"You guy's did a great job and I will climb with RMI again. "
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Climbing Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro is an unforgettable experience and the seven day climb from the rainforest at the mountain’s foot to the glaciers at its summit is unlike any other adventure on earth. Highlights include:
- Hike through the jungles and giant heather of the Machame Route, a beautiful and less traveled option to the standard “Coca-Cola Route” of Kilimanjaro.
- Climb with an experienced RMI Guide, benefiting from the background, training, and expertise of our guides as you venture to higher altitudes.
- RMI’s fantastic local mountain staff ensure our team enjoys fresh and clean food, comfortable camps, and climbers have the luxury of carrying only light day packs throughout the climb.
- Take advantage of a well planned acclimatization schedule that includes seven days on the mountain, ultimately giving you a better chance of success.
- Take part in the legacy of an RMI adventure and see why we continue to set the standard in guiding excellence.
Our climb of Kilimanjaro follows Machame Route, which is also known as the Whiskey Route for its “intoxicating” views of the mountain. The extraordinary success rate of our chosen route is attributed to the fact we spend a full seven days on the mountain, giving our team the needed time to properly acclimatize on our way to the summit. The altitude makes our Kilimanjaro climb challenging, but the support of local porters allows our climbers to carry only light packs throughout the trip, allowing us to focus on the climb and appreciate the experience of climbing Kilimanjaro. After returning from the mountain we spend the night in Arusha before return flights home the next day.
THE RMI DIFFERENCE
Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. was established in 1969 and is one of America's oldest and most-trusted guide services. We are the largest guide service on Mt. Rainier and Mt. McKinley and leaders in guiding climbs and treks around the globe. Our years of leading mountain adventures give us the experience and knowledge to lead the best possible trips. We work hard to live up to our reputation as an industry leader. Our trip preparation before departure takes care of the details for you, from lodging, airport transfers, to permits, so that you can focus on preparing for the climb instead of the distraction that comes with coordinating logistics.
Our Kilimanjaro climbs are led by RMI’s foremost U.S. guides, who bring years of climbing experience on not only Kilimanjaro but on mountains all over the world, from the Andes to the Alaska Range to the Himalayas. As you reach higher elevations and test the limits of your experience, the value of an accomplished, highly trained RMI Guide held to our standards and who can effectively communicate with you cannot be understated. Our professional guides often make the difference between safely reaching the summit or not. We have cultivated a close relationship with our local outfitter on Kilimanjaro whose years of organizing Kilimanjaro climbs is evident in the outstanding local staff we climb with. Our relationships there are the key to our trip’s success.
RMI’s climb of Kilimanjaro redefines the meaning of mountain luxury: we have the very best food and camps on the mountain. Our professional, experienced mountain cooks adhere to strict standards of hygiene while fresh, clean fruits and vegetables complement our excellent menu. At camp we have roomy sleeping tents, private toilets, and dining tents complete with tables and chairs. Our highly sought after mountain staff has thought of every detail – from the candles at dinner to the hot cup of tea in bed each morning!
RMI is proud to be an International Mountain Explorers Connection’s (IMEC) Partner for Responsible Travel. IMEC focuses on improving the working conditions of the porters on Kilimanjaro through its Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) in Moshi, Tanzania. RMI, alongside the Dik Dik Hotel, works to ensure proper outfitting for the Kilimanjaro porters assisting our programs. This includes providing for their food and water, securing care during sickness, helping with the receipt of their wages and tips, and ensuring that loads do not exceed the maximum recommended weights.
Safety has always been RMI's top priority and we strive to create the safest mountain experience possible. RMI's experienced team of guides focus on leading a fun and successful climb without compromising safety. We apply the same standards of safety we bring to Alaska and the Himalayas to our climbs of Kilimanjaro. While Kilimanjaro is a non-technical mountain, we do reach high altitudes on the climb. Our guides are trained, experienced, and certified by rigorous American standards in wilderness and high altitude medicine and Leave No Trace techniques. We have spent considerable time in the mountains and know how to do so safely and comfortably; we don’t rush to the top but instead focus on using techniques that allow us to adjust and even excel in the thin air. Comprehensive medical kits, rescue equipment, and radio and satellite communication equipment are carried with the team throughout the climb.
As you prepare for your upcoming adventure please feel free to contact our office and speak directly to one of our experienced guides regarding equipment, conditioning, the route, or any other questions you may have about our programs. We are available Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (888) 89-CLIMB or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kilimanjaro Climb Only Itinerary
Day 1: Depart U.S.A. Depending on flight times and connections, travel to Arusha, Tanzania typically takes over 24 hours from the U.S. We recommend flying from Amsterdam directly to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).
Day 2: Upon your evening arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport, you are met by your RMI Guide and transferred in our private vehicle to the enchanting Dik Dik Hotel near the town of Usa River. Overnight at the Dik Dik Hotel. (D)
Note: Our transfer times follow the KLM schedule, if you are arriving on another carrier, a private transfer can be arranged for you at an additional cost.
