Serengeti & Kilimanjaro Trip Notes

Serengeti & Kilimanjaro

These trip notes are valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the trip notes for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Last Modified: 30 Sep 2016
Serengeti & Kilimanjaro
Trip code: YGOMC
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Travel to Africa and experience some of Kenya and Tanzania's most famous natural wonders on this Active trip for those with a passion for the outdoors. The vast Serengeti plains evoke a sense of wonder and deep respect for the animal kingdom, while the imposing peaks of Mt Kilimanjaro inspire awe and rouse a spirit of adventure. Safari through the savanna in search of stealthy predators and try to spot other game in the gigantic Ngorongoro Crater. Rise to the challenge and conquer Africa's highest peak on a difficult trek to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro. This is a trip that will reward those with an appetite for excitement and an appreciation for nature – get ready for thrills, challenges and discovery on this amazing trip to Africa!
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodation NotesEmergency contact
ThemesMeals introductionVisas
Why we love itMealsWhat to take
MapTransportClimate and seasonal information
ItineraryMoney mattersHealth
Itinerary disclaimerGroup leaderTravel insurance
Physical ratingSafetyA couple of rules
Included activitiesJoining pointResponsible Travel
Important notesJoining point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
Group sizeFinish pointFeedback
Your fellow travellersFinish point description
AccommodationFinishing point instructions
Overland, Walking & Trekking, Wildlife
Why we love it
- Hike through surreal hanging moss forests and moonscapes
- Spot monkeys hiding in tropical rainforest
- Experience an incredible African sunrise from Mt Kilimanjaro
- Tackle the trek to the peak by lamplight
- Shop for local sculptures and textiles at a bustling Musoma market
- Spot iconic wildlife in the African Serengeti
- Conquer Africa's highest peak
- Camp high above the Ngorongoro Crater

Day 1 Nairobi
Jambo! Welcome to Kenya.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
Nairobi - which takes its name from a Maasai phrase Enkare Nyrobi meaning 'place of cool waters' - has a cosmopolitan atmosphere. There are plenty of good bars and restaurants, while markets and shops have most things you could want or need, as well as various arts and crafts from the region.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If your flight arrives too late, we recommend that you consider arriving a day early and book a night's accommodation prior to the trip so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have all details on hand to provide to your leader.
If you arrive early, you can head out and explore the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum (author of Out of Africa) or Bomas of Kenya where traditional homesteads of several Kenyan tribes are displayed in an outdoor village.
While brazen crime is thankfully fairly uncommon in Nairobi, petty theft unfortunately is not and recently arrived visitors to the capital can often make for tempting targets. Your trip leader will verse you in a few worthwhile precautions at the welcome meeting, but if you are arriving early please heed a few simple safeguards.

As a general rule, the safest place for your valuables is on your person in a neck wallet or money belt, though your hotel room or reception may have safes in which it would be advisable to store things if you're wanting to head out. If you do decide to go exploring, make sure you get local advice on where it is and isn't safe to walk - particularly when it's getting on in the day. Thieves and pickpockets have also been known to operate in bars and restaurants, so don't let up keeping your wits about you once you're inside somewhere. Don't leave day packs or handbags unattended on chairs or the floor. There's no need to be paranoid, but appearing vigilant is a great deterrence to would-be thieves. Finally, make colour scans of any important travel documents before you leave and email them to yourself: in the event that you are the unlucky victim of a theft, this will save you hours of police, embassy and travel insurance hassles.
Optional Activities
  • Nairobi - National Museum - USD10
  • Nairobi - Karen Blixen museum - USD14
  • Nairobi - Bomas of Kenya - USD12
  • Nairobi - National Park safari walk - USD30
  • Nairobi - Carnivore Restaurant - KES3600
  • Nairobi - Giraffe Center - USD12
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Day 2 Kisii
    Board our safari truck and travel west. Crossing the incredibly scenic Great Rift Valley on the way to the tea-growing highlands is a fantastic introduction to the beautiful landscapes of Kenya. Pass through the ancient homeland of the Maasai, keeping a look out for these tall, graceful tribesmen dressed in distinctive scarlet robes tending to their prized herds of cattle.

    Stop for a picnic lunch after the town of Narok.

    Today’s destination is near the hilltop town of Kisii, our last chance to stock up on supplies before heading into Tanzania. Today's drive will take about 8-9 hours (310 km) and the roads are pretty rough.
    You will either be accommodated in very simple shared rooms (bedding provided) or we will set up camp for the night. There is no WiFi available at the camp.
    Cottage (1 nt)
    1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
    Day 3 Lake Victoria
    Travel towards the Kenya-Tanzania border and the shores of Lake Victoria (250 km, approx 7-8 hrs).
    Lake Victoria is Africa's biggest lake and the world's biggest tropical lake. Its shores are shared by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
    There are plenty of activities to choose from around Lake Victoria. You may wish to hire bicycles for a fascinating local experience from handlebar height, visit an African market place for a chance to interact with the people of Musoma or you may prefer to just chill out with a cold lakeside drink.
    Please note that helmets are not provided on the optional bike excursion. Please bring a helmet from home if you wish to wear one during this activity.
    Spend the night camping on the shores of the lake - at one of its least visited campgrounds on the outskirts of a small town called Musoma. Depending on availability there may be an upgrade to room available tonight, however, there is no WiFi at the camp. Musoma town has an ATM and market to stock up before your 3 days of wilderness.
    Included Activities
    • Musoma - Market visit
    • Kisii - Soapstone carving cooperative
      Optional Activities
      • Bike excursion around Musoma with local guide - USD20
        Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
        1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
        Day 4 Serengeti National Park
        Cover the 100 km from Lake Victoria to the gate of Serengeti National Park on a smooth road before enjoying a picnic lunch at the entrance to the park.

