KILIMANJARO & TANZANIA
The "Rongai Route" is considered to be the second-easiest route to climb to the highest mountain in Africa and wins the last years to popularity. It is the only route which starts along the less wooded north side of the mountain and that according to experts better climbing conditions, because it is drier. The top can be reached trought the East side (via Kibo) and the descent is made along the "Marangu Route", the most used and easiest route.
Daytrips can variate between 5 to 7 hours. The summit ascent on day 5 is particularly heavy, and includes about 7 hours ascent and then descent about 5-6 hours. Altitude difference (ascent) per day about 700 to 1000 m, 1200 m about on day 5.
The climb of Mount Kilimanjaro is not technically difficult. The biggest difficulty lies in the high altitude difference that must be bridged in a few days. Respiratory distress, headache and nausea are the consequence, in severe cases also. altitude sickness.
WHY CLIMB KILIMANJARO ?
Why do 40,000 people a year seek to climb the world’s highest freestanding mountain–a mountain so popular it has become known as “Everyman’s Everest”? Here are the top reasons,
1. Kilimanjaro is technically the easiest to climb of the Seven Summits . You don’t need ropes or special mountaineering gear, or even any previous mountain climbing experience. The youngest person to reach the summit was six years old, and the eldest (as of 2011), was 83. That does not mean Kilimanjaro is risks-free. Rockslides and acute altitude sickness kill ten climbers on average each year (the subject of a forthcoming post).
2. Paradoxically, Kilimanjaro is both remote and accessible. Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania, just south of the equator, next to the Serengeti. But regular flights fly nonstop from Europe to the Kilimanjaro airport. Around the mountain there’s surprisingly good support infrastructure for an impoverished country—decent hotels, outfitters, gear to rent, ground transportation. On the mountain there are sleeping huts along the main route, with porters who carry and set up tents and kitchen facilities on the other routes.
3. Kilimanjaro remains surprisingly pristine. Kilimanjaro National Park is surprisingly clean. Park Rangers weigh all the bags coming on and off the mountain and trekking companies pay heavy fines if the bags come down light. This greatly reduces dumping on the trail. There are basic outhouses along the way what while far from luxurious, provide privacy and keep the mountain clean. There are only seven trails up to the summit, and no roads. As a result, despite relatively heavy traffic, the mountain has retained its wild nature.
4. Kilimanjaro one of the world’s greatest natural wonders: a snow covered mountain on the equator, an ocean of green forest surrounded by dry savannah. Climbing Kilimanjaro is like walking from the equator to the North Pole in a week, providing dramatic changes in vegetation and animal life day by day. Kilimanjaro is also a sky island. Its high altitudes have created habitat for strange and unique life forms found only on a few other peaks on the planet, such as the delicate elephant flower and the bizarre Kilimanjaro tree.
5. Kilimanjaro is a hot spot for studying climate change. Al Gore showed photos of its rapidly shrinking glaciers in An Inconvenient Truth. Ice cores show the glaciers to be 11,700 years old—and yet they will all be gone in the next 20-30 years. Teams of scientists are working on the ice to better monitor and understand exactly why this is happening.
6. Climbing Kilimanjaro contributes to a thriving local economy, generating about $20 million/year. Guides, porters, cooks, hotel staff, food producers, travel and trekking agencies, merchants, construction companies and banks all create local jobs in a region that remains one of the poorest on earth.
7. Kilimanjaro inspired a continent to freedom. Kilimanjaro belongs to Tanzania, the first nation in Africa to win independence from colonial powers (it was then called Tanganyika). The summit is called Uhuru Peak–Uhuru is the Swahili word for “Freedom.”
8. Kilimanjaro inspires transformation. When you climb Kilimanjaro and stand on the roof of Africa, you see the world a different way. What seemed impossible in your life might just be doable. The mountain top is a place for vision, inspiration, and a new beginning. As the famous song by Juluka goes: “I’m sittin’ on top of Kilimanjaro, I can see a new tomorrow. I’m sittin’ on top of Kilimanjaro. I cast away all my sorrows.”
you need an international passport, that has to be valid 6 months after departure
An visa for Tanzania is required, see below
Visa and entry requirements
Visas are required by most visitors to Tanzania. Visas are available at your local Tanzanian Embassy. Costs vary from country to country. Visas are valid for 3 months. It is possible, however, to obtain a tourist’s visa for a single entry at any ONE of the FOUR MAIN ENTRIES into Tanzania -subject to the fulfilment of all immigration and health requirements-, for those who could NOT apply for visa from Tanzania Mission abroad. These are:
Dar-es-Salaam International Airport
Zanzibar International Airport
Kilimanjaro International Airport
Namanga Entry Point (Tanzania-Kenya boarder point)
Payment, at all these points, is 50 US Dollars or its equivalent in Sterling. For all other entry points in Tanzania, visitors must hold valid visa prior to approaching those entry points in Tanzania. However, in order to avoid unnecessary delays, those who proceed to Tanzania from a country where there IS a Tanzania Diplomatic Mission or Consular Office are strongly advised to obtain their entry visa prior to departure to Tanzania.