The Dik Dik Hotel
Day 3: Following the morning team orientation meeting, we spend most of the day organizing and packing all of our gear. We will have some time in the afternoon to relax by the pool and recover from our long flights. Overnight at the Dik Dik Hotel. (B, L, D)
Amenities at the Dik Dik Hotel
Day 4: Our day begins with a beautiful drive to Kilimanjaro National Park. The starting point of our trek is the Machame Gate (5,900') where we enter the Park. After registering with the Park Rangers, we begin hiking through the dense forest to the Machame Camp (9,800'), where we spend the first night. Hiking time is approximately 5 - 6 hours. (B, L, D)
Hiking in Kilimanjaro National Park
Day 5: We continue ascending, headed towards the Shira Plateau at 12,200'. After leaving the forest and traveling through the "Giant Heather" zone, we set up camp on a bench overlooking the Great Rift Valley. If the weather is clear we enjoy spectacular views of the summit of Kilimanjaro. Hiking time is approximately 4 - 6 hours. (B, L, D)
The "Giant Heather" zone and Shira Plateau
Day 6: Our day begins with a traverse of the mountain, taking us underneath the Arrow Glacier and Western Breach Wall. We walk among the giant lobelias and groundsels, vegetation that is unique to the high altitudes of East Africa. Our camp is set at the base of the great Barranco Wall, a steep canyon emerging from Kilimanjaro's southern side (12,800'). Hiking time is approximately 5 - 6 hours. (B, L, D)
The Barranco Wall
Day 7: An early departure after breakfast allows us magnificent views as we traverse beneath the Southern Breech Wall. Our traverse takes place at elevations between 13,000' and 14,500'. Our camp is situated on the edge of the Karanga Valley below the glaciers of Kilimanjaro. Hiking time is approximately 4 - 5 hours. (B, L, D)
The Karanga Valley
Day 8: The vegetation gradually disappears as we work our way towards high camp. We establish camp at approximately 15,000' near the Barafu hut. After an early dinner and a team meeting to discuss our summit attempt, we retire to our tents in preparation for our summit bid. Hiking time is approximately 3 - 4 hours. (B, L, D)
Day 9: Summit Day on Kilimanjaro! Today we ascend to the Roof of Africa at 19,340'! We will get an early alpine start, planning to arrive at the crater rim by sunrise. We continue hiking along the crater rim, and in one more hour find ourselves standing on the highest point in Africa, Uhuru Peak. After celebrating on the summit, we start the descent back to high camp. We will pack our camp and continue descending to Mweka Camp, which is located down in the lush forests at 10,000'. Hiking time is approximately 12 - 14 hours. (B, L, D)
Journey to the Summit Summit of Kilimanjaro
Day 10: After a much needed night's rest the team continues the descent down through the forest, finishing our trek at the Mweka Gate (6,000'). After we load up the gear, our bus takes us back to the Dik Dik Hotel to rest and celebrate. Hiking time is approximately 3 - 4 hours. (B, L, D)
Descending to the Mweka Gate and dinner at the Dik Dik Hotel
Day 11: The day is spent enjoying the hotel grounds and relaxing by the pool. After an early dinner, we are transferred to the airport for our evening flights. (B, L, D)
Day 12: Continued flights and arrival to U.S.
Key: B, L, D = Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included.
Kilimanjaro Climb Only Equipment List
The following is a list of required equipment. We may encounter a variety of weather conditions throughout our climb, including rain, wind, snow, sleet and extreme heat. Skimping on equipment can jeopardize your safety and success, so we want you to think carefully about any changes or substitutions you are considering. If you have questions regarding the equipment needed for your upcoming climb, give us a call and speak directly to one of our experienced guides.
Most of the required equipment is available for rent or purchase from our affiliate Whittaker Mountaineering. RMI climbers receive a 10% discount on new clothing and equipment items ordered from Whittaker Mountaineering. This offer excludes sale items. For internet orders, please use the discount code RMI2014.
Pack & Bag Guides' Pick
2 DUFFEL BAGS: A 120+ liter bag made of tough material with rugged zippers. One duffel will be taken on the mountain and carried by the porters with all of your mountain equipment. The other duffel will be left at the hotel with extra gear and clothing.
BACKPACK: A 40+ liter pack is the recommended size for this climb.
PACK COVER (OPTIONAL): Protects your pack from rain while on the trail.
DAY PACK: A 25+ liter day pack to use as carry-on, while traveling or sightseeing.
SLEEPING BAG: A bag rated 0° to 15° F. Either goose down or synthetic.
SLEEPING PAD: Full length inflatable or closed cell pad. If you would like a little more comfort, consider bringing a second pad, either full-lenth or 3/4 length.
