Tips for Kilimanjaro Climber and Weather


Tips for Kilimanjaro Climber and Weather

Although Kilimanjaro is not a technical mountain climb, it is a major challenge, and you should not underestimate the rigors of altitude. Remember that Uhuru peak is 500 m (1,640 ft) higher than Everest Base Camp! The pace of your ascent coupled with good acclimatization will help you on the climb, but it is essential to be mentally and physically prepared before you start. Regular hikes are one of the best ways to prepare, increasing frequency and length, as you get closer to the trek. All aerobic exercises such as cycling, running, swimming, and aerobics classes are good for strengthening the cardiovascular system. Any exercise that increases your heart rate for 20 minutes is helpful, but don’t over do it just before the climb.

Altitudes are generally defined as follows:

  • High altitude 2,400 m – 4,200 m (8,000 ft – 13,800 ft)
  • Very high altitude 4,200 m – 5,400 m (13,800 ft – 17,700 ft)
  • Extreme altitude above 5,400 m (17,700 ft) (Uhuru Peak is 5,895 m/19,340 ft)

It is likely that all climbers will experience some form of mild altitude sickness during their Kilimanjaro climb. 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 headache, light-headedness, nausea, loss of appetite, tingling in the toes and fingers, and a mild swelling of ankles and fingers. These mild forms are not serious and will normally disappear within 48 hours.

The following first aid materials are important:

Painkillers (asprin/paracetamol), Antihistamines, Blister treatment, Imodium or other antidiarrhoeal tablets, Plaster/Band aids Antiseptic wipes Dressings, especially pressure relief for blisters, Talcum powder Malaria tablets Sun block for skin and lips, Antacids Cold cure sachets, Oral rehydration salts/sachets, Insect repellent, Sanitary towels.


All contact lens wearers should take care to remove the lenses at night, as the eye needs to absorb oxygen from the atmosphere. The rarefied conditions of altitude reduce oxygen levels and in extreme cases a Corneal Oedema can develop.

In the event of an emergency on the mountain the rescue team plus one of the assistant guides will descend with the casualty to the park gate. At the gate the casualty will be taken care and the necessary arrangements will be made.

Cameras whether Video or film, need to be protected against the severe cold weather either in warm pouch or the interior pockets of your clothing. Do not keep in your backpack at higher elevations. A selection of lenses will aid the final results although weight and bulk will obviously influence your selection. A polarized or neutral density filter is recommended, as is slide film rather than print. Bring your own film as it can be hard to find and expensive in Tanzania. For digital equipment, check with the manufacturer’s specifications for temperature range (especially battery life), water tightness, and general hardiness.

Prices are for the entire trek in U.S. dollars, payable in cash in Arusha or Moshi. It is best to come well-outfitted.

# Item Price
1 Rucksack/Daypack $10
2 Balaclava $5
3 Normal Sleeping Bag $15
4 Mont Bell Sleeping Bag $25
5 North Face Sleeping Bag $25
6 Batteries $2
7 Socks $2
8 Duffel Bag $10
9 Hiking Poles(2) $10
10 Gaiters $7
11 Torch/Flashlight $7
12 Gloves $4
13 Sweater $7
12 Gloves $5
12 Sunglasses $5
13 Long Underwear $5
14 Raincoat $8
15 Rain Pants $5
16 Hiking Boots $5
17 Water Bottle $10
18 Fleece Pants $5
19 Warm Jacket $10
20 Hat $5

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