Although Kilimanjaro is not a technical mountain climb as Mount Kenya, it is a major challenge and the rigors of altitude should not be underestimated. Remember that Uhuru peak is 500m higher than Everest Base Camp!! The pace of your ascent coupled with good acclimatization will help you on the climb but it is essential to be mentally and physically prepared before you start. Regular hikes are one of the best ways to prepare, increasing frequency and length, as you get closer to the trek. All aerobic exercises and cycling, running, swimming and stair climbing are good for strengthening the cardiovascular system. Generally, any exercise that increases the heart rate for 20 minutes is helpful but do not over do it just before the climb. We recommend that you start a training programme at least one if not two months before your mountain climbing Safari.
Set your mind.
One also needs to prepare oneself psychologically that they will make it during the climb despite the negative stories one has heard about difficulty in climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and / Or Mount Kenya.
All in all the physical preparation bit should be analyzed versus the general fitness of an individual and medical history.
Safety & Insurance.
For every Individual who attempts to climb mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro, the relevant authorities are informed and are in constant communication with the parties involved.
It is also worth noting that mobile telephony network is available on most low altitude areas and not high peaks.
As for insurance cover, we would highly recommend you to take one. If you do not have any, we recommend – AMREF flying doctors.
Altitude and acclimatization.
Altitudes are generally defined as follows in Meters Above Sea Level (A.S.L):
High altitude - 2,400m – 4,200m
Very high altitude - 4,200m – 5,400m – Mt. Kenya Mbatian peak is 5,199m
Extreme altitude - above 5,400m Mt. Kilimanjoro - Uhuru peak is 5,895m)
During the trek it is likely that all climbers will experience at least some form of mild altitude sickness. It is caused by the failure of the body to adapt quickly enough to the reduced level of oxygen in the air at an increased altitude. There are many different symptoms but the most common are headaches, light-headedness, nausea, loss of appetite, tingling in the extremities (toes, fingers) and a mild swell of ankles and fingers.
These mild forms are not serious and will normally disappear within 48 hours.
Personal Requirements and First Aid Kit for Mountain Climbing.
The following first aid materials are important: -
Imodium or other antidiarrhoeal tablets
Plaster / Band aids
Dressings, especially for pressure relief of blisters
Sun block for skin and lips
Sun Glasses and Sun Cream.
a water bottle
a rain parka
a light wool sweater
a cap to wear while hiking.
at least two pairs of long woolen socks.
at least A pair of sweaters.
at least 2 pairs of T-Shirts – Polyester material is better
Cold cure sachets
Oral rehydration salts /sachets
Recommended to have a Fleece Jacket.
Baraclava – to protect your head or 2 pairs of Marvin's (Warm headgear)
A Pair of water resistant overcoat (Basic & Light)
Hand gloves at least 3 Pairs.
2 pairs of water proof trousers and a Jacket.
A water drinking bottle (Gym Type)
A Warm sleeping bag - (mountain sleeping bag).
Headlight – with spare batteries (a pair of woolen socks to store these in )
Bar of chocolate / Glucose.
Our professional local guides provide quality service on all our safaris. Mountain climbing can be hazardous. Always take advice from your guide.
All meals for the treks is either fresh or tinned. The porters and guides are trained in cookery and service.
Other Health Tips.
All contact lens wearers should take care to remove the lenses at night, as the eye needs to absorb oxygen from the atmosphere. The rarefied conditions of altitude reduce oxygen levels and in extreme cases a Corneal Oedema can develop.
In the event of an emergency on the mountain the rescue team plus one of the assistant guides will descend with the casualty to the park gate. At the gate the casualty will be taken care of and the necessary arrangements for his / her evacuation will be done.
Cameras whether Video or film, need to be protected against the severe cold weather either in a warm pouch or the interior pockets of your clothing. Do not keep these in your backpack at higher elevations. A selection of light lenses will aid the final results.A polarized or neutral density filter is recommended, as is slide film rather than print.
If you think that you will require 10 rolls of film, then you actually require 20 rolls.
It is rather expensive to buy film in either Kenya and Tanzania.
For digital equipment, check with the manufacturer’s specifications for temperature range (especially battery life), water tightness and general hardiness.
To photograph the local people, please always ask your guide to seek permission before taking any pictures.
Avoid roadside photographic deals. They encourage resident people to harass tour vehicles.
Never give anything to children from a car or by the roadside – you could cause the death of a child who runs out into the road to beg from cars.
Waste Disposal, Help to protect the environment
Litter is not only ugly but can be harmful to people. Buried litter may be dug up by animals, and burning it is illegal, so – “Pack it in – Pack it out” Until you arrive at the appropriate disposal area.
In highland areas we protect ourselves, among other things:-
Plants which cause temporary painful irritation to bare skin, and
may even sting through clothes. Avoid putting on shorts in these areas.
These are small shiny brown ants that move rapidly in dense columns. They are carnivores and will start biting as soon as you step on them. Tuck your trouser cuffs into your socks, and watch where you step.
A hat reduces the risk of sunstroke.
Protect your eyes with dark glasses.
Protect your skin by wearing clothes or using a Sun block lotion.