Technical Gear Guides' Pick
TREKKING POLES: Lightweight and collapsible poles are preferred. Larger baskets work well with deep snow. Ski poles will also work.
Head Guides' Pick
BUFF / NECK GAITER / BALACLAVA: One item for face protection is required. Our primary recommendation is the Buff. A neck gaiter or balaclava is also acceptable.
GLACIER GLASSES: You will need protective sunglasses, either dark-lensed with side shields or full wrap-around frames. Almost all sunglasses block UV-A, UV-B and infrared rays adequately. Pay attention to the visible light transmission. The darkest lenses (glacier glasses) only allow approx. 6% visible light to get through, while lighter lenses (driving glasses) let in as much as 20+ %. A good rule of thumb is that if you can see the wearer’s pupils through the lenses, they are too light for sun protection at altitude.
Each glove layer is worn separately as conditions change during the climb.
LIGHT WEIGHT GLOVE: One pair of fleece, soft-shell or wind-stopper gloves.
MEDIUM WEIGHT GLOVE: Wind/water resistant, insulated mountain gloves.
HEAVY WEIGHT INSULATED GLOVE OR MITTEN: Wind/water resistant, insulated gloves or mittens. These also serve as emergency back-ups if you drop or lose a glove.
We recommend a minimum of five upper body layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Two of these should be insulating layers, one light and one medium, that fit well together. Today there are many different layering systems to choose from, including fleece, soft-shell, down and synthetic options.
LIGHT TO MEDIUM WEIGHT BASELAYER: Long-sleeve wool or synthetic top. Quarter zip styles will allow for better temperature regulation. We recommend light colors, which best reflect the intense sun on hot days.
RAIN JACKET (HARD SHELL): A jacket made of rain-proof material with an attached hood. We recommend a thinner lightweight jacket rather than a heavier insulated jacket.
INSULATED PARKA with HOOD: This expedition-style heavy parka should extend below the waist and must have an insulated hood. While the parka is worn primarily at rest breaks on summit day, it serves as an emergency garment if needed. We recommend down rather than synthetic fill as down weighs less. The parka does not have to be waterproof, though that is a nice feature.
HIKING SHIRT: Lightweight, synthetic shirt with either long or short sleeves. The long sleeve is preferred for sun/bug protection.
We recommend a system of four layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Products which combine several layers into one garment, such as traditional ski pants, don’t work well as they don’t offer the versatility of a layering system.
2 - 3 PAIR UNDERWEAR: Non-cotton briefs or boxers.
LIGHT TO MEDIUM WEIGHT BASELAYER: Synthetic or wool.
CLIMBING PANT: Soft-shell climbing pants offer a wide range of versatility. You can wear them in combination with the base layer on colder days, or alone on warmer days.
RAIN PANT (HARD SHELL): A high-quality, waterproof pant. Full-length side zippers are required for facilitating quick clothing adjustments over boots.
HIKING SHORTS: Good for lower elevations and warm, sunny days.
Feet Guides' Pick
HIKING BOOTS: A pair of lightweight boots for approaches and hiking on rugged terrain.
LIGHTWEIGHT HIKING SHOES: Great for travel, day hikes, and camp.
GAITERS: Large enough to fit over your trekking boots to guard against mud and snow.
4 PAIR OF SOCKS: Either wool or synthetic. Whatever sock combination you are accustomed to wearing during your training or previous adventures (whether single medium weight socks, a medium weight with a liner sock, two medium weight socks together, etc), should work just fine for this climb.
Miscellaneous Items Guides' Pick
SUNSCREEN: We recommend small tubes of SPF 15 or higher, which can be carried in pockets for easy access and to prevent freezing.
MEALS: See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.
1 - 2 PAIR CHEMICAL TOE WARMERS
2 - 3 PAIR CHEMICAL HAND WARMERS
2 WATER BOTTLES: Hard-sided, screw-top, one-liter water bottles with wide mouths are required.
2 - 3 GARBAGE BAGS (LARGE): We recommend lining your day pack and duffel bag with garbage bags to keep items completely dry.
SMALL HAND TOWEL: Daily wash water provided. Towel is used to dry face and hands.
LUGGAGE LOCKS: For your duffel bags. Must be TSA approved.
2 - 3 STUFF SACKS
2 PAIR SHORTS
2 PAIR CASUAL PANTS
3 SHIRTS: For hotel dinners and while traveling.
SWEATER / SWEATSHIRT
PEE BOTTLE (PEE FUNNEL FOR WOMEN)
Personal First Aid Kit
ASPRIN / IBUPROFEN / TYLENOL
PEPTO-BISMOL (STOMACH RELIEF)
SMALL ROLL OF ADHESIVE TAPE
ANTIBIOTICS: Broad spectrum antibiotics for Traveler's Diarrhea.
