As you will be trekking up Africa’s highest mountain, you will be passing through a number of different climate zones, and should pack to prepare for a number of extremes – hot and sunny, cool, cloudy, and misty, fog, rain (your first day you will ascending through a section of rain forest), wind, and lastly snow and cold. You may experience one or all of these conditions in the same day on your trek.
In the lowlands, temperatures in the shade can reach 35C, and in the highlands it will be below freezing, with possible rain and fog. The use of lightweight, breathable, easily removable layers of clothes works best to allow you to adapt to the local conditions. We recommend breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics made of wool or synthetic fibres. Cotton is not recommended for hiking as it does not allow for heat or moisture to enter or escape, and it will not dry once wet.
Please note that is gets extremely cold near the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and you will begin hiking your final ascent to the summit at approximately midnight, and hike through the coldest part of the day. For this, in addition to several warm layers and good boots to grip as you climb over frozen scree, ice, and snow, you will need warm protection for your extremities – warm socks, gloves, and a warm winter hat. Cameras need to be protected against the severe cold weather either in warm pouch or the interior pockets of your clothing. A selection of lenses will aid the final results although weight and bulk will obviously influence your selection. For digital equipment and mp3 players, check with the manufacturer’s specifications for temperature range (especially battery life), water tightness, altitude range, and general hardiness.
Lastly, Mt. Kilimanjaro is located only a few hundred kilometres from the equator, and at altitude, the sun’s affects are heightened. Use a hat, sunglasses, sun screen, and wear proper clothing to protect yourself from the sun, to reduce the risk of sunstroke.
Please note, secure luggage and valuables storage facilities are available at your Moshi hotel while you climb. Your hotel in Arusha also offers storage facilities for any extra mountain gear/clothing that you do not require for the safari portion of the trip.
With regard to the type of pack(s) to use, two packs would be useful:
1. One larger pack (preferably a duffle bag) that will be carried by the porters inside large, canvas duffle bags. This pack should not exceed 15kg, and should be within the following dimensions: 30cm (height) x30cm (width) x 60cm (length)
2. One smaller 20-30L pack (5kg) that you will carry containing your water, snacks and wet weather gear.
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, sports bag, or backpack, no larger than 30cm(height) x 30cm(width) x 60cm(length), maximum 15kg, plus a day-pack. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced, and due to limited vehicle capacity, the cost of transporting any luggage beyond these restrictions is the responsibility of the client. Please note, if you are travelling with a large amount of luggage because of your trek or from other travels on the same trip, in Arusha you may leave a portion of it at the Continuing Point hotel, and pick it up after the Safari portion of the trip; this is indeed possible as storage facilities are available.