At 5,895m (19,340 ft), Mt Kilimanjaro is Africa's highest peak and one of the most spectacular free standing summit treks in the world. The Machame route, also referred to as the Whiskey route, is one of the most popular routes on Kilimanjaro and our favourite here at GoKo. Despite being a tough climb compared to the Marangu route, the Machame route has one of the highest summit success rates given the topography of the route which allows climbers to “trek high & sleep low” hence making it a more favourable route for acclimatisation. Unlike the Marangu route which is a gradual ascent, the Machame route is has steeper trails and climbers walk longer distances. This route offers some of the most spectacular scenery while on the mountain. The Machame route starts in the south west side of the mountain and proceeds steeply north, traversing the Shira plateau and eventually joining the Shira and Lemosho routes at the Shira camp.
Please read carefully: all important and relevant information regarding this trip is highlihgted below.
Lets begin with Ecological Zones:
It all begins at the base of the mountain as we embark on our climb, allowing us to pass through lush rain-forests, proceeding through heath, moorland, alpine desert and finally entering the arctic zone. Climbers need to be prepared for the wide range of temperatures as we pass through all the different zones, especially the extreme cold on entering the arctic zone. Climbers also need to be aware that the forest sections can often be quite slippery, as moorland can get very wet due to poor weather conditions. Addtionally, the final ascent through the arctic zone is almost entirely of scree and loose rock, so watch your step. Although this section can be tricky, there is no technical climbing skills needed.
You’re in good hands:
Once were on the mountain all you need to worry about is enjoying your experience and ascending to the roof of Africa; everything else will be taken care of by our incredibly experienced staff. You will have a fully licensed head guide, fully licensed assistant guides, experienced cook and hardworking porters. Food will be fresh, healthy and in abundance, making sure that you are getting the right nutrition and energy for your ascent of the mountain. All your needs will be catered for, as GoKo Travels promoise to give you the best experience possible on the mountain and provide you with memories you will never forget. We promoise to cut no corners and guaranteed a top quality service.
>Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
> Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
> Passport (required) (With photocopies)
> Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
> Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
The official unit of currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling. The Shilling is made up of 100 cents.
There are limited opportunities to access banks and ATMs around Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. Although you will not need large amounts of cash while trekking, we highly recommend you withdraw what you need prior to arrival to the park.
Tipping is expected.
Tanzania is 3 hours in front of GMT.
The official language of Tanzania is Swahili. You will however, find that English is spoken by most people.
Weather conditions and temperature on Kilimanjaro varies depending on season and altitude, cold temperatures and precipitation are the main weather concerns while climbing the mountain. The warmer, drier months are the best times to climb Kilimanjaro, climbs during January, February and September are all very good, while climbs in June, July and August are equally has good it’s possible the temperature will be a little cooler. Times to try and avoid climbing the mountain are during the rainy season which fall in the months of March, April, May and November although climbers can still experience rain during the dry season, the weather on the mountain is unpredictable. Please note that this is a challenging and tough trek, which reaches an altitude of 5895m. It is possible to find this climb very difficult even if you consider yourself to be relatively fit, it mostly depends on how well your body acclimatizes to high altitude.
1. WIFI: Please be aware that wifi and internet access is not as readily available in Tanzania as in other parts of the world. There are often additional charges to connect to the internet, and speeds may be slower than what you are used to.
2. YELLOW FEVER CERTIFICATE: It may be required to show a Yellow Fever certificate upon entering the country visited. Please check in with your local health expert for advice on Yellow Fever and other inoculations required for this area.
3. HEALTH & SAFETY: Please read the Health and Safety section below for an important message on Physical Fitness and Altitude and Acclimatization.
4. POWER: The power supply in Tanzania is nominally 240VAC, 50hz. Variable voltage, spikes and sporadic, unexpected, unscheduled power cuts of varying duration can be expected.