TYLENOL #3: Tylenol 3 for pain
ACETAZOLAMIDE: For Altitiude Illness
Utensils Guides' Pick
CLEANSING FACE WIPES
READING MATERIAL / JOURNAL
iPOD or MP3 PLAYER
PASSPORT: Valid for six months beyond your return date.
COPY OF PASSPORT: The first two pages of your passport.
COPY OF FLIGHT ITINERARY
2 EXTRA PASSPORT PHOTOS
Purchase travel insurance.
Return the Registration Packet to the RMI Office.
Purchase airplane tickets.
Reserve rental equipment.
Be in the Best Shape of Your Life!
RMI provides the following equipment for your program: sleeping tents, dining tent, stoves, group cooking equipment, fuel, tables, chairs, and private biological toilet at each camp,
Every guide on your climb will carry rescue equipment and a first aid kit. Each climb has two-way radios and a satellite phone for emergency contact.
With the exception of snack food and beverages, all meals are included as indicated in our Trip Itinerary. Your trip fee does not included bottled water and drinks.
Please list any special dietary needs on the Participant Information Form. The form must be returned to the RMI Office 90 days prior to the program departure date.
You are responsible for your own mountain snacks for 5 days. Snack items should weigh about 2 - 3 lbs. We may have a chance to purchase additional food, but we recommend you take what you need and only supplement with local food if necessary.
Take snacks that you genuinely enjoy. Eating well is the key to maintaining your strength while in the mountains. And in order to combat the loss of appetite at altitude, it is best to have a variety of foods from which to choose, from sweet to sour to salty.
Snacks are eaten during short breaks throughout the day while in the mountains. Avoid packing any items that require preparation or hot water.
Recommended snack items: dry salami, smoked salmon, jerky (turkey, beef), small cans of tuna fish, individually wrapped cheeses such as Laughing Cow or Baby Bell, crackers, candy bars, hard candies (Jolly Ranchers, Toffees, Life Savers), Gummy Bears, sour candies (Sweet Tarts), cookies, dried fruit, nuts, energy bars, GORP mixes, and drink mixes (Gatorade/Kool-Aid).
Trail Lunch to MACHAME CAMP
Beef and Chicken Sandwiches
Hard Boiled Eggs, Dried Fruit and Nuts,
Chocolate Bar, Cake, Biscuits, Yogurt, Juice
Dinner at MACHAME CAMP
Vichyssoise Cream Soup
Fish Fillet on Basil Sauce
Potato in Butter and Vegetables
Trail Lunch to SHIRA CAMP
Macaroni and Tunafish Salad
Beef and Cold Meats
Hard Boiled Eggs, Baby Corn, Mustard and Mayonnaise, Cucumber and Tomato Salad
Fresh Fruit, Bread and Butter
Dinner at SHIRA CAMP
Tomato Cream Soup
Chicken Stew on Worcester Sauce
Garnished Rice and Vegetables
Trail Lunch to BARRANCO CAMP
Sandwiches, Stuffed Bread
Hard Boiled Eggs, Fresh Fruit, Dried Fruit and Nuts,
Rice Cakes, Biscuits, Cake
Dinner at BARRANCO CAMP
Potato and Leek Cream Soup
Homemade Sausage with Spaetzli with Brown Sauce and Vegetables
Hot Lunch at KARANGA VALLEY
Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce
Bread and Butter
Dinner at KARANGA CAMP
Cream of Vegetable Soup
Pork Escalope on Mushroom Sauce with Rice and Vegetables
Lunch at BARAFU CAMP
Potato and Sweet Corn Salad
Variety of Cheese and Crackers
Olives, Cucumber and Tomato Salad
Mustard, Mayonnaise, Bread and Butter
Chocolate and Biscuits
Dinner at BARAFU CAMP
Beef and Vegetable Goulash with Macaroni
|DAY 6 - Summit Day|
Midnight Snack at BARAFU CAMP
Light Climber's Breakfast - Biscuits and Tea
Summit Lunch for UHURU PEAK
Hard Boiled Eggs, Chocolate Bars, Biscuits
Dried Fruit and Nuts, Rice Cakes
Dinner at MWEKA CAMP
Beef Fillet with Wine Sauce
Banana or Pineapple Flambé
Lunch at MWEKA Gate
Full Lunch spread waiting for us at the end of the trail.
This trip is open to all individuals in excellent physical condition and is a great first trip to altitudes above 15,000 feet. No previous mountaineering experience is required.
Physical Fitness Training
Mountaineering requires a high degree of physical stamina and mental toughness. Even for the healthiest and fittest individuals, climbing mountains qualifies as an extremely challenging endeavor.
- Start immediately. Start a rigorous fitness and training program now with the goal of arriving in top physical condition and confident in your skills.
- Be intentional. Focus on gaining the necessary strength, stamina and skills to meet the physical and technical demands of the climb.
