Safety Equipment & Training: Safety is our number one priority on Kilimanjaro. Unlike many Kilimanjaro operators, we provide extensive safety gear on Kilimanjaro, including a hyperbaric chamber on every trek and a fully rigid litter. We supply plenty of emergency oxygen and have AED devices on each climb. We encourage you to compare our inclusions with other outfitters.
- Oxygen for emergency use.
- Hyperbaric chamber (a portable altitude chamber) for emergencies.
- Stretcher / Litter – A fully rigid steel-framed litter.
- First-aid / trauma & medicine kit – fully stocked as per Wilderness First Responder guidelines, with medicine instructions.
- Pulse-oximeter – The head guide checks, evaluates and documents these numbers daily at dinner time, for each climber.
- VHF handheld radios – Three VHF radios carried on each trek, for easy communication between head and assistant guides at the back and front of the group, and the camp manager.
- Mobile phones – carried by all guides, for daily communications with our base in Arusha.
- Satellite phone – carried at all times by the head guide, for use in emergencies (in areas with limited or poor mobile network). An extra battery accompanies each satellite phone.
- Medical equipment porter stays with the group at all times to ensure that the safety gear is always nearby and ready to employ.
- A comprehensive safety briefing is performed by the head guide before the trek, covering expectations, risks, safety gear and proactive safety
Mountain Guides and Core Crew: Our mountain guides and core crew are recognized as the most capable and professional crew on the mountain. All of our head guides are WFR trained and certified. Our guides and core crew have the best compensation package on Kilimanjaro.
- Wilderness First Responder Certified mountain guides – We provide a minimum of two certified WFR guides on each trek. They are currently certified by WMA (www.wildmed.com), / Sentinal Outdoor Institute (www.sentinaloutdoor.com), a certification process which is done biannually.
- Ratio of 1 guide per 2 guests (on average)
- Professional cook – trained to the highest standards on a set menu plan accompanied by a detailed recipe book. We spend two full weeks annually training our cooks, reviewing and improving recipes, and doing special training on vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menu plans.
- Waiter – and assistant waiter on each trek are trained to expedite the meal service and ensure our climbers’ nourishment is their top priority. They also ensure that the dining tent is clean, organized and ready for you when you arrive at each camp.
- Campsite Manager – Ensures expert setup and breakdown of each camp, practicing Leave No Trace outdoor ethics. He is also the head porter liaison on each trek, ensuring that porters are fairly loaded each day.
- Camp setting crew – Our fastest porters ensure the very best camp location and tent sites each day!
Porters: We are committed to ethical porter treatment standards:
A Kilimanjaro climb would not be possible without porters. They are the backbone of all Kilimanjaro expeditions, and sadly have long been exploited by the tourism industry in Tanzania. However, a change has been occurring, and expectations of the porters are changing in cooperation with companies like ours that are committed to providing fair working conditions, honesty and transparency. The Kilimanjaro Porter’s Assistance Project (KPAP) has been the driving force of this change in attitude and practice for the past 10 years. Based in Moshi, they are a Tanzanian non-governmental organization committed to improving the working conditions of the porters. KPAP has recognized that we ensure proper treatment of porters with our systems and procedures. We are the only company on Kilimanjaro providing professional matching outfits for all our porters. It’s a tangible and easily recognizable difference which separates us from all other companies. Having our porters in uniforms allows our guests to see which porters are ours, not only being able to easily identify them, but to recognize that our porters have the best boots and other gear, and the biggest smiles. Our guests continually tell us that our porters were consistently the most professional, friendly, helpful, courteous, and strongest porters they saw.
We ensure that no bribes are ever paid by porters to get work. We’ve registered all our porters, and we choose them by means of a database which tracks all their work and their performance, and which chooses them in a way that fairly distributes the work.
- We pay amongst the highest overall porter wages and bonuses, and go to extreme measures to ensure they receive their full salary. Overall, our porters receive the highest compensation vs. any other Kili operator.
