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Practical information about Mount Kilimanjaro

On this page you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Kilimanjaro. You can read more, for example, about the weather conditions, visas and what to pack. See also our options to climb Kilimanjaro.

1 Weather on Kilimanjaro-monthly overview

The weather on Kilimanjaro is usually reliable, which means the mountain can be climbed all year round.

January to March
These are really good months to climb, with mild temperatures and almost no clouds in the sky during early morning and in the afternoon. However, you may well encounter some snow or rain during the day towards the top of the mountain.

Late March to mid-May
This is the heavy rain season. For climbers on Kilimanjaro, this means that heavy clouds may hinder visibility and that perhaps you experience heavy rain at the lower areas of the mountain and snow towards the top.

June, July and August
These can be cold months, but visibility is usually very good.

September and October
Here the temperature rises, but so does the belt of fog which may be found at low altitudes, which becomes less the higher you travel up the mountain.

November and December
These months usually have perfect visibility at night and during morning hours, but short rain bursts during the day. Thunderstorms are also common during this period.

Weather statistics for the town of Moshi, at the foot of Kilimanjaro. Moshi sits at 915 m above sea level.
Month Low. temp. (C) High. temp. (C) Average temp. (C) Humidity % Rain mm
JAN 18 33 25,5 58 36
FEB 18 33 25,5 57 51
MAR 19 32 25,5 63 119
APR 19 29 24 73 350
MAY 18 26 22 77 236
JUN 16 25 20,5 72 38
JUL 15 25 20 69 25
AUG 15 26 20,5 66 18
SEP 15 28 21,5 61 15
OCT 16 31 23,5 57 25
NOV 18 31 24,5 57 63
DEC 18 32 25 60 53

Full-moon
For guests who are considering to climb Kilimanjaro, it’s a good idea to take account of the full moon. It is a very unique and amazing experience to climb to the top of Africa, in the moonlight, without the use of a headlamp.

Full-moon dates JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
2017 12 10 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 3 3
2018 31 31 29 29 27 27 26 24 24 23 22
2019 21 19 21 19 19 17 17 15 14 14 12 12
Full-moon dates 2017 2018 2019
JAN 12 31 21
FEB 10 19
MAR 12 31 21
APR 11 29 19
MAY 10 29 19
JUN 9 27 17
JUL 8 27 17
AUG 7 26 15
SEP 6 24 14
OCT 5 24 14
NOV 3 23 12
DEC 3 22 12

Vegetation zones
When you climb Kilimanjaro you can experience all four seasons year round and go through 5 different types of vegetation zone. The temperature during ascent varies depending on the growth zone you are in. The first growth zone consists of cultivated farmland, residential areas and open grassy plains with an average temperature of 21-27 degrees. At the top, reaching Uhuru Peak, the temperatures will typically vary from -18 to -26 degrees.

Overview of the different vegetation zones you pass through:
Zone 1 
(800m – 1800m)
This is the  cultivated agricultural area which is also the area of the mountain which has the most annual precipitation. Most of the agricultural land here is used for coffee plantations and some of the best coffee in Africa can be found in this area.
Zone 2
(1800m – 2800m)
This is the forest area of Kilimanjaro. An amazing jungle that is certain to make an impression on you. Here you will see some of the tallest trees you’ve ever seen.
Zone 3
(2800m – 4000m)
This area is full of heather and wild grass. Here you can stand at the same level as the clouds in the sky. The temperature can reach up over 40 degrees Celsius during the day and then drop to 0 degrees Celsius at night.
Zone 4
(4000m – 5000m)
This is the Kilimanjaro highland desert. A very challenging and spectacular terrain filled with volcanic rocks of different sizes. It is obvious looking across this area, that there has in fact been volcanic activity on more than one occasion. Here the temperature can also reach +40 degrees Celsius and freezing on the same day.
Zone 5
(5000m – 5895m)
This is the top of the mountain. Snow, ice, freezing temperatures and huge glaciers make up this part of the mountain as a truly amazing experience – it is difficult to imagine at this time, that you are in fact in the beautiful country of Africa.

2 Terms & Conditions

Please read our booking terms and conditions carefully. These terms and conditions constitute the basis of your package purchased from africasafari.co.uk.  Click here to read our terms and conditions.

All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

3 Travel insurance

We are an ATOL protected agency giving you complete peace of mind. It is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the guest to ensure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependants/traveling companions for the duration of their trip.

In cooperation with our partner we can offer advantageous travel insurances. Learn more here.

4 Vaccinations

We advise you to contact a medical specialist or family doctor or even a licensed vaccination clinic.
You can read more information on vaccinations to Tanzania here.

Please note that you must bring your vaccination certificate and produce it on entry into Tanzania.