- Be sport-specific. The best fitness and training program mimics the physical and technical demands of your climbing objective. The closer you get to your program date, the more your training should resemble the climbing.
For Kilimanjaro, you are preparing for:
- Hiking/trekking with a 15-20 lb load
- A 12+ hour summit day
- The Kilimanjaro trek climbs through lowland forest and you should expect to spend at least some time travelling in the rain.
- Mountaineering techniques which require core strength and flexibility
Nothing ensures a personally successful adventure like your level of fitness and training. Bottom line: Plan on being in the best shape of your life and ready for a very challenging adventure!
Please refer to our Resources for Mountaineering Fitness and Training for detailed fitness and training information.
The key to climbing high is proper acclimatization. Our program follows a calculated ascent profile which allows time for your body to adjust to the altitude.
Excellent physical conditioning significantly increases your ability to acclimatize as you ascend. Climbers in excellent physical condition simply have more energy to commit to the acclimatization process throughout the days and nights of the ascent, allowing their bodies to adjust to the altitude more easily.
Finally, physical performance and acclimatization are also related to how well you have taken care of yourself throughout the hours, days and weeks prior to summit day. Arriving healthy and well-rested, maintaining proper hydration and caloric intake, and protecting against unnecessary heat loss (staying warm) are all key factors in an individual’s success on an expedition such as this.
RMI has partnered with Erin Rountree to provide comprehensive travel support. We have been working with Erin for many years. As an independent agent of the Travel Society, she has booked countless miles for adventure travelers across the globe and is extremely knowledgeable about the travel needs of our programs. In addition to travel arrangements, Erin can also provide information and coverage for evacuation policies and insurance options. Please call (208) 788-2870 or email email@example.com.
Cancellation Insurance, Medical Evacuation & Security Evacuation
We strongly encourage everyone to purchase Travel Insurance which can cover trip cancellation, interruption, delay, baggage loss or delay, medical expenses, medical evacuation, repatriation and more. The wise traveler, while perhaps able to walk away from the non-refundable cost of an adventure, recognizes that travel insurance offers the best possible protection in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness or injury prior to or when traveling. Note that many of the insurance options can be purchased under one policy but some coverage may only be available if purchased within 14 days of making your trip deposit or if purchased as an upgrade to an existing policy rather than as a stand-alone option.
Due to the remote nature of this program, we strongly encourage participants to consider both cancellation insurance and a separate medical evacuation policy.
Cancellation Insurance: Cancellation insurance offers protection of deposit and registration funds should you need to cancel from a program. This might be due to an injury during training, a personal illness, or it might be due to extenuating circumstances, such as family emergencies. Check with the insurance providers listed below for specific coverage details and options, including adventure/sports coverage.
Medical Evacuation: An illness or injury in a remote area could require a medical evacuation costing well over $100,000. Travel insurance providers (such as AIG Travel Guard and Travelex Insurance) typically offer reimbursement for medical evacuations. Additionally, crisis response companies (such as Global Rescue) can orchestrate an actual field rescue as necessary in medical, security or other evacuation situations, even from extremely remote areas. Check with the insurance providers listed below for specific coverage details and options, including details of what constitutes a medical vs. a non-medical emergency.
Security Evacuation: This policy offers crisis evacuation services in non-medical situations. Examples include evacuations from areas affected by natural disasters, war or conflict zones, terrorism, and other areas in which participant security is threatened.
For more information please visit one of the websites below, or contact your local travel agent.
|AIG Travel Guard||Erin Rountree|
|Travelex Insurance||Global Rescue|
Travel Advisories / Warnings
Please confirm any current travel advisories/warnings as well as entry requirements with the U.S. Department of State.
Travel to Tanzania is relatively straightforward. Most people fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) in Arusha either directly from Amsterdam or from London with a connecting flight through Nairobi.
The time in Tanzania is ten hours later than in Seattle; seven hours later than New York.
Flights departing Arusha should be booked for 7 p.m. or later on our last day in Africa (Day 11).
A valid passport is required when traveling to Tanzania. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the expected date of return. U.S. passport holders can stay up to 90 days without special visas.
We suggest making a copy of the first two pages of your passport and keeping them in a separate bag as a backup. A copy should also be left with your emergency contact.
A Tanzanian visa is required for travel and can be purchased upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport. The price for the visa is $100. It is requested that you have exact change and if possible only bills printed in 2006 or later. They will provide you with an entrance permit adequate for your stay. Please check the date to ensure it covers your complete stay in Tanzania.
You may also register in advance for a Tanzanian Visa by completing the application and sending your passport along with additional materials to the Embassy of Tanzania. Please visit the Tanzania Embassy website for more information.
Once you have entered the Arrivals Building, proceed to the "Visas" office window located on the right. After obtaining your Visa, proceed through the Passport Control before going to the baggage claim area. Then proceed through Customs. Be sure to keep all your bags together. After you clear customs, your RMI guide will meet you outside.
