What you need to know if you’re on a Tanzania Safari tour with the failed travel agent.

The travel giant company,  Thomas Cook collapses after last-minute bailout plans to save the failing firm which has been running for 178-years. The tour company based in the U.K has ceased to trade with immediate effect, this is according to the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority. Thomas Cook has gone ahead to publish travel advice for tourists on holiday with the affected company at the following website thomascook.caa.co.uk.

Apart from Tanzania Safari holiday goers that have booked with Thomas Cook, many tourists around the world have also been affected by this situation either while on holiday or with long term plans of coming to Tanzania for Tanzania Safari tours with Thomas Cook. Fortunately, we can advise you what to do next and to claim a refund on your tour to Kilimanjaro if Thomas Cook goes into administration.

Atol protection for Kilimanjaro climbers

The Atol travel plan protects people who buy Tanzania tour package holidays that are all-inclusive plus a flight, through UK tour operators and agents like in the case of Thomas Cook. If you have booked a Tanzania safari or just a flight to Tanzania through the Thomas cook, Atol protection ensures you do not lose your money or be left stranded in Tanzania as Atol protection means they will be flown back home free of charge.

Clients who have already booked and actually paid for an upcoming Tanzania safari with Thomas Cook should a right to a refund as part of the Atol scheme.

Unfortunately, if you didn’t book your tour as part of a package you might not be Atol protected, but you may still be able to claim a refund of some sort through your travel insurance or credit card issuer – as per your booking terms and agreements.’ For more information about the Atol scheme and protection, read here.

What to do if you’re already in Tanzania for your safari

Now that, unfortunately, Thomas Cook has gone into administration, this is what you should do:

  1. Continue your Tanzania safari as normal.
  2. Arrive for your return flight as normal unless something changes and you receive an official update. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will try their best to get you on a return flight as close to your original departure time as possible.
  3. Your costs for returning home will be covered. Keep receipts of any additional costs you may be asked to pay as a result. Send a claim to The Civil Aviation Authority on your return home so that a refund can be arranged for all reasonable expenses.

Here’s more information on how to make an Atol claim if you’re currently abroad. 

Do I have to pay for my hotel/camp/lodge during and after a safari?

Since most Tanzania safari itineraries include your hotel accommodation in Tanzania (Arusha) before and after your climb it will not be necessary to pay but if you’re experiencing any difficulties with your Atol-protected hotel, or if your hotel is requesting payment from you, you can call the CAA call centre on the following line: +44 1753 330 330. NB: It may take the Civil Aviation Authority a few days to secure new payment arrangements for your accommodation. Do not proceed to pay your accommodation unless given the green-light by the CAA team. If your trip is not covered by the Atol scheme, you are not entitled to make a claim for your extra expenses and additional nights of hotel accommodation under the Atol protection, but you may be able to claim for a refund or payment from your travel insurer as per the booking terms and conditions, bank or your credit card issuer. Here’s more information on how to make an Atol claim if you’re currently abroad. 

What to do if you’re planning to travel soon for a safari in Tanzania

If you’re due to travel with Thomas Cook in the near future, here is what you should do:

From 23 September 2019, all flights and Tanzania safari tours will be cancelled.

All Thomas Cook arline flights will not operate anymore, so if you have booked on a Thomas Cook Airlines flight, please do not go to your UK airport. Please double-check with your accommodation/flight provider to check if your booking is on record. Keep all your booking information and make a record of all emails and replies. If will not continue with your safari in Tanzania, make a claim under the Atol plan to get a refund.

Here’s more information on how to make an Atol claim if you’re currently abroad. 

Why has Thomas Cook collapsed?

