Kilimanjaro Faq’s

1. How hard is Kilimanjaro Hike?

We are often asked - How hard is Kilimanjaro HikeMount Kilimanjaro Hike is not very hard and it does not require any technical skills. Any person with moderate hiking skills can summit the mountain.

However, the summit night can be tough with an ascent of more than 1500m, and descending within 16-18 hours for 3000m more is a challenge. To be able to accomplish this you should be in great physical conditions and must undergo requisite Kilimanjaro Training like cardio exercises, strength training, and muscle flexibility exercises should be part of their daily training regime.

Moreover, our guides and Kilimanjaro Crew will help you conquer the great summit with ease. They will provide you with food, warm water for washing, put up your tents for the night camping on the summit, and even sing and encourage you throughout the summit trek. This crew is well- equipped to handle medical emergencies as well!

2. How long does it take to hike Kilimanjaro?

Are you pondering - How long does it take to hike Kilimanjaro? The duration of the hike up to the Uhuru Peak takes anywhere around 5 days and 4 nights, to 8 days and 7 nights on shorter routes and more than nine days on longer routes like the Northern Circuit Route. The duration of the hike is dependant on the type of route one chooses and the packages related to the same route.

Most hikers add an extra day to acclimatize to their itinerary. This helps them achieve higher Kilimanjaro Success Rate. We recommend you to choose the longer itineraries as that will guarantee your success on the Kilimanjaro hike. Serac Adventures’ Guides and porters take care of your safety, health, and basic requirements like food, warm water for washing, etc. So you don’t have to worry about the long hike on the summit.

3. What is the Best Time to Hike Kilimanjaro?

Are you thinking - What is the best time of year to hike Kilimanjaro? Technically Kilimanjaro can be hiked throughout the year yet the Best Time To Hike Kilimanjaro is preferably the dry summer season which is considered the peak season of the hike.

But before setting out for the trek you should analyze the weather conditions. As there are high chances of cloud cover and precipitation, the months of April, May, and November as hiking months are strictly out of the picture. If you exclude these three months of heavy rain and dangerous hikes, the rest of the year is great for a hike on Kilimanjaro. Another aspect to think about before starting your trek is whether you want to hike with the crowd or without it. That will determine the particular season you wish to hike. The Dry summer season and the months of January and February are particularly busy. The remaining period of the year is good for people who wish to travel with fewer crowds.

4. What happens if I need to descend early?

As we know not all hikers make it to the top of the summit on their Mount Kilimanjaro Hike. But this doesn’t spare them from experiencing the exuberant fun and adventure on the trek! But for those who wish to descend early can do so with the help of our Kilimanjaro crew who can immediately prompt for the emergency rescue process to evacuate a hiker in need for medical attention or any hiker who seems unfit to hike further. These hikers who return early are escorted to the most convenient campsite and wait for the others to return.

The Kilimanjaro Porters of Serac Adventures is well-equipped and trained to handle such situations. They can even provide rescue medical treatments for hikers who fall short of oxygen or start showing severe symptoms of AMS.

5. What is altitude sickness?

In most of the Kilimanjaro Faq’s, we have noticed our clients ask us about the much-discussed acute mountain sickness (AMS) or altitude sickness in general. It is a health condition where a hiker falls short of oxygen as they move up the summit. The amount of oxygen available to us at the sea level is about 21%. But at an altitude above 12000 feet, the oxygen shortage falls to 40% less than the normal requirement for a human body.

This sudden change in levels of oxygen on the higher altitudes fails a person to adapt to the changing environmental conditions resulting in what is called altitude sickness. Another reason for many hikers to face AMS (which is a more serious condition of altitude sickness with serious symptoms) is trying to hike too quickly too soon and not giving proper time to acclimatize.

6. What is the Kilimanjaro Hiking Cost?

The Kilimanjaro Hiking Cost includes your domestic transportation, meals on the summit, accommodations, etc. This can cost you anywhere between $1000 to $4000 and above. The costs of international flights, Visa charges, Tips, Insurance, etc are exclusive of this price. Overall the entire trip can cost you up to $5000.

Other factors responsible for affecting your hiking cost are the number of days you spend on the trek, the package you choose on different routes, etc. The longer the duration of the hike, the higher is the hiking cost.  The cost per person can significantly reduce if you are choosing group hikes instead of private hikes.

7. Do I have to be extremely fit to take part in Kilimanjaro Hike?

Another Kilimanjaro Faq’s is that you need to have undergone extensive training and should be physically fit to enjoy the Kilimanjaro trek and hike it comfortably without having to descent down early. Without proper training, it is impossible to hike Kilimanjaro. The best thing you can do is pack a bag and go hiking as much as possible.

