Here are the details we get asked about most when helping people plan their trips to Kilimanjaro...
Flights: The airport to fly in to is Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA). Yes, who would believe it! If you're with an Aspire trip the dates are the latest to arrive to the earliest to depart. For example, if it's 20-28 Jan 2024 that's arrive no later than the 20th of Jan and depart no later than the 28th.
If you're arriving earlier or departing later our team can help arrange rooms in the team hotel. Sometimes this can be a cheaper option if flight costs become challenging. Our Aspire team will help.
Airlines like Qatar/BA, Turkish or KLM fly from the UK or other countries via a hub in their respective country and then in to KIA. Costs can be anything from £500+ depending on times, how you want to fly etc.
Itinerary: Your standard itinerary on an Aspire Adventures trip to Kilimanjaro is Saturday to the following Sunday. That's 9 days in total with 7 days on the mountain. If you decide to arrive early or stay on for a safari or trip to Zanzibar you'll need to calculate this in to your flight plan and personal itinerary.
Example using the above Aspire Adventures trip date of 20-28 Jan 2024 and you stay on for a one day safari.
20/1: arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport
27/1: last day on the mountain and back to team hotel
28/1: one day safari and extra hotel night
29/1: depart Kilimanjaro International Airport
Airport: If you're with an Aspire trip you'll be collected at the airport and taken to our team hotel. If not, please check with who you booked with. If you're travelling independently there are always lots of taxi's outside and worth seeing if you can book one online. With Aspire legends we'll have collected flight information and be checking trackers so we know if there are any delays while you're in the air.
Visa: You need a visa and at this moment it's $50 (USD). You can get this at the airport but please ensure you have the money in cash as they don't take cards. Otherwise it's a simple online process and generally takes a week to approve. You will need flight information and where you're staying in country with number/email. If you're with Aspire we'll supply this to you. Our KILIMANJARO KIT LIST BLOG has the eVisa link.
Insurance: You may have some insurance already in place so please check that it will cover you for Kilimanjaro and aspects such as helicopter rescue and repatriation if something happens. We wrote a BLOG HERE about insurance with a recommendation.
Training: if you book with Aspire we'll send you a 16 week training guide to get you on the way. While having the fitness of an Olympian is all very well, the reality is that life gets in the way. Being fit is great but having a great attitude is even better. Build up training, get time on your feet, have fun with it and don't smash in too much too soon and get injured. Naturally chatting with a PT will be great but don't forget that 3 x 60min PT sessions is okay but you do need to get outside and on your feet.
Kit: If you look up at the visa section above you'll see a kit list. If you're with Aspire we can supply a discount code for a retail partner, Ellis Brigham, to help keep the costs low. Aspire can also hire some of the bigger items like sleeping bag and summit jacket. Our team will help.
With kit, it's important to have the items we mention as they may be needed at some point. It's not about the best, but having it. For example, you can get head torches that cost £150+ but a £30 one with AAA batteries will be just fine. You can also check out our BLOG PAGE as we have blogs on things like boots that will help.
Food: At Aspire we aren't ashamed to be priced at the higher end and food is a big reason why. Firstly, we will absolutely cater for all food requirements and allergies. Secondly, we have decent grub! Breakfast could be porridge, toast, jams and honey, sausages, eggs etc. Lunch could be soup, rice, noodles, or even chicken and chips. Dinner could be fresh pizza, soup, spaghetti bolognese and there's always some fruit for dessert. We don't skimp.
Money: You can read a BLOG HERE where we explain in a little more detail but a quick view. Local currency is Tanzanian Shilling and you can get from ATM's around the area. Tips given in USD and we ask to budget $300 each and that's if you wish to give it, but we guarantee you'll want to. There is nothing to buy on the mountain but when you finish you may want to buy a beer or a t-shirt for example and they'll accept USD too. Our team hotel has the ability to charge stuff to your room and then pay when you check out.
Acclimatisation: One of the biggest questions we get asked and we have a BLOG WRITTEN HERE on this subject. Have a read. This is the foundation of success to summiting. If you're on an Aspire trip we'll spend a lot of time in advance helping you with this including inviting you to a training weekend.
Tents: On the mountain you'll be in a tent. With Aspire trips you could be sharing with someone or in your own tent. We'll talk about tent processes at the start and during the brief, stuff like being organised and how to get things ready. When you get to each camp the tents will already be set up and someone will show you to your specific one where your porter bag will be waiting for you.
Baggage: On the mountain all you'll need to carry is your day pack and each day we will brief for the next day and talk about anything extra to carry. You'll have a duffel bag which everything else will be packed in and one of the team will move this from camp to camp. You don't have to worry. It's a very slick operation refined over many Aspire expeditions. You can also leave stuff in the team hotel so you have fresh stuff to come back to plus your dancing shoes and toiletries perhaps.
Daily life: On the mountain you'll be woken with a tea/coffee to your tent at the pre-agreed time plus a bowl of hot water to freshen up. Then you'll finish packing your kit and get to breakfast. After brekkie we ensure everyone has what's needed and we head off for the walk. We either have lunch at the next camp and then we either finish the walk or rest for the afternoon. Generally we have a bowl of hot water for the tents to clean up.
Hot water will be made available for tea, coffee, hot chocolate, herbal teas and then we meet for dinner. After dinner we do the brief for the next day and then it's either a game of cards or off to bed.
Water: Plenty of drinking water will be made available and it will all have been from mountain sources and also purified. Hot water for cleaning will be best left for cleaning. All hot water for hot drinks will have been purified. Some people bring extra purification tablets but they really aren't necessary.
Communication: We can only talk here for Aspire trips but there are some general bits. On the mountain there are a few spots where people can get 3G/4G but it can't be guaranteed. We do try and give people the chance. Some people have roaming tariffs but it can be expensive. On Aspire trips we have satellite communication for in and out and you'll be given details of this. We also have a GPS tracker so people can follow you live from at home.
Emergencies: At Aspire we have incredibly robust processes from medical kit on the mountain, medications, doctors on standby and a really well trained team that have practiced and rehearsed every scenario. We also have oxygen in the event it's needed. We also check everything before every trip so never become complacent.
Vaccinations: We recommend you speak with a travel clinic or your GP's nurse to discuss what you have currently and what's recommended. There's a lot of information in the public domain so please discuss with a professional and make a call based on what you feel is right for you. CLICK HERE for the current UK health guidelines from the Government.
Extras: If you're on an Aspire trip we can help with extensions like safari's (one day to three day) or even heading to Zanzibar. Just email the team and we will help get this arranged. We will also be adding other Tanzania mountains like Mount Meru to build out our portfolio of offerings. Either way, just ask, what's the worst that can happen??
If you're on an Aspire trip and have questions please do email email@example.com and even if you're thinking about coming to Kilimanjaro, and have questions, please do reach out. Below is a link to our Kili specific page where you can also book -
For now, we look forward to help make some magic happen.
See you on the hill.