        The next 150 km is completed through the Serengeti and the driving will be slow as we game drive our way to the campsite.
        The wide, open plains of the Serengeti - green after the rains, brown and burnt in the dry season, and home to thousands of hoofed animals and fierce predators - are perhaps the quintessential image of Africa. Flat and rolling with long grasses and dotted with acacia trees, the plains get their name from the Maasai word Siringet - 'the place where the land moves on forever'.
        Our campsite is within the Serengeti itself so listen out for the sounds of nocturnal animals as you drift off to sleep. No upgrades or WiFi are available tonight.
        Included Activities
        • Serengeti National Park - Game drive
        • Serengeti - Game drive
          Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
          1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
          Day 5 Serengeti National Park
          Today we awaken at dawn to begin our game drive. We will head out while the animals are at their most active and head back to camp for brunch around 11am. After spending the warmer part of the day relaxing (just like the animals do) we head out again for our dusk game drive, returning in time for another delicious camp dinner.
          For an unforgettable experience, you might like to do an optional sunrise balloon ride over the Serengeti. As the balloon only holds 16 people, places are limited and it is recommended you book this activity in advance. Please inquire when booking your trip to secure this optional activity.

          If you have pre-booked this activity, you'll be picked up and driven to the launch site where you receive a safety briefing from your pilot. You'll then float over the Serengeti as the sun comes up gaining an overview of the immensity of the Serengeti, seeing the abundance of wildlife in their early morning activity and sometimes descending to tree height for amazing wildlife photography opportunities. Upon landing, you'll be treated to a five-star bush breakfast before being returned to your truck and leader.
          Please note that we offer this activity as a pre-booked service which will guarantee you a spot in a balloon. If you choose to wait and book this activity locally on the ground you may get a better price. However this is a popular activity and places are limited. It is at your own discretion if you wish to pre-book this service with us or try and book it locally while you are on your trip.
          Included Activities
          • Serengeti National Park - Game drive
            Optional Activities
            • Serengeti - Balloon Ride (from price) - USD546
              Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
              1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
              Day 6 Ngorongoro Crater
              Game drive out of the park and enter Ngorongoro Conservation area after lunch. Our destination today is the Ngorongoro Crater rim ( 80km, approx 3hrs ).
              Responsible Travel Note -
              You will notice some Masai villages in the region of the Ngorongoro crater. While it is of course fascinating to visit different cultures, past experience has shown that these villages exist primarily as businesses. You will be charged an entry fee of USD20 and the Masai will try very hard to sell souvenirs to you. While many clients still enjoy the experience, others have found it artificial and uncomfortable. We would very much prefer that Intrepid clients choose to bypass this activity as we feel it negatively impacts the Masai culture and your perception of this culture.
              Our campsite on the rim of the crater overlooks jagged volcanic peaks and rolling grasslands thousands of feet below - you can be sure that there are few campsites in the world with a better view than this. The campsite also has flush toilets and hot/cold shower. However there is no option to upgrade to a room and there is no WiFi available.
              It can get very cold on the crater rim, particularly during the winter months of June to August where temperatures drop below zero. Even in the summer months it can be surprisingly chilly at night so bring a jacket and come prepared.
              Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
              1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
              Day 7 Meserani
              A huge, perfectly intact volcanic crater, Ngorongoro is home to some 30,000 animals including endangered black rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants, impalas, zebras and hippos. The crater floor offers excellent game viewing all year round and the photographic opportunities here are unrivalled.
              Drive out of the crater and head to Mto Wa Mbu for a look around the town and craft market before continuing on to our campsite (140 km, approx 5-6 hrs).
              A small village community, Mto Wa Mbu offers an excellent way to get a close-up look at life in an African town away from the main tourist trail.
              Our campsite is in Meserani, on the outskirts of Arusha, and has flush toilets and showers. Depending on availability an upgrade to a room may be an option. There is no WiFi available at the campsite.
              Included Activities
              • Mto Wa Mbu - Market Visit
              • Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game drive
                Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
                1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                Day 8 Marangu
                Bidding farewell to your truck and crew, this morning we make our way back to Arusha where will catch an afternoon shuttle bus from Arusha to the Kibo Hotel in the foothills (1,300 m/4,500 ft) of Mt Kilimanjaro. (approx 4 hours). This section of the trip is unaccompanied by a leader.

                The shuttle departs from the Impala hotel at 2pm which will give you some time to relax or explore Arusha town.

                Located in the heart of Marangu and just a short walk from the village’s bustling market, and shops (including some excellent coffee shops brewing locally grown coffee), Kibo Hotel is Marangu’s most iconic building and one of the most historic buildings in the whole of Northern Tanzania. It is also located within very close proximity of beautiful waterfalls and ancient Chagga caves, used originally to hide cattle from attack from invading Maasai tribes.