The troubled tour company, Thomas Cook tried to secure a £750m cash injection to see it safe for low season of winter 2019-20 when the number of bookings goes down. Thomas Cook’s chief executive, Peter Fankhauser, said the company’s collapse was a ‘matter of profound regret’. Commenting as the company entered compulsory liquidation, Mr Fankhauser also had words of apology to Thomas Cook’s ‘millions of customers and thousands of employed staff’. If the company does go bust it would be the biggest-ever repatriation, with an estimated 150,000 tourists of British origin currently abroad on a variety Thomas Cook holidays that include Tanzania safari holidays. The government has 45  jets ready to bring clients back home and with 64 routes being flown today. The size of the fleet will make it UK’s fifth-largest airline. The collapse has put over 20,000 jobs at risk, including 9,000 in the United Kingdom alone.

 229 total views

Hollywood actor Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith are in Tanzania for the second time after touring Tanzania about 2 years ago. The actor was spotted in the Serengeti National Park as he posed pictures with park rangers. Mr. Smith then went on to enjoy his African Safari experience at the Serengeti National Park.

will smith in Serengeti, TanzaniaSerengeti is the most popular national park amongst 16 National Parks that Tanzania has, not counting the new national parks created just recently including the Burigi-Chato National Park. Tanzania is the best safari country in Africa as voted by travellers and writers around the world according to a survey conducted by a popular safari portal called safaribookings.com. This beautiful country offers a splendid vacation for anyone seeking to create lifetime memories and those kodak moments.

Will Smith’s show “Welcome to Earth” features an episode Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park

“Welcome to Earth,” Will Smith’s crazy new nature series, follows the actor as he travels the outer reaches of the globe with his characteristic zeal.
In the most recent episode, for example, the Hollywood legend uses never-before-seen equipment to follow wildebeest herd movements in the Serengeti at night.

The series (now available on Disney+) follows the 53-year-old as he ventures into isolated parts of the natural world with his signature jokes, excitement, and adventurous spirit to uncover and explore hidden locations that the normal person can’t access.

Smith travels to the Serengeti in Tanzania’s neighboring country to observe lions and wildebeest herd movements in the dead of night in the episode “Mind of the Swarm.”
Executive producer Jane Root informed media that the show employed military-grade drones that had never been deployed in “civilian conditions” previously to acquire clear photos of them.

“I borrowed that from the army in order to photograph those things in complete darkness.” As a result, a great deal of innovation is required.

“Sometimes you’re taking technology from another location and applying it to this reality, and that’s what gets you the outcomes you want,” Root explained.

The Serengeti is Tanzania’s most popular national park, one of 16 in the country.

Read more about the Serengeti National Park


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Will Smith (@willsmith)

A few days ago, Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith posted a picture on Instagram showing the two at an airport probably headed for Tanzania.

It is evident Mr Smith the “Fresh Prince of Bel-air” star was accompanied by his wife Jada Pinkett Smith on a safari holiday to Tanzania as she shared a post on her Instagram page while on safari.Will Smith in Tanzania

The Smith family seems to have a special liking for Tanzania as two years ago, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith toured the country together.

During their previous trip, the Hollywood couple was seen at a luxury tropical island off the shores of Zanzibar islands in Tanzania bordering the Indian Ocean.

During their visit, Will also interacted with excited fans after his arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA).


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Will Smith (@willsmith)

More Celebrities visiting Tanzania for Safari Holidays

Will Smith is just one of the many few Hollywood celebrities that have visited Tanzania. below is a list of celebrities that have visited Tanzania.

  1. Yao Ming, Chinese, former NBA player
  2. Oprah
  3. Justin Timberlake
  4. Jessica Biel
  5. GeorgeClooney
  6. TomCruise
  7. Bill Gates
  8. Naomi Campbell
  9. Kristen bell
  10. Amal Clooney
  11. George Bush
  12. Barrack Obama
  13. Bill Clinton
  14. David Beckham
  15. Wayne Rooney
  16. Mamadou Sakho
  17. The Everton football team

 985 total views

It is necessary to have comprehensive tour insurance, on all trekking and tours. We require your travel insurance details upon booking your vacation, to include on the passenger list.
Most travel insurance policies do not include cover for adrenaline sports and adventure activities. These include white-water rafting, sky diving and bungee jumping. So double check your policy inclusions.

