Hi Helen, Mark, I'm also booked on this trip. Any tips to help prepare would be really appreciated. I haven't done any high altitude training but was hoping to get some long walks in before leaving. Not really sure what to expect! Sophie
Hey guys! Thanks for all the tips so far. Nika, my friend took a SheeWee to a festival and said it was a life saver! Quite tempted to buy one too! Just had a quick question on visas - do we get them on arrival or before we travel? Sophie
Hi, i'm on this trip too, getting really excited and can't wait to get there. I went to my travel clinic a few weeks back and had all my boosters and I was advised that I didn't need a Yellow Fever jab as I wasn't coming from a country with Yellow Fever (I'm flying out on the group flight from Heathrow). I was however told that as we have a stop over in Addis Ababa that if I was to be there for more than 12hrs or left the airport then I would need one! I hope there's not a long delay! It was left up to me really as to whether I wanted to get the Jab so I will think about it over the next few weeks but I can't seem to find a definite answer online anywhere....
As for training, I've done allot of running and the Brighton marathon this year and have a 60k trek this weekend but by all accounts the altitude sickness is something you can't train for, it just hits you but as we are on a longer trip we'll hopefully be ok.
As for kit, I went shopping over the weekend for loads of stuff and came home with 2 pairs of socks.....typical bloke but I have been told to get some good Gortex trousers!
I am booked on this trip and flying from Heathrow. Now the balance has been paid, I am getting very nervous. My vaccinations are being done next week and I have been told not to have yellow fever. I am also getting my visa at the airport as recommended by Exodus.
My training is similar to yours Tony; I do quite a lot of running with strength training. Once I have done Edinburgh in two weeks I am going to swap my long run for a walk venturing to Snowdonia and the Lakes. You can't train for altitude...it was one of the reasons for choosing the longer trip as it gives you acclimatization time.
Looking forward to meeting everyone
If anyone wants to do a training walk then get in touch. I would be happy to have the company.
Hi All, I've been getting my vaccinations too. I was advised not to have the yellow fever vaccine as well. Hopefully won't be stuck in Addis Ababa for ages! Was advised against rabies as getting bitten by a mammal was considered unlikely up there. Also was advised against as it's a trip to hospital after a bite, even if you have had the vaccine. As for Schistosomiasis, the nurse thought it was unlikely that I would be swimming up there so advised against that too. Hopefully all of this was good advice! Would quite like to come back without any of the above...
Going to get the visa at the airport - hopefully they'll let me in! I do regular running and circuits, but has been a while since I've walked any considerable distance. Will try and get a few walks in before we go!
Really looking forward to it! Just need to go and buy some gear now...
I don't think I'll be getting the Yellow Fever jab either, think I had Rabbies (not literally!) when I went to Thailand but I've not had the Schistosomiasis jab.
I'll also get the Visa at the airport on arrival.
I did a 60km trek a couple of weeks back on the South Downs, took me 16hrs and the one tip I have is not to wear brand new walking boots!! Gave me some real trouble but I should have broken them in just in time for Kili!
Been shopping for gear which has cost me nearly as much as the trip so I will probably hire a sleeping mat and sleeping bag......not sure whether to hire a really thick jacket as the one I have isn't that thick but has a built in fleece but I'll just pile on the layers when its really cold!
Just over a month to go!!
I decided to have the rabies vaccination after a recommendation. It did cost me £105.
I agree Tony, the kit has cost as mush as the trip. Not sure how I'm going to fit it all in. I've got walks planned for the next three days to get use to walking on consecutive days.
Starting to get very excited although nervous. More because I don't know the people I am doing it with.
Sorry, this is a bit long but thought it might be useful. A friend did the Kilimanjaro trek with Exodus last summer so sent me some really good pointers!
Not long to go now, looking forward to it and slightly apprehensive too!
I did this trek with Exodus using the Rongai route (code TYW). I have to say Exodus did a fantastic job organizing this trip and I would highly recommend booking with them for the Kilimanjaro trip, but on another route. The Rongai route is 7 days: 6 days to get to the summit and 1 day to descend. Out of the 14 of us, 12 made it to Gilman’s point and 9 made it to Uhuru peak. I would suggest booking the Lemosho route or Northern circuit route which have 1-2 days more of trekking, this will give you more time to acclimatize and increase your chances of getting to Uhuru peak.
· Fitness: You should be fit for this trek, but do not overtrain. The trek is pretty easy and not technical. Most of my training I did at the gym and I did one high altitude trek in Mt. Toubkal in Morocco about 3 months before Kili.
· Altitude: This is what makes the trek difficult. You will walk very slowly (pole pole) the entire way, even at 2000m (you should be mentally prepared for this). I suffered a couple of headaches and had some nausea – after drinking a lot of water, eating and rest these symptoms went away. Some people had to take diamox and/or aspirin, which the guides have on hand if you did not have any. You will lose your appetite at altitude but make sure you eat and force yourself to drink plenty of water.
· Water and Food: Drink between 3-5 Liters of water a day (includes water from food, e.g. soup, stew and fruit). I took a 2 Liter camelback and 2 Sigg bottles which the porters will fill up with water at the campsites. Make sure to take a sip of water every few minutes. The water is treated but some people still used purification tablets. Take some flavored energy tablets to make the water taste better. I purchased an insulated camelback and neoprene pouches for the Sigg bottles for summit night – this will delay the freezing process on summit night…in addition the porters will give you hot water for the summit night to delay the freezing. The food (breakfast, lunch and dinner) provided at camp is delicious and well exceeded my expectations, you will also be given snacks for the day, but you should bring your own protein gels (recommend Hi-Five), bars and snacks that you enjoy.
