You will simply carry a day pack of about 5-6 pounds, though some people carry more or less. Your gear, not to exceed 33 pounds, will be placed inside a waterproof duffle at the trail head, and a porter will carry this for you. If you have things you do not need on the climb, you may leave a bag behind at Arusha.
Most groups will start for the summit on ascent day at 11 PM to 12:30AM, depending on the perceived fitness of the group, the weather and the route. The pre-dawn hours, while cold, are also the calmest and clearest. The best views from the summit are at dawn. Often clouds and high winds develop not long after sunrise making the summit much less attractive and the descent more difficult. Guides who have been to the summit scores of times report that it is very rare to find it cloudy at the summit at dawn in any season. The ascent day is a very long day of hiking. Some people may require 15 hours to reach the summit and descend to the campsite for that day.
You will leave Kibo/ Barafu hut around 12hr00 – 14hr00 to attempt the summit. The time will be decided by the guide. The reason for the midnight wake up is that the screen slope that you will walk up is still frozen at this time of the day….therefore making walking easier.
It is more reasonable to measure each day in hours walked rather than miles. Most days, other than the summit day, will begin with breakfast around 06hr30 and departure at 7hr00. You will walk 4-5 hours with a break for lunch followed by another hour or two of hiking in the afternoon. These days are not long or difficult and you will be advised to walk slowly (“pole, pole” or “slowly, slowly” in Swahili) by your guide.
You can climb any month of the year. At lower elevations, April, May and November are quite wet while March and June are transition months. August and September are the coldest and driest months. January, February, July, August and September are all popular climbing months.
The major sources of cost variations are the money spent on food, off-mountain accommodation, porter and guide wages, tents and the cost of getting to the mountain. Expedition Africa is determined to provide the best food, best guides and porters, best tents and equipment, top quality before-and-after-climb accommodation, a full professional pre-climb orientation, insurance for all staff and inclusion of all park permits, meals, transfers and local hosting costs. On some of the least expensive trips food is minimal and often prepared by frying. Because guides and porters are expected to cover part of their wages with tips, these companies cannot attract the best staff. Often they do not provide full warm clothing to staff. The mountain is hard on tents which are expensive in Tanzania meaning that tents on cheap trips are often worn or dirty. Our approach is not to provide the cheapest trip, but rather to do everything we can to increase the likelihood you will reach the summit and enjoy the overall experience with a staff of people who are well qualified and compensated for the extraordinary assistance they provide to you.
No, everything is done for you. All you have to do is carry a day pack, with your water, lunch boxes, extra clothing etc. and everything else is done for you.
We recommend a minimum of 10 days from the USA, although some people may wish more time for the trip. We can customize itineraries or routes to offer more days in the park. Some people may wish to climb nearby Mount Meru as well. If you have more than 10 days, you can choose any of the main routes on the mountain and still have time for a wildlife safari before or after your trip.