SPRINGLANDS HOTEL: Included in the Kilimanjaro/Meru trek is two nights accommodation at the Springlands hotel near Moshi. The Springlands is situated on the Southern slopes of Kilimanjaro and a 5 minute walk to the centre of Moshi. It has a large and modern swimming pool, covered outdoor dining area set in pleasant gardens and an indoor and outdoor bar area. The rooms are clean and comfortable and have one double or two single beds – all with mosquito nets above the beds. All rooms also have electric cooling fans and en-suite facilities.
The hotel grounds are full of lush tropical plants and trees with shaded areas where you can relax away from the African heat. Other facilities in the hotel include:
Bike Hire; Equipment hire; Fitness Centre; Guests storage (free of charge whilst on trek or safari); Internet access; Laundry Service (prices on request); Safety deposit box hire for $1 per day; TV room and shop.
ACCOMMODATION ON TREK
For all routes (with the exception of Marangu) the accommodation will be in 3 man dome tents (to be shared between 2 people, or used for single persons). The tents are modern with an outer fly sheet, sleeping mat and a large vestibule to keep equipment from the elements. There is a dining tent with tables and chairs and a toilet tent at each camp. Hot water is provided for washing each morning and evening, but there are no showers. Each morning the camp will be moved by the porters to the next camp destination for that evenings rest.
On the Marangu route you will be accommodated in dormitory style communal wooden huts. Each hut is provided with bunk beds with mattress and pillow. Most of the huts are 4 berth. Showers and toilets with running water are available at the first two camps and basic mens and ladies latrines are available at the last camp. All meals are eaten in the communal dining hut provided at each camp.
ACCOMMODATION ON SAFARI
HIGHVIEW HOTEL: Is an ideal base for evenings on all or part of your safari itinerary and is conveniently located just 2km from Karatu village, and is just a short drive away from the entrance the the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, making is a useful base when visiting the Ngorongoro Crater. Lake Manyara is just a 25 minute drive away, and the hotel is en-route to the Serengeti. The hotel is set near a coffee farm an commands an excellent view of the Ngorongoro forests which are just a short walk away. Rooms are mainly twin or double bedded with en-suite facilities and a veranda overlooking the conservation area and coffee plantations. Facilities at the hotel include Swimming Pool; Indoor and Outdoor eating areas; local and continental cuisine; lounge with fire-place; gift shop; WI-FI and Entertainment (on specified evenings). Bird watching and cycling are also popular activities which can be arranged.
A three course evening meal is provided – including hot and cold buffet style main course comprising a selection of local and continental dishes; Hot and cold buffet style breakfast and a choice of packed lunch items for your days safari. Hot drinks and fruit juices are included at each meal – alcoholic beverages are additional.
SERENGETI WILDCAMP: (For 5 or more days on safari): This mobile camp situated in the Seronera area of the Serengeti park consists of 18 comfortable large tents (4m x 8m) to be shared by 2 people. The camp is set in the wild bush – giving you the opportunity to get ‘close to nature’ with the added luxury of a soft mattress and cosy bedding! The camp is moved every 6 months within the same area for conservation reasons. Each tent has a self contained portable shower and toilet, 2 large single beds (or 1 king size), mosquito nets, reading table, garden chairs and veranda area. Solar power is used for lighting and water heating (to provide hot showers). The camp staff have radio communication with Zara and park rangers. A hot, 3 course evening meal is provided; cooked breakfast and packed lunch for for your days safari. Hot drinks and fruit juices are included at each meal – alcoholic beverages are additional.
IKOMA WILDCAMP: (For 5 or more days on safari): This is Zara’s permanent tented camp based just outside the northern part of the Serengeti in the Grumeti game reserve. This is an area of unspoiled bush country where game drives and walking safari’s are possible during the day and night. The camp is composed of 7 bandas(round houses) and 10 comfortable tents (canvas set over permanent wooden roof structures) each designed to accommodate 2 guests. All tents and bandas have a stunning view over the surrounding savannah which is full of wildlife throughout the year. Between August and October you may even be lucky enough to observe the world famous migration of the wildebeest, when over 2 million animals move between the Masai Mara and the Serengeti!
Each tent is approximately 4m x 8m and all accommodation has en-suite shower and toilet facilities, 2 large single beds (or King size), mosquito nets, reading table, garden chairs and veranda area. Solar power is used for lighting and hot water for showers/washing facilities. The camp staff are in radio communication with Zara and park rangers.
Hot, 3 course evening meal is provided; cooked breakfast and packed lunch for for your days safari. Hot drinks and fruit juices are included at each meal – alcoholic beverages are additional.
Optional extras (on request for an additional local charge): Night game drives; Day and night game walks with local guide – the nearby Grumeti river provides an attractive target for a medium length circular walk. Along the way, points of interest include old defences used by the local tribes against the Massai incursions.
