Questions & Answers
Below is a list of our most commonly asked questions and answers. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.
Climbing Kilimanjaro & Fitness
What training is required?
It is recommended that participants undertake a fitness training program at least 2-3 months prior to departure. Following are some links to information on various Kilimanjaro training programs recommended by tour operators in the region;
Walking, Walking & More Walking
The absolute best training you can do for Kilimanjaro is walking! The adventure is a 6-8 day walk up the mountain, generally on quite gentle slopes.
We also recommend stair climbing and hill climbing locally if you live near a small mountain.
In Melbourne, we recommend the “1,000 Steps” at Mt Dandenong or Mount Macedon.
Are there any pre-Kilimanjaro training days / weekends / briefings?
Yes! We have a number of pre-Kilimanjaro Information & Training Days in Melbourne and Sydney spread across the year, from January 2020 until the trek itself – so there should be a weekend to suit you.
Our training weekends are the best way to prepare yourself physically and mentally prior to tackling Kilimanjaro, and they are a great way to meet other trekkers and the Winds of Hope team. They’re also a great excuse to also test out your kit and equipment, against the elements!
Do I have to carry my own bags up the mountain?
Transportation of luggage will be taken care of by the tour operator, however participants should carry a small backpack (30-30L) containing personal items such as camera, phone, water, sunscreen, snacks, gloves etc.
Your larger mountain luggage will be carried by a porter, and will be ready for you in your tent at the end of each day’s trekking.
You can optionally hire an additional porter to assist with carrying your day pack if required, for a small additional fee.
Do I need any special mountain climbing equipment?
Kilimanjaro is not a ‘technical climb’, meaing no special mountaineering equipment is required. Anyone in good physical condition can climb Kilimanjaro.
Health and Safety
Is drinking water provided during the trek?
Water is provided throughout the climb and associated activities. Water is taken from the mountain streams, boiled and treated to make safe to drink.
You can also choose to use your own purifying bottle or tablets, although they typically aren’t needed.
If the trek becomes too difficult for me can I turn around?
Yes you can. If you are in any physical danger or suffer from altitude sickness the porters will be able to assist you down the mountain.
Everyone, at some point, experiences exhaustion or a fear of not being able to complete the climb. Our team and guides are experts at helping you get past these issues, and will do everything we can to ensure you have a safe and successful summit.
What is altitude sickness and what are the symptoms?
During the trek it is likely that all climbers will experience at least some form of mild altitude sickness.
It is caused by the failure of the body to adapt quickly enough to the reduced level of oxygen in the air at an increased altitude.
There are many different symptoms but the most common are headaches, light-headedness, nausea, loss of appetite, tingling in the toes and fingers, and a mild swell of ankles and fingers. These mild forms are not serious and will normally disappear within 48 hours. Please visit your GP for any preventative medications.
Will the effects of the sun be stronger on the mountain?
Absolutely, so suncreen is essential!
About 55% of the earth’s protective atmosphere is below an altitude of 5000m. Far less ultraviolet light is being filtered out, making the sun’s rays much more powerful, which could result in severe sun burning of the skin. It is strongly recommended to use a SPF 50+ sun protection cream at lower altitudes, and a total block cream above an altitude of 3000m. It is also important to wear dark sun glasses preferably with side panels above 4000m in daytime and essential when walking through snow or ice.
Do I need a visa / vaccinations / insurance?
Yes, Yes and Yes.
All Australian’s require a visa for travel to Tanzania and this needs to be obtained prior to your challenge departure. If you are of different national heritage to those mentioned above, please check the Tanzania High Commission’s website for visa requirements.
Vaccinations – Make sure you are up to date for all boosters and immunizations as advised by your GP.
Yellow Fever vaccinations and mandatory for entery to East Africa.
You should also consider a course of anti-malarials, and be aware that depending on the type you may need to start taking these up to a month in advance of departure.
For advice on any additional vaccinations or treatments, please speak with your GP or doctor.
Insurance – Insurance is imperative and should cover the costs of medical repatriation, trip curtailment costs and trekking up to 6,000m. We recommend you obtain insurance as soon as possible.
Travel & Tours
Can I meet you in Arusha, Tanzania, instead of traveling with the group?
Absolutely – just get in contact with us to organise. If you are organising your own flights, only our tour costs will apply.
Can I add an additional tour to my trip?
Absolutely – there are dozens of local tours available, as we as many in Africa as a whole.
We can organise tours in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania – just get in touch.
Aside from Kilimanjaro itself, where we will be staying?
We will stay at The Kibo Palace for two nights prior to departure to recover from the flight and prepare for the climb.
All accommodation on the mountain will be camping with quality tents and mattresses provided by the tour operator.
After the climb, participants will enjoy a night at the African Tulip Hotel – a luxury boutique hotel in the centre of Arusha, and the number 1 rated hotel on TripAdvisor.
Places in our adventure are limited, so we require a AUD$500.00 non-refundable deposit to secure your trek.
Payments for the remainder of the adventure are due 60 days prior to departure, although flexible payment terms are available on request.
Can I hire equipment in Mount Kilimanjaro?
Yes – a very limited supply of equipment is available to rent directly from our Tour Operator, however the quality and availability varies.
It is recommended that you thoroughly check the quality of any rented items and that they are in correct working order. A list of rental prices and items can be provided on request.
What is and isn’t included in the costs?
On-mountain accommodation (camping twin share), African transfers, tour guide and all meals on the mountain are included in the tour.
Accommodation at Kibo Palace & African Tulip Hotel is provided on a bed & breakfast basis.
International flights, travel insurance, alcohol, and equipment such as sleeping bags, warm jackets etc are also not included in the tour cost.
A list of what you need can be found on our Gear List page.
Hang on, Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania but you're fundraising for a school in Uganda?
The purpose of Climb for Kids 2020 is to fundraise for our Girls Primary School in rurual Uganda.
The climb itself provides valuable employment for local Tanzanian guides, porters and helpers, and helps boost the local economy of Arusha and Moshi, the two townships closest to Kilimanjaro.
As both Uganda and Tanzania are in East Africa, and only about an hour by plane away from each other, we feel that this adventure benefits both countries.
And Uganda doesn’t have a mountain quite like Kilimanjaro!