A climb up Mount Kilimanjaro is an adventure that will live in your memory for years to come. Whether you’re climbing solo or hiring a guide, it’s important to be prepared both physically and mentally. Here are 28 tips for hiring the best guide in Kilimanjaro from someone who’s made the climb before. I hope they help you get ready to tackle Africa’s highest peak!
Do you need a guide?
Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is no walk-in park—just ask anyone who’s ever done it. At 19,341 feet, it’s actually one of the tallest mountains in Africa and is frequently referred to as the roof of Africa. One wrong step on an active volcano could be your last. So, why do it? Because it’s there, of course! But if you’re going to give climbing Mount Kilimanjaro a shot, you’ll want to make sure you know what to look for in a good guide so that you don’t run into any problems along the way. Here are tips from people who’ve been there
How to choose your guide wisely
When planning to climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro, it’s important to choose your guide wisely because not all guides are created equal. When you meet your guide in Arusha and begin traveling with him, take time to ask questions and get to know his methods of leading expeditions and managing clients. During that time, assess whether or not he’s knowledgeable, friendly, organized, and trustworthy. Also, look at his gear closely: Does it look well-maintained? Does he have enough sleeping bags? Are they clean? Are there extra gloves and socks? How many tents does he have? Is his tent set up properly so it won’t collapse on people inside during windy nights?
28 Tips for Hiring a Guide for an Adventurous Climb Up Mount Kilimanjaro
The more prepared your guide is, the better equipped you will be for a safe trip. Here are 28 tips for hiring a good guide for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro:
1) A good guide is experienced and has led other successful climbs before yours. Ask about their previous experience leading groups on similar routes—and don’t be afraid to ask about accidents or other problems that occurred during those trips and how your potential guide handled them. You want someone who’s been around long enough to learn from mistakes but also hasn’t had too many problems either.
2) A good guide will have the proper equipment, including tents, sleeping bags, stoves, cooking supplies, and food. If you’re going on a multi-day trip with him, he should have more than one tent so everyone can sleep in warm shelters rather than out in the open under cold skies. He should also have extra gloves and socks for his clients; these are small things that can make big differences when you’re climbing at high altitudes where temperatures are often below freezing at night.
3) A good guide will know how to set up his tent properly so it won’t collapse in high winds (which are common at Mt. Kilimanjaro’s summit). He should also have extra rope and stakes and poles that can be used to create makeshift shelters if your group gets stuck outside overnight because of bad weather or other issues.
4) A good guide should be flexible enough to change plans if necessary, such as extending your trip by one day or canceling it altogether if conditions aren’t safe enough for you to continue climbing. If he refuses to make changes, find another guide who is willing and able.
5) A good guide will keep you informed about everything going on with your climb and make sure you’re comfortable with every decision that’s made throughout your trip—and he’ll ask questions about what you want out of your adventure too. You don’t want someone who makes all decisions without consulting you first.
6) A good guide will help you stay hydrated during your trip and encourage you to drink plenty of water even when it seems like there isn’t any left. Dehydration is a serious problem at high altitudes, especially when temperatures drop below freezing during nighttime hours; people sometimes die from hypothermia simply because they cannot get warm after becoming chilled from being cold and wet.
7) A good guide will teach you how to use hiking poles correctly, so they don’t become damaged or fall apart while you’re using them on your hike. Poles are a valuable tool for supporting your body weight on steep slopes and rocky terrain, but if you don’t know how to use them correctly, they could actually cause injuries instead of preventing them.
8) A good guide will keep track of everyone in your group at all times, including making sure no one wanders off alone or falls behind accidentally.
9) A good guide will check everyone’s gear before setting off on your climb so no one has faulty equipment that could cause problems later.
10) A good guide should speak English fluently; he needs to understand instructions given by other guides, but he also needs to understand any emergency instructions issued over radio channels or by park rangers stationed along certain routes up Mt Kilimanjaro.
11) A good guide will talk to you about important things like altitude sickness and how to prevent it, hypothermia and frostbite, how to avoid getting lost or injured on your way back down from the summit, etc.
12) A good guide will offer advice based on his own experience rather than just spouting facts he read somewhere else. He should tell you exactly what he thinks might happen if something goes wrong—not just if something goes wrong but when something goes wrong.
13) A good guide knows where all of his emergency supplies are located at all times so he can quickly grab them in case of an accident.
14) A good guide will make sure you’re eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of fluids in preparation for your climb.
15) A good guide will tell you how to minimize your chances of experiencing symptoms of altitude sickness, which are very real and potentially deadly.
16) A good guide will tell you how to minimize your chances of developing hypothermia or frostbite.
17) A good guide should explain how to take care of blisters on your feet, so they don’t get infected or interfere with your ability to walk normally.
18) A good guide should explain how to take care of cuts and scrapes, so they don’t become infected either.
1. Your guide should be local. He or she should know about Kilimanjaro and its unique climate, flora and fauna, history, and geology. Locals are more likely to know shortcuts to reduce your travel time to your climb start point or know where you can refill your water bottles for free. And if something goes wrong on your trip, locals are better equipped to handle it in their language and with their knowledge of nearby resources.
2. The best Kilimanjaro guides are certified by either UIAGM or IMGA. Both organizations require guides complete courses in rock climbing, high-altitude mountaineering, map reading, and survival skills that give them a solid foundation for leading treks up Kilimanjaro safely. 1. Ask for recommendations from friends and family members who have climbed Kilimanjaro. They can give you a good idea of what to look for in a guide. Some companies will also provide references upon request, so be sure to ask if that’s an option.
19). Try to meet your guide in person, at least briefly, before you set off on your climb together. This will allow you to see if he’s knowledgeable about his work and his friendly and trustworthy with clients. It also gives you a chance to make sure that he can communicate well in English (or whatever language) and that he has good manners.
20). Ask lots of questions during your initial meeting—and don’t be afraid to ask things like How many times have you climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro? How many people have you guided up it? What percentage of your clients summit successfully?
Do most people get sick? Do most people need oxygen or extra assistance when they reach higher altitudes? How much weight do I need to lose beforehand? What gear should I bring? Are there any other tips or advice that would help me prepare better for my trip up Mt. Kilimanjaro?
21). If possible, try to find out how long your guide has been working as a mountain guide. The more experience he has guiding people up mountains, especially difficult ones like Mt. Kilimanjaro, generally means that he knows what he’s doing and will probably be able to keep you safe while you’re climbing.
22). Check references from past clients who have climbed with him before deciding whether or not to hire him for your own climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro; even if someone else hired him years ago, it might still be worth calling them just to check how happy they were with their experience and whether or not they would recommend him again.
23). Ensure that your guide is insured and licensed by an internationally recognized organization such as IFMGA or UIAGM.
24). Make sure that your guide agrees to take care of all necessary permits, fees, lodging arrangements, etc. You don’t have to worry about those details while you’re actually on Mt. Kilimanjaro. After all, worrying isn’t very conducive to having fun!
25). Make sure that your guide speaks good English or another language you understand well enough so that he can easily communicate with you throughout your climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro and answer any questions you may have along the way; some guides speak only Swahili, which could be a problem if everyone else around you speaks only German!
26). Make sure that your guide provides good food, water, shelter, and equipment while you’re climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro; these are basic necessities that every climber needs to feel comfortable and happy during their trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro.
27). Make sure that your guide doesn’t use outdated methods or equipment when guiding you up Mt. Kilimanjaro; if he uses outdated methods or equipment, it could potentially put you in danger during your climb.
28). Make sure that your guide plans ahead carefully for each day of your trek up Mt.