5. EQUIPMENT: A limited supply of equipment is available to rent directly from your Moshi hotel, however the quality varies. Be sure to thoroughly check the quality of your rented gear and to ensure that it is in correct working order. Whenever possible you should endeavor to bring your own clothing and equipment.
Your health and wellbeing is of great importance to us during your climb. Our guides are trained to recognise and deal with a number of medical conditions. Whilst you do not need to have mountain climbing experience, a reasonable level of fitness is required for successful sumit. We will also climb the mountain in a recommended way, considering the health and fitness of the group. There is no rush to reach the summit as the joy is in the climb. Take your time to soak up your surrounding and enjoy every step to the top of Africa.
It is vital that you speak to a medical professional/doctor who specialises in travel medicine before you depart. Advice on your current level of fitness, pre-existing medical conditions is important. You will also need to discuss where you will be travelling to and undertake an appropriate immunisation programme and other medical requirements. Preventative measures as advised by your doctor are very important, such as applying DEET mosquito repellent from dusk to dawn as well. We also recommend that you carry a small personal medical kit.
Please note that airports and other points of entry to Tanzania may require you to show a certificate of vaccination for Yellow Fever. We recommend you seek medical advice regarding other vaccinations such as Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Tetanus. Malaria precaution is essential, we suggest you consult your GP on which Malaria tablets to take.
Climbing Kilimanjaro doesn’t need any technical mountaineering skills, although a reasonable degree of fitness would increase your odds of a successful summit. Please note that being physically fit doesn’t guarantee anyone to overcome problems with altitude although it can reduce the impact of your climb on the body. If anyone wishes to train for their climb we recommend that you take part in daily walks that should include uphill and downhill sections. It is also necessary to increase your endurance and confidence levels, as this will play a big part in your success.
Training to climb Kilimanjaro:
1. Aerobic Traiing: We reccommend light-to-moderate intensity activities such as long distance jogging, swimming, cycling and walking 3 months prior to your trip. Aerobic exercise builds the cardiovascular system which is key when training to climb Kilimanjaro, as a strong cardiovascular system will help you process limited oxygen in a more efficient way. There is a flip side though. The more fit you are, the harder and faster you can push yourself, and the quicker you think you can ascend Kili. This is a huge mistake! Going as slow as possible, even when you are on the lower reaches and feel great, is key to your success on Kili.
You will hear your porters say "PolePole", which means Slow Slow in Swahili. This is possibly the best advice you will get! Your body needs time to acclimitize to high altitude and although a strong cardiovascular system will help, it can cause people to push themselves too hard.
2. Strength Training: In addition to aerobic exercise you should also be doing light strength training, particularly for your legs, core and upper body. Building the strength of your core muscles (stomach and lower back) and upper shoulder muscles is also important as you will be carrying a lightweight pack for up to 6-7 hours a day.
3. Practice Hiking: Climbing Kilimanjaro is in fact just one long hike. The best way to prepare for a long hike is to do a few yourself. We recommend doing at least two long distance hikes (over 5 hours). If you can do back to back days that would be even better. Doing a few practices hikes as part of your training to climb Kilimanjaro has a many benefits, so we highly reccomend this.
4. Mental Stamina: So often the thing that gets climbers to the top of Kilimanjaro is there mental stamina. There will be times during the summit night that you will want to give up and go back down. Being able to dig deep and pull on your mental reserves is so important. Thankfully strength and aerobic activities train your mental stamina, so the more time you put in before hand, the easier the climb. Finally, if you really wish to put your mental strength to the test before the climb, sign up to a half marthaon run. Long distance running truly is a test of mental endurance.
We truly believe most people – regardless of age or physical condition – can climb Kilimanjaro (within reason, of course!). All one needs to do is ensure their cardiovascular system is firing on all engines and that they have the mental strength to see the hike to the end. Finally, there is nothing worse than arriving in Kilimanjaro with unworn-in boots . This can seriously effect your summit attempt as you will get blisters and sore feet early on in your hike. Buy boots a few months before your trek and wear them when excersing.
