On Kilimanjaro
By easytravel
Published July 29, 2020
  1. Staff
    1. What is the guide-to-climber ratio on your Kilimanjaro trips?
      This is an important question, as many budget operators will send out groups with an insufficient
      number of guides, simply to save costs. At Easy Travel, we always use a good ratio of guides-toclimber,
      because if an evacuation becomes necessary, we want to be able to send the rest of the
      group safely to the top. We also want the climber who needs evacuating to be accompanied on the
      descent by a properly trained person. The number of guides is therefore an important safety
      consideration and once your group size is determined, we will let you know how many guides will
      accompany you, but as guidance you can look at our information on Guide Numbers as detailed
      below.

      Total Number of crew in camping route (Lemosho, Machame and Rongai)
      No of climbers No of Guides
      1 1
      2 2
      3 2
      4 2
      5 3
      6 3
      7 3
      8 4
      9 4
      10 4
      Total Number of crew in Hut route (Marangu Route)
      No of climbers No of Guides
      1 1
      2 2
      3 2
      4 2
      5 3
      6 3
      7 3
      8 4
      9 4
      10 4
    2. What training do the Easy Travel guides have to undergo? What skills and
      qualifications do they have?

      A good guide is a massive bonus, whatever type of trip you are taking, wherever you are in the world. But on Kilimanjaro, a good guide is essential, as here you have to stay safe and your guide is a key part in that. You want a guide who is experienced, highly skilled, medically trained, knowledgeable (about Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, the wildlife and flora and fauna. Easy Travel guides are all of those, but they are also passionate and caring. And fun, too!
      Our guides all undergo thorough training by the Kilimanjaro National Park and their training is verified by the College of African Wildlife Management at Mweka. In low season, our guides training is refreshed by the college.

    3. Do you look after your staff?

      Our staff are 100% dedicated to looking after our climbers and we are 100% dedicated to looking after them and you. Any climb is only as good as the mountain crew that accompanies it. That’s why we employ top professionals and look after them. We pay them properly, on time and in full – not something you can take for granted with cheap operators. We equip and clothe them appropriately, we make sure they are fed nutritiously, three times per day and we ensure that the tipping by the climbers is done in a transparent manner. We are a partner of the independent porters’ welfare organisation, KPAP who ensure that operators look after their porters. There is a KPAP representative porter on every climb, something we are very happy to encourage.

      Most of our guides have worked with us for many years, which is testament of the great relationship we have with them. But we never take them for granted, as we know how valuable they are – to you and to us.