· Camping: Tents will be set up for you and I highly recommend getting a single supplement…your camping partner may require several toilet breaks or may get sick which will affect your sleep, etc. Despite the pleasant temperatures during the day, it gets very cold at night so make sure you have a 4 season sleeping bag (you can rent through Exodus), a good mattress (most of us rented through Exodus so you do not have to carry this in your exodus bag) and a 4 season duvet jacket (you can rent through Exodus). Make sure to keep your camera and any spare batteries in your sleeping bag so it does not freeze.
· Exodus bag & Daysack: The maximum weight is 15 kg including your sleeping bag. You can keep a spare bag at the hotel for clean clothes. A 25-40 Liter daysack is good enough for this trip…you will need to fit your camelback, fleece, waterproofs and snacks.
· Money: $300-400 US crisp US dollars is more than enough for this trip. You will not need to exchange this for the local currency since US dollars are accepted in Tanzania. You will need the money for the first and last nights at the hotel, tips for the cook, porters and guides and any souvenirs.
· Toilets: We had flushable toilets on this trip which was great. Make sure to bring a spare toilet roll and wetwipes. The rest of the time during the trek you will have to go behind a rock or bush.
· Bowl of hot water: Every morning and during some of the afternoons the porters will give you a bowl of hot water to clean yourself. Every morning you will be asked if you would like tea, coffee or hot chocolate…similar to the Inca Trail experience.
· Dirt: You will get very dirty on this trip. If you choose to wear shorts, you will get a nice layer of dirt on your skin which will initially look like a tan but it is not. You will get dirt under your nails so I would advise getting a nailbrush and bring plenty of wetwipes and sanitizer gel.
· Suntan lotion: Wear this everyday even if the sun does not shine. Make sure to bring lip balm with UV protection. On summit day you will get sunburned if you are not constantly putting on suntan lotion and lipbalm with UV protection.
· Head torch: You will need this for nights at camp, toilet trips during the night and summit night. Make sure you have two spare sets and make sure you keep them in your pocket for sleeping bag to prevent them from freezing when you are at altitude.
· Walking poles: Definitely bring these on the trip. They are extremely helpful during the descent on the scree.
· Hand and Feet Warmers: These were great for cold nights at camp and summit night. Keeps your shoes nice and toasty and prevents your hands from freezing.
· Sunglasses: Very Important…take a spare in case you lose your first pair.
· Mosquito spray/wipes: You will need this at the lower altitudes.
· Earplugs: It was quite noisy at night when people were opening their tents to go to the toilet.
· Chocolate: For the summit I broke up pieces of a Lindt chocolate bar into a plastic bag…it will freeze but still is a nice snack that is easy to get to.
· Camera: Make sure you take spare batteries and plenty of memory cards. Keep the batteries in your sleeping bag and on summit night keep the camera under your duvet jacket to prevent it from freezing.
· Clothes for summit night:
1) Thermal underwear – Top and bottom
2) 2 x Long sleeved top
4) Down jacket (gortex)
5) Walking trousers
6) Waterproof trousers – kept out wind
7) Gaitors – to stop scree getting into boots on the downhill
8) Pair of thermal inner socks
9) Walking socks
12) Inner gloves
13) Mittens – allows more circulation as you can move your fingers more
14) Waterproof jacket – may not need this, but keep it in your daysack.
**Don’t forget about your head torch (if you are on a full moon departure you may not use it the entire time), walking poles, handwarmers, water, protein gels, snacks.
· iPod: Some people had a selection of their favorite music to listen to during the summit night to make the time pass quicker.
· Spare clothes: At the end of the trip some of us donated our clothes – shirts, jackets, hats, socks, chocolate, etc. to the porters. If you have any spare clothes at home that you do not use you should bring them along to donate to them…they greatly appreciate it J
Summit Day (about 1200m ascent): You will eat dinner at 5:30pm, sleep at 7pm and wake up at 11pm to have breakfast. I slept in most of my summit gear during the night. The trek will start at midnight and it will take between 5-7 hours to get to Gilman’s point if you take the Rongai route. You will have tea at Gilman’s point and enjoy the sunrise. It will take an additional 2 hours to get from Gilman’s point to Uhuru peak (there will be a stop half way through known as Stella point). You will be given 15-20 minutes at Uhuru peak (5895m) before descending (so you do not freeze) so make sure you take lots and lots and lots of pictures. It took us only 2 hours to descend to 4600m – gaiters and walking poles are useful. After descending you will be tired but be prepared that you will need to trek another 3-4 hours to the next camp after having a brief rest and lunch.
When you return to the hotel you will most likely have a Kilimanjaro beer, which will go right to your head….you will get drunk quickly so be aware. Also you will be awarded a certificate if you reached Gilman’s point or Uhuru peak back at the hotel.
Last tips: This trip will go by really quick, enjoy your time on the trek and take plenty of photos. There will probably be a point during summit night where you question why you are doing this…just push through it and you will not regret it. Also get to know the people on the trek early on and bond with the porters and guides. Enjoy J
Sorry me again, but thought this might be useful too. You can rent the following from Exodus, which is handy as means you don't need to take it in your luggage:
Sleeping bag £32Sleeping matt £25walking poles £10Duvet jacket (size M,L, XL) £40
I've rented a sleeping mat and a duvet jacket.
Hello all - I am quite known for last minute decisions to head on holiday off the beaton path but am not used to group trips so I am looking forward to meeting you all. I have always facied completing Kili so decided last weekend that this would be a great way to spend the start of my summer... Reading some of the posts above I see that you have all put in a fair bit of preperation before signing up... I have been working outside of the UK for the past year so have not really had much time to complete any specific training, I am sure it will all be alright on the day.
I look forward to meeting you all soon and getting to the top of Kili.
I have never done a group trip but plenty of leading school groups. Are travelling from heathrow. I am getting veryexcited although a bit nervous.
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