Please be aware that there are health/first aid recommendations when climbing Kilimanjaro:
1. Malaria Tablets (if you choose to take these. Most will seek advice from their GP. Note that some anti-malarial courses need to commence several weeks before departure)
2. Factor 30+ sun cream.
3. Sun barrier cream white / blue for nose and ears.?
Person small first aid kit should be carried by each climber of kilimanjaro:
1. Pain Killers (Ibuprofen).
2. Diamox (Acetazolamide) if you choose to use this.
4. Zinc oxide tape and small scissors.
5. Compeed Blister Pads.
6. Loperamide Diahorrea Tablets.
7. Any medication you normally use.
8. Dioralyte sachets or similar rehydration packs.
Note; that your guide will carry a more comprehensive medical kit. Where a climber has specific health concerns that they or their doctor anticipate being exacerbated by exposure to high altitude, or if he has a history of heart disease in the family, we would advise that he requests that we carry an additional canister of emergency oxygen.
Over and above the importance of training to climb Kilimanjaro and carrying a first aid kit, is having the knowledge of how the body acclimatizes to altitude....
The Definition of Altitude Sickness (Acute Mountain Sickness):
It is an illness that ranges from a mild headache and weariness to a life-threatening build-up of fluid in the lungs or brain at high altitudes. Acute altitude sickness is the mildest and most common form. Because more people are traveling to areas of high elevation like climbing kilimanjaro.
High Altitude: 1500 – 3500 m (5000 – 11500 ft)
Very High Altitude: 3500 – 5500 m (11500 – 18000 ft)
Extreme Altitude: above 5500 m (18000 ft)
Altitude sickness causes:
Altitude sickness symptoms occur when the rate of ascent into higher altitudes is too quickly that the body doesn’t get time to acclimatise. Altitude sickness generally develops at elevations higher than 8,000 feet (about 2,400 meters) above sea level and when the rate of ascent exceeds 1,000 feet (300 meters) per day.
The following actions can trigger altitude sickness:
Ascending too quickly (rapidly)
Overexertion within 24 hours of ascent
Inadequate fluid intake
Consumption of alcohol or other sedative
One way to avoid altitude sickness is allowing the body to get used to the altitude slowly (Acclimatisation). Acclimatisation is the process by which the body adjusts to high altitudes. The goal of acclimatisation is to increase ventilation (breathing) to compensate for lower oxygen content in the air. To compensate for this extra ventilation, blood needs to have a lower pH. In response, the kidneys excrete bicarbonate into the urine, which in turn lowers the body’s pH to accommodate for this extra respiratory effort.
Altitude sickness symptoms:
Acute altitude sickness may be associated with any combination of the following symptoms:
Shortness of breath during exertion
Swelling of extremities
People with acute altitude sickness often attribute their symptoms to other causes such as an uncomfortable bed, bad food, or a hangover. However, it is important to recognize that these symptoms may indicate a high altitude illness which are High altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) and High altitude cerebral edema (HACE).
High altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) fluid build up in the lungs. An advanced form of acute altitude sickness causes the following progression of symptoms:
Shortness of breath at rest
Wet cough with frothy sputum
Onset of HAPE can be gradual or sudden.
HAPE typically occurs after more than one day spent at high altitude
High altitude cerebral edema (HACE) is fluid build up in the brain. It can begin with confusion.
A person developing HACE begins having trouble keeping up with the group.-
Next, walking and coordination become impaired.
As the brain continues to swell, lethargy and then coma will develop.
If left untreated, HACE will ultimately result in death.
Both HAPE and HACE are potentially fatal but are thankfully extremely rare during a well planned Kilimanjaro climb.
Altitude sickness treatment:
Delay further ascent until symptoms improve.
Rest and stay warm.
Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) for headache. ( Ask your doctor for subscription )
Do not use sleeping pills or other central nervous system depressants to treat insomnia because they can suppress breathing.
If symptoms continue, do not travel any higher.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary, therefore, on occasions there may be some alternations. While we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.