  2. Food and Water
    1. Is the water safe to drink on Kilimanjaro?On the mountain, the water comes from the mountain streams. We treat all the water to make it safe, before you drink it. You must keep well-hydrated throughout the day, aiming to consume between 3 and 5 liters daily. You may also wish to consider bringing additives to top up your electrolytes.
    2. Can you cater for special diets?If you have any special dietary needs, please let us know well in advance. We at Easy Travel can usually cater for most dietary needs, though if your needs are very specific then you may have to bring specialty foods with you. If in doubt, please discuss your needs with our staff when making your booking.
    3. Can you cater for vegetarians?Of course, just let us know in advance and we will be happy to adapt our meals accordingly.
    4. What kind of food is prepared on the mountain?Our meals are specifically designed for climbing Kilimanjaro. This means a focus on providing foods which are high carbohydrate, high energy foods such as pasta, potatoes and rice-based dishes. In addition, we balance our meals with fresh vegetables, fresh fruit. Carbohydrates are an excellent source of energy at altitude, far better than fat which ‘consumes’ less precious oxygen at high altitude. In addition, a carbohydrate-heavy diet helps with acclimatization. There is always plenty of water and tea, coffee and other drinks available, too.
      Despite the expected high calorie-burn on a challenging hike such as this, it may surprise you that some people suffer from a loss of appetite when at high altitude! It is very important that everyone eats properly on Kilimanjaro.
      We pride ourselves on the quality of the food our mountain chef can provide and many of our climbers comment very favourably on the quality of what we serve.
  3. Campsite, Toilets and Washing
    1. What is the camping like?At Easy Travel, we are proud of our equipment and our tents are no exception. (On the Marangu Route, you will sleep in mountain huts.) Our tents are actually 3 person tents, but we only ever put two climbers in each, so they feel spacious and are warm at night. We provide you with a mattress, but you should bring your own sleeping-bag. (If you prefer, you can hire one from us.)
      The best news is that you do not have to worry about putting up your tent at the end of a hard day’s trek. Our mountain crew will have erected the tent before you reach camp, so it will be ready for you with your bags waiting inside.
      Apart from the tent in which you sleep, you will also find a communal dining-tent where you can take your meals.
      And in the morning, your crew will pack up the tents for you, too.
    2. What are the toilets like on Kilimanjaro?Toilets up on the mountain are usually of the ‘long-drop’ type (essentially, pit latrines), though some of the huts on the Marangu route do have flush toilets. Easy Travel provide toilet paper. On routes other than Marangu, climbers can choose to hire portable toilets at an extra cost. Please advise us in
      advance if you wish to hire a portable toilet for your climb.
    3. How do I wash myself on the mountain?There are no showers on Kilimanjaro, but we provide soap and bowls of water and you may wish to carry wet-wipes for additional hygiene.
  4. Staying in Touch
    1. Is there wi-fi and phone signal available on the mountain?You will usually have no problem getting a phone signal or with accessing wi-fi (public areas only) in your Arusha hotel. With some service providers, you may occasionally be able to get a phone signal on Kilimanjaro itself. Do not depend on this; simply let friends and families that you will be out of
      contact during your climb, and then view any available phone signal on the mountain as a bonus.
    2. How do stay in touch with my loved ones when I’m in Tanzania?Phoning home on a mobile phone from Tanzania can be very expensive. To stay in touch, we recommend installing WhatsApp on your phone before you leave home, as this allows you to call or text for free wherever there’s wi-fi. (This only applies when the person you are contacting also has
      WhatsApp installed, too.)
  5. Tipping
    1. How does the tipping process work?

      By its very nature, tipping is of course discretionary, not compulsory. But it is an expected part of the way in which business is done in Tanzania and we know that the act of giving of a tip and knowing how much to give, can be very stressful for some of our visitors. Some of our visitors worry about not giving enough, others about giving too much. By following the guidance below, all expectations will be managed: yours, the mountain crew’s and those of future climbers.

      Tipping should be an expression of gratitude to those who – hopefully – have made your experience an unforgettable one, and it enables you to directly reward those people. Our visitors come from all around the world, with very different cultural attitudes to tipping. In Tanzania, a tip is of great significance and will be hugely appreciated by the recipient. During your welcome meeting/briefing, you will be advised of the number of guides and the cook who will accompany you on your climb. (The number of porters will only be confirmed once the national park rangers at the gate have checked the quantity of luggage and equipment.) You will be introduced and get to know your porters during your trek. Normally, there will be 2 or 3 porters per trekker.

      Realizing that both the process of giving tips and knowing how much to give can be difficult, we provide the following guidance:

      Our trekking groups usually discuss the amount of the intended tip collectively and gather all the money together. At the end of the climb, it is a good idea to hold a ‘tipping celebration’ after the last meal on the mountain (this is normally after breakfast on the last day.) Tips can be placed in an envelope and given to the lead guide, who will then distribute them to the team. It is advisable to announce the total amount in front of the group, so that all team members are aware of how much is to be distributed. This tipping procedure conforms to the guidelines set forth by the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project. Easy Travel and KPAP have found this to be the most practical and transparent method for tipping

      As for the amount, most trekkers feel that a tip equivalent to about 10 % of the cost of their trek is appropriate. (So, if your trek cost was US$2500, a tip of US$250 from each trekker should be about the right amount to cover the mountain crew.) If your group consists of only one or two trekkers, you might want to give a bit more. An alternative method, which some trekkers prefer, is to give individual tips to the mountain crew members, in which case the following amounts can be used for guidance:

      Mountain guide: $25 US per day/per guide/per group
      Mountain chef: $15 US per day/per group
      Mountain porter: $8 US per day/per group

      The above figures are only for guidance and can of course be varied at the trekker’s discretion. They are in line with the advice provided by the Kilimanjaro Porters’ Assistance Project (KPAP), which is committed to fair treatment and welfare of the porters. Gifts of clothes etc are also appreciated by members of the mountain crew.