Thu 27 Sep - Sun 07 Oct 2018

In aid of Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK

OVERVIEW

What to expect

ITINERARY

What you will do

COSTS

Ways to pay

INFORMATION

All you need to know

Everything you need to know

This page provides you with a variety of information about the challenge that you might find useful.

Level of Difficulty

Money

Visa

Vaccinations

Flights

Insurance

Group Size

Leadership

Climate

Terrain

Luggage allowance and valuables

Responsible Tourism

Should I take gifts or clothes for the locals?

Typical day

what happens if I fall ill, can’t keep up or there is an emergency?

Accommodation

Do we need to take our own sleeping bags and mats?

Food & Drink

Clothing and equipment

Toilets

Phone and WiFi

Safety

Emergencies

Training

Training weekends

Level of Difficulty

The Kilimanjaro challenge is graded as “extreme”. Summit night in particular is a gruelling experience that will test you both mentally and physically. You should not undertake this challenge without significant training.

You can tell your supporters that on your Kilimanjaro trek you will be:

  • Trekking for around 6-8 hours per day.
  • Battling the altitude on the mountain up to the summit of 5895m.  
  • Arising before dawn and trekking through the night on summit day.
  • Experiencing nightly temperatures of down to -15 degrees.
  • Sleeping in a tent for 6 nights

Money

Currency: The Tanzania shilling is a soft currency and you cannot obtain shillings before leaving the UK. US dollars are accepted in most places and should be used in country. Tanzanian Shillings cannot be exported, therefore should be reconverted against your currency declaration form.  

Exchange: The Bank of Tanzania performs all currency transfers; all other offers of currency exchange are illegal. There are also foreign exchange bureaus in most towns and cities where you can change cash or travellers’ cheques at the prevailing free market exchange rate. The best currency is the dollar (US). For up to date currency exchange, go to: http://www.xe.com/

Credit cards: Major credit cards are sometimes accepted at larger hotels. Other than that their use is limited and are not generally accepted in restaurants, shops etc. Bring enough money and do not carry all your cash on you. Cash point machines, which allow the use of Visa & MasterCard etc with a PIN, can be found in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Marangu, but are rare in smaller towns.
travellers cheques - Travellers’ cheques are recommended; the US dollar is the most widely accepted currency

Spending money: You will not need a large amount of money during this trip. Somewhere in the region of £250 in US dollars should be sufficient to cover presents, tips, drinks, and so on. Keep in mind that other than at the start and end of the challenge, you will be in the mountains away from any foreign exchanges or banks. We recommend that you carry cash. Travellers’ cheques and credit cards should be accepted in the airports, however.

Tips: We recommend in the region of $160US for the Kili team, and this should be given to the challenge leader at the end of the challenge, who will distribute it among the support team. If you do want to give one member of staff an extra tip, please also leave this until the end and allocate over and above the recommended tipping amount. Make sure you have plenty of smaller dollar bills for tipping at lodges and for drinks/meals. If you are going on the safari we recommend $25 per person for your guide/driver and then a small amount for lodge staff.

Visa

Your full ten-year passport must have at least six months left to run from the end of the challenge. You will need a Single Entry Tourist Visa to enter Tanzania. 3 months prior to departure we will provide you with the necessary application form and details to apply. You will need to send the form special delivery along with 2 x passport photos & £40 by postal order from the Post Office made payable to the ‘Tanzania High Commission’ or deposit in cash to Barclays Bank – see notes enclosed with visa form. Allow two weeks to get the visa by post (it is strongly suggested that you also enclose a pre-paid special delivery envelope for the safe return of your passport with the visa). Alternatively you can obtain it, in person, at the Embassy. The visa is valid for three months and becomes valid from the date of issue so make sure you do not apply too early otherwise it will run out before you arrive in Tanzania. If you are travelling overland to/from Nairobi you will also need to pay for a transit visa on arrival in Kenya and when re-entering Kenya prior to departure. This you will need to obtain at the airport or when crossing the border and costs approx. US$20 / £10 /€40. Nb. if you are just in transit in Nairobi and will not leave the airport you will not need a transit visa.