Given the unpredictable nature of weather and travel, we are sometimes forced to make late itinerary changes due to unexpected heavy rain and/or storms and road closures. In the event of this occurring, itinerary changes may need to be implemented after commencement of you trip. In this event, your Tour guides have full authority to change the itinerary and/or order of activities and substitute alternative destinations and activities as necessary. No refunds are available due to itinerary changes and missed activities caused by extreme weather conditions and/or road closures.
We ask you to please bringing your own reusable water bottle to refill along the way. The Tanzanian govenment have banned all water bottles on the mountain due to past climbers littering.
We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact GoKo Travels or your Tour leader on the numbers provided in the contact selection of this document (bottom).
If you are unable to get in touch with your with us via the details given on our website, please refer to our emergency contact details.
You do not need to pre-booked an airport transfer, as your tour leader will collect you from outside the airport and will take you to your Starting Point hotel.
Passports and Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity) and entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality.
It is possible to obtain a tourist visa for a single entry at any one of the following main entry points to Tanzania, subject to the fulfilment of all immigration and health requirements for approximately USD$50 in cash:
-Dar es Salaam International Airport
-Zanzibar International Airport
-Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA)
-Namanga Entry Point (Tanzania-Kenya border point)
-Kasumulu Border crossing
-Isebania Border crossing
Alternatively you will need to purchase your visa in advance at any Diplomatic or Consulate Mission of the United Republic of Tanzania abroad. The cost is approximately USD100 depending on nationality and should take one business day. At the present time you do not require a multi entry visa to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda due to an agreement between the three countries (i.e. if you exit Kenya to Tanzania you can re-enter Kenya on the same visa). However if your trip visits Tanzania twice after a visit to a country other than those listed above, you may need to purchase two visas.
For the most up to date information on visa requirements, we recommend you contact the Tanzania embassy in your country or visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/tanzania/entry-requirements
** IMPORTANT NOTE** : It may be required to show a Yellow Fever certificate upon entering the country. Please check in with your local consulate and health expert for advice on Yellow Fever and other inoculations required for this area.
**: Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.
GoKo Travels doesn't currently have the facilities to book your external/international flights. Therefore, you will have to prearrange your own flights to the required destination. We are always looking to improve our services, therefore, are planning to implement this solution as soon as possible.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your Tour leader/ local representative, who will take note of your insurance details and emergency contact number. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability of luggage, cancellation, curtailment and loss and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. Some prefer to spend all their money on alcohol, whille other prefer souvenirs. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier.
The local currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling (TSH). For the latest exchange rate refer to https://www.xe.com
There are limited opportunities to access banks and ATMs around Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. Although you will not need large amounts of cash while trekking, we highly recommend you withdraw what you need prior to arrival to the park.
Credit cards are generally accepted in tourist shops and some restaurants across Africa. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only. Foreign currency is easily changed at exchange bureaus and they generally offer the best rates.
With ATMs being increasingly available in the many major towns and cities and even some campsites, credit or debit cards are a convenient way to access money. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day. Throughout Africa, cards with the Visa logo are most readily recognised, although MasterCard is also accepted in most places. A charge is made for each international transaction - please check with your bank how much this fee will be. Check with your bank before leaving home that your card can be used as a debit card in Africa. You may also want to notify your bank that you are visiting Africa as it's not unknown for banks to freeze cards which show sudden transactions in other countries.
PLEASE NOTE: Many businesses and banks in Africa, especially East Africa, do not accept US dollar notes older than 2006. If you are bringing USD, we strongly recommend large bills in good condition, 2006 series onwards only. Any old or damaged notes may not be accepted.
We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra GBP£300 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last-minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result, there may be some extra costs involved.
How much do i tip my Kilimanjaro Guides and porters?
