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Kilimanjaro Climb & Safari

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    15 days
    Level 2

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Kilimanjaro Climb & Safari

Kilimanjaro Climb & Safari

Climbing from Kilimanjaro’s rainforests to its glacier capped 19,340’ summit is simply an unforgettable experience.


  • Hike through the soaring rainforests and sleep amongst the giant heather of the Machame Route, a more beautiful and less traveled option to the standard “Coca-Cola Route” of Kilimanjaro.
  • Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with an experienced RMI Guide, benefiting from the background, training, and expertise of our guides as you venture to higher altitudes.
  • Enjoy the support of RMI’s fantastic local mountain staff who ensure our team benefits from fresh and clean food, comfortable camps, and the luxury of carrying only light day packs throughout the climb.  
  • Improve your chances of success with seven days on the mountain, taking advantage of our carefully planned acclimatization schedule as we traverse the southern side of Kilimanjaro in preparation for summit day.
  • After the climb watch bull elephants walk across the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater and leopards lounge in the Acacia trees of the Tarangire, embarking on a safari to Tanzania’s famous National Parks where we witness one of the greatest wildlife spectacles found anywhere on earth.
  • Take part in the legacy of an RMI adventure and see why we continue to set the standard in guiding excellence.

We begin our adventures amongst the tea, coffee, and banana fields on the lower slopes of Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro in Arusha, Tanzania. Our climb of Kilimanjaro ascends 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 guided climb challenging, but the support of local porters allows our team to carry only light packs throughout the trip, letting us focus on the climb and appreciate the experience of climbing Kilimanjaro. 

Following the Kilimanjaro climb we return to Arusha before departing on our safari. Over the course of four days we watch herds of Africa’s greatest animals amidst the scenery of the Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, and Tarangire National Parks. Each evening we return to the comfortable luxuries of our secluded safari lodges, located right along the edges of the parks we visit. Watching the sun set across the African landscape from the porch of our safari lodge is the perfect way to finish our climb of Kilimanjaro.


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 Denali 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 and airport transfers to safari schedules, 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. With spacious sleeping tents, private toilets, and dining tents complete with tables and chairs that accompany us up the mountain.

During our time in Arusha and while on  safari we stay at select  lodges that are intimate, comfortable, and wonderfully run; they have been hand picked by our guides over the course of the years as their favorites. On the mountain we provide the highest quality food and facilities for keeping our spirits elevated and health in order. Our professional, experienced cooks adhere to strict standards of hygiene while fresh, clean fruits and vegetables complement our diverse menu. With spacious sleeping tents, private toilets, and dining tents complete with tables and chairs that accompany us up the mountain, 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 proudly accepts the International Mountain Explorers Connection’s (IMEC) choice of RMI as a Partner for Responsible Travel. Through its Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) in Moshi, Tanzania, IMEC focuses on improving the working conditions of the porters on Kilimanjaro. RMI Expeditions works to ensure proper outfitting for the Kilimanjaro porters assisting on 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 amount.


Our standard program is 15 days and includes a safari program after our climb. We welcome family and friends not keen on climbing Kilimanjaro but interested in experiencing the safari afterwards with you to join our team during this portion of our adventure. For climbers pressed for time we offer a Kilimanjaro Climb only that is 12 days long and includes the climbing portion of the program only. Please contact our office for more details.

From watching herds of wildebeest traverse the Serengeti to walking the white sand beaches of Zanzibar, East Africa offers a lifetime of adventures for visitors; we can help you tailor your visit to capture the very best of the region. If you are interested in extending your visit please contact our office for more details.


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 Mt. Kilimanjaro. While Kilimanjaro is a non-technical mountain, we do reach high altitudes. Our guides are trained, experienced, and certified by rigorous American standards in wilderness and high altitude medicine, avalanche training, 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 info@rmiguides.com.