Vaccinations

Nomad Travel Stores Medical Centre recommended the following vaccinations: diphtheria; tetanus; poliomyelitis; hepatitis A; typhoid. Please check the latest advice regarding whether you will need a yellow fever certificates as this often changes. If you are over landing into Tanzania or have a long lay over in an ‘at risk country’ you may require this for entry.

Vaccines sometimes advised: tuberculosis; meningococcal meningitis; hepatitis B; rabies; cholera. Malaria precautions are essential in all areas below 1800m, all year round. Avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleeping under a mosquito net. Also see Health notes. *Requirements change and these are recommendations only* For the latest information please see www.nomadtravel.co.uk/pages/travel-vaccination-country-guide or www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk.

Flights

You will be flying overnight from London to Kilimanjaro airport, this will either be via Nairobi or Addis Ababa depending on the group flights. Your flight tickets will be issued to you upon departure at the airport. If for any reason we cannot get the connecting flight to Kilimanjaro airport you will be transferred overland from Nairobi to Arusha or Marangu, this transfer can take from 6-9hrs, depending on the road conditions. If you choose to book your own flights you must confirm with the Charity Challenge office before paying otherwise you may be liable for your included group flights (please contact flights@charitychallenge.com for further assistance). Please note that we are unable to arrange transfers between the hours of 21:00 and 06:00 due to safety issues, so please avoid flights that arrive during this period.

Insurance

It is a condition of booking that you have a suitable travel insurance policy whilst participating on the challenge. We have a special policy which covers among other things, medical (emergency, evacuation and repatriation) arrangements, cancellation and curtailment of the challenge, and more specifically for the adventurous activities undertaken on this challenge. If you have your own travel insurance policy, you must ensure that it provides at least the same level of cover as our recommended policy, including protecting the charity in the event of your cancellation 56 days or less prior to departure. If you choose not to purchase our recommended policy when you book we will send you a disclaimer which you should complete and return.

For more general travel insurance questions, please refer to our main FAQs page.

Group Size

Each group is intended to be a minimum of 10 people in order to run and a maximum of 30 people.

Leadership

We employ a number of Red Cross first aid qualified challenge guides, all of whom speak fluent English. When the guides first qualify they gain the Kili National Parks (KINAPA) award in first aid, which is basic but tough.  All guides are also trained in incident management and challenge leadership. They will be ultimately responsible for the running of the itinerary and the safety of your group. The itinerary is there as a guide and may change due to unusual weather patterns, the strength of the group and so on. We will do our very best to keep to the set itinerary. However, we cannot be held responsible for any last minute changes that might occur. In all such circumstances, your challenge leader will have the final say.

Climate

Temperatures on Kilimanjaro can vary dramatically, from 35°C in the plains below the mountain to -20°C at the summit (if you include the wind chill). Early mornings will immediately warm-up as soon as the sun rises and the days should be warm and bright. As soon as the sun sets, however, the temperature drops radically and it is often well below zero degrees. On the mountain, you will need strong UV protection as there is minimal shade as you start your ascent. Normally January and February are the driest and clearest months to climb. However, June through to late October and December are also good but you should expect a little more cloud around the rainforest zone. Whenever you climb, expect convection to send warm air from the hot plains below across the rainforest to precipitate at higher altitudes as rain, sleet, and snow. This happens on some, but not all, afternoons. Nights are usually clear and frosty, and mornings clear and sunny.

Terrain

The terrain on Kilimanjaro varies.  Where the lower altitude trekking takes place through plenty of forestry, the middle is like a moorland with the top like a desert!  You will be trekking up on dirt tracks, across boulders and scrambling across rough walls and trails.

