But before you head up to the summit, here are few little known facts about Kili that you might find useful.
- Feel free to leave the mosquito repellent home. Due to the altitude, air pressure and cooler temperatures, there are virtually no mosquitos in Kili’s rainforest, which is rather unusual for jungle environment.
- Single use plastic water bottles, or other drinks in non-reusable bottles are prohibited to carry into the Kilimanjaro National Park. No matter if it’s a day-trip trekking, or rather a full summit expedition, only refillable containers are be brought along. This is aiming to help conservation efforts, and reduce the amount of litter accumulated from both tourists and locals. So strongly advise to bring one with you before heading there, or you would be forced to pay $10 per bottle purchased at the entrance, or $5 to rent one out (gross!).
- Bring additional food and snacks, especially if you are a picky eater. Trust us on this one. Even for a single daily trek only, just do yourself a favour and bring few snacks along. Though not a difficult hike, the route is long and physically intense enough to make you hungry, for which the usual small lunch box normally provided by the tour operator or private guide is unlikely to suffice. Also make sure you let them know for any food allergies or preferences in advance, as once up in Kili, you have to stick to what you’ve brought. There aren’t any food stalls or shops around, so plan ahead.
- The entrance fee to the park is due to be paid personally by the tourist via credit card, and a full log is kept for when someone enters, and leaves the park for which personal sign in and out record is needed. It’s all for safety reasons, so no one stays unaccounted for, as well as would facilitate to identify if someone is left off the radar. The daily entrance fee is hefty, especially for local standards, so definitely budget for it, but it’s important to mention that includes emergency insurance and rescue cover, which is critical in case of accident, medical help or air evacuation is needed.
- Everyone needs to be accompanied by a certified guide in order to access the Kilimanjaro National Park via any entry point. Your guide would also need to sign in, and be with you at all times. We recommend asking your accommodation to recommend you one, and do very thorough research before making your choice, as it’s critical to the overall experience. Unfortunately, our expectations weren’t quite met, and found our guide to be inexperienced, uninterested and fairly unprofessional, which effectively caused negative connotations as a result. Basically the company we trusted to organize everything for us was working with third party partners instead of our guides, which weren’t made aware of in advance.