It is customary to tip your mountain crew upon completion of your trip. The decision on how much to tip should not be determined based upon whether or not you reached the summit, but by how well the guides, cooks and porters served you while you were on the mountain. The standard tipping amounts are roughly $20/day for guides, $15/day for cooks, $13/day for assistant guides, and $8 - $10/day for porters, and standard porters. These figures are based on recommendations by the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP), the independent organization that advocates fair treatment of porters and is responsible for many of the improved working conditions of those who work on Mount Kilimanjaro.
Each group will have one lead guide. There is generally one assistant guide per three clients. There is one cook from one to ten climbers. There will be one waiter per group and one toilet porter per group. The number of porters in your party depends on the selected route and the number of days. Generally, there are three porters per person on the Marangu and Meru route, and four porters per person on all other routes. However, the number of porters is larger for small parties. Make an effort to know your porters and their roles if possible. They will appreciate the recognition.
We reccomend that each climber tips a total of between $250-$350 per trip.
Full group climbs (12-16 people)
expect to tip on the lower end of this range.
Groups with fewer people (4 to 6 people)
expect to tip on the higher end of this range.
Small party climbs of 1-3 people
expect to tip more.
Longer routes (6+ days or more)
expect to tip more.
It is against company policy for guides or porters to discuss tips in bad way during your climb. Unless there were extenuating circumstances that justify higher tips, please try to stay close the guidelines above, as gracious tips from customers have raised staff's expectations for ever increasing amounts. Likewise, if staff did not perform well, you should tip less.
The tipping ceremony occurs after the last breakfast on the mountain I mean before the last descend. The group will receive envelopes according to their categories. The envelopes is for tips for the guides, cooks, assistant guide, helping porters and ordinary porters!
All camping and hostel accommodation is included in the price of this trip
If you wish for a private room/ tent, you must request before booking.
Hotel stay in Moshi with bed and breakfast for two days (1 day before and 1 day after your climb). For the rest of the trip, you will be staying in tents.
Included in this tour are 8 continental breakfasts, Lunch and Dinners –
Snacks: While all meals are provided while on the mountain you may want to bring some extra snacks from home. Perhaps some nutritional muesli or protein bars, or your favourite chocolate snack to keep the energy levels up on the harder sections of your trek.
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with GoKo Travels you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally, meals are included in the trip price, therefore, it is your responsibly to let us know if you have any food allergies at time of booking, so we can make arrangements accordingly.
Travellers with special dietary requirements or food allergies are required to advise us at the time of booking. If you do not inform us before departure date, it may be impossible to source special dietary requests.
You may be asked to pay for any additional food if you have not advised us of any special dietary requirements beforehand.
The below dietary can be easily catered for:.
Dairy Free (soy available )
Please bring your own staples (nuts, bars, snacks) if you require a diet differing from the above.
You will need to purchase any alcohol and other drinks separately unless otherwise highlighted in the itinerary.
ALL Transport is included.
As you may well know, adventures always carry an element of danger. Our GoKo trips are not just package holidays, they are immersive experiences that go off the beaten path and push can you beyond your comfort zone. That’s what makes them awesome, and that’s why we take safety very seriously.
Different countries have their own infrastructures, laws, regulations, transport systems, cultures, political situations, climates and ecosystems so the nature of an adventure means it carries genuine risks. With this is mind, we are dedicated to ensuring all reasonable precautions are made to provide trips that are safe.
We closely monitor all the countries we travel to, keeping in regular contact with our operators and suppliers for their local knowledge and expertise.
If you have any concerns about travelling to a particular country, most governments provide their own travel advice. Here are some useful links regarding foreign travel: UK citizens; US citizens; Canadian citizens; Australian citizens; New Zealand citizens. If you are not from one of the follow countries, please visit your official government advice page.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safekeeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities, have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our guides to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
All GoKo travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our tour leader / local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, GoKo Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure. Information should be gathered round necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure.
For legal reasons, our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group guides or local representatives straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/ local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
If for whatever reasons, you wish to contact GoKo directly regarding changes to your scheduled trip or make a complaint while you are already on your trip, or need to contact us in cases of an emergency, please use the following details below:
Emergency Contact Number: +44 7305027666