Kilimanjaro Climber Reviews

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Where to begin? I went there to hike/climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, but knew that I couldn't pass up the chance to take in the Safari. My enduring memory of the experience will be our ascent of this beautiful mountain, the friendships I made with fellow climbers, but the guidance and instruction we all received from our RMI guide Casey ensured this trip exceeded all our expectations. No doubt he was working as hard behind the scenes to ensure our smooth transition between locations, managing logistics etc., but this trip I just can't boil down to one single more enjoyable moment - reaching Stella Point? Getting to know our incredible local porters and guides? Meeting regular Tanzanians along the way? Seeing wild game? Summitting? It's a cliche to say this was a trip of a lifetime, but I think this really was. Unforgettable.
John H.

Excellent support in all forms on the mountain; and high quality lodging on the safari portion
Elaine M.

We had a group of 9 come together like a group of friends. We all enjoyed meal times and having some laughs and telling stories. Swapping around in the safari vehicles to spend time with one another, while enjoying the amazing scenery and views.
Andrew M.

This was a first for me, not having climbed anything higher than 4,000 ft in my home state of NH and current home in Maine. It was the challenge that, at age 60, was my driving force. It was an opportunity for me to step out, get away from my business, get in shape and challenge my physical being. I loved our team, the area was beautiful, the safari was awesome. I loved it all
Catherine S.

I loved that RMI took care of all the logistical details (itinerary, transportation, tips, lodging), which allowed us to focus on ourselves when needed and the overall experience. Having two safari vehicles was great. It was also great having Mark on the safari,
Michael W.

This was a very well-run program from start to finish. Thank you!
Jennifer O.

Both the climb and safari were excellent. I especially enjoyed the group I was climbing with. We had a great time together.
David S.

Mark Tucker rocks!
Carol C.

The experience in visiting Africa, hiking on Kilimanjaro, and the wildlife parks were all outstanding. It is difficult to pick one thing as the best experience since it was all so good. I believe the guide and local staff made significant contributions to the success of the trip.
Dale F.

The summit. The views. The weather. The challenge. Tuck's faces while losing at Pepito Dos!
Robert S.

I enjoyed every aspect about this trip.
Jason B.

As a whole the trip was fantastic but I really enjoyed the itinerary and being immersed in the African culture from the porters on the mountain to interacting with the Masai people on safari.
Sarah B.

Dave Hahn was an outstanding group leader with a perfect mix of expertise/experience that he shared throughout the trip with the group to his calming and fun personality. He was admired and appreciated by all and did a fantastic job all the way through.
Erwin M.

Everything !
Chris W.

Talking with the African guides and staff, they were all very friendly, supportive, and knowledgeable. They offered great advice and assistance on difficult parts of the mountain. Despite spending 6 nights in a tent, I felt pampered.
Catarina M.

Seth and the local guides really made this trip. Everything was well organized and everyone was accommodating.
Rachel P.

Everything was amazing
Thom C.

I though the trip was amazing!! Camp life was fun... the journey to the top was the best for me
Kim P.

This was a trip of a lifetime, enjoyed every moment. The mountain was incredible, the safari was better than I could have imagined, just an overall great trip.
Molly R.

I've referred 10 people already and more planning on climbing Rainier. Convinced some from Elbrus climb to sign on for McKinley with us in May.
Todd H.

The overall itinerary and accommodations were awesome. Didn't have to think about anything just did what JJ said. LOVED the Plantation Lodge.
Ashley J.

We had a really great group of climbers that got along with each other. People make and break a trip like this.
David R.

Our team meshed really well, which is difficult to predict but certainly appreciated when present. Casey's preparation and ability to manage various personalities and situations helped smooth any potential sore spots and bring the whole team together.
Casey B.

Reaching the summit with my friends!
Charlie S.

I have already recommended RMI and this trip to several people with whom I have shared my pictures. I am also hoping to bring my children on this trip in a couple of years.
Scott F.

RMI has it laid out perfectly. Right amount of time, right equipment list, right places to stay, right porters, right guides, right travel agents....obviously at this point you really have it dialed in. Great experience.
Thomas D.

Climbing with me family, followed by safari with my family
Peter R.

Getting to know the Tanzanians who were such an integral part of our experience.
Bonny R.

The whole thing was great, just the right amount of safari time and plenty of time to get souvenirs and take photos, etc.
Shannon M.