This will help you get familiar with the constant walking you will encounter on the trek. For many hikers, gyming has also been of tremendous help. Start training at least a month before the trek. You can include training exercises like strength training, stretching, etc. This will also help you gain muscle strength assisting in attaining a high success rate on the hike!

8. What is the Kilimanjaro Gear List required for the trek?

The Kilimanjaro Gear List may include the following items:

  • waterproof jacket and trousers,
  • four-season duvet jacket,
  • warm upper body layers,
  • thermal under layers,
  • towel,
  • toiletries,
  • lip balm,
  • sunscreen,
  • toilet paper,
  • hand sanitizer,
  • wet wipes,
  • trekking trousers,
  • shorts (optional),
  • underwear/sports bra,
  • waterproof gloves,
  • thin gloves,
  • gaiters,
  • thick socks,
  • thin socks,
  • waterproof hiking boots,
  • spare laces,
  • jogging shoes or flip flops for around camp,
  • walking poles,
  • sleeping bag,
  • water bottles or hydration bladder,
  • water purification tablets (optional),
  • water flavoring or rehydration salts,
  • favorite snacks,
  • knee support (optional),
  • eye protection goggles (for wind/dust/glare on the summit),
  • head torch,
  • spare bulb,
  • camera,
  • memory cards,
  • spare batteries,
  • Soft kit bag (for porters to carry),
  • small daypack (for you to carry),
  • rain cover for backpack/bags,
  • dry sacs for packing inside,
  • sun hat/cap,
  • woolly hat/toque,
  • scarf,
  • balaclava,
  • sunglasses,
  • personal first aid kit,
  • medication (Diamox optional),
  • insect repellent,
  • pen/paper/playing cards

9. What are some interesting Mt Kilimanjaro Facts?

Some of the most fascinating Mt Kilimanjaro Facts are as follows:

  • Did you know that Mount Kilimanjaro the highest free-standing mountain worldwide and the tallest mountain in Africa?
  • At the height of 19,341 feet in Tanzania, there are three volcanic cones on Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • The Kibo/Uhuru is the summit of the mountain. The Mawenzi and Shira standing at a height of 16,893 feet and 13,000 feet are the two other volcanic cones.
  • These are dormant cones and are probably less likely to erupt in recent years.
  • The mountain was first hiked in the year 1889, by Hans Meyer (a German geologist), an Austrian named Ludwig Purtscheller, and Yoanas Kinyala Lauwo of Marangu.
  • The best part of the summit is that all kinds of ecosystems are found on the mountain including – alpine, moorland, forest land, ice cap, etc.


10. Is Kilimanjaro Visa necessary?

The Kilimanjaro Visa is not required for the Commonwealth countries however citizens some countries like UK, Australia, New Zealand, India, United States, Canada, and most EU countries require a visa permit for entry.

You should know that it is possible to apply for a visa online. You can opt for it by filling the application form on the Kilimanjaro Embassy site and visiting their office for document verification.

Apart from this a Visa for Kilimanjaro can also be obtained at the airport as a visa on arrival option. This will require a small interview at the airport and some document verification. The documents required are – your passport, proof of travel package, and your photographs.

11. How many porters does Kilimanjaro have?

The Kilimanjaro Porters help the hikers in carrying their luggage up to the summit. Serac Adventures provide you with a sufficient number of Kilimanjaro porters depending on the number of hikers in the group. There are approximately three porters for each hiker and at least two guides for every 4 hikers. The other crew members are -  a cook, an assistant guide, and some other Kilimanjaro rangers depending on the requirements of the group.

The dedicated service of the porters helps the hikers to reach the peak of the summit. It is therefore customary to tip these devoted staff of porters and other crew members who not only carry your luggage up the summit but also put up your camps on the trek and provide you with food and warm water daily. Tipping helps them raise their morale.

12. What to pack for day hike on Kilimanjaro?

The following Kilimanjaro Packing List will help you carry all the necessary items for the hike:

  • Sunglasses or Goggles
  • Buff or Neck Gaiter (optional)
  • Knit Hat, for warmth
  • Soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell
  • Waterproof Jacket, breathable with hood
  • Gloves, thin
  • Waterproof Pants, breathable
  • Trekking poles (optional)
  • Water Bottle (Nalgene, 32 oz.)
  • Water Bladder (Camelbak type, 3 liters)
  • Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional)
  • Electrolytes, powder or tablets (optional)
  • Camera, with extra batteries (optional)
  • Lip Balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Toilet Paper
  • First Aid Kit
  • Assorted Bags


13. How much to Tip on Kilimanjaro?

The Kilimanjaro Tipping is considered to be a customary tradition were at the end of the trek all the crew members are provided with some small tip in form of cash or gifts in a gesture of gratitude for their services. The following is the basic guideline of the amount of tip offered to each crew member:

  • $20/day for guides,
  • $12/day for assistant guides,
  • $12/day for cooks, and
  • $6/day for porters (Approximately)

There is a tipping ceremony at the end of the trek. The total amount you may be spending on the trek is around US$250 – US$300 in all just for tipping the entire crew.