- We go to excessive lengths to strictly uphold weight limits for porter loads (20kg per porter). We carry scales on each trek to ensure that daily, loads are not exceeded, ever.
- We have porter welfare officers at the start gates of every trek, to inspect porters and check their gear and ensure that our system of fair porter treatment is truly being practiced in a transparent manner.
- On the mountain, we have independent ’monitoring porters’ to give us constant feedback on our fair practice systems.
- We are the only company who provide matching professional waterproof and windproof rain gear to all our porters
- We are the only company providing closed-cell sleeping pads in tents with floors, for all our porters. Our porter tents are meticulously designed to the best standards to keep them warm and dry.
- We give our porters medical treatment due to injury, equal to that for paying trekkers
- We pay porters bonuses for removing waste left on the mountain by other companies
- Hearty meals provided. A well-fed porter is stronger! We exceed the guidelines set forth by KPAP on feeding our staff.
- Private vehicle transport for all porters & return transport home at the end of each trek. Most companies only hire porters who are ‘available’ at the gate.
- We provide wilderness first-aid, language and environmental responsibility training for our porters. We’ve translated Leave No Trace principles into Swahili and have done training with over 600 porters on these important aspects of LNT’s outdoor ethics.
Camping equipment: With years of experience outfitting on Kilimanjaro, listening to our guests’ feedback, and pursuing our own passion for innovating, we’ve found the right combination of utility and form with our mountain equipment. Our kit is a combination of oft-replaced high-end manufactured mountain gear and functional purpose-designed and built, locally made in Arusha. We take great pride in having kit with the best look and function on Kilimanjaro. Because top manufacturers’ round dining tents do not fit on Kili’s long and narrow tent sites, we designed and built our own customized mountain dining tents. We offer a closed-cell foam pad which covers the entire sleeping tent footprint, which is something our guests learn to appreciate in wet weather. We also offer optional comforts; a number of ‘luxury’ camping add-ons. See below for more detail.
- Mountain Hardwear Trango 3.1 sleeping tents (a triple tent used as a double tent or single tent (with supplement).
- All sleeping tents have custom-made ground sheets covering the both vestibules, to allow clean & dry storage of gear, and keeping water, mud or dust from entering the tent.
- Cold-weather sleeping mats (closed cell foam) which cover the entire floor of the sleeping tent, ensuring that you (and all your gear) stays dry throughout the climb.
- Large custom-designed and fabricated weatherproof dining tents with fly sheet, four doors, windows and ventilation, and full floors with storm skirt and ropes.
- High powered solar LED lights in the dining tent – each tent has a long strip of powerful LED lights and an easy manual switch, for headlamp-free meals!
- Aluminum dining tables – covered with Maasai-style tablecloths
- Large aluminum chairs with backs and arm rests, for all meals. (*With LITE Option: chairs have a back, but no arm rests)
- Large private toilet tents with portable flush toilets on a stable frame. For 7+ climbers, two toilet tents are provided. Each toilet has hand sanitizer available in a handy push-top dispenser. (*Not included in LITE Option – can be for additional cost)
- In campsites without toilet facilities (ie. the Crater Camp), we use a special toilet made by Phillips Environmental which employs an absorbent powder, allowing us to pack out all solid human waste from the campsite. We adhere to ‘Leave No Trace’ outdoor ethics.
- Wash stands provided for washing hands before each meal.
- Fresh hand-towels provided for each climber, before each meal (*Not included in LITE Option – can be for additional cost).
- Wash basins provided for each trekker, provided for each guest upon reaching camp.
- Hot water bottles prepared each night, to keep you toasty in your sleeping bag. (*Not included in LITE Option – can be for additional cost)/
- We purify all our climbers’ and staff drinking water using the PUR packet. Please visit the following website which describes (and demonstrates) the product we are providing for purification of all drinking water for all our Kilimanjaro clients and staff:
- We offer high quality rental gear/ trekking clothing like synthetic sleeping bags, Gore-Tex outer wear, warm layers, & trekking poles.
