Which Kilimanjaro route to do and what to pack?

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Which Kili route to do and what to pack?

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Which Routes?

The Marangu Route (aka coca-cola route) departs from your Moshi Hotel into the Kilimanjaro National Park via the Marangu Gate (1800m). It takes you through forests and moorlands to The Saddle (a high altitude desert which separates the “lower” part of the mountain from the summit leg).
It is reportedly the “easiest” route physically, to summit Kilimanjaro because it has wider more comfortable foot paths and hut accommodation. Although it is the physically easier route, it does have the lowest success rate which is attributed to the quick pace at a steep incline to reach the summit.

The Machame Route (aka whiskey route) departs from your Moshi Hotel into the Kilimanjaro National Park via the Machame Gate (1800m). It is the most scenic as you pass through forested areas and moorlands before reaching the Shira Plateau and passing the southern ice-fields.
It has a higher summit success rate compared to the Marangu Route because it is 1 day longer and allows for better acclimatization passing through 5 climatic zones, you “walk high and sleep low”.

The Rongai Route departs from your Moshi Hotel entering Kilimanjaro National Park (approximately 4 hour drive) via the northern entrance of Rongai Gate (2100m).
It is the second easiest route on which to summit Kilimanjaro, yet the least frequented route. It is “easier” because you start from a much higher altitude at 2100m (compared to other routes) and it is a more gradual route allowing your body to acclimatize.

The Lemosho Route departs your Moshi Hotel entering Kilimanjaro National Park via the Londorossi Park Gate (2100m).  It is the longest, most remote of the Kili Routes crossing the Shira Plateau meeting up with the Machame Route.
The route attributes it’s good summit success rate to starting at a higher altitude (2100m) spending your first night at Mkubwa Hut (2750m). You follow onto Barranco Camp (3950m) and so join the Machame Route, before descending via the Mweka Route.

Download PDF for more details

What to Pack?

 Baggage

  • Day pack (which you will carry)
  • Large backpack (which your porters will carry)

 Clothing

  • Sunglasses (polarized) + Wide-brim hat
  • Bandana
  • Gloves (thick waterproof for trekking + thick pair for evenings)
  • Balaclava or neck gaitor
  • Shorts (for the first and last day in Moshi)
  • Pants (for hiking and relaxing in the evenings)
  • Short-sleeved and long-sleeved shirts or t-shirts (for hiking and relaxing in evenings)
  • Underwear (sports bras for ladies)
  • Thermal underwear (in which to sleep)
  • Fleece jacket
  • Down jacket or ski parka (for temperatures below freezing plus wind-chill)
  • Rain jacket + pants (for the humid rain-forest and cold snow)
  • Travel towel
  • Swim-suite (for first and last day swimming – can be left at your hotel during your trek)
  • Ski or trekking poles
  • Headlamp or flashlight

TIP:  You want your inner layer to be wicking – no cotton. Your next layer should be insulating and warm, and your top layer should be waterproof but breathable. Layers are important as temperatures vary greatly. You will need clothes for hiking during the day, lounging in the evening, and for sleeping.

Toiletries

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Handi-wipes (baby wipes)
  • Toilet roll + zip-lock bags (for waterproofing)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Small towel
  • Soap
  • Lotion
  • Glasses / spare contact lenses + solution (take contacts out each night to prevent blurred vision)
  • Comb + mirror

Footwear

  • Hiking boots
  • Gaiters
  • Socks – hiking socks + wool socks

TIP:  Be sure to break in your shoes before the hike! Trekking shoes for hiking during the day, preferably warm, waterproof, and with ankle-support – not too light and not too heavy. Tennis shoes or sandals for the evening.

Sleeping

  • Sleeping bag (Rated -25 degrees C/-10 degrees F or colder is recommended)
  • Sleeping pad and repair kit
  • Tents are supplied at no charge
  • Foam sleeping matresses are provided at no charge (Therma-rest is highly recommended, however)

Other

  • Water bottles and Camelback (2-3)
  • Get 3 litres of bottled water before the trip (available at your Moshi Hotel)
  • Camera + tripod
  • Video camera + tapes
  • Batteries
    • Bring extra batteries for headlamp/flashlight and camera as cold weather shortens their life
  • Note book + pencil / pen
  • Pocket knife
  • Energy bars
  • Alarm clock
  • Sewing kit

TIP:  Your guides will boil water for you along the route, or use steri-pens for water sanitization. To prevent water from freezing on summit day, keep your water source inside your jacket. For Camelbacks, blow air back into the bladder after each sip and drink often. Gatorade or other drink mix helps with taste and minerals.

 Documents

  • Passport
  • Tanzania visa
  • Yellow fever certificate + vaccination record
  • Comprehensive Travel & Medical insurance
  • Airline tickets
  • Cash, travellers cheques, credit cards
  • Money
  • Electricity adapter

TIP:  Money + electricity adaptor and other “non-essential” items which cannot be used ON Kilimanjaro, can be left at your hotel in the safe (pre-arrange this once you check-in).

Keep all documents in your money bag, within a zip-lock bag ensuring it is all kept waterproof. It can be safely kept in your Moshi Hotel safe if you prefer, or taken with you on the mountain. Make copies of passport, Tanzania visa, airline tickets/schedule, travellers’ cheques and leave this with someone at home and put in a separate place in your luggage.

ALL US Dollars cash bills must be issued post 2005

First Aid

  •  Water filter or iodine purification tablets
  • Ibuprofin, Aceteminophen, or Aspirin
  • Throat losenges
  • Band aids
  • Sunscreen (SPF 15+)
  • Lip balm with sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Disinfectant, Antiseptic cream
  • Diarrhoea medicine
  • Antihistamines
  • Melatonin (1-3mg) or other sleep aid
  • Malaria pills
  • Antibiotics + pro-biotics
  • Prescription drugs you already use
  • Diamox

TIP:  Speak to your doctor about: malaria tablets + anti-biotics + pro-biotics + prescription drugs + Diamox

 Notes

  • Your backpack (main luggage) must weigh no more than 15kg (35 lbs) – as this is carried by your porters.
    • Additional weight and luggage will be charged at USD 5 per day for additional porter
    • Pack your clothing in plastic bag within your backpack – ensuring it stays dry
  • Your day bag must weigh no more than 5kg (10 lbs) – as this is carried by you.
  • Sunglasses + lip balm + sun screen + energy bars + camera + binoculars + rain pants + jacket + water
  • Store electronics in sealed waterproof bags (double sealed if possible) – can be kept at your Moshi Hotel
  • You can leave extra luggage in a locked storage room at your Moshi Hotel (enquire for charges on check in)
  • You can leave valuables in a safe deposit box at your Moshi Hotel (ranges from USD2 to USD5 per day)

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