Our FAQ is a collection of great questions asked by people who has previously traveled with Follow Alice and answers to them with the help of our local leaders and experts.
Tanzania has three major international airports: Dar es Salaam (DAR), Zanzibar (ZNZ) and Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO). The latter is the most convenient for Kilimanjaro, standing only 42km away from the mountain town of Moshi and 50km from Arusha.
In addition to flights to Tanzania, you may consider flights to Nairobi in Kenya, which is only a 5h shuttle bus ride to Arusha or a 1h plane ride to Kilimanjaro Airport. Note, however, that by choosing to fly to Kenya you may need a multiple-entry Kenya visa (if you are flying out of Kenya, too, for example, and spend longer than a fortnight in Tanzania), which can cost as much as $122 – thereby reducing or eliminating any saving you may have made in airfares.
In deciding which flights to book, you should take the full trip into consideration, e.g. if you would like to spend a couple days in Zanzibar after the climb, it might be best to book one way tickets from your home to Kilimanjaro Airport for the climb, from Arusha to Zanzibar after the climb and then from Zanzibar back to your home.
We recommend arriving one day early (called “arrival day”). This will give you time to relax, meet your fellow travelers and get a proper briefing before the climb starts.
We know though that traveling to Kilimanjaro can be a challenge and will accommodate your arrival time as best as we can (e.g. if you arrive only late at night the day before the climb starts).
You will need a passport that is valid for at least six more months as well as a flight card which you will receive on the plane. Finally you need a Tanzanian visa. US, Canadian, British and most European citizens can simply obtain their visas upon arrival at the airport. The cost is $100 for US passport holders and $50 for others. If you are a citizen of a different country, please check with your embassy whether you can obtain a visa upon arrival.
There are no specific vaccine requirements needed to enter Tanzania. However, be aware that the government of Tanzania requires proof of yellow fever vaccination upon arrival if you are traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever. We suggest you talk to your doctor about getting the following vaccinations which are standard in developed countries: Hepatitis A & B, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Tetanus, Polio, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and Meningococcal Meningitis (Africa/Asia).
When climbing Kilimanjaro, you will need to bring at least 2 bags. One should be a daypack which you will carry during your hike. The second bag can be a larger duffle bag or backpack.
The daypack, which you can think of as your carry on luggage, will contain your water, your lunch, snacks, raingear, camera and maybe an extra layer of clothing. The second, larger bag, will be carried by your porter and contain all your other clothing and toiletries.
It might be a good idea to bring a third small bag so that you can leave any unnecessary items (e.g. city clothes) at the lodge or in our local office before you go on the climb. This way you also keep them clean and free from dust until you return.
Kilimanjaro is climbable all year round. The best months to climb though are July to October and December to February, which are the warmest and driest months. July, August, and September tend to be the busiest months on the mountain.
Another factor to take into consideration is the full moon: Summiting Kilimanjaro on a cloudless evening is without a doubt an unforgettable experience. Now imagine seeing the glaciers glitter in the moonlight of a full moon – absolutely stunning.
There are multiple routes up the mountain. We recommend the Lemosho and Machame route. Those two routes offer the best balance of high success rates, beautiful scenery and smaller crowds.
Kilimanjaro requires no technical climbing experience and any moderately fit person can summit the mountain. However, for most people, it will be one of the most difficult things they have ever done in their lives.
Kilimanjaro is a safe climb taking the routes we recommend. However, there are always deaths on these big mountains. Kilimanjaro is no different. The most common cause of death is probably altitude related and that is from going too fast and not taking the time to acclimatize. Our local guides and staff are prepared to keep you safe and have the ability to treat climbers who become ill or injured. Your health and well-being is our first priority.
We have listed a variety of mountaineering clothing and gear that you will need for your climb. A detailed list can be found here.
The two critical pieces of equipment that you might need to buy are warm, waterproof hiking boots and an insulated, synthetic or down jacket for the cold summit day. Most other equipment is often part of many people’s winter/skiing wardrobe already (e.g. long underwear, fleece jacket etc) or can be rented for free (e.g. sleeping bag, trekking poles etc) at our local mountaineering store in Tanzania.
Due to the great elevation gain on a Kilimanjaro climb, you will experience all kinds of weather, from +30°C (+86°F) on the plains surrounding Kilimanjaro all the way down to -7 to -29°C (+20°F to -20°F) at the summit. So make sure you are prepared and bring the right set of clothing!