5 Visas

You must have a valid visa to visit Tanzania. Upon arrival at the airport in Tanzania you will be given an application form for you to complete and pay 50 U.S. dollars in cash / approximately £33. This usually goes fairly quickly.
If you want to fill out the application form in advance, you can find it here.

Under the point where you have to complete your address in Tanzania, simply type the name of the first hotel or lodge you will be staying at.

If you want to apply for a visa to Tanzania from home, you must do so through the Tanzanian Embassy in London. This requires that you send your passport to London. Therefore, we recommend that you seek a visa on entry.

Things that you should be aware of regarding the visa: 

  • You must have your original passport which must be valid for at least 6 months after departure from Tanzania, and there must be two blank pages for entry and exit stamps in your passport
  • 50 U.S. dollars in cash / approximately £33
  • When arriving and departing documentation must be filled out, this can be found at the airport

The rules on visas can be checked on the Foreign Ministry’s website.

We recommend you confirm the above visa rules as they may change at short notice. You can contact the Tanzanian Embassy in London for more information. For more information please refer to the below contact details:

Tanzania High Commission UK 
3 Stratford Place W1C 1AS 
London, UK

Tel: +44 (0) 207 569 1470
Email: balozi@tanzania-online.gov.uk

6 Receiving flight information

We will send you your travel itinerary as soon as the flights are booked. Here you can see exactly what your tour is going to look like. We use electronic tickets that you have to print out. Once tickets are issued, we will send you an email with the booking number and the information that you need to print out the tickets. Simultaneously, you will receive a letter with useful telephone numbers for the trip, including a phone number so you can always get in touch with one of us here at Africasafari.co.uk, also outside normal office hours.

7 Upgrading and extra leg room

Many airlines now offer an upgrade of reserved tickets for seats with extra space and comfort. We can not upgrade your reservation, but this can in most cases be done on the airline’s website.

Unfortunately, we cannot reserve seats with extra leg room, such as emergency exit seats on the plane. If you need additional space, we recommend that you check in at the airport as early as possible on the day of departure and ask for help there.

8 Suitcases and hand luggage

We use many different airlines to Tanzania, therefore it may vary how much baggage and hand luggage you can carry on the aircraft. Find more information about this on your ticket or contact us if you have any questions.

You and your travel companions should pack so that you can each get by with the contents from each other’s suitcases.

Make sure you have all the important items and information in your hand luggage: passport, visa, airfare, insurance, credit cards, money and prescriptions if necessary.  You should carry information about your specific health condition plus malaria pills, any lifesaving medication (diabetics), anything used to treat allergies or a sudden stomach upset (maybe Imodium) and analgesic aspirin should all be kept accessible to you. Any expensive electrical equipment, such as a camera or computer should be well looked after.

The air-conditioning on board the aircraft can be cold, so maybe take a jacket inside your hand luggage.

9 Transfers to and from the airport

All local transfers to and from the airport are included in the package.

10 Lunch and drinks

There is full board during the whole climb. Drinks you pay for yourself.

11 Currency

Tanzania’s local currency is the Tanzanian shilling (TZS), but it is also possible to pay with US dollars (widely accepted), Euro and British Pounds in Tanzania. On safari we recommend your cash is carried in US dollars. Be sure to have change in small amounts with you (1 to 5 dollar bills) as this can be used for buying souvenirs and the payment of tips or the like.

ATM machines are few and far between in Tanzania, so be sure to exchange your US dollars in the UK before travel. In Zanzibar you can pay by card at the hotel, this also applies for any excursions you wish to purchase. There is an ATM at the arrivals lounge in the airport in Zanzibar and in Stone Town.

The departure fee of between 8 and 49 US dollars must be paid in cash.

12 Tipping

In Tanzania, it is customary to provide guides, waiters and other service personnel a tip.
The personnel expect a tip, but it is of course up to you how much you will give.
It’s a good idea to give the guide a regular tip, so he feels that his good work is appreciated.
Give the tip personally and always have a little change in your pocket.

As a rule of thumb, you can expect the following:

  • 1 USD for the porter who carries your baggage
  • 10% in bars and restaurants
  • 1 USD per day for the maid

We have an agreement stipulating that our guests pay a fixed sum of 250 USD per person as tips to the guides and porters. This applies to all of the different routes to Kilimanjaro. 

Put the sum in an envelope and give it to Nur, Joram or Frank at the Springlands Hotel reception, and they will ensure the tips are properly distributed between the guides and porters.

13 Responsible Tourism

As a company we are aware of our responsibility and work towards optimising our working conditions in Kilimanjaro.

Both guides and porters receive a fixed salary that is in accordance with rates set by the Kilimanjaro National Park. In addition, our business partner is a member of KIATO – Kilimanjaro Association Of Tour Operators, and initiator of Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society, working towards better conditions for guides and porters on Kilimanjaro.

14 Time difference

Tanzania is 2 hours ahead of GMT.