14. What food is available on Kilimanjaro?

Kilimanjaro Food is an important aspect of your Kilimanajro trip. The sample of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks you can expect on the trek is as mentioned below:

  • Breakfast - cereal & fruit, porridge, toast, sausages
  • Lunch –vegetables, soup, chicken, rice,chips, sandwiches, casserole.
  • Dinner –rice, pasta, soup, vegetables, bread, chips, stews.
  • Snacks–You can carry some salty snacks, biscuits, chocolates, energy bars, etc.

The food may vary depending on your dietary needs. You can inform us before hand about your special dietary needs like a vegan diet, any specific food allergies, etc. Many hikers prefer to munch on Kilimanjaro snacks throughout their trek. This helps them provide energy throughout the trek.

15. Can we hike Kilimanjaro without Guide?

The query we often come across from our clients is - Can you hike Kilimanjaro without a guide? the answer is simple – No it is not possible! This is due to the regulations of the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority and the Tanzanian government in the year 1991 that unsupported treks without the proper guidance of licensed trekkers will not be allowed.

Since then all hikers are accompanied by registered Kilimanjaro Hiking Guide on their trek. These guides help in supporting them to reach maximum success on the summit. They also provide them with interesting facts about the mountain and monitor the health conditions of the hikers daily.

16. What is Kilimanjaro Success Rate on different routes?

The Kilimanjaro Success Rate annually is around 66% overall. The success rate on the summit depends on the type of route chosen, the experience of the hiker, the number of days spent on the hike, etc.

The higher the number of days of the summit the higher the success rate is. The highest success is experienced on the Lemosho Route, Northern Circuit Route, and Rongai Route.

Rongai Route is the only one that starts from the north. The Northern Circuit route is the longest and takes up to nine days to complete. The Lemosho route, however, is the newest and provides enough time to acclimatize.

17. Is Mount Kilimanjaro Safe?

For Serac Adventures the Kilimanjaro Safety of its is the highest of concern. Annually more than thousands of hikers trek the mountain with a great deal of enthusiasm but only a few reach the summit. Most of them have to descent back early and there are approximately 20-30 deaths witnessed on the mountain of which less than ten are reported.

Experiencing altitude sickness is natural for all hikers. Therefore our gudies are specially trained to monitor these conditions of the hikers on the trek. They even are well-equipped to perform emergency medical procedures on the hikers in case such a situation prevails.

18. How to Plan for the Kilimanjaro Trek?

The Mount Kilimanjaro Hike is a challenging adventure but more than that the planning that goes into the hike is even more daunting. The following stepwise process starting from trek booking till the end of hike needs to be well planned and we will help you with it.

  • Firstly, you must start by deciding on a date.
  • Secondly, choose the route you wish to hike and the duration of the hike.
  • Now you can inform us about this information and we shall start your booking process that is followed by the payment fo the hike cost.
  • As per the date of the booking of the trek you can then book your flight.
  • The next step is applying for a Visa.
  • Get your vaccinations shots.
  • Buy or rent the necessary equipment for the trek.
  • Train well before the trek.


19. How to Prepare for the Kilimanjaro Hike?

The following things need to be kept in mind while Preparing To Hike Kilimanjaro:

  • Take time to acclimatize and go slow on the trek to avoid altitude sickness symptoms. Most importantly, listen to your guides when they direct you with some instructions. This helps hikers achieve maximum success rate.
  • You will require high intensive exercises and most importantly you need to train your body with long-duration aerobic exercises to increases endurance. The hike above altitudes of 4000 meters is difficult and without proper physical training, it cannot be achieved.  You can add cycling, jogging, and swimming into your training regime as well!


20. Do I need to bring any medicine?

Another important Kilimanjaro Faq’s is about the medicines you need to bring for the trek. The key factor in hiking Kilimanajro is avoiding altitude sickness as much as possible. Carry Diamox but do it after consulting with your physician for any side effcts. You acn take some disinfectants that you can use after using batchrooms. Take proper precautions for malaria as well.

In case of any other medications consult your doctor before hiking this amazing mountain! 

Spotlight routes

Climbing Kilimanjaro does not need any technical skills, but as it is going on high altitude it requires certain safety measures to be taken.

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