You will be provided by our cook and his assistant with breakfast, lunch and dinner each day spent on the mountain. The food, specifically selected to help your climb, are high energy carbohydrate foods that are easily digestible. The primary carbohydrate of the meals are rice, potatoes and pasta and some meats. Fresh fruit and vegetables accompany every meal. Most meals will also have a selection of hot drinks like instant coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. You may want to bring some supplementary “comfort” foods, such as candy, gum, chocolate, health bars or powdered energy drinks.
We can accommodate vegetarian and vegan diets. For those with special diets, please contact us to discuss what we can or cannot do.
This is an outdoor adventure in the African wild. There are no showers on the mountain. Warm water will be supplied in a bowl and you will be able to wash your face and hands. For the rest you can bring wet wipes.
At each campsite, we set up a private toilet tent which contains of a plastic toilet. There are also simple, hole-in-the-ground public toilets (usually very dirty and not recommended to use). If you need to use the bathroom on the trail, find a spot behind a tree or rock.
During the climb, you sleep in 3-person 4-season dome-style mountain tents, two people per tent. These tents are modern and have an outer flysheet and large vestibules where you can store your equipment during the night.
On the day before (arrival day) and after (departure day) the climb, you will stay in a comfortable lodge set in spacious grounds shaded by banana trees near Arusha or Moshi – with stunning views, rooms and facilities to match. We understand that coming from a week on the mountain, you want to treat yourself with a hot shower, great food and maybe a good bottle of wine to celebrate!
If all goes according to plan, you will be coming off the mountain knowing that you are one of the very few who have succeeded in climbing Kilimanjaro.. well done! Now, it’s time to relax and take in some of the amazing sights and experiences East Africa has to offer.
Choosing between a safari in the wildness of the Tanzanian plains and relaxing vacation on the great white sandy beaches of Zanzibar is tricky. The week on the mountain will be exhausting – so if you’re eager to charge the batteries before the busy everyday life starts again, go with Zanzibar! But if you feel this might be the only time you come visit Eastern Africa, we encourage you to go on a once-in-a-lifetime safari with us.
We aim to build groups of 6-10 fellow travelers, with 12 people being the limit. Our groups are typically made of 20 to 35ish years old, sociable people from around the world who are looking to share an unforgettable adventure with you.
Yes, we even encourage you to sign up! We make sure to match you in a bigger group of like-minded fellow travelers that will soon be your new friends. There is nothing greater than “being stuck with each other” for a week on a mountain in Africa!
First of all, you will travel with “your people”.. your age, your mind-set. No matter if you came alone, with a significant other or in a group, you will instantly meet a circle of (new) friends from all over. To help break the ice and build positive momentum amongst the group, we have further developed a unique trip concept with many fun social activities and group celebrations on the mountain. All this with the single purpose of building a long lasting story together that will bond us for life!
Your Kilimanjaro guides and porters are your greatest asset on the mountain. Quality guides and porters will make for a wonderful time on the mountain, while a mediocre staff can put your life in danger. Each of our experienced guides is licensed by the Kilimanjaro National Park, trained in acute mountain sickness (AMS) as well as basic mountain first aid and speaks fluently English.
Typically, each of our groups has one guide per two climbers, and each climber has three porters. Porters carry all gear, tents, cooking supplies and water. You will learn to respect these guys by the end of day 1 of your climb – each porter carries about 20kg (44lbs) of kit on their back up the mountain!
You should limit your larger duffle bag or backpack to 15kg (33lbs) as this will ease the burden of the drivers, vehicles and most importantly, the porters. Baggage should be of the round squashy type rather than hard suitcases which are often difficult to fit into jeeps and carry up the mountain.
Note that luggage restrictions on domestic flights are often also 15-20kg (33-44lbs) per person, so be mindful when packing your bags. For your daypack, try to keep it under 9kg (20lbs) for your own benefit when climbing up the mountain.
You should follow the “layering principle” when you dress up for Kilimanjaro. Staying warm and dry is imperative for a successful climb, and you can achieve it easily if you know how to properly layer:
1 base layer (e.g. thermo underwear, long sleeve shirt, sock liners, thin gloves): Moisture-wicking items that are worn against the skin. By moving sweat away from your body, the base layer should keep you dry and provide some insulation. Synthetics for this layer, no cotton!
2 mid layers (e.g. fleece pants, sweater, down jacket, thick socks): The primary purpose of these layers is to provide warmth. Therefore, while searching for mid layers, you should look for those that have good insulating qualities. Use fleece, down or heavier synthetics!
1 outer layer (e.g. waterproof jacket and pants, knit hat, waterproof skiing gloves): The outer layer is designed to provide protection from the wind, rain and snow.
