Kilimanjaro FAQ

Climate does not vary greatly between seasons on Kilimanjaro, making it a great climb year-round. The most popular months to climb are July/August and December/January. If you would rather avoid the crowds, we run trips and highly recommend other months (May/June, September).

The average temperature at the foot of the mountain is 25° to 30° C. On the summit, it can range from -12° to 10° C but is usually below freezing. At 3000m (above the treeline), the day temperatures range from 5° to 15° C and then cool off significantly at night. As you work your way up the mountain, you will traverse through many different climates that vary in temperature and precipitation. Light rain is fairly consistent in the lower rainforest section while the upper parts of the mountain often experience passing snowstorms.

Good rain gear is a must for the climb including waterproof pants/jacket. We provide modern rugged mountaineering tents equipped with outer flysheets and large enough to comfortably sleep four people with their gear safely inside.

You do not need climbing experience to successfully ascend Kili. A strenuous hike fits the description better than a technical climb. Being in good physical condition greatly increases your chance of success.

Oxygen thins as you climb. Most begin to notice this above 3500m. Every individual reacts differently to this change and unfortunately, altitude sickness is impossible to predict. Our guides however have years of experience understanding the difference between fatigue and altitude sickness. They will take the necessary precautions at the first signs of altitude sickness, which usually means a timely descent to lower altitude.

In preparation for the trip, you should consider getting vaccinated or medicated to prevent against Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Meningitis, Yellow Fever, and Malaria. Please consult with your doctor or visit the CDC website (www.cdc.gov) for more information.

The number of hours you hike each day varies from 3 hours (minimum) to 8 hours (maximum), depending on the intensity of the slope and difficulty of the climb. The various routes are anywhere from 55 to 70 miles.

The time required varies greatly by route. The majority of climbers take 6 to 10 days. More days generally gives your body more time to acclimatize and greatly increases your chance of success.

Some climbers may fall short of Uhuru Peak, but not at the expense of their overall experience. There are many wonders on Kilimanjaro, and the experience is rewarding even for those who never reach the top. If one or more members of a group cannot continue (either by self-recommendation or recommendation from a guide), they are escorted quickly and calmly to the most convenient campsite, which is often down the mountain.

You will need a medium sized backpack (say 2500 to 3500 cubic inches) that can hold multiple layers of clothing. Porters carry the majority of your packs, tents, food and equipment. In your daypack, you will carry clothes, water, a sack lunch and perhaps a camera. In terms of gear, you’ll need: wet-weather clothing; layered cold weather clothing; a good pair of waterproof boots; sleeping bag & pad; hiking gators; a headlamp; any personal meds. Tents are provided. We boil and provide safe water for you as well. See ‘Preparation’ for more info.

An active young teenager of 13 years can reach the top as can a fit 65 year old as long as adequate preparation takes place beforehand. If you’re looking to break the record, the oldest person ever to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro was 87 years old!!!

You will be served three complete meals each day. Maintaining a good diet is crucial to keeping your energy up. Here’s a sample of day’s meals on the mountain:

BREAKFAST:

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Toast
  • Sliced cucumber and tomato
  • Fruits
  • Coffee, tea, cocoa

LUNCH:

  • Sandwich
  • Fruit
  • Boiled egg
  • Candy bar
  • Orange juice

AFTERNOON SNACK:

  • Hot tea
  • Popcorn
  • Cookies

DINNER:

  • Soup
  • Salad
  • Chicken with rice/pasta
  • Vegetables
  • Potatoes
  • Fruit for dessert

Mount Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania, Eastern Africa.

Swahili is widely spoken in Tanzania, as well as in Kenya, Uganda, eastern Zaire and Rwanda. Your guide will speak excellent English as well Swahili and usually also a native language. Some porters know English while others may have just picked up a few words here and there.

Absolutely. East Africa has some of the world’s most wonderful safaris to offer. You can very easily do a multi-day safari before or after your climb. Contact us and we can refer you to a reputable tour operator.

Yes. Ringo Expeditions is fully outfitted to lead trips as large as 25-30 people. Contact us and we can make special arrangements around your group’s preferences.

We can offer refunds for trips minus deposits up to three weeks in advance of your trip.  We do not offer refunds on trips that are canceled due to weather or if you are not able to complete the trip for any reason.

For more information not available on the Kilimanjaro FAQ try visiting Africa, please visit The Africa Guide

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