                Originally founded in 1886 by a German family in partnership with the then Chagga Chief Marealle, the building was originally intended as a base for Kilimanjaro expeditions and in fact played host to Hans Meyer and his crew who, in 1889, led the first successful expedition to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

                Still owned by the current Chagga Chief and his family, the building retains many of its original features and the walls in public areas are covered in historic antique maps of Tanzania and of the Mountain, as well as photos of famous past guests – including ex-US President Jimmy Carter, who stayed at the hotel before and after a successful Kilimanjaro climb in 1988. With its beautiful landscaped gardens, lawns and views of the lush Marangu forests, it really is an ideal place to take in the history of this incredible area of the world, as well as to unwind after a strenuous Kilimanjaro climb.
                Please make sure you are at Kibo Hotel for an early evening briefing and kit inspection in preparation for the start of our trek.
                ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
                Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

                Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

                During your trip: While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:

                Hotel (1 nt)
                1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                Day 9 Mandara Hut
                We meet our guides and porters after breakfast. Each person has a personal porter and there are extra porters for camping equipment and food. Please read your trip notes for further information about your guides and porters.

                It takes just 15 minutes to get to Marangu Gate (1,860 m/6,000 ft) at the entrance of the Mt Kilimanjaro National Park. We have to register as a group which can take a little bit of time depending on how busy things are. From here it is a long but easy walk through dense rainforest to the first mountain hut.

                In the forest there are many species of brightly coloured birds and different types of monkeys can be seen and heard. We walk through giant heather on our way to Mandara Hut (2,725 m/9,000 ft) where we stop for the night. From here an optional walk to nearby Maundi Crater can be undertaken. If the skies are clear, there may be excellent views of the nearby town of Moshi far below.

                The distance from Kibo Hotel to Mandara Hut is 8 km (approximately 3-5 hours).
                Included Activities
                • Fully catered trek including National Park entrance fees, climbing fee, mountain huts & rescue services (5 days)
                • Services of experienced English speaking mountain guides ( first-aid qualified ), cooks and porters ( a minimum of 1 guide to every 2 )
                  Mountain hut (1 nt)
                  1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                  Day 10 Horombo Hut
                  Our second day on the mountain involves another long hike over a slightly steeper stretch. The rainforest gives way to open and rolling alpine meadows dotted with giant heather trees. Once out of the forest canopy, the twin snow-tipped peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi lie directly ahead.

                  During the day's walk we traverse several ravines before reaching the hut, which is set in a rocky valley. As we walk there is time to enjoy a wide variety of vegetation and changing landscapes on the way to Horombo Hut (3,780 m/12,000 ft), where we spend the night.

                  The distance from Mandara to Horombo Huts is 12 km (approximately 5-7 hours).
                  Mountain hut (1 nt)
                  1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                  Day 11 Kibo Hut/Uhuru Peak
                  The landscape becomes progressively more rugged and rocky and the air noticeably thinner today so we slow our pace accordingly. We pass giant groundsels and lobelias while travelling across the sparse moorland.

                  Skirting Mawenzi Peak, we arrive at the stark lunar landscape of the Saddle. Reaching Kibo Hut in afternoon (4,740m/15,450ft), we take the opportunity to have an early night.

                  The distance from Horombo to Kibo Hut is 10km (approximately 5-7 hours).
                  Mountain hut (1 nt)
                  1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                  Day 12 Uhuru Peak / Horombo Hut
                  At 11pm we are woken by our guides and hot tea is served before we begin the last leg of our trek to the summit.

                  The trek begins beneath the stars as we zigzag our way up a large scree slope guided only by torch light to reach Gilman's Point (5,685 m). Hopefully we'll arrive in time to see breathtaking views of the sun rising behind Mawenzi Peak. This is the stretch that most people find the hardest, and you should be prepared for a very cold morning. However, the dramatic spectacle of the sun rising over the ice fields of the crater will make the early start totally worthwhile.

                  For those who still have the will and the energy, it is a further two hours along the rim of the crater to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m), the highest point in Africa. From this peak, there are unforgettable views of the crater, the ice fields and the vast and distant East African plains below.

                  After photos and time to catch our breath we descend back to Horombo Hut for a well-earned rest.

                  The distance from Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak is 6 km (approximately 6-8 hours), and the descent to Horombo takes approximately the same amount of time.
                  Mountain hut (1 nt)
                  1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                  Day 13 Marangu
                  Today we continue our descent through alpine meadows and rainforest to the park gate. The distance from Horombo to Marangu Gate is 20 km (approximately 5-6 hours).

                  Here transport awaits and we return to the Kibo Hotel for a relaxing shower - a real treat after the physical exertions of the last few days. Over a celebratory meal we can relive and share our experiences of the past five days on the mountain.
                  Hotel (1 nt)
                  1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                  Day 14 Marangu
                  You are free to depart at any time on the final day of your trip.
                  Transfers to Kilimanjaro Airport or a shuttle to Nairobi can be arranged locally. Please speak to your leader at the welcome meeting.
                  1 breakfast
                  Itinerary disclaimer
                  ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that 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.