Climbing on the mountain was amazing! The experience of a life time, and then the "cherry on top" was the safari! We were so close to some of my favorite animals! This trip was truly amazing!
William M.

The awesome guides, awesome food & awesome hotels!
Lourdes G.

I enjoyed everything about the trip. Seth's experience and knowledge on climbing the mountain was probably the best, he always had some tips for making it a little easier. I also like the balance of climbing and safari on this program.
Matt M.

ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING - trip of a lifetime. Seth was great and so were the other team members. Of course the Porters - each and every one of them are to be highly commended for their support and camaraderie. They were great - especially Eric, Charles, Joseph, Alfred, and of course Samuel who was responsible for my daughters and my belongings. Special thanks to all of them.
Dudley R.

Due to the nature of the climb we had a lot of time to get to know each other including our guides.
Myles L.

I don't really know where to start. Seth was completely terrific as were the five Tanzanian guides (Charles, Eric, Valentin, Joachin, Francis) and the porters. The climb was hard but beyond rewarding, and doing it to with a great RMI team, under Seth's able leadership, was amazing. I really enjoyed the other "clients" too! The safari and the safari lodges were beyond my wildest expectations.
Mary M.

Enhancing my friendship with Seth, meeting and working with all the clients on our team, and coming into contact and sharing time with the excellent Tanzanian people. And doing it all with my wife, my brother and one of my best friends.
Wilder L.

The guides.
Pierre C.

The trip was amazing. I was very impressed with the local organization. The Dik-Dik comes in for a special shout-out for their attention and kindness.
Melissa M.

Hard to pick out one thing. Simple to say it was a trip of the lifetime.
John S.

The mix of climbing, culture and time with our team members. The balance was great on the Kili trip. Mark did great work for all of us, taking care of every detail. Lots of laughs but a great respect for the task ahead of us each day. He is a great cheerleader, encourager and teacher. He set a great tone for the mix of people in our group. Every situation was handled in a great, professional manner. As usual, RMI does it best!
Brian M.

Mt Kilimanjaro climb was a sweet balance of challenge, camaraderie, culture and climate zones!
Laura V.

The pace made the trek were enjoyable and allowed for endless viewing possibilities
Michael V.

The satisfaction of getting to the top of the mountain, especially when I felt so sick. I proved to myself that morning that I could do anything when I put my mind to it. Jeff was a big part of keeping me focused and keeping me mentally strong.
Jo W.

Summiting and then the safari. The Plantation Lodge was an oasis and I loved it there.
Holly B.

The climb and safari were great experiences. An unexpected positive experience was getting the opportunity to observe and interact with the local people. My expectations were very high going into this trip. My expectations were exceeded!
Terry A.

Incorporating in the local culture during our Safari
Tony C.

The Dik Dik staff did an amazing job. I never wanted for anything.
Jesse L.

This trip was fantastic. Everything about it was great.
Eric Y.

Well organzied, professional staff
Kimberly Z.

Very well organized
Dan O.

Summiting Kilimanjaro was the highlight of the trip for me. The safari was very special and the Tarangire National Park was my favourite part of the safari.
Fatima W.

Getting to know Seth and the other climbers. Friends for life!
Kalin M.

everything was organized and timely. No stress about itinerary or equipment. The big dome made dining luxurious
Bruce F.

Every detail was professional
Phillip U.

Summit day
Shelley G.

Getting to know everyone, to experience a fabulous part of the world and to have a great hike to the top!
Gayle H.

The achievement of summiting, and the great group of folks to share a great experience with
Charles T.

not one thing was most enjoyable-.
Holly C.

  • Upcoming Climbs

  • Price
    15 days
    Level 2
Table of Contents

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 strongly 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 our enchanting hotel near the town of Usa River. Overnight in Usa River. (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.