15 Language

Tanzania has English and Kiswahili as the two main languages.  Inhabitants are spread over 130 tribes with nearly as many local languages.

16 Overnight on Kilimanjaro

You will spend the night in tents or cottages depending on the route you selected to the peak of Kilimanjaro.

The Machame, Shira, Rongai and Lemosho routes include tents and foam mattresses. The tents will be set up by the porters. You must bring your own air mattress should you wish to use one. We recommend using a sleeping pad that can handle low temperatures.

We recommend using a sleeping bag that can handle temperatures as low as -25 degrees Celsius.

On the Marangu route, you stay in simple cottages with bunk beds and foam mattresses. Here you must bring a warm sleeping bag on your own as well.

17 Group size

When you book a trip to Kilimanjaro with us, you become a part of an international group. Each group consists of up to 8 people. Each group has a guide, assistant guides, porters and chefs for the journey.

If you are a group of over 8 people from one country who wish to climb Kilimanjaro together, then naturally this is possible as well. Contact us or write in the comments section when you request the Kilimanjaro tour.

18 Altitude sickness

Kilimanjaro is technically not a very difficult mountain to climb, but due to the huge difference in height from top to bottom, you may be very prone to some altitude sickness.

Altitude sickness can strike anybody regardless of their condition. Each person has different ways of coping with altitude sickness if it hits and it is very difficult to say if you will encounter it or in fact be completely free of it.

This is simply the body’s reaction to reduction in oxygen levels, the higher you climb. There is half as much oxygen at the top of Kilimanjaro, as there is at sea level. If you do not slowly adapt to the change in altitude (acclimatisation), the body struggles to keep up, which may even lead to death. Acclimatisation is a process in which the body slowly goes through the ascent process and gets used to the lack of oxygen. This can be done for example, by increasing breathing frequency, so the lungs receive more oxygen.

More red blood cells are formed, which effectively transport oxygen into the blood. A rule of thumb says that you should not sleep any more than 300-500 metres higher than the day before, to achieve a good acclimatisation. This is a problem on Kilimanjaro, where camps are often located 800-1000 metres apart. The body’s first signs of lack of oxygen could be that you get a headache, dizziness, insomnia, nausea and a loss of appetite. This is a mild form of altitude sickness and the symptoms often disappear overnight or if an extra day is spent at the same altitude.
The more extreme symptoms may include vomiting, difficulty walking, coordination difficulties or a dry cough.

19 In the event of altitude sickness

There is only one true remedy to this sickness and that is to travel down, down, down. It can not be emphasised enough of the importance of this, should your symptoms worsen.
At worst, you could get swelling on the brain and a fluid accumulation on the lungs. These are two potentially lethal forms of altitude sickness. Prevention of altitude sickness is best done by acclimatisation, drinking ample amounts of fluid and ensuring a high-carbohydrate diet.

If you were to get altitude sickness and must go down, you will be followed by someone to the nearest camp to rest. Normally we stay here and continue the descent the next day.

20 Equipment to have with you

It will be expected that you are able to carry your own daily bag / backpack. You should have everything with that you need, before you are settled in the camp at night time. You will not carry your own bag – a porter will assist in bringing it up. The maximum weight per porter is 15 kg. If your baggage is overweight you will be asked to pay 5 USD extra per day / approximately £4. Your personal luggage will be brought from camp to camp, and will be there when you arrive.

Important items to have in your day to day bag / backpack should be bottled water, snacks, a small first aid kit, camera, rain gear, gloves, hat and extra warm clothes.

21 Things to be aware of

  • Your baggage must not weigh more than 15 kg. Overweight baggage requires an additional carrier, which costs 5 USD per day / approximately £4 .
  • Unpack your electronic stuff into waterproof bags, which should preferably be double sealed.
    Pack clothes into plastic bags.
  • Day equipment should at least consist of: Water, sunglasses, camera, binoculars, rain gear and a jacket.
  • Remember to bring other personal items that you need during the day, as you will not be in possession of your bags until the evening time.
  • You can deposit any additional equipment free of charge in a locked room at Springlands Hotel.
  • You can deposit money for a fee of 1 USD per day / approximately £1 in a safety deposit box at Springlands Hotel.

22 Carrying and packing of equipment

  • A good ergonomic backpack for items to be worn during your trip.
  • Plastic bags.