Don’t let the changing temperatures on Kilimanjaro stump you – be prepared for any weather condition.
We recommend you bring/buy your own equipment for personal items such as hiking boots, thermo underwear, waterproof pants, down jacket, gloves etc. For more unusual items like sleeping bag, trekking poles etc, we provide you with the option to rent from our local mountaineering store for free. Please let us know in advance what items from the equipment list you would like to rent, so we can arrange everything for your arrival.
Kilimanjaro requires no technical climbing experience and any moderately fit person can summit the mountain. However, you should not underestimate the mountain. If you have the time, we suggest you start with some physical training 2-4 weeks prior to the climb, which might include aerobic cross training or hiking to familiarize your body with the rigors of the climb. The fitter you are, the easier the climb will be for you.
Despite all the preparation, the biggest challenge for any person climbing up Kilimanjaro are the effects of altitude, which seem mostly unrelated to fitness, age or gender.
Avoiding altitude sickness is key. Do this by walking slowly. Drink lots of water and eat enough food. Go on all optional acclimatization hikes. Consider taking Diamox. Also prevent other illnesses by disinfecting your hands after every time you use the bathroom and before any meals.
Moreover, Tanzania has a moderate risk for Malaria. Malaria occurs in all areas below 1,800m (5,900 ft) and we recommend that you take precautions against malaria prior to the commencement of your trip. If you’re planning to use Diamox on your Kilimanjaro climb, please consult your doctor as some malaria prophylactics cannot be used in conjunction with Diamox.
Our guides are highly experienced to manage altitude sickness, which is the biggest obstacle on the mountain. They intimately know the network of shortcuts to escort climbers to safety, and they are trained to act quickly and calmly under any circumstances.
Some climbers may fall short of reaching the summit, but not at the expense of the overall experience. Even for those who never reach the top, the trip to the wonders of Kilimanjaro will still be highly rewarding.
If one or more people of the group decide they cannot continue, or if a guide deems it unsafe for a person (or a group) to continue the climb, they are escorted to the most convenient campsite and wait for the others to return.
All climbers pay a rescue fee to the Kilimanjaro National Park (included in our price). If you cannot continue the climb because you get injured or sick, the guides and porters will gladly assist you on the way down. There is no extra charge for coming down early and be taken back to the lodge, but we will not be able to refund you for the days you missed on the mountain.
Moreover, we will ask all of our travelers to purchase a special adventure travel insurance that covers any possible medical expenses and evacuation costs that may occur on the mountain – just to be safe!
You either fill out our booking form or simply send us an e-mail. After we received your booking request, we will send you a trip proposal within 1-2 business days. The proposal includes dates, prices, accommodation, and the group we would like to match you with.
Once we agreed on all trip details, you will make a 20% deposit to confirm your booking. We then go ahead and do all the necessary bookings and provide you with all detailed information in time for your trip of a lifetime!
The remaining balance (80%) is due 20 days prior to trip departure.
We’re all about keeping it simple and cutting banking fees wherever possible. Thus, we accept wire transfer, Paypal, Venmo, Paymit or TransferWise.
If you know of a better and cheaper way to transfer money, we’re happy to discuss other options!
We want to be as open and transparent as possible when it comes to budgeting your trip. Hence, our prices include the vast majority of the expenses you can expect during your time with us, i.e.:
Pick-up and drop-off at the airport
Hotel lodging the night before and the night after the climb (double occupancy, half board)
Transport from the hotel to the trailhead and back to the hotel
Personal rental gear (e.g. sleeping bag, trekking poles)
Tents (double occupancy)
Private toilet tent for group
All national park fees
All meals and water on the mountain
Support staff (guides, cooks, porters)
The only additional costs you should budget for:
Tips for guides and porters (~200$ all-in)
Tanzanian visa (~50$ for Europeans, ~100$ for US citizens)
Special travel insurance (~50$)
And, of course, the costs for your plane ticket to get to Tanzania and fly home again in the end of the adventure. Our recommendation: Book your flights early!
We hope you don’t have to cancel your trip last minute but if you do, we are happy to work something out together. Maybe you can join a group a couple weeks earlier or later, or you join next season.. we’ll try our best!
In general though, our cancellation policies are as follows:
The 20% confirmation deposit is non-refundable
21 days or less prior to departure, the remaining 80% balance is only refundable if we can find a replacement to take over the open spot in the group
As we work hard to mix and match groups of great, young adventure-seekers, we rely on you not to cancel last minute – or find a replacement!