Checklist and practical advice: Kilimanjaro

Be prepared for cold weather on the top of the mountain. Wind, snow and temperature down to minus 15 degrees are common. If there are no clouds it can be warm enough to wear a t-shirt during the first days.

You should always have rain clothes in your daypack.

Food and drinks
You have your own chef who will make breakfast, lunch and dinner for you. Lunch boxes are served at eating spots between the sleeping places. If you are allergic to anything or have any special needs you have to tell us in advance. Soda, beer, chocolate and cookies can be bought on the sleeping places, but it is cheaper to bring yourself. On the peak day it is good to have some kind of energy snacks with you. You will not eat a meal at the peak because of the cold weather.

It is not allowed to bring soft water bottles to Kilimanjaro National Park (bottled water from the supermarket). You need hard drinking bottles (bottles you usually use for exercise) to fill every day. It is recommended to bring 3-4 liters of water every day. You have the chance to fill your bottles at every camping spot.

You will carry your own water and lunch box in your dayback.

Altitude Sickness
If you have or have had problems with your heart you should not try to climb Kilimanjaro. Children under 12 years are not allowed to climb over 3000 meter.

Around 30-40 percent of the 15000 people who try to climb Kilimanjaro every year do not reach the top. Altitude sickness can become serious if you do not see the symptoms directly. Walk slowly and listen to your body. Our guides have special training and know the symptoms of altitude sickness. On all the camping sites there are Park Rangers with radios and equipments. If someone should get seriously sick they get transported to a hospital in Moshi. Remember to have travel insurance that covers high altitudes.

It is only a small chance that you will get serious problems with the height. Over 3000 meter you may feel uncomfortable and have small problems like:

- Short breathing
- High pulls
- Headache
- Little energy
- Bad sleep
- Nausea

After a short time on these heights these symptoms will pass but they will come back when you reach to a new height. To reduce these problems you can do this:

- Breathe in a higher frequency than usually.
- Drink a lot of water
- Take a walk 2-300 m higher than the place you are going to sleep before you eat dinner. This is an advantage because then you will sleep a little bit lower than the highest point of the day.
- If the headache is not going away you can take a Diamox (you can also take this every day for prevention. Talk to your doctor before buying Diamox).

If you feel heavy headache, extreme tiredness, swollen hands/face and sometimes dry coughing (accumulation of fluid in the lungs caused of fallen pressure) it can be a sign of altitude sickness. To go down 3-400 meters or more can often be enough to get rid of the problems.

On the peak day almost everyone will experience an uncomfortable feeling in the body, but because you are going down to 3700 m in a matter of some hours this will not stay for very long.

Our guides are well trained and about 80-95 percent of their clients reach the top.

Read more about the different Kilimanjaro routes under Kilimanjaro Trekking.

Peak day
Around midnight you will get some light snacks and drinks. We also advice you to bring some snacks like chocolate, raisins, nuts and energy drinks, minimum 2 liter of water is necessary. It can be very cold from Stella/Gillmans Point and up to the top (strong wind and down to 15 minus degrees is not uncommon). On the way up to Stella/Gillimans point it is often little wind and many people have too much clothes on them when they start from the camp. It is better to have more clothes when you start from Stella/Gillamns point.

Backpack and day pack
The porters will carry your big backpack. It is not allowed for the porter to carry more than 20 kilo. Pack everything in a waterproof bag or a backpack.

You need to carry a daypack with your water, lunch box, rain clothes, first aid kit and other things you will need during the day (camera, sun screen, extra clothes, snacks etc.). The porters will walk faster than you so it is not possible to get something from your big backpack before arriving to the camping site.

- Socks
- Minimum 2 pair of wool socks
- 1 pair of used mountain boots
- 1 pair of trainers

- 1 pair of thin gloves
- 1 pair of warm waterproof gloves

- Underwear
- T-shirts
- Shirt with long arms
- Thin sports wool clothes, wool underwear
- Warm pants
- Fleece jacket or a thick sweater
- Wind jacket with a hood
- Wind pants
- Rain clothes
- Shorts
- Scarf

- Good sunglasses
- Cap or another type of hat that protects the eyes
- Warm hat that covers the ears

Other things
- Walking sticks (possible to rent at the starting point)
- Sleeping bag (-10 degrees)
- Sleeping mattress
- Head flashlight with extra batteries
- Sun screen
- First Aid Kit
- Sickness pills
- Drinking bottle in steal or thick plastic
- Snacks
- Toilet equipment
- Toilet paper
- Towel
- Camera
- Extra battery for your camera (cold weather makes the battery last shorter)

It is possible to rent many of these things in Arusha Town. Contact us for more information. You need to know your passport number when registering at the start and ending point.