The provided transportation in Tanzania as stated in the itinerary is via private vehicle.
Immunizations & Travel Medicine
For the most current information on inoculation requirements and recommendations, please refer to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention.
Travelers may suffer from upset stomachs when in foreign countries. There are some basic rules, however, that can help keep you healthy.
Hygiene: It is important that you wash your hands thoroughly before meals and after using the restroom. If water is not available for washing, we recommend using a hand sanitizer.
Water: The number one rule is: don't drink the water, and that includes shower water and ice! Brush your teeth with purified water rather than tap water. You should check bottled water for a good seal and use a napkin to wipe excess moisture from drinking glasses. Take care with fruit juice, particularly if it has been diluted with water. Carefully clean the tops of bottled beverages before opening.
Food: If it is cooked, boiled or can be peeled, you can usually eat it. Salads and fruits should be washed with purified water or peeled where possible. Be wary of ice cream and shellfish. Always avoid any undercooked meat.
While the small Mt. Meru Regional Hospital is located in Arusha, no Level 1 trauma care exists in Arusha or Moshi. Kilimanjaro and the safari remain remote locations without established medical facilities. Medical emergencies would require transport to a higher level of care in Nairobi, Kenya.
Tanzania Country Facts
The United Republic of Tanzania lies in East Africa at the edge of the Indian Ocean. The spice island of Zanzibar is separated from the mainland by a 22-mile channel. The country's name derives from the names of the two initial states, Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which unified in April 1964 to become Tanzania.
The population of Tanzania is nearly 45 million persons, consisting of numerous tribal and ethnic groups. 44% of the population is age 15 or younger.
The official language of Tanzania is Swahili, but English is widely spoken or understood and is the principal language of commerce.
Tanzania has a spectacular landscape including islands, coastal plains, the inland plateau and the highlands. The Great Rift Valley that runs from north east of Africa through central Tanzania adds scenic beauty to the country. The country has the largest concentration of wild animals and is home to numerous famous national parks and game reserves.
Tanzania enjoys a warm equatorial climate. Though Kilimanjaro is relatively dry and can be climbed year round, the main climbing seasons are during the months of January-February and June-September. These dates take advantage of both the best weather on Kilimanjaro as well as prime game-viewing. The weather is usually sunny and warm at the lower elevations, but can be quite cool in the evenings.
The two rainy seasons on Kilimanjaro are during the months of April-June and October-December. During the rainy season temperatures are colder and the trails turn muddy.
Although it is not expected that we dress formally, we should dress modestly. Casual and comfortable clothing and shoes are suggested. Showing expensive cameras, watches, jewelry, etc. is considered unseemly and may attract unwanted attention.
On occasion, you will be approached by children for some little gift. Some ask directly for money. These children can be quite persistent. To keep from being hassled, a polite but firm “No, thank you” is generally sufficient.
It is expected that you engage in some degree of bargaining for market or street purchases. This is fun, and should be taken lightly.
Ask for permission before photographing individuals, particularly indigenous people. Most of the locals will gladly pose for a photo in exchange for a small gift. If in doubt, either ask or refrain. Don't photograph any government or military property or persons; this includes the airport.
Since the electricity in Africa is not the same as in the United States, voltage converters and plug adapters are required in order to use U.S. appliances.
The official currency of Tanzania is the Tanzanian shilling (TSh). Check a financial newspaper or www.xe.com for the current exchange rate prior to departure.
U.S. Dollars are accepted nearly everywhere. It is best to use crisp, clean bills printed in 2006 or later. We suggest bringing $800 in spending money for drinks, souvenirs, group tips and pocket money. You may choose to bring more depending on your shopping plans.
We recommend that you have some small denominations of cash with you for your arrival at the airport, shopping at local markets, paying for drinks, visiting a Maasai Village, etc. You should change to TSh only as much money as you think you may spend (i.e., carry cash of small denominations) as local currencies cannot be removed from the country or reconverted.
Cash machines, by far the best way to get cash in country, are readily available in Arusha.
Everyone has a preferred way to carry money. Some use money belts, others have hidden pockets. Whatever you do, be aware of pickpockets in any area which caters to tourists.
In Tanzania, waiters, drivers, and other service personnel usually expect to be tipped.
Everyone approaches tipping a little differently. Whether or not a person tips, and how much is completely dependent on the individual, but here are some suggested tipping guidelines for your trip.
Dik Dik Hotel Tip Pool: $10.00 per person per night for a total of 3 nights. The Dik Dik Hotel prefers that you do not tip individual staff members but instead contribute to their All Staff tip box located in the reception area.
Kilimanjaro Mountain Staff Tip Pool: We pool our tip money at our last night's camp on Kilimanjaro. We recommend that each climber contribute $175.00 to the pool. This will be split between all of our mountain staff - African Guides, cooks, and porters.
