You are not allowed to climb alone, and you must be accompanied by a minimum of 1 guide, 2 porters and a cook. The fastest solo ascent of Kilimanjaro was in June 2005 by an American who did it in just under five and half-hours!
The Tanzanian Government and their Parks board are very protective of their mountain and the income that they derive from it. This means that they have no ceiling on the amount of people that they give mountain permits to.
Unlike regular hiking, the majority of your gear, food, tent will be carried by porters. So make sure that you hire enough to get you to the summit. Remember that you are going to be putting yourself in the hands of the guides and porters that take you to the summit, so if the package offered sounds to good to be true, be wary. Saving on the cost of an extra guide or porter may turn out to be very costly
Guides are compulsory for all Kilimanjaro routes.
Before you book your tour, make sure that the company concerned is using guides registered with the Kilimanjaro National Parks Board.
A qualified Kilimanjaro guide holds great prestige and respect within his local community.
Before becoming a fully qualified guide, an apprenticeship has to be served. He would start off by being employed as a porter for a minimum of three years. This is followed by another two years as an assistant guide. If he, there are very few female guides, is found competent, he would get an opportunity to become a registered guide. Guides and porters will do, on average three (5 – 6 day) expeditions per month
Aside from your guide, the porters and cooks are very important. By the time you arrive at a camp, tents have been pitched, water has been boiled and the mess tent and afternoon snacks have been laid out, and your bags are waiting for you.While all this is happening the cooks will be preparing meals that will astound you, given the primitive conditions on the mountain.
We look in awe at what lies ahead.
on a clear day you can see Kilimanjaro…
Our intrepid team walking through a Martian landscape
A memorial to a porter that died on Kilimanjaro.Unlike Everest, bodies are carried off the mountain
Karanga Valley camp(4200m)
good camera equipment is necessary.In 2006 this Samsung Pro815 was top of the range.
The toilets are closer to camp than I expected.
On of our porters making a cell phone call…
In all the literature I read before leaving it was pointed out that tipping was essential as the guides and porters rely on this source of income. It is recommended not to tip your porters until you and all your gear have descended from the mountain.
I found that the staff we had on our climb were excellent, and this reflected the attention to detail that Wild Frontiers have in their operation. Our guides, Emmanuel and Raymond and head guide John were excellent and very competent. Every time I stopped to take pictures, which was often, one of them always stopped with me. They never rushed me or asked me not to stop, but were very helpful and always had a smile or an encouraging word.
Three in a row. Even they were smelly and NOT a place where you want to spend too much time, they are part of the landscape