On Trek: Our staff teams are all local and include some of the most experienced guides in Tanzania, many of whom have climbed the summit of Kilimanjaro more than 100 times! Your safety on the mountain is our main priority and will never be compromised and our guides are all trained in rescue and first aid and are registered with the Kilimanjaro Park Authorities (KINAPA). Your trek will be lead by Zara guides who are reputed to among the top guiding companies in Tanzania and have led thousands of successful trips along all routes on Kilimanjaro for over 25 years. All of the guides on the treks speak good English and in addition to their general knowledge and experience on Kilimanjaro they have also all received training in first aid; mountain rescue; local flora and fauna and the history of the mountain.
On Safari: Our guides have a vast wealth of knowledge about the flora and fauna of the area. As with the mountain guides, not only will they guide you safely, but they will entertain and educate you along the way – ensuring to make the whole trek as pleasant as possible, and a memorable experience.
EWP also supports the Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society (MKPS) which was founded by Zaratours in 2004 with the sole aim of improving the working and general living conditions of the porters and staff working on Kilimanjaro and Meru. The guidelines that have been drawn up by MKPS include the following:
Porters must be appropriately dressed according to the conditions, with warm and waterproof clothing
Porters must be provided with adequate food during the trek
The maximum load that any porter can carry will not exceed 15kgs
Porters, guides and cooks must all be provided with a set wage
Clients must be advised to tip appropriately at the end of each trek
Local resources are to be provided to the staff, including :
Language classes; Healthcare and first-aid; Legal advise; Classes to know their rights; Guarantee of an education for their children; Year-round employment possibilities; Access to affordable equipment and clothing; Assistance in micro-financing to improve their families living conditions; Classes in environmentally sustainable tourism
Kilimanjaro – The routes to the summit are well marked and maintained. Walking conditions on Mt Kilimanjaro are challenging and changeable, but relatively easy compared to other mountains of the 7 summits.
The rainforest near the foot of Kilimanjaro can be wet and slippery underfoot if there has been a recent rain. There are some occasions where conditions may require some scrambling, and you might have to use your hands to negotiate large rocky areas such as the Barranco Wall and the Lava Tower. The approach to Stella Point from Barafu hut can also be a little tricky difficult to get because of scree and sand.
Kilimanjaro – Due to its proximity to the equator, Mount Kilimanjaro does not experience wide temperature changes from season to season. Instead, the temperatures on Mount Kilimanjaro are determined more by the altitude and time of day. At the base of the mountain, the average temperature is around 21 to 27 degrees Celsius. At the summit the night time temperatures can range between -18 to -26 degrees Celsius.
Safari-For safaris there are two rainy seasons; in late October and November the rains typically come in short, infrequent but heavy bursts (may be only for about an hour every 3 days). In April and May it is possible have up to two days of consistent rain. Trips at this time are subject to a discount.
WHEN TO TRAVEL
Kilimanjaro – Kilimanjaro can be climbed throughout the year. All seasons have their attractions – a good day in the rainy periods can sometimes provide superb views as the air is very clear, however deep snow and heavy rain could stop or mar your trip. The safest months are: mid-December to mid March then May to October. Due to Mount Kilimanjaro’s height, the mountain creates its own weather. It is extremely variable and impossible to predict. Therefore, regardless of when you climb, you should always be prepared for wet days and cold nights.
Safaris – These are possible any time of year as we adapt the programme and exact locations of the viewing to the migration of wildlife. Peak season is from Christmas to end January for safaris and books very quickly.
FOOD IN THE HOTELS AND ON SAFARI:
The food during your stay will be fresh and local wherever possible. The hotels will provide a hot and cold buffet style breakfast , whilst the camps on safari will provide a cooked breakfast with toast and conserves. Lunch on safari will be packed lunchbox comprising of cooked meat, fruit, savoury snacks, boiled eggs and bread roll. In the evening the hotels will provide a 3 course hot and cold buffet menu with a large selection of local cuisine and continental dishes available – pasta, rice, fish, eggs, potatoes, chicken and various curries are all popular options for the buffets. At the camps you will have a fixed meal which will provide you with hot soup for starter followed by a main meal with a base of rice or potato with a meat/vegetable dish. Desserts are varied – fresh fruit is often available as an option. A variety of hot and cold beverages are available with meals. Alcoholic drinks and bottled water can be purchased if required.
FOOD DURING THE TREK
Your cook will provide you with a varied and well balanced menu throughout the trek. Drinking water is provided from the streams. At each mealtime your cook will heat the water to boiling temperature in order to provide you with hot drinks. You may also refill your water bottles at this stage. The boiled water should be safe, though we do request that clients bring with them some water purification tablets as an extra precaution.
You will be provided with fresh fruits, meats and vegetable for the first few days. After that much of your food will come from tins & packets. The food is of a good standard and includes a balanced menu with the trek in mind. All meals will be prepared for you by your cook. If you have any dietary restrictions please let us know before your trek begins. Vegetarian options can be provided.
It is a good idea to bring some mint cake, dried fruits (such as apricots) or snack bars to boost your energy level whilst on the mountain.
In the event that you suffer a stomach upset we recommend that you take Imodium (or Lomotil). Eat lightly, take as much safe non-alcoholic liquid as you can and take Dioralyte – which will help to re-hydrate you. Rigorous personal hygiene and common sense should help in avoiding any gastric problems.