Luggage allowance and valuables

As no formal clothes are needed, luggage should be kept to the absolute minimum – details of what to pack are provided in your Kit List. You will need to carry a daypack during the day while the porters carry your main rucksack. Your day sack should have a capacity of 30-35 litres. NB: You should take a soft-sided bag or rucksack for the porters to carry as they often carry luggage on their heads and hard suitcases are too unwieldy, please do not bring a bag with hard sides or wheels. Your main pack should be 70-90 litres capacity. The maximum weight each porter will carry is 15kgs and your luggage will be weighed at the gate before commencing the climb. If you have more than 15kg an extra porter will need to be hired and could cost up to an extra $100. If you are on our extension you can leave clothes at the lodge and collect them on your return (please ensure you have a locked bag to leave them in). On your outward journey, please wear your trekking gear, hiking boots, and carry a spare change of clothing in your hand luggage.

While we will do everything to provide adequate safety for the group and security for your possessions, the general rule is that if you don’t need it, don’t bring it. This includes jewellery, necklaces, rings and even watches. Your passport
and money should be kept on you at all times. Your main luggage should not contain valuables and items not required on the mountain. You can leave non valuables at the lodge, to be returned to you once you have climbed the mountain, however we advise you not to leave any valuable items in your bag at the lodge or in your main bag these should be kept on you at all times.

Responsible Tourism

At Charity Challenge we are committed to sustainable and responsible tourism, and work closely with bodies such as the International Porter Protection Group and Climate Care to ensure that our challenges benefit the local environments and communities in which they take place. We ensure that all rubbish is disposed of responsibly, and following local guidelines on cultural and environmental protection and respect, we aim to limit our impact on the natural environment. In addition to taking these practical steps to ensure that our challenges are sustainable, we also make a contribution each year to a number of local community projects, so as to give something back directly to the communities that we visit. Since 2000 we have donated almost £200,000 to such projects, supporting a range of initiatives, including schooling for children in Africa, shelter for street children in Brazil, and Orang-utan conservation in Indonesia. We recommend that any gifts brought over for children are given to the UK challenge leader and distributed where needed by them and our local Ground Agent. If you wish to do more, you should consider buying drinks, postcards and souvenirs from the local vendors. For many, it is their sole source of income. For more information, please visit our Responsible Tourism pages, where you will be able to view a list of the projects that we currently support.

Should I take gifts or clothes for the locals?

It is extremely beneficial for the local porters and guides if you are able to donate any leftover outdoor clothing or equipment after the challenge as this is hard to come by and expensive for them in Tanzania. At the end of the challenge you will be given the opportunity to leave any kit to the team which will be greatly received.

Typical day

During the trek you will be walking for 6-8 hours. Depending on the weather and the day, rest/water stops will be set up regularly, where you can regroup, rest and relax while drinking water and eating your snacks. Lunch will be a packed lunch stopping in a reasonable spot. You will get to your campsite in the afternoon where you can relax, have a hot drink and eat your dinner in the mess tent.

what happens if I fall ill, can’t keep up or there is an emergency?

The event is not run as a race and there is always a large discrepancy in people’s walking ability. This is allowed for. There will be a staff member at the back of the group at all times to ensure that you are not left behind and can take things at your own pace. If you are unable to continue on foot, you will be carried off the mountain. If you are climbing via our western approach routes, then we are able to get a 4x4 up to the Shira Plateau (3,800m) to take you down. There is a hospital at Marangu and Moshi, which is situated at the beginning of the popular routes. Quality medical services are available in Nairobi.

Accommodation

You will be camping on the mountain in two person tents, which will be supplied and erected by the ground team. Before and after your climb, you will be staying in more comfortable accommodation at a lodge in Arusha or Marangu. If you are travelling with a friend or partner who you wish to share with, please let Charity Challenge know in advance.

Do we need to take our own sleeping bags and mats?

Yes, it would certainly help your chances of a comfortable night’s sleep if you bring a good thermarest-sleeping mat, you are not provided with one in Tanzania. You will also need to bring a warm sleeping bag (four seasons with fleece liner) as temperatures do drop at night time. Also see Kit List.