                  OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
                  Physical rating

                  Although no mountaineering experience is required a good level of physical fitness is necessary. You must be comfortable walking 6-8 hours uphill a day. This is certainly a strenuous climb so the better prepared you are, the more you should enjoy it.

                  Plenty of time is available each day to get between the huts on the mountain so you do not need to rush and you are in fact far better off going slowly and enjoying the changing scenery and views. That way you acclimatize better and are in better shape for the final trek from Kibo Hut to Gillman’s Point, or Barafu to Stella Point on the Machame route, and then around to Uhuru Peak.

                  We recommend that in the months leading up to your climb you increase your physical fitness with aerobic exercise. Walking, running and stair-climbing will all strengthen your legs and improve your stamina.

                  The step up into the overland truck, while not overly high, can become tiring, as can the constant setting and packing up of camp. You need to judge yourself to be physically fit enough to haul yourself up and down at least 8-10 times a day.
                  Included activities
                  Musoma - Market visit
                  Kisii - Soapstone carving cooperative
                  Serengeti National Park - Game drive
                  Serengeti - Game drive
                  Mto Wa Mbu - Market Visit
                  Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game drive
                  Fully catered trek including National Park entrance fees, climbing fee, mountain huts & rescue services (5 days)
                  Services of experienced English speaking mountain guides ( first-aid qualified ), cooks and porters ( a minimum of 1 guide to every 2 )
                  Important notes
                  1. This is a combination trip. Please see trip notes (Important notes) for more details.
                  2. A single supplement is available on this trip. The supplement does not apply to nights 9-12.
                  3. The cabins on the climb will be 4-12 person share.
                  4. Passenger Self Assessment Form required for this trip.
                  5. Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude.
                  6. Please make sure you arrange your flights in order to arrive at Kibo hotel before 4pm on Day 1 in order to attend the very important pre-climb briefing and information session that is usually held before dinner.

                  Group size
                  Maximum of 22 travellers per group.
                  Your fellow travellers
                  GROUP TRAVEL
                  As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

                  This tour is shared by our sister company Gecko's Adventures. Your group will therefore be a mixture of Intrepid booked passengers and other international like-minded travellers.

                  SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
                  Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
                  Camping (with basic facilities) (2nt), Camping (with facilities) (3nt), Cottage (1nt), Hotel (3nt), Mountain hut (4nt)
                  Accommodation on this trip is mainly in two-person canvas dome tents with camping mattresses supplied.

                  The type and variety of accommodation is determined by conditions on each of our routes. Each route is different - on some we use a mixture of campsites and wild camps; on others we also use hotels. In Africa it's not usually practical to camp when staying in towns and cities so we use hotel accommodation and eat out in local restaurants.

                  There may be the occasional night stop, when we stay in the grounds of a hotel or at a campsite which may also have rooms/cabins available. In this case there may be a choice of camping or upgrading to a room. Rooms cost approximately USD60 per room per night for a twin room and cannot be pre-booked. The day by day itinerary advises when upgrades may be possible (subject to availability).

                  Keep in mind that if we are staying in dormitory accommodation, you may have to share with other passengers or be split into same sex rooms.

                  Campsites do have facilities but they usually aren't to the same standard you would find in western countries. For example the bathroom facilities can be very basic (the toilets may be a squat-style hole in the ground). There is rarely toilet paper provided and shower facilities can be as simple as a hose pipe spurting out cold water. Wild camps have no facilities at all.

                  Not all campsites are as basic as this description - it's just to make sure there are no surprises for you.
                  Meals introduction
                  By travelling on an Overland trip you have chosen a participation camping tour. This means that you will be helping your cook prepare meals for the group. You may also get the chance to help with the shopping.

                  Your cook will come up with meal ideas and quantities needed for large groups. Participating in the camp is usually done on a duty roster system with group of 5 or 6 people (depending on group size) having a different camp job each day.

                  If you have any dietary requirements please tell us at the time of booking, and also remind your crew at your welcome meeting.

                  A typical camp breakfast might be toast with spreads, cereal, something hot such as eggs or pancakes, as well as tea and coffee. Lunch is almost always a sandwich with healthy salad and assorted fillings, sometimes with fruit to follow. There may be a chance on occasion to buy your lunch. Dinner might be a BBQ, rice dish or pasta dish and there is always the chance to try some African food such as ugali and stew.

                  One thing is sure - you definitely won't go hungry or lose weight on your safari! When you aren't camping you will have the freedom to decide where, what and with whom you eat.
                  13 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 12 dinners
                  4x4 Safari Vehicle, Overland vehicle, minibus

                  Our trucks are purpose-built, self contained safari vehicles. Intrepid’s fleet of vehicles varies depending on your group size, trip route and style. In Southern Africa some departures may use vans and luggage trailers subject to group size and vehicle availability. Your vehicle type may differ from those listed above. It is also important to note that our overland vehicles are not air-conditioned, but all vehicles have windows that can be opened to allow for fresh air.

                  There are many early starts with long hours spent driving on rough roads on all African itineraries. While most people love the chance to watch the changing landscape and daily village life, feedback shows that long periods of inactivity does not appeal to all clients. We provide the approximate distance covered each day and how many hours this normally takes to drive so that you can choose the safari experience which is right for you.