RMI Guides: Our guides work hard to ensure your well being and success on the mountain. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. Amounts are at your discretion and should be based on your level of enjoyment. Tips for excellent service normally average 10 – 15% of the cost of the program.
There are a number of books on travel health including: Staying Healthy in Asia, Africa and Latin America by Dirk Schroeder. Lonely Planet, Let's Go, Fodor's and Frommers are all good travel guides. Information and updates can be found on the website for the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs, which provides medical information for travelers as well as the consular information.
Alexander Stewart, Kilimanjaro: A Complete Trekker's Guide (A Cicerone Guide). Cicerone Press, 2004.
This is a beautifully illustrated, useful and packable guide.
A deposit of $1,500 per person secures your reservation. Final payment is due 90 days prior to the start of your program. Final payment may be made via check or wire transfer only. Trips departing within 90 days from the reservation date must be paid in full at the time of reservation.
We will send you a payment reminder approximately three weeks before your payment is due. If your final payment is not received within 90 days of the program your reservation will be cancelled and all fees forfeited.
Once we receive written notification (mail, e-mail, or fax) that you are canceling an individual participant or your entire reservation the following fees will apply. A fee of $750 per person will be charged for cancellations made more than 90 days before departure. There will be no refunds for cancellations made less than 90 days before your program.
Cancellation Insurance: We strongly suggest that everyone purchase travel insurance. Please see our Travel Page for details.
Included are the following:
- RMI Leadership
- Hotel accommodations as indicated in the itinerary, based on double occupancy*
- All park entrance fees
- Safari arrangements as indicated in the itinerary
- African guides, cooks and porters
- All group transportation in country
- All group cooking, climbing and camping equipment
Not included are the following:
- International airfare
- Travel insurance, medical evacuation insurance and security evacuation insurance
- Passport and visa fees
- Excess baggage fees & Departure taxes
- Meals not included in the itinerary
- Bottled water and personal drinks
- Mountain Staff Tip Pool (we suggest $205 per person)
- Customary guide gratuities
- Additional room charges including laundry service and other personal expenses
- Hotel accommodations not indicated in the itinerary
- Medical, hospitalization and evacuation costs (by any means)
* Accommodations are based on double occupancy. A Single Supplement Fee will be charged to those occupying single accommodations by choice or circumstance.
Safety is RMI's number one priority. Our guides manage significant hazards inherent in mountaineering such as avalanches, ice fall, rock fall, inclement weather, and high winds, but they cannot eliminate them. RMI guides draw from their wealth of experience and training to make sound decisions that improve your chance of reaching the summit without compromising the necessary margin of safety.
Please clearly understand that mountaineering is inherently a hazardous sport. You are choosing to engage in an activity in which participants have been injured and killed. While those accidents are indeed infrequent, they may occur at any time and be out of our control. We ask that participants acknowledge the risk and hazards of mountaineering, and make their own choices about whether or not to engage in this activity.
Mountaineering is both an individual challenge and a team endeavor. Some of the responsibility for the team is carried by the individual climbers. For this reason, we ask that each participant:
- is physically and mentally fit, properly attired and equipped, and continues to self assess throughout the program to ensure as safe a climb as possible. If a climber's own physical fitness limits his or her ability to safely continue upward, that can have a negative impact on the summit experience or opportunity of other climb participants.
- honestly and accurately describe themselves, in terms of fitness, health and skills, and their equipment to their guides, and that they adhere to the advice of their professional mountain guide.
Age-Appropriate Guidelines & Restrictions
In the interest of the safety and well-being of all participants, RMI adheres to the following age-appropriate guidelines and restrictions on all climbing programs, domestic and international.
- Ages 15 & under: No participants age 15 & under
- Ages 16 & 17: Accompanied by parent or legal guardian
- Ages 18 & above: No restrictions
An individual’s birthday must precede the departure date of the program. For example: a 15 year old who turns 16 on July 1 may participate on a program beginning July 2.
Accompaniment by parent or legal guardian is required for the program or climb.
Under-aged participants on Private Climb or Group Climb programs are assessed on an individual basis.
RMI's program plans and itineraries are subject to change or adjustment based on a number of factors. These include, but are not limited to, route conditions, weather, terrain, and many other factors. RMI has complete discretion to change plans to accommodate any of these or other factors, including discretion to change program schedule or itinerary, and change guides or staff, as necessary for the proper and safe conduct of the program.
We reserve the right to cancel any program due to inadequate signups, weather or route conditions. In such a case, a full refund is given; however, RMI cannot be responsible for any additional expenses incurred in preparing for the program (i.e., airline tickets, equipment purchase or rental, hotel reservations).
