Wear long sleeves, long pants, hats and shoes (rather than sandals). For rural and forested areas, boots are preferable, with pants tucked in, to prevent tick bites and always apply insect repellents
Don't sleep with the window open unless there is a screen. If sleeping outdoors or in an accommodation that allows entry of mosquitoes, use a bed net, preferably impregnated with insect repellent, with edges tucked in under the mattress. The mesh size should be less than 1.5 mm.
If the sleeping area is not otherwise protected, use a mosquito coil, which fills the room with insecticide through the night.
Anti-malarial tablets are recommended for all areas in Tanzania accept for altitudes over 1800 m (5906 ft). Consult your physician about this as most courses have to be started prior to your arrival in Tanzania.
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
Acute Mountain sickness is the medical term for altitude or mountain sickness, 'acute' meaning 'sudden-onset'. AMS symptoms, if mild or moderate, often disappear if the sufferer rests or ascends no further. if AMS is severe, the sufferer must descend.
Mountain sickness is the effects of lack of oxygen on the body. All your organs need oxygen to survive and when the body doesn't get enough, problems arise. As you gain altitude, the air pressure drops and as it drops your body takes in less air and therefore less oxygen with each breath. To counteract this, your body begins to adapt. Your breathing and heart rate increases and your body makes more red blood cells to carry oxygen. While your breathing and heart rate can change very quickly, the crucial extra red blood cells take a few days to form. Climb too far too fast before this process gets properly under way and the result is AMS (Acute mountain Sickness).
Mild forms of altitude sickness are best treated by rest, maintaining fluid intake, and by a painkiller such as paracetamol. Mild symptoms which have lasted for 24 hours or more can be treated with Diamox which aids acclimatization. Some people take Diamox before the climb as prescribed by their doctor. The use of Diamox is a personal decision. We think it is better to let your body naturally acclimatize and adjust to the decreased oxygen before resorting to the use of Diamox. Serious cases of acute mountain sickness can only be treated by immediate descent.
The guides on the trip have all received first aid training from the Kilimanjaro National Park authorities. Our guides are all highly experienced in dealing with the problems of altitude and their decision will always be final. If there is a problem, the guide will take precautionary action and inform both the national park and our office in Moshi. Contact is usually made by mobile phone, as there is some network while climbing Kilimanjaro. There are a number of national park ranger posts on Kilimanjaro and they also have radios to contact park headquarters in Marangu.
Evacuation from Kilimanjaro is initially either on foot or wheeled stretcher. This is until the highest access point that the national park rescue car can reach - either Shira Plateau, below Mandara Hut or Rongai Gate. The rescue car will transport the client off the mountain usually, but often our vehicle meets the rescue car to complete the journey. During the rescue an assistant guide would accompany the sick client. If the client is very sick the chief guide would accompany the sick client, and leave the group on Kilimanjaro under the charge of his assistant. The client is taken to either a doctor (KCMC Hospital in Moshi) or as in many cases if the client has recovered due to the decreasing altitude / increasing oxygen, they will be taken to rest at Mountain Inn.
All guides have had first aid training. We do not carry Gamow bags or oxygen on our climbs. We pay special attention to avoid altitude sickness by maximizing acclimatization and the guides training means they can recognize the symptoms of serious altitude sickness and organize immediate descent, which is by far the best treatment, on the occasions when this is necessary.
This below is some of the equipment available for hiring, if you require any additional items we may also have these in stock, please request.
ItemPrice (USD $)**
Duffel bag: 15.00
Head Torch: 10.00
Oxygen Cylinder***150.00 (1 cylinder) / 180.00 (2 cylinders)
Portable Toilet: 45.00 per day (including additional porter, chemicals etc.)
Rain Coat: 10.00
Rain Trousers: 10.00
Ruck Sack: 20.00
Sleeping bag: 20.00
Tent: 10.00 Per person, per day
Walking Poles (Pair)
* All items are subject to availability
** All prices are subject to change and per item, per tour, unless otherwise stated
*** Both the 1 cylinder and 2 cylinder packages can only be used by a maximum of 1 person as in the event of an emergency, they would descend with the system
Being well equipped will increase your chances of reaching the summit. Items are available to buy or hire at Mountain Inn, but the quality may not be to your standards so it is best to come fully prepared.
Well-worn/broken in walking boots
Walking pole (two recommended for descent)
Layers of warm clothing
Balaclava / hat
Gloves, glove liners and/or warm mittens
Waterproof jacket/ trousers
Water bottle/ bladder (2-3 litres)
Water purification tablets/ drops
High energy snacks and throat sweets
First aid kit including blister, headache and diarrhoea relief
Toilet tissue (biodegradable)
Wet wipes and wash bag equipped for cleaning skin and teeth
Head-torch, pocket torch and spare batteries
Good, warm sleeping bag
Light dome Tent and Sleeping mat (camping routes only)
Camera (with spare memory/ film/ batteries
Waterproof rucksack cover or liner e.g. bin (garbage) bag
Zip lock bag or pouch for small items
Thermal liner for sleeping bag
Trainers (for evenings)
Notebook and pen, playing cards or book
Guidebook and/or map
More experienced trekkers may feel some items on both of these lists are unnecessary, but most will require everything and more. Remember you will carry everything you need for the day in your day sack, and all other items will be carried by your porter from your starting point to finishing point of the day.
Because of the extreme temperatures, it is vital to control your body temperature. We advise on a layer system, where the base is a porous fabric, such as knitted polyester. Over that, a medium weight fleece. The outer layer should consist of a waterproof jacket and trousers, where breathable waterproofs that allow sweat to evaporate are preferred.
Nights, especially when camping, will be very cold, so don't underestimate the weather