FAQs- Mt. Kilimanjaro
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FAQ - MT.KILIMANJARO - 8 DAY LEMOSHO


There are hundreds of companies who service the mountain. Selecting an operator can be a daunting task. You want to be sure that your operator staffs experienced,competent guides, who practice high safety standards and treats porters well.You want an operator that has proven expertise, successfully serving a wide range of clients for many years.

Do not select a company strictly based on price! Price should be only one component in your overall decision. Prices vary significantly between operators, however high prices and low prices should both be viewed with caution. UFO offers excellent quality climbs at reasonable rates. At our price levels, we can satisfy all park fees, pay real wages to staff, supply good food and equipment, while still providing great service to our clients, equal or better than climbs costing much more.

The best times to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro tend to be the warmest and driest months-January, February, and September. June, July, August and October are also good months. However, temperatures and weather are unpredictable, and can change drastically based on the time of day and altitude. It's best to avoid the long rainy season, from the end of March to early June, and the short rainy season from November through the beginning of December.

Mt.Kilimanjaro routes have different characteristics, which may or may not appeal to you. Consider the difficulty, scenery and crowds when you select your route.Other factors that should be considered are your age, fitness level, medical conditions, backpacking and hiking experience, experience at high altitude, degree of motivation, and any other special considerations. UFO recommends Lemosho,Machame and Rongai route to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

1. Stay hydrated. Try to drink at least 4-6 liters per day.

2. Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and other depressant drugs including barbiturates,tranquilizers, and sleeping pills.

3. “Don’t go up until symptoms go down”. People acclimatize at different rates,so make sure that you properly acclimatized.

4. Before your trip, maintain a good work/rest cycle, avoid excessive work hours, and last minute packing.

5. Listen to your body. Do not over-do things the first day or two. Avoid heavy exercise.

6. Take your time. Pace is a critical factor on all routes. "Pole pole" (go slowly) is the phrase of the day.

7. Walk high sleep low: If you have enough energy, take an afternoon stroll further up the mountain before descending to sleep. (Not if you have any symptoms of altitude sickness!)

Six factors that affect the incidence and severity of altitude illness:

1. Rate of ascent

2. Altitude attained

3. Length of exposure

4. Level of exertion

5. Hydration and diet

6. Inherent physiological susceptibility

Our guides perform health checks twice per day on to monitor oxygen saturation levels and pulse rate. Additionally our guides administer the Lake Louise Scoring System(LLSS) to help determine whether climbers have any symptoms of altitude sickness and if so, the severity. UFO guides receive annual training in emergency first aid and can prevent, recognize and treat altitude-related illnesses. Bottled oxygen is carried on every climb as a precaution and added safety measures.

Temperatures vary considerably with altitude and time of day. On the plains surrounding of Mt. Kilimanjaro the average temperature is about 30°C. At 3000m frosts can be encountered at night while daytime temperatures range from 5 to 15°C. Nighttime temperatures on the summit can be well below freezing especially with the strong winds at times.

The Rongai route entails 6 days on the mountain while the Machame route has two options, a 6-day hike and a 7-day hike.For those that need extra time to adjust to the altitude, the Lemosho route is best, with 8 days total on the mountain.

The Rongai, Lemosho, and Machame routes are camping routes that take longer and are considered more scenic than other routes. The Rongai route takes you up the north side of the mountain and you descend down the Marangu route. The Lemosho and the Machame routes traverse the mountain and descends down the Mweka route.

There is a fair share of budget operators who offer cheap climbs. However, these operators engage in appalling practices such as paying porters less than minimum wage or not at all, feeding porters only once or twice a day, forcing porters to carry loads greater than the weight limit, allowing porters to climb with insufficient clothing and providing poor shelters for porters to sleep in. Never climb Mt.Kilimanjaro with a budget operator.