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 in Usa River. (B, L, D)


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)


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)


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)


Day 7


An early departure after breakfast allows us magnificent views as we traverse beneath the Southern Breach 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)


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)


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 our hotel to rest and celebrate. Hiking time is approximately 3 - 4 hours. (B, L, D)




For the next four days we explore the wilds of Africa in "pop-top" Land Rovers driven by professional safari guides. The ecosystems we visit are home to herds of wildebeest, zebra, giraffes, elephants, rhinos, cape buffalo, topi and gazelles, as well as their predators like lions, cheetahs and the elusive leopards. Each day we awake to witness the spectacular African sunrise while enjoying a cup of fresh Kenyan tea or coffee, before embarking on our wildlife game drive. During our drives we may witness a lion's kill, follow a cheetah or watch a pack of hyena on the chase. On one of our days we plan to visit a Maasai village. Evenings are spent relaxing, sharing stories, or just listening to sounds of the African night in luxurious tented camps situated in the African bush.


Day 11


After breakfast we leave our hotel and drive to Lake Manyara National Park. This Park, located about 75 miles east of Arusha, sits right at the base of the Eastern Great Rift Escarpment-a truly dramatic setting! Although small compared other game reserves, this 125 square mile Park has a year round water supply that supports numerous animals. The close proximity of a variety of distinct vegetation zones, including a groundwater forest, is a perfect environment for viewing all sorts of animals.  In the lush forests, we will see troops of baboons and blue monkeys. While traveling along the shoreline of Lake Manyara, we can see the large number of elephant, hippo and 450 species of birds that call this area home. If we are lucky, we might even be able to spot a tree climbing lion. We have lunch overlooking the Lake before driving to our first safari lodge. (B, L, D)


Day 12


Today we head for the Ngorongoro Crater. Often referred to as the "eighth wonder of the world", this is the largest unbroken and unflooded caldera in the world. It is home to more than 30,000 mammals and offers some of the best game viewing opportunities in Tanzania. The reputation it has earned as one of the world's most unique ecosystems and premier game viewing areas is well deserved. We spend all day exploring the unforgettable crater floor before returning to our lodge. (B, L, D)


Day 13


Tarangire is home to more elephants per square mile than anywhere else in the world. This Park boasts the highest concentration of wildlife during the dry season of any area in Tanzania outside the Serengeti/Ngorongoro ecosystem. It is well known for it's river valley, wetlands, gently rolling hills, rocky outcrops, acacia woodlands and numerous baobabs (the upside down tree). We enjoy a picnic lunch in the bush before driving to our second safari camp, Kikoti Camp. This secluded luxury tented camp is located on a ridge with incredible views overlooking the Tarangire National Park. (B, L, D)


Day 14


After breakfast, we reluctantly leave our stunning safari camp and drive back through Tarangire National Park as we make our way back to Arusha. En route we can stop at a local market to purchase any last minute souvenirs. We check into our hotel for the afternoon, giving us plenty of time to clean up and repack our bags. After an early dinner, we are transferred to the airport for our evening flights. (B, L, D)


Day 15


Continued flights and arrival to U.S.




Key: B, L, D = Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included.



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Travel Consultant

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. Please call (208) 788-2870 or send email to etravel@cox.net.

Travel Insurance

We strongly encourage everyone to purchase travel insurance which can cover trip cancellation, interruption, delay, baggage loss or delay, medical expenses, medical evacuation, and more. Travel insurance offers the best possible protection in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness or injury prior to or while traveling. You can purchase travel insurance at any time prior to the trip departure. Should you need to cancel from a program, Trip Insurance will refund you for any non-refundable cancellations fees when cancelling for a covered reason.

There are several things to note when purchasing trip insurance.

  • Cancellation Insurance is included in the standard Trip Insurance policy if you are injured, or have a medical or family emergency prior to or while traveling. Should you need to cancel your program, Trip Insurance will refund you for any non-refundable cancellations fees when cancelling for a covered reason. Most travel insurance companies provide an option to include coverage that allows you to “Cancel for Any Reason”, but the initial policy must be purchased within 15 days of placing your deposit for the program.
  • In order to cover your trip with RMI Expeditions you may need to include options such as an “Adventure or Sports” upgrade. Not all travel insurance will cover mountaineering, climbing, skiing or trekking adventures. Some will not cover due to gear used (crampons, ice axe), others will not cover above a certain elevation and/or region of the world. Check your policy carefully to make sure your activity is covered.
  • Purchasing Travel insurance is also dependent on your state of residence. If one company doesn’t offer coverage for you because you live in Washington, another company might.

