General Information: Kilimanjaro - ALL ROUTES
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Recommended Equipment List:
Yellow fever certificate (if travelling from a country that carries the disease)
Clothing - trek
Water proof trousers
Torch and batteries
Sun protection cream
Anti malaria tablets
Water purification tablets
Toothbrush & paste
Walking stick/trekking poles
Cash dollars ( smaller bills )
We would recommend that you bring all the necessary clothing and equipment with you. However it is possible to hire equipment from the hotel if necessary including sleeping bags, rucksacks and hiking poles. All equipment is of a good standard but availability can be limited, Please contact us for further details.
Generally entry visas may be obtained without any difficulty on arrival in Tanzania, either at an airport or at a land border. The fee is $50 US ($100 if you hold a US passport), however should you have some doubts about your status or about obtaining the visa you should contact your nearest Tanzanian Consulate. You may apply for your visa in advance of your trip, though make sure you do this allowing for plenty of time as you will be required to send off your passport with your visa application and payment.
A valid yellow fever certificate is only required if coming from an area where there is risk of yellow fever. Otherwise no other health documentation is needed to enter Tanzania. Please consult your doctor regarding what medical precautions you should take prior to your journey. Care should be taken on how to deal with the possibility of catching malaria and anti malaria tablets are recommended.
Mountaineering above 5000m requires good physical fitness and health. It is advisable to consult your doctor prior to making your booking if you have any doubts. Do NOT climb higher than 9000ft (2700m) if you have: a respiratory infection, sore throat, cold, cough, high temperature, nose bleed.
Hazards of High Altitude Mountaineering
Your guide on Kilimanjaro will not only have basic first aid training but also he has many years of experience guiding walkers on Kilimanjaro. If you are at any stage concerned about anybodies health or any aspect of the trip please consult him in the first instance. All Kilimanjaro guides will do their utmost to get you to the summit safely.They will not advise you to turn back unless they have an excellent reason. Please heed their advice.
In the event of any problem or accident guides have contact with base and can summon a ranger rescue team, these can reach most points on the mountain in just a few hours. Your park entry fees include a mountain rescue fee that covers for all expenses other than air rescue. Apart from this please make your self aware of the medical problems associated with high altitude mountaineering.
You should carry your own first aid kit and be familiar with its use. Problems peculiar to the tropics and high altitudes need special attention.
Altitude Sickness: Problems result from the inability of the human body to adjust to a rapid gain in altitude and range from mild cases of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), experienced to some extent by most climbers, to the often fatal Pulmonary and Cerebral Oedemas, the latter being far less common. A slow pace and copious fluid intake (unless oedema is suspected) reduce the severity of Altitude Sickness. Dehydration, even mild, leads to thickening of the blood with increased possibility of pulmonary embolism or a thrombosis. Urine colour should be pale and the output copious. (Oedemas are the accumulation of liquid in a part of the body).
Symptoms of AMS include loss of appetite, headache, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, lassitude, weakness, a rapid pulse even at rest, insomnia, swelling of hands and/or face and reduced urine output. Climbers with severe symptoms must stop ascending and seriously consider descending to a lower altitude, since often a drop of as little as 500m. and a stay of a couple of days at that level will allow recovery. The drug DIAMOX can sometimes help or prevent or reduce the severity of AMS. With Pulmonary Oedema, additional symptoms may be noticed - shortness of breath, even at rest, gurgling, bubbly sounds in the chest and sometimes watery blood-tinged sputum. Skin may be cold and clammy, lips and finger nails bluish. With Cerebral Oedema, severe headache, hallucination and lack of co-ordination are additional symptoms. Treatment: IMMEDIATE DESCENT.
Pneumonia: This can kill, in some cases very rapidly. Symptoms include rise in temperature, pain in chest, shivering, rapid breath and dry cough sometimes with red mucus. Cure involves keeping the patient warm, getting him to lower altitudes, providing warm drinks and antibiotics, and by beating chest to encourage coughing.
Sun: At an altitude of 4,000m, only about 60% of the harmful UV sunlight is filtered out by the atmosphere. This can result in very rapid burning of exposed skin; lips are particularly badly affected. Good suncreams are recommended. Dark glasses with side panels should be worn when crossing snow to prevent snow blindness, even in misty conditions. Snow blindness is painful and feels like sand in the eyes; rest and eye drops help; great care is required to avoid rubbing eyes (bandaging?).
Hygiene: Do not pollute streams by washing yourself or catering-utensils in them. These are water supplies for you and other people. If there is no latrine dig a private hole for your excrement as far as possible from camps or paths, using an ice axe or stick, then refill it neatly. Do not leave rubbish lying around. Some, such as food and paper can be buried in well-vegetated zones, but tins, bottles, metal foil and plastics must be carried out.
Basic First Aid Kit: Aspirin or Paracetamol for headaches and fevers. Throat lozenges for dry throats. Lip salve. Crepe bandages, tape and gauze. Eye drops, e.g. Optrex. Soap for washing wounds. Mild disinfectant wash. Anti-Diarrhoea medicine, e.g. Imodium. A laxative. Diamox for mountain sickness; a side effect of this drug is a tingling sensation in the extremities. Stronger pain killer, e.g. Fortral or Sosogen. Antibiotics for pneumonia or other major infections. Water purifiers.
Information and recommendations contained in this section should be regarded as a guide only. More detailed information can be obtained from specialised publications such as'Medicine for Mountaineering' (The Mountaineers, Seattle, USA).
SAFETY: Our guides will provide the necessary level of safety and you must follow the his safety instructions at all times. The guide is equipped with a radio, GPS, mobile telephone, all necessary group equipment. There will be sections when the group will be roped together when crossing some of the iced areas. Should your guide make a decision to stop the program due to weather conditions being dangerous and a threat to your safety, we request that you respect this decision. All clients should have medical insurance which can cover medical and other expenses in any emergency incidents.
Please note: We retail maps for Kilimanjaro (Machame Route) (main map and routes to summit on one side, information of the area, terrain, climate, vegetation, etc on the reverse). Please visit our BUY MAPS webpage for more details and costs.