Food & Drink

There will be a hot breakfast (eg: porridge, eggs, toast, tea and coffee) to start the day, a packed lunch on the mountain or at your camp and a filling hot meal in the evening (eg: soup, followed by rice, potato or pasta and sauce, and usually fruit for dessert.) There will be ample drinking water, as we will be filling up from local water sources. All the water is boiled so iodine drops or tablets are optional whilst trekking. If you do happen to use water from the stream or from hotels it may be best to purify it first. The porters will collect water each morning and evening for drinking and cooking. Please let Charity Challenge know prior to departure if you have any specific dietary requirements or allergies.

Clothing and equipment

Good quality, durable kit could mean the difference between a fantastic challenge experience and an uncomfortable one. For this challenge, waterproof, well-worn in boots will be indispensable, particularly coupled with some really good quality walking socks. You don’t need a clean pair every day, but enough to make sure you have dry socks each morning. The benefits of a comfortable day sack cannot be underestimated, so make sure that you train with this. Other essentials are high quality gore-tex waterproof and windproof jackets and trousers, technical/wicking t-shirts rather than cotton shirts, and a down jacket for the evenings in camp and your summit day/night. A full kit list for this challenge can be found here, and once you book you will have access to kit discounts with our partners The Outdoor Shop, Outdoorhire and Cotswold Outdoor.

Toilets

In the camps you will have toilet tents set up by your ground team, these contain chemical toilets. You can also use the long drops provided by the National Parks agency, which are very basic and not monitored regularly. Your camp team will provide washing bowls of warm water as you arrive at camp at the end of the days trekking, you will need bio-degradable soap for washing with. You should take plenty of toilet paper and wet wipes with you as well as anti-bacterial hand gel. Please note there are no showers whilst you are on the trek.

Phone and WiFi

There is wi-fi at the hotel at the beginning and end, but not on the mountain.  Phone signal is available in town, but virtually non-existent on the mountain.

There is no opportunity to recharge any electrical equipment during the trek, but if you want to bring a solar charger these can work well to charge phones.  There are charge points in your rooms at the hotel.

Safety

Charity Challenge considers the safety of all of its participants and staff to be a top priority, and as such we have set up one of the most advanced and thorough safety management systems in the industry. In a nutshell, Our Challenge Safe brand formalises our ethos when it comes to safety, and brings together the procedures and risk management strategies that we use to audit all aspects of our challenges, from vehicles to accommodation to the activity itself. Your welfare is paramount!

In terms of your Kilimanjaro Summit Climb, there are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:

  • You will be trekking to an altitude of 5895, and altitude trekking carries it's own risks.
  • Emergency evacuation to a hospital may take upwards of 8 hours, depending on your location on the mountain
  • You will be sleeping in temperatures of down to -15 degrees.

Emergencies

There will be a trained doctor following you on this trek with a full emergency medical kit if required.  If you are unable to continue the climb, you will be sent down with a porter where you can seek additional medical attention at the local hospital if needed.

Training

A good level of fitness is definitely required, as this challenge is graded ‘Extreme’, due to the basic facilities, high altitude, long days and rough terrain. Don’t forget the impact of temperature extremes and high altitude; and remember that you will be trekking for a number of days. Anyone who leads a fairly active and moderately healthy lifestyle should be OK, but the more you exercise before the challenge, the more you will get out of it.

  • Training tips for the Kilimanjaro challenge:
  • Endurance training should be your primary focus.
  • Ensure that you get some training walks done in the mountains of the UK to familiarise yourself with walking on rugged terrain.
  • Carry a full daypack while training, and steadily add more weight
  • Join one of our training weekends! Read more about our training weekends by clicking here.

Training weekends

We offer superb training weekends across various locations in the UK, from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon. These training weekends not only help you become physically prepared for the challenge, but our experienced instructors and leaders will talk you through your clothing and equipment, camp craft, health and wellbeing, trekking skills (walking on different terrain/at altitude/at night/using walking poles), teamwork on expedition and many more themes designed to make you get the most out of your challenge. The weekends are great ways for you to get out into the mountains of the UK, while also meeting other Charity Challengers and sharing your experiences. To read more about our training weekends, including dates and prices, check out our dedicated page here.

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ATOL protected

We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

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