TripAssureWe have partnered with TripAssure, a Trip Mate brand, to provide travel insurance for our climbers. TripAssure has created the Assure Adventure Plans to cover travelers participating in climbing, skiing, mountaineering and trekking programs.

TripAssure's Adventure Plan and Adventure Plus Plan differ only in the coverage option which allows you to Cancel for Any Reason. In order to receive Cancel for Any Reason coverage you must purchase the Adventure Plan Plus within 15 days of paying your deposit or payment with RMI. We recommend that you carefully read the Plan Document that applies to your purchase.

Travel Advisories / Warnings

Please confirm any current travel advisories/warnings as well as entry requirements with the U.S. Department of State.

Getting There

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 14).

Entry Requirements

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.

Tanzanian Visa

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.

Airport Arrival

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.

In-Country Transportation

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.

Traveler's Health

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.

Medical Emergencies

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. It is not uncommon to experience cooler temperatures while on safari.

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. The game viewing areas are also affected during this period as muddy roads may force closures of certain areas.

Cultural Etiquette

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 and on safari.

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.

Hotel Tip Pool: $10.00 per person per night for a total of 3 nights. The Hotel prefers that you do not tip individual staff members but instead contribute to an All Staff tip.

Kilimanjaro Mountain Staff Tip Pool: We pool our tip money at our last night's camp on Kilimanjaro. We recommend that each climber contribute $225.00 to the pool. This will be split between all of our mountain staff - African Guides, cooks, and porters.

Safari Lodges Tip Pool: $10.00 per person per day for a total of 3 nights.

Safari Drivers Tip Pool: $15.00 per person per day for a total of 4 days.

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.

GameReserve.com offers detailed and comprehensive information on Africa's top game parks.

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This trip is open to all individuals in excellent physical condition and is a great first trip to altitudes above 15,000'. No previous mountaineering experience is required.

  • Get In The Best Shape Of Your Life
    And Then Go
    Climb A Mountain

    Create A Fitness And Training Program

    Go To Fitness Resources

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 and trekking with a 15-20 lb load
  • A 12+ hour summit day
  • Using core strength and flexibility to navigate uneven terrain

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.

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What You’ll Need

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 when they use code RMI2017 at checkout. This offer excludes sale items.

  • Use Code RMI2017
    To receive 10% off
    All New Equipment

Shop Your Equipment List // Rent new equipment for your climb

Equipment List


      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.


      With an early evening sunset many hours in camp are spent after dark. A fresh set should be used for summit push.

    • Each glove layer is worn separately as conditions change during the climb.

    • 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.


      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.

    • 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.


      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.


      Hard-sided, screw-top, one-liter water bottles with wide mouths are required. Plastics made with high post-consumer recycled content and BPA-Free are recommended.

    • 2 - 3 GARBAGE BAGS (LARGE)

      We recommend lining your day pack and duffel bag with garbage bags to keep items completely dry.


      Daily wash water provided.  Towel is used to dry face and hands.


      For your duffel bags. Must be TSA approved.

    • CAMERA
    • 3 SHIRTS

      For hotel dinners and while traveling.


      Pee bottle should be 1 to 1 1/2 quart size.


      Broad spectrum antibiotics for Traveler's Diarrhea.

    • TYLENOL #3

      Tylenol 3 for pain


      For Altitude Illness

    • iPOD

      Valid for six months beyond your return date.


      The first two pages of your passport.

    • Purchase travel insurance.

    • Purchase airplane tickets.

    • Reserve rental equipment.

    • Be in the Best Shape of Your Life!

Provided Equipment

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.

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On Kilimanjaro you will need mountain snacks for 5 days. All of your mountain snack items should weigh 2 - 3 lb.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals on the mountain are included as indicated in our Trip Itinerary. With the exception of hotel breakfasts, most restaurant meals are on your own. You are responsible for your own bottled water and drinks.


Mountain snacks are eaten during short breaks throughout the day. We continually snack to keep our energy levels up while we climb - lunch begins just after breakfast and ends just before dinner! Avoid packing any items that require preparation or hot water.