                  African conditions are extremely tough on vehicles. While we fastidiously maintain our vehicles at our workshops, you should not expect Africa to be your traditional touring experience. While it's certainly our aim to avoid them, it's important that you set off on your trip knowing that the occasional breakdown can happen and are best treated as part of the African adventure. Due to wet weather there may be times when we have to take an alternative route which will mean longer travel times.
                  Money matters
                  When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. 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, tipping 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. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).
                  Please note: all recommendations for additional costs, tipping etc. are in USD. You will need to convert these into the relevant local currency.

                  MEALS NOT INCLUDED
                  Breakfast, dinner and most lunches are included while camping on our overland safaris.
                  For lunches not included, a budget of USD10 to USD15 per meal will be more than sufficient.

                  For dinners not included, your leader will normally recommend options and restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main.
                  These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget and are happy to try local food, you can eat cheaper than this.

                  Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. If you are happy with the services provided, a tip is an appropriate way to thank them. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many destinations.

                  Usually the equivalent of around USD5 to USD10 per person, per day to cover tips is fine. Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, your leader might raise the idea of a group tipping kitty. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running this kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips as you go. The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This kitty does not include tips for your leader and crew.

                  TIPPING GUIDE
                  To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground.
                  - Basic restaurants – When checking the bill, if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
                  - Local guides – Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest USD2 to USD3 per person, per day for local guides.
                  - Your crew (including leaders, drivers and cooks) You may also consider tipping your crew for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline USD3 to USD4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. It is best to then divide these amounts into separate envelopes for each crew member. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

                  EMERGENCY FUNDS
                  We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.

                  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. If you're on a multi-country tour, your tour leader will be able to give you an approximate idea of how much money you may need for your stay in each country.

                  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.
                  Group leader
                  On this trip you will be accompanied by 3 crew members - Group Leader, Cook and Driver who will usually be Kenyan.

                  Your Group Leader’s role involves organizing the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip, managing trip logistics, coordinating the tipping kitty (where applicable) and will form work groups to take turns cooking, cleaning and shopping. (From time to time your leader may drive as well)

                  Your Group Leader will work towards making the trip as safe and enjoyable as possible for all travellers. Intrepid trips are built around the co–operation and participation of all the group members under the supervision of the group leader. The group leader will show the group how to set up and use the equipment.

                  While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting, especially when tracking and identifying game - we think it's the best of both worlds. Regardless of the country of origin, our Group Leaders are chosen for their leadership skills and are wonderful ambassadors for our company and our beautiful continent and its people.

                  Your Cook is responsible for the cooking and will help to coordinate the work groups for preparing the meals and washing up! Cooks are also responsible for organizing food shopping (they are always happy to have you on board) and most importantly, they make sure high hygiene standards are kept at all times while camping.

                  Your Driver’s main responsibility is to get you to your destination safely; they are also responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles along the way.

                  Everyone is expected participate and carry their share of the workload/duties, making camp chores easier. The duties Rota system is adopted where all members share in general camp duties – cooking, shopping, washing up etc.
                  If the whole group participates it will be quicker, easier, and more fun.

                  We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader and crew; however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

                  Killi Climb

                  KILIMANJARO CLIMB:
                  This trip is led by experienced guides, with a minimum of 1 guide to every 2 climbers. Sufficient porters are employed to carry the group’s equipment.
                  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 and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

                  We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

                  Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

                  For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

                  FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
                  Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

                  Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

                  Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

                  SEAT BELTS:
                  Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

                  While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

                  WATER SAFETY:
                  Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.

                  We recommend that you check your government's advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.

                  UNFENCED CAMP SITES:
                  On some trips you will at times stay in unfenced camp sites within national parks. While this is a fantastic experience, there are a few safety rules to follow. While staying in national parks it's important that you listen to any advice given by your tour leader and the park rangers regarding responsible and safe behaviour.


                  Climbing Kilimanjaro is a pretty tall order – in fact for most people it’s the hardest physical challenge they will ever undertake. It can also be a dangerous environment if the right precautions aren’t taken – and that’s why our number one priority is your safety.

                  Of course – we still want you to have a great time, and we’d love you to reach the summit of Africa’s highest mountain! So – rest assured that not only are you travelling with an operator that puts safety first, but also that around 95% of clients that climb with Intrepid make it to Uhuru Peak!

                  The following are some FAQs on safety on the mountain.

                  Q: Who is your local operator in Tanzania?
                  A: All Intrepid Kilimanjaro climbs are operated by Intrepid Guerba Tanzania Limited, which is a fully owned Intrepid company based in northern Tanzania.

                  Q: How many mountain guides will I have for my climb?
                  A: It depends on the number of passengers in your group. We operate with a strict minimum of one mountain guide for every two clients. Meaning that there will be plenty of mountain guides on your trip to ensure that you are looked after, encouraged, and informed about Kilimanjaro.

                  Q: Do your mountain guides carry first aid kits?
                  A: Yes. We carry multiple, comprehensive first aid kits and our mountain guides are fully trained on their use. All of our mountain guides are first-aid qualified.