RMI cannot guarantee that you will reach the summit. Weather, route conditions, your own abilities, or the abilities of other climbers may create circumstances that make an ascent unsafe, and you or your entire party may have to turn around without reaching the summit. Failure to reach the summit due to a person's own lack of fitness or to any of the events associated with mountaineering (such as weather, route, avalanche hazard, team dynamics, etc.), are not Rainier Mountaineering, Inc.'s responsibility and will not result in refund or reschedule.
If the Participant decides to leave a trip at any time after the start of the trip and prior to its conclusion, he or she will not be entitled to a refund.
RMI reserves the right to dismiss the Participant from a trip or to send the Participant to a lower altitude at any time if RMI determines, in its sole discretion, that the Participant is not physically, technically, or psychologically prepared for or capable of participating in the program.
What is a day on the trek like?
A typical day on the trail begins around 7:00 am when we meet for breakfast in our dining tent. We begin trekking shortly thereafter and walk for between 4 - 7 hours. The trail is not a difficult hike but the altitude does make it a physical challenge. Depending on the length of the day's hike, we either stop for lunch along the trail or continue to camp and have lunch there.
After reaching our camp for the day (normally by early afternoon) we have the afternoon to rest, relax, or read a book, before meeting for dinner. There is plenty of down time - an important part of the acclimatization process - during the trek. Be sure to bring along a good book or a deck of cards!
How much weight am I carrying in my pack?
Backpacks on the trail should weigh approximately 15 to 20 lbs as we only carry the day's snacks, water, and a few extra layers in case of rain or cold temperatures. Porters assist us on the trek, carrying all of our sleeping gear, extra clothing, and equipment. Our porters are always available to help lighten your load if your backpack is proving a hindrance while on the trail.
What is the pace like?
Our goal is to get everyone through the day while having an enjoyable time! While the actual distances are relatively short, the altitudes to which we travel are very high and the days are still challenging. Overall, our guides set a reasonable pace - at the appropriate speed to cover the distance we need that day without going too quickly or too slowly.
What is the food like on the mountain?
Please see our Food details for an example of meals while on the mountain.
Is the water okay to drink?
We do not recommend drinking tap water in Tanzania. Bottled water is readily available at the hotel and at safari lodges. On the mountain, we provide our teams with boiled water that is safe to drink. Personal water filters or water treatment tablets are not needed.
What are the camps like?
We take the necessary time to establish nice camps that are surprisingly comfortable considering that we are on a mountain! We provide three-person tents for every two climbers. Our private toilets are small chemical toilets used exclusively by our group and enclosed in small tent to offer plenty of privacy. The cooking is done in a separate kitchen tent and our dining tent, with tables and chairs, is a nice to place to hang out and escape from the sun in the afternoon before the team sits down together to dine around the table.
What are the toilets like?
At camps we provide private chemical toilets that are used only by our team. On the trail there are occasional simple "latrine style" toilets but most of the time there are no established toilets between camps.
How will I be able to stay connected with those at home?
We suggest bringing a smart phone or a WIFI-enabled device and using it where WIFI and internet services are available, as in Arusha and at the safari lodges. Along the route, however, Wifi access is not available. Cell service is widely available across most of Tanzania.
Should I bring a cell phone or a satellite phone?
Sure, cell phone coverage exists on the majority of the climb; however, coverage is not always available depending on terrain and signal strength. Check with your cell phone carrier to see if they offer international coverage in Tanzania and make sure you have the appropriate international plans and understand the associated rates.
RMI carries a satellite phone with the group through the entire trip for emergency use.
Do iPhones function well at high altitude?
Yes. However the cold can impact the battery life making it necessary for it to be charged a few times on the trip (via a personal solar charger).
Is a Kindle or Nook practical on this trip?
Yes, but if you wish to take it up on the mountain you will certainly need to recharge it once in a while using a personal solar charger. We recommend downloading all of your desired books before arriving in Tanzania.
What is summit day like?
The ascent above our high camp follows a rocky climber's trail to Stella Point on Kilimanjaro's crater rim, and then follows the crater rim around to the high point of Uhuru Peak at 19,340'. After our ascent, we drop to approximately 10,000' to Mweka Camp in order to get our bodies back into lower altitudes and thicker air! While the ascent and descent could technically-speaking be considered trekking, the high altitudes and lengthy day make it a challenging endeavor.
Do I need technical climbing gear like an ice axe or crampons? What if it snows?
No, you do not need technical climbing gear to climb our route up Kilimanjaro. New snowfall, while not uncommon, is typically a trace amount (1-2") and often melts in the midday sun. Sturdy hiking boots provide enough traction and insulation to climb in the snow.
Do I need a yellow fever vaccine to enter Tanzania?
No, you do not need a yellow fever vaccine to enter Tanzania if coming from the United States. However, Tanzania Immigration Officials may request proof of the vaccine if you are traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever from other places. See the CDC website for more information.