The importance of having foods that are genuinely enjoyed cannot be overstated. Eating properly is the key to maintaining strength while in the mountains. In order to combat the loss of appetite at altitude we aim to have a variety of foods that stimulate the whole palate, from sweet to sour to salty.

Recommended mountain snack items: dry salami, smoked salmon, jerky (turkey, beef, fish), small cans of tuna fish, individually wrapped cheeses such as Laughing Cow or Baby Bell, crackers, bagels, 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). 

We may have the opportunity to purchase additional food in Tanzania; we recommend you take what you need and only supplement with local food if necessary.

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Deposit Payments: A deposit payment of $1,500 per person secures your reservation. Deposit payments may be made via MasterCard, Visa, e-check, check, or wire transfer.

Balance Payments: The balance payment is due 90 days prior to the start of your program, and we will send a payment reminder approximately three weeks before your payment is due. If your balance payment is not received within 90 days of the program, your reservation will be cancelled and all fees forfeited. Trips departing within 90 days from the reservation date must be paid in full at the time of reservation. Please note that balance payments may be made via check, e-check or wire transfer only.


Once we receive written notification that you are canceling an individual participant or your entire reservation the following fees will apply:

  • A fee of $1,000 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.

Unfortunately, due to the time-sensitive nature of our business, and the difficulty in re-booking a trip close to departure, we cannot make exceptions to this policy.

Cancellation Insurance: We strongly suggest that everyone purchase travel insurance. Please see our Travel Page for details.

Land Cost


  • 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


  • 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 & Safari Staff Tip Pool (we suggest $345 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.

Risk Management

Managing risk 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.

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.

Climber Responsibilities

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:

  • 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.

Under-aged participants on Private Climb or Group Climb programs are assessed on an individual basis.

A minor climber must be accompanied by their parent/legal guardian throughout the entirety of the program. If either climber must descend at any time during the program, both climbers must descend together.

Summit Attempt

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.

General Policies

Any Participant under the age of 18 must be accompanied on the trip by a parent or legal guardian and both the Participant and parent or legal guardian must sign all forms.

RMI's program schedule 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, currency fluctuations, changes in outfitting costs, government instability, and many other factors. RMI has complete discretion to change plans to accommodate any of these or other factors, including but not limited to increases in program fees, changes to program schedule or itinerary, and changes to 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).

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.

The Participant understands and agrees that RMI assumes no responsibility or liability in connection with any travel and hospitality service provided to the Participant by others in connection with the trip, including but not limited to the services provided by airlines, hotels, and motor vehicle operators, and that RMI is not responsible for any act, error, omission, or any injury, loss, accident, delay, irregularity, or danger by a supplier of travel or hospitality services to the Participant in connection with the RMI program.

RMI recommends and strongly advises that the Participant have or purchase personal life, medical, accident, travel, baggage, trip cancellation, and other insurance that may pertain to participation in the program. The Participant understands that RMI provides no such insurance coverage in connection with the trip.


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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 lb. 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, Wi-fi 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.

What is a typical day on Safari like?

A typical day on safari begins around 7:00 am when we gather for breakfast at the lodge. Afterwards, we hop in the open-top safari vehicles (Land Rovers or Land Cruisers), bringing our bags with us if we are moving lodges, and drive to the Parks. We spend the day exploring the Parks, pausing midday for a sit down lunch cooked in the field. We return to the lodge mid-late afternoon and have a few hours of rest and relaxation before dinner. There is a bit of driving time between Parks so bringing a book to read is a good idea!

Can I re-charge my electronics while on Safari?

Yes, there is electricity at all of our safari lodges. Make sure to bring an adapter kit to accommodate for different outlet types.

What kind of clothing do I need on Safari?

The weather on Safari can vary from being hot and dry when visiting Lake Manyara and the Tarangire to cool and chilly, particularly in the evenings, in the highlands near Ngorongoro Crater. Plan on bringing shorts and a t-shirt for the days as well as pants and a sweater or light insulating layer, and a rain jacket, for the evenings. While most of the safari viewing is from the vehicles, we will get out and walk around so comfortable shoes are appropriate.

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.

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