                  Q: Are your mountain guides trained to recognise symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness?
                  A: Absolutely! Intrepid have invested in the highest standards of training of any operator on Kilimanjaro. This includes advanced altitude training delivered by a UK doctor and altitude research specialist. One of the key elements of this is training on the Lake Louise altitude assessment system, which allows our mountain guides to effectively monitor clients constantly whilst on Kilimanjaro and assess if they are suffering from AMS and, if so, how severe that AMS is. We also train them on how to respond in the case of a moderate or severe case of altitude sickness – which will always mean organising for the affected client to descend immediately. During your briefing on the first evening of your trip, your mountain guide will talk to you about symptoms of AMS and how to recognise them.

                  Q: Do you carry medicines for altitude?
                  A: Yes – there are two key, potentially life-saving drugs that our teams carry on the Mountain. These are Dexamethasone and Nifedipine and they used to treat cerebral and pulmonary oedema, which are the two potentially life-threatening complications of severe AMS. Our mountain guides are fully trained on the use of these drugs for altitude related illnesses.

                  Q: What about Diamox?
                  A: We don’t carry Diamox on Kilimanjaro. The reason for this is that, although medical research suggests that Diamox can be very effective in aiding acclimatisation to altitude, it has been proven to be far less effective at treating severe AMS. You may wish to talk to your doctor prior to travelling about being prescribed Diamox to assist acclimatisation while you climb Kilimanjaro.

                  Q: Will oxygen be available?
                  A: We carry medical oxygen – and when a group has four passengers or more, this will mean multiple cylinders will be distributed amongst the team of mountain guides to ensure that oxygen is always quickly available in the case of an emergency. The oxygen that we carry is strictly for emergency use only – and cannot be used by clients to assist in climbing or summiting.

                  Q: Do you carry Gammow Bags or PACs?
                  A: No. Gammow Bags and PACs are two types of portable hyperbaric chambers, which are sometimes used for sufferers of severe AMS. What makes Kilimanjaro relatively unique is that it is a “rapid ascent mountain” – meaning altitude gain happens extremely quickly. Logically, therefore, Kilimanjaro is also a “rapid descent mountain” and our policy is that in the case of severe AMS, our mountain guides will immediately evacuate the sufferer down the mountain, usually with the assistance of porters to carry the person affected. Often, a descent of just a few hundred metres will be enough to make a difference. Gammow bags and PACs are more effective in other parts of the world where rapid descent on foot is not possible. Also, a Gammow Bag takes a little while to inflate – which on Kilimanjaro is valuable time lost during which an evacuation down the mountain could already have commenced.

                  Q: How do your mountain guides communicate on Kilimanjaro?
                  A: Cell phone coverage on the mountain is improving – but is still patchy in many areas. For this reason, Intrepid mountain guides carry short wave radios to allow for communication in the case of an emergency.
                  Joining point
                  Kenya Comfort Hotel Suites
                  junction of Milimani/Ralph Bunche, Milimani, Nairobi,
                  Phone: 254 737 111 111
                  Joining point description
                  The Kenya Comfort Hotel Suites is simple but clean and comfortable. All rooms have ensuites with hot water, TV's, and WiFi is available. Hotel facilities include a swimming pool, bar & restaurant.
                  Finish point
                  Kibo Hotel
                  Phone: +255 715813377
                  Finish point description
                  Located in the heart of Marangu and just a short walk from the village’s bustling market, and shops (including some excellent coffee shops brewing locally grown coffee), Kibo Hotel is Marangu’s most iconic building and one of the most historic buildings in the whole of Northern Tanzania.
                  Finishing point instructions
                  Kilimanjaro Airport is located approximately 80km's from Kibo Hotel. Private Airport transfers can be booked by your leader for around 110 USD oneway.

                  Alternatively there are daily shuttle bus services connecting Nairobi, Arusha, and Moshi. If you are travelling all the way through to Nairobi we recommend you leave yourself plenty of time. This service departs the hotel at around 05:30 and arrives in Nairobi at around 14:00/14:30 depending on traffic. The later Shuttle departs at 10:00 from Kibo Hotel, arriving at approximately 19:30 (the later shuttle in particular is very much at the mercy of traffic on the Mombasa Road on the way in to Nairobi).
                  This service can also be booked by your leader and costs around 80USD oneway.
                  The shuttle drop off point in Nairobi is Parkside Hotel opposite Jivanjee garden, as well as JKIA. They will also drop off at city centre hotels on request.
                  Please talk to your leader at the welcome meeting if you require a departure transfer to be booked.
                  Emergency contact
                  For transfers and accommodation issues, Intrepid's Kenya Office can be reached on their 24 hour number +254 733 523 813

                  In case of genuine crisis or emergency (ONLY), you can reach our local operator on: +254 736 213 383.

                  For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at

                  For general contact details please use the following page:

                  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 leader or our local representative 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.

                  PEAK East Africa: +254-736-213-383

                  As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. 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. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.


                  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. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                  We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from countries not listed below must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.


