Kilimanjaro, while non-technical, is very high and must be taken seriously. Climbers are at health risk from the altitude. We always have a Gamow (hyperbaric) Bag in case of Altitude Sickness. We also carry a pulse oximeter to help monitor how people are progressing with their acclimatization.
Paul DeAngelis has guided and climbed all over the world. If you have a problem at 18,000 feet, it’s good to know that you have an experienced mountain guide with you, one who is well-trained in all elements of climbing as well as wilderness medical procedure.
We have a first class staff of African guides and porters, all local people from the Chagga tribe who live right at the base of Kilimanjaro. Many of them have been on dozens of trips over the years.
We don’t rush our ascent up the mountain. Our program gives you a seven-day climb. We have learned that the extra time is well worth it for a successful and fun trip to the summit, giving climbers a far greater chance of standing on top and far less chance of altitude sickness.
We do three days of safari and this is plenty for most people. Serengeti, Ngorongoro, and Tarangire are all classic African Game Parks with great animal viewing. Our 4WD minibus drivers really know the game habits and where to find the animals, and the safari lodges we use are vintage and luxurious, a great reward after a tough climb.
Kilimanjaro at 19,340 ft is an extreme, high altitude climb and is perhaps the most underestimated of the seven summits. You should be comfortable walking 4-8 hours per day. Summit day is the most demanding portion of the climb, typically involving 8 hours for the ascent and 6-7 hours for the descent. Our expeditions require physical strength & endurance. Being in top physical condition is the single most important aspect for climbers to maximize their climbing potential. The better your physical condition, the more likely you are to perform well and have an enjoyable experience.
No previous climbing experience or technical climbing skills are required. The hiking is on rough trail and also a small amount of cross-country travel is involved. A small amount of snow will be encountered below the summit but it does not necessitate the use of crampons or an ice ax. Trekking poles can be very useful. Some relatively easy rock scrambling is also encountered.
This equipment list is meant to help you compile your personal gear for this high altitude trek. You’ll notice that the gear is essentially the same. Most items are required, while a few are optional. Please consider each item carefully and be sure you understand the function of each piece of equipment before you substitute or delete items from your duffle. Keep in mind that this list has been carefully compiled, so don’t cut corners on the quality of your gear.
December to March and July to September are normally very stable weather periods. That said, it is always difficult to predict the exact weather conditions we will encounter during our ascent. Warm rain can occur down low and we can experience cold and windy conditions higher on the mountain any time of the year. It is not unusual for the temperatures to be well below freezing on summit day before the sun comes up. A down jacket (or equivalent) is required. We expect that the weather will be perfectly reasonable but it is important to prepare for all possibilities. Safari and travel days should be comfortably warm and the evenings may require a light sweater or jacket.
The menus for all climbs are specially prepared to provide a balanced diet of fresh fruit, vegetables, plenty of protein and carbohydrates. We have tried to choose food items that are easiest to digest at high altitude. The cooks are particularly vigilant in their hygiene practices as contracting stomach bugs is common for visitors to the developing world.
Dinners are typically a main course with vegetable and salad. Chicken and fish are served at the beginning and end of the climb, with pastas and rice dishes being served in the middle of the climb while up high. Lunches are often on the trail and usually consist of cold cuts and vegetables laid out on a table so you can make your own sandwich. Fresh hot vegetable soups are served at every meal, and packet soup is available on request between meals as is coffee and tea. Breakfast is your choice: granola, toast, fruit, eggs, and sometimes pancakes or French toast. While hiking some people have a favorite snack that they like; it is a good idea to bring this from home. We also cater to different dietary requirements and full vegetarian menus can be provided on request.
Your passport must be valid for 6 months after the trip and have empty pages. Advanced visas are not required for entry into Tanzania or Kenya. We all take care of the necessary paperwork upon our arrival at the airport in Tanzania. Bring 2 extra passport photos with you for this purpose. You will be charged approx. $50 for the Tanzanian visa.
We ask each participant to contribute approximately $150 to 180 USD into the group tip pool. In addition, the Chagga porters always gladly accept used shoes, clothes, gear, etc. that you might want to bring. They are great guys and you’ll really enjoy their help and friendship. It feels good to meet with them after the climb, buy a couple of beers, hand out some tip money and leave some extra clothing items with them. You can also throw some pencils or pens into your luggage. The kids we meet love them.
We suggest carrying personal money in the form of smaller denomination, new condition bills, in US dollars (mostly $5’s and $10’s, and some $20’s.) We recommend about $500 (or more if you plan to do gift/memorabilia shopping). Nice shops will accept credit cards. We know some fun shops and we also have a couple of good places to shop for tanzanite.
We regularly organize private climbs for corporate groups, families and friends. We encourage you to book these climbs early as we are often able to cater these climbs to group-specific desires. Please contact our office to further discuss the benefits of private climbs.