- Luxury sleeping tent (optional/available for additional cost) – features a ‘walk-in’ tent with aluminum frame beds & soft foam mattresses, allowing trekkers to sleep off the ground. At night, powerful solar LED lights light the tent. The tent features four entrances, ventilation ports, a fly sheet and storm skirt & storm ropes, with closed cell mats for clean and dry storage of your bags.
- Hot showers (optional for an additional cost) – Complete with a spacious rectangular framed tent, with a 15-liter solar shower bag perched on the top, shower mat and bath towels.
- Mess tent heater (optional for an additional cost) – Small propane space heaters are provided for warming up the mess-tent before and during dinner-time, burned for 2-3 hours per evening.
- Heated Lounge tent (optional for an additional cost) – For the ultimate in comfort while climbing Africa’s tallest mountain; an optional heated lounge tent is available, with solar lights, inflatable furniture, and a large coffee table for playing cards, etc..
- Solar charging kit (optional for an additional cost) – for cell phones, satellite phones, IPods and other music players.
Mountain Cuisine: Our menus have been developed by a team of professional cooks and mountain foodies who have long-term experience in food service in Tanzania. We continue to develop and improve our menu plans to create astonishingly great meals in such inhospitable environments, using only propane gas cookers. We produce and prepare most of our recipes in our Arusha-based kitchen, using only fresh and high quality ingredients, for delicious and energizing meals necessary for high-altitude mountain trekking. We have an exciting menu which includes inspired vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free menu plans. We can also cater to guests’ allergies or faith-based dietary restrictions. We take exception to the use of stock cubes, msg, and processed foods. Our cooks are trained to produce the most delicious meals using real ingredients without shortcuts or additives. For our soups we use real butter & virgin olive oil instead of margarine and other cheap oils. We source 30 different herbs and vegetables from organic gardens. Each climb travels with a set recipe book, laminated with photos of each dish of each meal. These measures help ensure standards stay high, and we are constantly monitoring for quality and consistency of produce, and logging and evaluating our guests’ feedback comments about the food. We are serious about exceeding our trekkers’ expectations about mountain cuisine! Highlights include:
Snacks upon arrival in camp.
- Homemade Trail snacks – including our own dried fruit and delicious dehydrated (not baked) energy bars. Each trekker gets a minimum of two trail snacks per day, distributed after breakfast.
- Homemade cookies, cakes, breads and desserts, produced in our own kitchen.
- Organic produce from our ½ acre garden.
- French press coffee (optional) with the best Tanzanian ground coffee, served in insulated stainless steel caraffes.
- Fancy cheese platter (optional), a selection of choice cheeses served with locally produced crackers, at the start or end of your trek
- Sparkling wine (optional), served in glass flutes at the gate, to celebrate your success reaching Uhuru Peak.
- For the Superior Option (Private climbs and Kilimanjaro Deluxe Group Climb): luggage allowance is 33 lbs per person
- For the LITE Option (Kilimanjaro Group Climb): luggage allowance is 17.5 lbs per person
LITE OPTION: This option is used for the Kilimanjaro Group Trek only. The differences are that the aluminium dining chairs are smaller with no arm rest. There is not a private toilet tent. Fresh hand-towels are not provided. Hot Water bottles are not included in your sleeping bags. The luxury sleeping tent, hot showers, mess tent heater, heated lounge tent, and solar charging kit are not available with this option.
Tipping guidelines: On all treks there will be one head guide, one cook and one waiter plus variable numbers of assistant guides and porters. See the chart below for approximate numbers. Amounts suggested are from the GROUP.
- Head guide: $20-$25 or more per day
- Assistant trekking guides: $15 – $20 per day per assistant
- Cook: $10-$15 per day
- Waiter: $5-$10 per day
- Porters: $5 per day per porter