                  Australia: Yes - Visa required
                  Belgium: Yes - Visa required
                  Canada: Yes - Visa required
                  Germany: Yes - Visa required
                  Ireland: Yes - Visa required
                  Netherlands: Yes - Visa required
                  New Zealand: Yes - Visa required
                  South Africa: Yes - Visa required
                  Switzerland: Yes - Visa required
                  United Kingdom: Yes - Visa required
                  USA: Yes - Visa required

                  It is recommended you 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 purpose of the visa application you can use the following address:
                  Kibo Palace Hotel
                  PO Box 2523
                  Old Moshi Road
                  Arusha - Tanzania
                  Phone: +255 272544472

                  It is also 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:
                  -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


                  Australia: Yes - Visa required
                  Belgium: Yes - Visa required
                  Canada: Yes - Visa required
                  Germany: Yes- Visa required
                  Ireland: Yes - Visa required
                  Netherlands: Yes - Visa required
                  New Zealand: Yes - Visa required
                  South Africa: Yes - Visa required if travelling for more than 30days
                  Switzerland: Yes - Visa required
                  United Kingdom: Yes - Visa required
                  USA: Yes - Visa required

                  Visas can be obtained either on arrival in to Kenya or as an e-Visa online prior to travel. Single-entry visas (business or tourism) are USD50 and a transit visa (valid for three days) USD20. The single entry visa allows for multiple entries in to Kenya for a period of 90 days provided you have not left East Africa. The four-step e-Visa procedure is completed through the immigration website: and requires visitors to submit an application form and passport-sized photo. e-Visas can take around seven working days to process. Visitors will then be required to present their printed e-Visa upon entry to Kenya.

                  **IMPORTANT** If you are travelling on one of our itineraries that re-enters Kenya, you will need to take multiple copies of your e-Visa - one to present at each border crossing.


                  Exit Kenya - Isebania (Day 3)
                  Enter Tanzania - Isebania
                  What to take
                  What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances.

                  Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

                  Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

                  - Sleeping bag. We recommend a 3–4 season sleeping bag because it can get very cold at night in winter months in desert and mountainous regions.
                  - Travel pillow
                  - Closed in shoes. As this trip includes camping and/or bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment.
                  - Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Some people like to take jeans for evenings out but they can be tough to dry and should not be used for trekking. Avoid nylon and other synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is NOT recommended.
                  - Waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early morning or evening game activities when it can be cool.
                  - Warm fleece and beanie for morning and evening game drives.
                  - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses

                  - A simple plastic bag/waterproof toiletry bag (that can hang on a nail on the back of a door) will be useful to keep your clothes dry inside basic camp shower structures.
                  - A good quality, high-beam headlamp or torch for around the campsite at night. Some campsites have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time. Although the trucks do carry lamps for meal times it’s a good idea to bring a headlamp to navigate the campsites and in particular going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
                  - Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, anti-diarrhoeal, antibacterial gel, wet wipes, bandaids/plasters etc.
                  - Insect repellent.
                  - Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
                  - Camera with spare batteries. Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days but we recommend you take a spare battery. You’ll take more photos than you think.

                  - Sleep sheet. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to also pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather.
                  - Thermarest. While we provide a basic camping mattress for each client, some travellers find they like the extra comfort of a double layer.
                  - Ear plugs to guard against a snoring tent-mate
                  - A good book, a journal or an Ipod for the long drives.

                  LUGGAGE LIMIT:
                  The weight limit for luggage on all trucks is maximum 20kg.
                  The size of luggage that can be brought on our overland trips is limited by the individual locker space on the trucks. The lockers measure 26 inches long, 18 inches wide and 10 inches high. Your main luggage will be stored in these lockers with day bags stored at your feet or on the overhead shelf. For this reason, we highly recommend you pack light with luggage no larger than the locker dimensions. Traditional, framed suitcases will not fit in the truck lockers. Backpacks or duffel bags are an ideal choice. You will need to bring your own lock for your locker. We recommend a 20-30mm sized padlock.

                  Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe and the safe on the overland truck to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

                  Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Our overland vehicles are equipped with multiple power boards which may be used at the crew’s discretion, however, do bear in mind that only a minimal number of items can be charged at a time and will not be allowed if there is a risk of running the vehicle’s batteries low. Batteries may also be recharged from hotel room wall sockets. Hotels and many campsites have electricity and charging of batteries is advised before checking out the following day.


                  Although a guide will always accompany you on the trail you are unlikely to see your porter (as they are very fast!) except at the huts or the camps. Therefore it is important you carefully pack the smaller day pack you carry yourself. Anything you need during the course of the day should be in your day pack including, most importantly, something warm and something waterproof.

                  Your maximum gear allowance is 15kg. Each porters load is weighed by the Park and cannot exceed 20 kg - their bags will be weighed at the hotel before the group sets off.

                  Light clothing is generally sufficient until you reach the 3-4000 metre/12-14,000 feet altitude range provided you always have something warm and waterproof in your daypack. Beyond these altitudes, even if the mornings are glorious, you must always be ready for dramatic changes in the weather, including snow storms. You must have clothing with you in your daypack adequate to the conditions. Please ensure your day pack is large enough to carry these clothes, your lunch box, 3 litres of water and any other items such as camera equipment.
                  It is for the final ascent that all your warm clothing is important. The ascents are normally done at night and this is when the coldest temperatures are experienced. You must be prepared for temperatures of minus 25 degrees celsius/minus 13 Fahrenheit. As a rule you should wear 2 pairs of socks, 3 layers on the legs, 4-5 layers on top. A balaclava or ski mask is necessary to keep the head warm and you should have a hood to protect your head from wind. Mittens and dark glasses are also needed.