World Nomads Insurance offer tour insurance and, most importantly, cancellation insurance. We strongly recommend your travel insurance includes cancellation and curtailment insurance. The majority of tour departures are guaranteed (confirmed to depart) but in the unlikely event of a tour departure being cancelled, you would be protected.
In the case of credit card insurance, we recommend you check the fine print to ensure you have adequate cover as credit card companies offer a standard option. Sometimes, just for a simple problem, you may have to be airlifted to South Africa as many public hospitals in Africa are below western standards.

If you choose to use your credit card insurance, you will need to call your bank to obtain your policy details. This is how:
•    Phone your bank
•    Give them your Bank Card Number
•    They will ask you to verify your account
•    Then you need to ask for the insurance company name
•    Then you need to ask for the policy number
•    Remember to keep the telephone number you dialed

Get your online Travel insurance here!



 116 total views

Tanzania Travel information.Tanzania is a wonderfully diverse country which contains more than its fair share of the continent’s natural wonders and yet remains relatively lightly tourist. Travel to Tanzania is without doubt the best location for proper overland

although the big names Serengeti national park, Ngorongoro crater, Kilimanjaro national park, Arusha national park ,Lake manyara national park  and Zanzibar beach , do attract decent numbers of visitors, there is very little of the overt mass market tourism that is so prevalent in parts of Kenya and elsewhere.

 Tanzania Travel information
A second rank of locations … Selous game reserve , Ruaha national park , Mahale national park , Tarangire national park  although in many ways equally impressive, are much lesser visited and remain places where one can still feel a something of a pioneer.

The best time of year to Travel in Tanzania – if you’re after large quantities of animals that is, is between June and October.  This is the dry season across most of the country.  While this is particularly the case in Ruaha and Selous in Southern Tanzania, Katavi national park Uduzungwa mountain national park,mikumi national park   in Western Tanzania and the Mahale Mountains on Lake Tanganyika, it’s by no means the case for all parks.  Between December and May for example throws up some of the best game viewing available in all Africa in the Serengeti and surrounding areas.

The Ngorongoro Highlands can still be full of flowers in June and July, but be prepared for cold with low cloud hanging often around till midday. Tarangire in Northern Tanzania, which acts as a dry season refuge for wildlife from the entire Maasai Steppe is at its best for game between late July to late October. However it’s always good for elephant and in the green season between December and May it has tremendous birdlife.

If the wildebeest migration is a major objective, then there isn’t really a “best” time to visit. River crossings happen between July and October on either the Grumeti or the Mara River, and the calving, one of the most spectacular times to visit, happens in February.  Game action remains excellent through the unfashionable months of March, April and May when the wildebeest start moving off the plains during the rut.  Low visitor numbers make this a great time to visit.

Getting in Tanzania

Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

The most convenient way to get to Tanzania is to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (Airport Code: JRO).  This airport is about 45 minutes from Arusha or Moshi.  We can provide airport transfers to and from JRO for any flights that arrive at Kilimanjaro air port

Arusha Airport (ARK)

Arusha has a small airport within the city.  Flights into and out of this airport are very limited, but if you are coming from a nearby country or Zanzibar this may be an option for you.

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi, Kenya

Some clients choose to arrive in Nairobi, Kenya.  From Nairobi, you can take a daily shuttle bus to Arusha for under $50USD.  The ride is about 4-5 hours.your welcome at  more Tanzania Travel information see below 

Tanzania is located in East Africa between longitude, 29 degrees and 41 degrees east and latitude 1 degree and 12 degrees south. Tanzania borders Kenya to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south, and is the largest country in East Africa (943,000 sq km), comprising both the mainland and the Zanzibar Archipelago.

tanzania travel information

A large central plateau makes up most of the mainland (at between 900m and 1800m) and the mountain ranges of the Eastern Arc and the Southern and Northern Highlands cut across the country to form part of the Great Rift Valley. 
A land of geographical extremes, Tanzania has the highest peak – Mount Kilimanjaro, the lowest point – the lakebed of Lake Tanganyika, and the largest lake – Lake Victoria, on the continent.