23 Sensible clothing to bring

  • Short pants for the first and last day
  • Trousers for hiking and relaxing in the evening
  • T-shirts or short-sleeved shirts
  • Long-sleeved shirts or blouses for hiking and relaxing in the evening
  • Long-sleeved and long-legged underwear
  • Fleece
  • Fleece Pants
  • Long jacket or ski jacket
  • Waterproofs (both pants and jacket) for the rain and cold snow
  • Underwear
  • Sports bra for women

Clothes for colder weather

  • Gloves suitable for the climb and a pair of thin gloves which should be watertight
  • Cap or hat with sun visor
  • A warm hat that covers as much of the head, cheeks and neck as possible, like a balaclava
  • Hand and foot warmers

24 Footwear

  • It is very important that you ensure all footwear fits properly and has been walked in before you travel
  • Hiking boots should be warm, waterproof and with ankle support. They must have the appropriate weight – not too light and not too heavy
  • Sports shoes or sandals for relaxing in the evening
  • Legwarmers for the lower leg. It is recommended that they can be fastened underneath or inside your waterproof footwear
  • Hiking Socks for use in areas which are hot
  • Woolen socks for use in areas which are cold
  • Extra socks to ensure your feet are kept as dry and possible and you avoid blisters

25 General list of things to remember

  • Water flask
  • The first 2 x 1.5 liters of water must be purchased. There will then be free re-fills.
    To avoid the water freezing, it is recommended that you carry your water inside your jacket. You will also have access to clean and boiling water along the route
  • We recommend that you also bring energy drinks to quench both thirst and hunger
  • Water filter or iodine cleaning tablets
  • Sun hat with visor
  • Sunglasses
  • Scarf (thick and warm)
  • Cash (Cash in small amounts in USD, Euro and Tanzanian currency
  • Ski poles or trekking poles (can be rented at Springlands Hotel)
  • Head torch or lamp
  • Camera, films and camera tripod
  • Video camera and extra recording equipment
  • Batteries. Remember to bring at least one extra set for everything that uses batteries. The cold weather shortens battery life
  • Binoculars
  • Notebook, paper, pencil, pen
  • Pocket knife
  • Electrical adapter
  • Energy bars, snacks, chocolates, and compressed food
  • Playing cards, games, books,  football, etc.
  • Plastic bags and waterproof bags with double zippers
  • Needles and thread for repairs
  • Salt, pepper and other spices
  • Swimwear for use in the hotel swimming pool

Much of the equipment can be rented at Springlands Hotel. See more under sections 28.

26 Toiletries

  • Toilet paper and a bag in which you can store the used toilet paper on the trips
  • Small towel
  • Soap
  • A toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Napkins or something for wiping away sweat
  • Hand Soap
  • Lotion
  • Glasses or contact lenses. (Remember to take the lenses out each night to prevent blurred vision)
  • Comb, brush, small mirror

27 Important documents

  • Passport
  • Vaccination card
  • Visa
  • Social Security Card
  • Address Book
  • Flight details
  • Cash, traveler’s checks, credit cards, and the like
  • Maps, travel books, guides, and the like

It may be a good idea to make copies of passports, visas, tickets, itinerary and traveler’s checks. You should then leave the copies at home with a friend or in a place other than your luggage.

28 First aid

  • Headache Tablets and similar painkillers
  • Throat pastilles
  • Plasters
  • Sports Tape
  • Sunscreen (SPF 15 +)
  • Lip balm with sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Disinfectant, antiseptic gel
  • Volume, gauze, bandages and support
  • Medication for diarrhea
  • Antihistamines (for example, hay fever and allergic reactions
  • Sleep Medications
  • Malaria Pills
  • Antibiotics
  • Prescription drugs

For more information regarding medication, please contact your doctor.

29 Equipment renting costs

Equipment Price per week pp
Rucksack 12 USD – approximately £7
Mont Bell sleeping bag
(-25-35C Temp.)
40 USD – approximately £24
Poncho 18 USD – approximately £11
Duffel Bag 10 USD – approximately £7
Plastic Bag   4 USD – approximately £2
Trek poles 12 USD – approximately £7
Leggings   8 USD – approximately £5
Gloves   8 USD – approximately £5
Sweater   5 USD – approximately £4
Long underwear   5 USD – approximately £4
Raincoat 12 USD – approximately £7
Rain Pants 12 USD – approximately £7
Hiking boots   9 USD – approximately £6
Fleece pants   6 USD – approximately £4
Winter jacket 12 USD – approximately £7
Balaclava   6 USD – approximately £4
Hat or Neck Scarf   6 USD – approximately £4

These prices are for guidance only. Prices are subject to change.
The equipment can be rented at Springlands Hotel in Tanzania.

30 Things to avoid during your trip

  • Do not drink water from the taps – buy bottled water when possible
  • Do not eat fresh fruits and vegetables which you are not sure has been boiled or washed properly
  • Keep away from people who cough and sneeze
  • Never take any medication that you have not brought yourself from home. Do not buy any medication from the pharmacies, as some of the products may not be exactly what they claim to be on the packaging
  • Try to avoid being injected for any reason at a clinic or medical centre (some travelers even pack their own syringes for the tour)
  • Try to avoid any trips to the dentist
  • Never walk alone. Preferably only with the guide