                  Note: the bag the porter carries for you should not exceed 15 kg/33 lbs. If bags are too heavy items may have to be removed or the climber may choose to hire an additional porter.

                  PACKING LIST:
                  • Anorak/parka with hood (waterproof) x 1
                  • Down jacket x 1
                  • Sweater/fleece x 1
                  • Thermal top x 2
                  • T-shirts x 3, long sleeve shirts x 2-3
                  • Waterproof trousers or ski pants x 1
                  • Warm trousers x 2
                  • Hiking shorts/trousers x 1
                  • Long thermal pants x 1
                  • Thermal underwear
                  • Socks thin and thick x 6
                  • Hiking boots
                  • Gaiters
                  • Comfortable closed shoes (for around camp)
                  • Mittens and ski gloves
                  • Balaclava and woollen hat
                  • Sunglasses
                  • Scarf
                  • Sun hat
                  • Day pack, approximately 30 litres
                  • Refillable water bottles - 3 x 1 litre (plastic containers are not allowed on the mountain) and water purification method
                  • Good quality, super-warm 4-season sleeping bag
                  • Thermarest or trekking roll mat. (not required on Marangu route)
                  • Small first aid kit
                  • Headache tablets
                  • Imodium (loperamide)
                  • Climbers may like to consult their physicians about azetazolomide (Diamox), a drug that many find mitigates the ill effects of altitude, headache, diarrhoea & vomiting.
                  • Hand towel
                  • Wet wipes
                  • Toiletries
                  • Head torch and flashlight with spare batteries (needed for summit night)
                  • Sunblock and high SPF lip balm
                  • Camera, film, extra batteries - you will not be able to recharge on the mountain but can at the Kibo Hotel before and after the climb.

                  EQUIPMENT HIRE:
                  Additional hiking equipment can be hired in Marangu. However, on a trek such at this, tried and tested equipment purchased from home may be more comfortable and of a better fit. If you do require any gear, please speak to your leader at the welcome meeting on day 1. Below is a list of some of the equipment available and the rough rental costs.
                  • Sleeping bag - FREE (for Kilimanjaro section of your trip ONLY. This must be requested through your booking agent prior to departure)
                  • Thermarest/trekking roll mat - $20 (not required on Marangu route)
                  • Trekking poles – $10
                  • Waterproof trekking boots - $30
                  • Gaiters - $10
                  • 30 litre day pack - $20
                  • Ski sunglasses/Sun goggles - $10
                  • Waterprooj jackets/hooded parkas - $15
                  • Warm fleece sweater - $10
                  • Light hiking trousers and shorts - $10 each
                  • Warm hiking trousers - $15
                  • Trekking t-shirts/long-sleeved shirts - $10 each
                  • Mittens/ski gloves/scarf/sun hat - $10 each
                  • Balaclava/ski mask- $5
                  Climate and seasonal information
                  This is a combination trip and the composition of your group may change at Marangu. Day 8 of the trip is unaccompanied by a leader.

                  SERENGETI BALLOON RIDE:
                  An optional sunrise balloon ride in the Serengeti National Park is possible on this itinerary. Please see Days 4-5 for full details of this activity. As the balloon only holds 16 people, places are limited and must be booked in advance. Please enquire when booking your trip to book this optional activity.
                  All 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 group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

                  You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. 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.

                  YELLOW FEVER:
                  A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.

                  It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.

                  TSETSE FLY:
                  It is best to avoid dark coloured clothes such as blue and black while on safari. These colours can attract the biting tsetse fly.

                  DRINKING WATER:
                  As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about three litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.

                  ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
                  The summit of Mount Kilimanjaro is above 5800 metres / 19000 feet. At this altitude, it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

                  Before your trip:
                  Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatizing to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

                  During your trip:
                  While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly.

                  Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:
                  Travel insurance
                  Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

                  When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

                  If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

                  A couple of rules
                  Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

                  Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
                  Responsible Travel
                  We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.


                  The Intrepid Foundation
                  Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.

                  The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:


                  Organisations and projects currently supported in Kenya include:

                  * New Hope Children's Centre aims to assist the less fortunate in society and give them hope. The centre currently caters for 170 children, both boys and girls, from many parts of Kenya: 130 are residents and 40 live with their grandmothers, with New Hope paying for their school fees and assisting with clothing where necessary.

                  Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Tanzania include:

                  * Amani Children's Home rescues street children and orphans from homelessness and restores hope in their lives. At the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Moshi, Amani provides children off the street with a safe and loving home, education, medical care, healthy food, and counselling. Donations through the Intrepid Foundation will be used to rescue, feed, educate and care for the hundreds of homeless children that Amani helps every year.

                  * The Village Education Project Kilimanjaro (VEPK) was established in 1994 with the belief that education is one of the most important parts of building sound long-term economic growth for Tanzania. With the motto ‘Elimu ni uhai - Education is life’, its projects aim to provide improved primary and vocational education to Tanzanian children.

                  * Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) provides porters with support, advocacy and education, and works with the travel industry to ensure good climbing practices and conditions for the hardworking porters.

                  After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.