Climbing Kilimanjaro - Safety
Your safety and comfort when climbing Kilimanjaro are our main concern, together with the safety of our own staff. We use a number of methods to make sure you are safe. These include:
- Route Choice
- Staff to Climber Ratio & Staff Roles
- Kilimanjaro Climb Team training
- Kit, Safety Kit and Communications
- Your Health and Fitness
We specifically exclude the fastest climbing route up Kilimanjaro, the Marangu Route, as we believe, among other reasons, that the increased speed up the mountain on this route reduces your opportunity to acclimatise to the change of altitude. This is likely, in all cases, to lead to a lower success rate and in certain cases can be unsafe.
Kilimanjaro’s Machame and Lemosho routes both allow a greater amount of time for acclimatisation and on certain days you will have the chance to climb higher and then sleep lower, one of the best ways to avoid altitude sickness and achieve your goal – standing on Kilimanjaro’s summit
Staff To Climber Ratio & Staff Roles
Our ratios of staff to climbers on Kilimanjaro is very high, meaning you might have twenty staff accompanying just two people, thirty staff for four climbers or even sixty for fourteen climbers. These are figures for climbing Kilimanjaro’s Machame Route, whereas the longer Lemosho Route requires further staff to ensure people are not overburdened by the extra food and supplies.
There are dedicated roles for each member of our Kilimanjaro climbing team, including: camp staff, cooks, porters, assistant guides, and guides.
Porters are as much part of our Kilimanjaro climb team as our permanent staff. We ensure their loads are limited to 20kg plus their personal kit and this is all loaded in custom made climbing bags.
Kilimanjaro Climb Team Training
Training for our Kilimanjaro climbing team is ongoing, with formal training for guides, in English and Swahili, twice a year. We encourage everyone to progress within the team with porters able to become full time members as assistants or camp crew and camp staff to become part of the guiding team.
Kit, Safety Kit And Communications
Before you arrive to climb Kilimanjaro, we will ensure you know what kit we will provide and what you need to bring to be safe and comfortable. We will check this kit as part of the pre-climb briefing in Arusha and give you a full briefing on your climb.
Our kit is checked before each Kilimanjaro climb by the operations manager together with the head guide. In addition to all the climbing kit, we carry oxygen, a custom evacuation stretcher, a pulse oximeter, altitude sickness checklists and first aid kit. For any Kilimanjaro climb that sleeps inside the Kibo Crater, where a quick descent cannot be made, we carry a portable altitude chamber.
Twice a day on Kilimanjaro your guide will check your oxygen levels and pulse rate with special oxygen and pulse oximetry. The readings are vital to examine how you are coping with the effects of altitude and are communicated back to the base camp where the information is recorded and monitored.
When you are climbing Kilimanjaro the team will make contact with the base camp at least twice a day by mobile telephone or satellite phone, as appropriate for the position on the mountain.
Your Health And Fitness
To climb Kilimanjaro you need to be able to walk significant distances at altitude – the detailed climb descriptions will give you the lengths of each day’s walk. In most cases you will need to do some training before arriving in Tanzania including practicing with the kit you aim to use on the climb.
We also recommend a medical check before attempting a climb of Kilimanjaro, especially if you are over forty years old or have had conditions in the past which have limited your ability to trek.
You also need to ensure you complete the pre-climb information we ask for accurately. Certain conditions can become life threatening at altitude on Kilimanjaro and we need to know your medical conditions before you climb.
During the climb briefing we will cover all aspects of the trip including ensuring you are safe and comfortable on Kilimanjaro. If at any stage you feel unwell you must tell the guide for your own safety. We will do what we can to make you comfortable and allow you to complete your climb.
If this happens we will ensure you are accompanied off the mountain by at least one other person. We also use the same procedure for staff members who cannot complete the climb.
If your descent is very early, we can arrange other activities to fill your free days. Unfortunately there will be additional costs for any other arrangements and there are no refunds for Kilimanjaro climbs which are not completed.
The Next Step
If you'd like to know any more information including: prices, departure dates of group climbs, or to check availability for a private climb,please call or email us