Official languages
Kiswahili and English

A valid passport and visa are required for all visiting Tanzania. Nowadays, it has been make possible to obtain a visa at any entry point of country. It costs US$50. However, we still advise that these arrangements be done well before your arrival.

tanzania moneyMoney
the Tanzania currency unit is called the Tanzanian Shilling. It is available in both coins and notes/bills. There are Bureau De Change in various parts of Arusha and Dar es Salaam where you can get a better rate. Although the American dollar is largely acceptable, it is advisable to pay for drinks and other services in local currency. The black market has generally disappeared after the introduction of a liberalized economy in the region. The use of Credit Cards is still very minimal and subject to additional charge. Also, don’.t expect to find many cash machines!

Weather and Climate
Because Tanzania lies below the equator, the coolest months occur during the northern hemisphere’.s summer, and all-year round the weather remains pleasant and comfortable. Between June to October, temperatures range from around 10. °.C in the northern highlands to about 23Â.°.C on the coast. On the plains and the lower-altitude game reserves, the temperatures from June to October are warm and mild. On the coast, these months are some of the most pleasant to visit, with balmy, sunny weather much of the day and cooling ocean breezes at night.
From December to March, the days are hot and sunny with often not a cloud in the sky. Temperatures range from the mid-twenties to the low thirties throughout the country while visitors flock to the parks and beaches to escape the dreariness of late winter in colder climes. Clear sunny days are the norm in the northern highlands and the heat of mid-day is tempered by the golden light in late afternoon and the especially striking sunsets. In the game parks and central plains, the beautiful weather provides perfect opportunities for unhampered game viewing, and clear night skies offer perfect opportunities for star-gazing and romantic evenings in the bush. On the shores of the Swahili Coast, the Indian Ocean reaches its highest temperatures and is ideal for swimming at any time of day or night.

Tanzania’s equatorial climate brings two seasons of rain each year: the masika, or long rains that fall from mid-March to the end of May, and the mvuli, or short rains, that come intermittently throughout November and parts of December, and sometimes stretch into early January. During the long rains, heavy showers fall in the early mornings but usually clear up by mid-day, with the weather often remaining clear and sunny until late afternoon. By evening, impressive cloud formations build, breaking sometime after dark and the rain often continues throughout the night. During the short rains, light showers in the mornings and late afternoons are punctuated by stretches of clear weather and beautiful rays of sunlight. The beginning of both rainy seasons is marked by a change in the winds which historically, marked the time for trading boats to set off on expeditions across the Indian Ocean or return to their native lands

It is recommended that one takes anti-malaria tabs before coming to Tanzania. It is advised that one consults a physician for a prescription on this treatment well in advance of your departure. There are hospitals in the big cities of Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Moshi, and Mwanza. With a small membership fee, the Flying Doctors services are rendered just in case of an emergency while anywhere within the National Parks. These doctors will do an evacuation by flying someone directly to Nairobi for further medical treatment.

Tanzania is home to some of the most incredible tribal diversity in Africa. The country includes all of the major ethnic and linguistic groups on the continent – an amazingly varied population to inhabit a single country.
Home to approximately 120 tribal groups, most of these comprise small communities that are gradually being assimilated into the larger population due to changes in land use and the economic draw of city life. Tribal diversity is prized and far from being a source of division, Tanzanians place a high value on their country’.s multicultural heritage. Over the past few years, cultural tourism has become an increasing attraction for visitors from around the world and visits to tribal villages are often a highlight of safari itineraries.

