Perhaps the most and easiest climbed mountain in the world, Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa. More than 25,000 travelers come from all corners of the world to attempt a summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Some easily walk to the top, others struggle after only a few days, but everyone enjoys the views and camaraderie of attempting to climb one of the highest free-standing mountains in the world.
Kilimanjaro is one of those few mountains in the world that can climbed by almost anyone, without any special equipment. That’s what makes it appeasing to the thousands of travelers coming to Tanzania for there three week vacation. From glaciers, to snowfields, to deserts and moorland, Kilimanjaro’s beauty lies in its myriad of ecosystems.
Although Kilimanjaro could be considered a beginners mountain, you still need to make sure to correctly prepare for your trip. If you are not organizing the trek through a western-based company, and prefer to work with a local company, there area number of things to consider.
There are both good and bad trekking companies in Tanzania. Some companies pride themselves on packing every possible amenity, like toilets and showers, while others companies offer the very basic of services — you might not even get a table or descent food. It’s important, therefore, to use a reputable company; one that has references, an office, and good guides. There are plenty of sketchy companies and guides, wandering the streets of Arusha and Moshi, looking to sell you a tour. While it’s best not to use their services, if you decided to get the cheapest price, it’s important that you go inside an actual office and not arrange it on the streets.
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Meet the Guides:
It’s important to meet your potential mountain guide and discuss with him your expectations on the mountains as well as discover if you like him. Remember, you’re going to spend more than 6 days with him under sometimes intense, rough circumstances — and should like him. You should find out about his knowledge of first aid, the mountain, and approximately how many times he climbed the mountain.
Itinerary for Each Day:
Whether you choose the Machame, Marangu, or another route, it’s important to see an itinerary of each day, highlighting the events of the day, distance of walk, expected time, and location for sleeping. This will set your expectations and show if your guide really know what he is talking about.
Problems naturally happen in Africa. It’s a way of life. Although everyone says, “hakuna matata,” which means “no problem,” There are many problems that arise in Tanzania — and perhaps that is the reason for their motto. While on the mountain, it’s imperative that your guide and tour company have a contingency plan for emergencies. Because someone could get hurt on the trip, whether it’s a tourist, guide or porter, the guide should have some first aid procedures: Does he have a first aid kit? Does he have a plan if someone can’t summit and needs to return?