Hi folks, booked to do Kili via the Lemosho route in January 2012.
Looking for some info.
Drinking water - is it bottled water or is it local water that is boiled and filtered? If boiled and filtered what - if any - water purification tablets should be used?
In January, how cold does it get above 3500m - eg will water in a water bottle/camelback and camelback hose freeze?
Will a good quality waterproof jacket, which can cope with the weather in the Scottish Highlands, be warm enough or would you recommend a duvet jacket?
What's the chances of encountering snow covered ground in January?
How bad are the Mosquitos!?
Does the hotel in Arusha have broadband internet and is it wi-fi compatible?
All other tips/info welcome.
Will advise as much as possible! I did Kili in August 2 years ago so not sure about January.
!. Water is local and boiled. I took purification tabs, can't remember which. However didn't use them all the time and I didn't have any upset tums.
2. Water will definitely freeze on summit night despite starting off with it hot.
3. Definitely need a down jacket. I had 5 layers on including down jacket and waterproof over the top.
4. In August we only had snow on the ground at the summit.
5. Didn't have a problem with mosquitos but would recommend Deet as a precaution.
6. No idea about WiFi.
Take some Diamox with you just in case. It would be a shame not to summit because of altitude when it is preventable. Also hire the sleeping mats. I took my own and regretted it. the hired ones are very thick and the porters will carry it.
It will be amazing! Enjoy and take lots of photos.
Hi George (and thanks Wendy)
1. Water is boiledand provided every morning and evening (and some lunch times) to top up water bottles. There is no need for purification.
2. It will drop below freezing as you get up to Barafu (translates as ice in Swahili) and water bottles will freeze on summitday. Even camelbaks/platypus' with thermal covers on hoses often freeze.One way to try and prevent this is to blow the water out of the hose after drinking, and make sure that the container is upside down (hose at the bottom) as the container will freeze from the top.
3. Personally I prefer a down gilet and waterproof - this is what I also generally use in Scottish winter conditions. You do not move quickly on summit day and therefore do not produce as much body heat as you would in the UK. Layering is best - and make sure you have a good hat, gloves (base and outer) and socks!
4. at any time of the year, if it precipitates above 4500m it will generally fall as snow. It is common to have snow on the ground in Nov and April/May but not so common in January. If it does snow then it often melts in the day as you are usually above the cloud line and the sun is strong at 5000m on the equator. The mountain weather is getting harder to predict and you should be prepared for some snow above Barafu (or Kibo is ascending Rongai).
5. Mosquitos aren't a big problem on Kili - although you may experience at lower altitudes, in the Lemosho forest or on your descent via Mweke (likewise at Simba on Rongai and dsecending near Mandara Hut).
6.Internet is generally available in the hotels but not wi-fi. Speeds are slow and service ocassionally intermitent in Tanzania.
There are more tips online in the trip FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) at http://www.exodus.co.uk/holidays/tyr/faq, otherwise please do not hesitate to contact the office and speak to one of our numerous experts.
Jim. Wendy, Thanks for sharing these tips.
Much appreciated - George :)
Hi Jim and Wendy,
Can you help me too? I'm doing Rongai, also in Jan. It's regarding the issue of backpack. Other than camera, hat, suncream and glasses....is there anything else i need to worry about carrying during the day? do you think the below is too small? i can wear a hat, sunglasses and my cambera clips onto my belt. Any thoughts greatly appreciated. thanks!
In short - yes I think this is too small. Mountain environments can change quickly and although you may set off at the start of the day in shorts and a t-shirt, by lunchtimeyou could be in mist or rain. You should ensure that your backpack can carry an extra layer in case the wetaher changes, or can fit a layer in that you take off.
Secondly, although we set up camp on most days (or are in camp) for lunch on the first and last day you will need to carry a picnic lunch.
I'd recommend something in the region of 25l as a decent size day pack.
Head of Product
I used a 25L day pack with built in hydration thing. Definitely needed the volume for carrying waterproofs/fleece/snacks. You do get used to carrying it so it's not as awkward as you might imagine.
It is worth changing a little cash locally in to Tanzanian shillings. This can be done at the airport or the hotel. Although US$ are widely accepted generally anything is rounded up to the nearest $ and thus most items are slightly more expensive in US$.
Your guide on arrival will be able to recommend an amount, but something in the region of $50 should be sufficient. To save multiple fees/commissions it is possible to change GBP locally in to schillings.
Really difficult to recommend - personally I have only ever used a 4 season bag on Kili and have found this to be fine; supplementing with a liner and in extreme circumstances wrapping my waterproof coat around the outside of the base of my bag (adding extra insolation around my feet). The Rab 600 with a comfort rating down to minus 10 should be fine, IF you have a good sleeping mat to insulate from the cold ground and a decent liner. It is personal preference, in giuding on Kili I've heard plenty of people say they were cold at night, but no-one ever say they were too hot.
Barafu Camp (on Lemosho) and Kibo Hut (Rongai) are the coldest nights, but at both we'll be dragging you out of your bag at around midnight for the final ascent!
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