FLORA AND FAUNA ON KILIMANJARO
There are five different ecological zones on Kili and the weather but particularly the flora and fauna vary greatly from one to another as you trek through. Starting from the base of the mountain and rising the ecological zones are:
Bushland – The cultivated belt contains many small holdings (shambas) where bananas and various vegetables are grown. The area is also suitable for coffee and there are several major plantations.
Rain forest – this zone has the highest rainfall amount of all the zones, resulting in high levels of humidity. Consequently it can be slippery underfoot particularly after a it has rained. The southern, wetter forests contain camphor, podocarpus, fig and other trees; lush undergrowth contains many giant ferns and Usnea (old man’s beard) drapes everything. Vines, mimulopsis and a multitude of flowers can be found in valleys and in clearer areas. The northern, drier forests contain podocarpus, junipers and olives. In contrast to Mount Kenya few large animals are found in this zone, though colobus and blue monkeys can often be seen but other inhabitants such as smaller antelopes and leopards are very shy. Many colourful birds are found here, the most noticeable being the Hornbill and the Turaco with its dark red wing markings. In the more extensive western forest areas the fauna is richer and elephant and buffalo are sometimes seen here.
Moorland/Heath – Temperatures begin to drop at the level, as does the rainfall. A variety of heathers and shrubs replace the trees. here the giant groundsels can be found. There are few animals other than rodents though leopard spoor can often be seen. Eagles and buzzards soar high above and smaller birds such as the alpine chat and streaky seed eater can also be seen.
Alpine Desert – the luna-like landscape here is much drier and the weather is generally warm and clear during the day. Temperatures can drop to below freezing at night.. Only a few tufts of grass, mosses and lichen are found, together with occasional flowers such as the everlasting helichrysums and senecios.
Arctic Zone/Summit – At one stage most of the summit of Kilimanjaro was covered by an ice cap, probably more than 100 metres deep. Glaciers extended well down the mountain forming moraine ridges, clearly visible now on the southern flanks down to about 4000m. At present only a small fraction of the glacial cover remains. The remnants of the ice cap can be seen as the spectacular ice cliffs of the Northern and Eastern Ice fields, and the longest glaciers are found on the precipitous southern and south-western flanks. If the present rate of glacial recession continues the majority of the glaciers on Kilimanjaro could vanish altogether in the next 50 years. There is virtually no vegetation or animal life at this level and roughly 50% less oxygen than is found at sea-level. There is little rainfall at this level and whilst there can be blazing sun during the day temperatures are below zero at night.
MOUNT KILIMANJARO – HISTORY
Mount Kilimanjaro lies on the border of Tanzania and Kenya, just south of the Equator. The three summits of Mount Kilimanjaro, Shira, Kibo and Mawenzi are all of very recent origin. Shira and Mawenzi have suffered considerable erosion and only jagged peaks remain. Kibo, the central, youngest and highest peak has survived as an almost perfect cone.
Although East Africa and nearby Olduvai Gorge is thought to be the cradle of mankind it is unlikely that early man would have been attracted to the steep and cold slopes of Kilimanjaro at a time when it was probably very active and dangerous. A Wachagga legend talks of Mawenzi receiving fire for its pipe from his younger brother Kibo. The Wachagga who live on the fertile volcanic soils around the base of the mountain probably only came to the area about 300 years ago thus this legend suggests very recent activity. Another of their legends talks of demons and evil spirits living on the mountain and guarding immense treasures. Slave traders passed below it and sometimes raided the villages of the Wachagga but it was not till the middle of the 19th century that a more serious interest was taken in the mountain and attempts were made to scale it.
In 1848 Johann Rebmann a missionary from Gerlingen in Germany while crossing the plains of Tsavo saw Mount Kilimanjaro. Rebmann’s report stimulated great interest in Germany and in the following years several expeditions were organised; first by Baron von Decken then later by Dr. Hans Meyer who finally stood on the highest point on the 5th of October 1889.
Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, now attracts many thousands of walkers each year. On the 1st of January 2000 over 1000 people reached the summit to see the sun rise over a new Millennium.
Will there be mobile phone coverage and will we able to charge batteries / mobile phones?
There is mobile phone reception most of the time. However, the only opportunity to charge phones and camera batteries will be in Moshi (at the hotel) or Arusha as there are no power points while trekking.
Kilimanjaro trek – How fit do I need to be?
There are no technical mountaineering skills needed but general fitness is necessary. However, the biggest problems for climbers come from the high altitude which does not seem to be related to fitness or age. Nevertheless, you should be fit to enjoy your trek. You will want to allow at least 3 months of training before your trek. Your aim is to increase aerobic capacity, decrease body fat, and strengthen muscles. The best training for hill walking is hill walking.
What is the porter /trekker and trekker/guide ratio?
On the Machame, Rongai & Lemosho routes, each trekker will have three porters and while on the Marangu route each trekker will have two porters. There will be one main guide for your group, and for every 3 trekkers there will be an assistant guide.
What is the weight limit for porters to carry?
The official limit for each porter to carry is 15kgs, so if you have more than this you may need to hire an additional porter. The other 1 or 2 porters appointed to you will carry your camping equipment etc.