Once you know your preferences, it’s time to find your best offer according to your preferences.

Here’s the traditional way of doing it: find best tour operators amongst thousands of companies, spend hours of research, solicit some offers, try to compare offers, realize that you don’t have all the info, go back and forth to answer open questions, get frustrated, start all over again, find more offers, reiterate,…you get the idea, it’s bloody complicated!

So be warned: scouting for the best offer takes a colossal amount of time and effort. Even if you’re prepared to go that extra mile, you are unlikely to get your very best offer when looking on your own.

That’s why we have created an easier way for you to get your best offer: simply let us know your preference, and we find & customize your best offer for you—for free!

To do so, we work directly with all responsible local Kilimanjaro outfitters. Thereby, we can source the best offers for your unique requirements. We will always promote those offers to you at the best local prices.  You can also find out more information about your chosen destinations, itinerary and reviews, by clicking here.

Compared to other platforms, we are Kilimanjaro experts. We’ve already invested over a year of thorough curation and on-site meetings to compare offers and packages, and we continuously keep updating our database with the latest best offers. Furthermore, we only promote verified ethical climbs.

Porter Treatment

, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Everything you need to know

The Kilimanjaro porters are responsible for carrying gear, equipment, and supplies up Kilimanjaro on behalf of tourists. However, most of the 15,000 porters who work on Mount Kilimanjaro 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 $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.

We believe that responsible companies who treat your porters fairly are also more likely to offer you as a client higher quality standards, and that porters who are treated fairly by their companies are also more likely to have your best interests in mind. That means first and foremost not your summit success, but your health and safety.

Amongst others, you rely on your porters for your water and food to be treated properly. In the worst case, you might have to rely on them for a safe descent. Will your porters be able to do a good job if they are hungry, cold and get paid significantly less than their colleagues camping right next to your group?

While there is no guarantee, we believe that booking your climb with a responsible tour operator who treats your porters fairly will be the safer choice for you.

To select the best company, you should choose a KPAP Partner company. These are the best companies with ethical climb practices who do not exploit your porters. They are also most likely to have your best interests, health & safety in mind, and to have the best well-trained guides.


, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Everything you need to know

The amount of weight you can bring for your porter to carry depends upon your company and package – ranging from as little as 8kg to up to 20kg. Most companies allow you to carry up to 15kg.

Please be aware that even though 20kg is the maximum weight limit per porter, the total weight that your porters carry for your group reduces over the course of your climb because your food supplies will gradually decrease. The weight of your personal bag, however, is unlikely to reduce. Therefore, even if you are allowed to bring 20kg, this is not ideal for your porter, especially at higher altitudes.

If you need to bring more gear, we can customize your offer to include the services of an additional private porter.

What to do after climbing Kilimanjaro

, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Everything you need to know

So now you’re armed with all of the information you need to climb Kilimanjaro. But if you’ve got some time to spare after your exhilarating climb up Kilimanjaro you’ll want to give yourself enough time to recover while you see the sights. Here are three of the recommended highlights:

1) Safari

The great thing about going on a safari is that you just sit in the car and observe some of the wildlife, so it’s a nice way to recover after the climb.

If you fancy something a little different, then a trip to the Ngorongoro Crater is a great alternative. The Ngorongoro Crater is a large volcanic caldera that has turned into a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is instantly apparent when visiting. One of the first things you’ll see is the ethereal green and blue scenes from above, with spectacular, panoramic views. Try to set aside at least two days to visit the Ngorongoro Crater, which has some of the most unique and spectacular scenery in Africa.

2) Zanzibar is a beautiful group of Islands in Tanzania, which is famous for its pristine beaches where you can relax and unwind after climbing Kilimanjaro. You can relax on the beach or you can cool off by swimming or snorkelling in the sparkling blue waters of the Indian Ocean.

3) If neither the beach or the safari appeal to you, then going gorilla trekking in Rwanda or Uganda, is another special way to spend your time in East Africa. There are only 800 mountain gorillas left in the world so getting a close-up view of these wonderful creatures in their natural habitat is a very special experience.

Now you’re all set up and ready to go. So what are you waiting for? Have a look at some of our tours and itineraries and get ready to start the adventure of a lifetime! For more information, be sure to visit our Climb Kilimanjaro Experience page, where you can customize your itinerary, read our latest tips and advice and get your hands on our free Climb Kilimanjaro guidebook.

About the author

Janine is a travel content writer and blogger, with a background in marketing and journalism. She loves travelling and uses her writing to share her passion for responsible travel with others.

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    Ed A. Avatar
    Ed A.
    Solo Traveller, US
    2 months ago
  • 5 star ratingGreat Kili Climb with Responsible Operator Alexandra helped me plan a successful tour and summit of... read more

    Davegetsitdone Avatar
    Solo Traveller, US
    2 months ago
  • 5 star ratingGreat experience with Fair Voyage! I came across Fair Voyage in my search for an... read more

    GrandTour41009690679 Avatar
    Solo Traveller, US
    3 months ago
  • Highly recommended for finding and booking sustainable trips with local... read more

    Justyna K. Avatar
    Justyna K.
    3 months ago
  • Highly recommended for finding and booking sustainable trips with local... read more

    Justyna T. Avatar
    Justyna T.
    3 months ago
  • 5 star ratingAmazing Staff & Service! My friend and I had been planning to climb Kili... read more

    Shimul S. Avatar
    Shimul S.
    Small Group Traveller, US
    3 months ago
  • Tourism is a great way to learn, stay open minded... read more

    Chiara R. Avatar
    Chiara R.
    3 months ago
  • I love Africa and I know that if I were... read more

    Maria C. Avatar
    Maria C.
    3 months ago
  • The best travel agency for Africa I came across offering... read more

    Katharina v. Avatar
    Katharina v.
    3 months ago
  • I would highly recommend Fair Voyage, this is because I... read more

    Kamata N. Avatar
    Kamata N.
    3 months ago
  • I had a wonderful experience and I very much enjoyed... read more

    S.S. Avatar
    Solo Traveller, Canada
    4 months ago
  • The team was very professional. The daily briefings were informative... read more

    L. Z. Avatar
    L. Z.
    Couple Traveller, US
    4 months ago
  • Better than expected . . . experienced team . .... read more

    Nick C. Avatar
    Nick C.
    Solo Traveller, US
    4 months ago
  • Having met Alex on a bicycle trip across Africa, I... read more

    Elizabeth A. Avatar
    Elizabeth A.
    4 months ago
  • Can highly recommend Fair Voyage!! It is one of the... read more

    Claire C. Avatar
    Claire C.
    5 months ago
  • Very well organised, great local partnership [translated from German: “Sehr... read more

    Likang Z. Avatar
    Likang Z.
    Solo Traveller, Germany
    7 months ago
  • Everything was perfect. Great patient guide

    Erin C. Avatar
    Erin C.
    Solo Traveller, US
    8 months ago
  • The climb was fantastic, and I made it to the... read more

    Sophie M. Avatar
    Sophie M.
    Solo Traveller, Austria
    1 year ago

All You Need To Know To Climb Kilimanjaro

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