Tanzania Diplomatic Missions
363 Avenue Louise, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Tel.: (32-2) 6406500-27, (32-2) 64764749,
Fax: (32-2) 6468026
Credit cards / Travellers Checks
Credit cards are only accepted by the major airline companies and by most of the bigger hotels and lodges. Do not rely on credit cards as a source of cash while in Tanzania. In some cases a surcharge will be added to credit card payments. We suggest that you take sufficient cash and use the credit card as a back-up only. Travellers checks are accepted at most banks and some hotels, however a surcharge normally apply to exchange travellers checks into cash. Please note many shops / hotels don’t accept travellers checks.
There are two seasons of rain in Tanzania: the long rainy period (monsoon) which runs from late March until June and a short rainy period, which runs from November until mid January. The long rains fall in heavy downpours, often accompanied by violent storms. The short rains tend to be much less severe. The best season to climb Kilimanjaro is in July and August.
The Tanzanian Shilling is the local currency, but travellers checks and cash in US$ are recommended. The current exchange rate is approximately Tsh 2100 = US$ 1. It is possible to change foreign currency at any Bureaux de Chance, which generally gives better rates than hotels and most banks. If you bring US $ cash or receive US $, please make sure the bank notes are in good condition with no cuts or damage and that the bank notes are not older than 2008.
The local electricity supply is 230 volts, 50 Hz. You will need to supply your own international standard adapter for your electrical appliances. Most hotels in Tanzania use plugs with 3 large flat prongs (“British” type – BS1363 system), however some hotels also use plugs similar to the “French” type (2 parallel prongs), but with an earth connector.
Yellow fever Vaccination
A viral infection transmitted by a day-time biting mosquito (Aëdes aegypti) typically found in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Only travelers coming from a country with risk of Yellow Fever transmission will require a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate.
If travelling through any of the following countries, will you need a vaccination card:
AFRICA – Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda.
AMERICAS – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.
Tanzania is considered a low risk area for Yellow Fever. If you are coming to Tanzania without a vaccination card, make sure you take precaution against mosquito bites.
Travelers travelling from Tanzania to South Africa are required to have a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate upon entry to South Africa.
Please recheck regulations before travelling, as the above is subject to change without notice.
Tanzania has a moderate risk for Malaria. Malaria occurs in all areas below 1800 meters and we recommend that you take precautions against malaria prior to the commencement of your holiday. Please consult your doctor about these. Woman using oral contraceptives should consult their physicians before using prophylactics.
If planning to use Diamox on your Kilimanjaro hike, please consult your doctor as some malaria prophylactics cannot be used in conjunction with Diamox.
The best way to prevent contracting Malaria is to try and avoid mosquito bites by using an effect insect repellent, by sleeping under mosquito nets and to wear proper clothing after sunset. Adequate precautions must also be taken to avoid yourself being bitten by a mosquito.
Kindly contact your closest Travel Clinic or medical practitioner.
As a sensible precaution we recommend that you consider getting at least some of the following recommended immunisations:
Hepatitis A – You can get Hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Tanzania, regardless of where you are eating or staying.
Typhoid – You can get Typhoid through contaminated food or water in Tanzania, especially if you are visiting smaller cities or rural areas.
Please check with your local travel clinic for the latest recommendations by ITG in Antwerp
Immigration & customs
An onward ticket and sufficient funds are required when entering Tanzania. Tanzanian people are friendly and will always offer a helping hand.
It is strongly advised to take out travel insurance which should cover baggage as well as personal accident and medical insurance and specifically covering your Kilimanjaro expedition.
The official languages are Ki-Swahili and English. There are more than 120 tribal vernaculars.
Mainly Muslim, Christian and Traditional beliefs. Please keep in mind that you are entering a different country with strong religious customs.
As with any other town, walking alone at night is not advisable, and it is preferable to use taxis which are available at most hotels. Do not leave cash or valuables in your hotel room and use a safe deposit box.