Masai Tanzania

The Masaai are perhaps the most well known of Tanzania’.s tribes and inhabit the northern regions of the country. Pastoralists who fiercely guard their culture and traditions, Masaai tribal life revolves around protecting and caring for their herds of cattle and finding ample grazing land in their region. The tribes live in circular enclosures called manyatas, where small mud huts surround a secure open circle where their cattle and other herd animals sleep protected during the night. Woven thorn bushes form a thick fence around the enclosure to protect the herds from attacks by lions and other predators. Because good grazing land fluctuates according to the seasons and yearly rains, Masaai settlements are temporary and easily relocated to where grazing and water access is best. Tribal tradition separates men and women into different age groups: the youngest herd sheep and goats while the young male warriors, or moran’.s, job is to protect and care for their family’.s cattle. Male elders hold a position of respect in Masaai society and once a warrior becomes an elder, he may marry to begin a family of his own.


The Spice Islands of the Zanzibar Archipelago, Pemba, Mafia, and the entire Tanzanian coast is home to the Swahili people, a vibrant mix of Arab, Indian and Bantu origins who historically based their livelihoods around Indian Ocean trade. The Swahili Coast, as the region is called, is a predominantly Islamic region with old mosques and coral palaces found throughout the area. Swahili culture centres around the dhow, a wooden sailing boat powered by the seasonal wind. Historically, the boats connected the Swahili Coast with Arabia and India and allowed trade between the regions to flourish. Fishing remains a mainstay of coastal income in small villages throughout the area, and coconut and spice plantations continue to form an important source of export. These days, life on the Swahili coast is tranquil and even-paced. Women cloaked in long robes called bui bui walk through meandering streets to the local market, stopping to chat outside tall houses hewn from coral and limestone rock. In the villages, the call to prayer rings out clearly over the palm trees and once they have finished their religious duties, the men gather in the square to drink spiced coffee from brass braziers. From the warrior moran of the fierce Masaai to the tranquil rhythms of Swahili t”

 112 total views

How to treat altitude sickness on Kilimanjaro

Descent is the most effective cure for AMS. The chances are that on your trek you will see at least one poor sod being wheeled down Kili, surrounded by porters and strapped to the strange unicycle-cum-stretcher device that KINAPA uses for evacuating the sick and suffering from the mountain.

But in some severe cases descent is not enough. Diamox is also usually given, though again, if the victim has been suffering for a while or Diamox is not available, some other treatment may be used such as:

How to treat altitude sickness on Kilimanjaro

Gamow hyperbaric bag

Taking a break at Stella Point

Some of the upmarket trek operators may carry a gamow bag with them. This is a man-sized plastic bag into which the victim is enclosed. The bag is then zipped up and inflated. As it is inflated, the pressure felt by the sufferer inside the bag is increased, thus mimicking the atmospheric conditions present at a lower altitude.

The disadvantage with this method is that of inconvenience. The cumbersome bag has to be dragged up the mountain and, worst of all, in order to work effectively once the patient is inside, the bag must be kept at a constant pressure. This means that somebody must pump up the bag every two or three minutes. This is tricky when at least two other people are trying to manoeuvre the body and bag down the slopes.


Giving the victim extra oxygen from a bottle or canister does not immediately reverse all the symptoms, though in conjunction with rapid descent it can be most effective.

 108 total views

How to avoid altitude sickness on Kilimanjaro

Acclimatizing for Kilimanjaro

Altitude sickness is avoidable. The only surefire way to to do is to take your time climbing Kilimanjaro. Opting to save money by climbing the mountain as quickly as possible is a false economy: the chances are you will have to turn back because of altitude sickness and all your efforts (and money) will be wasted. According to the Expedition Advisory Committee at the Royal Geographical Society, the recommended acclimatization period for any altitude greater than 2500m is to sleep no more than 300m higher than your previous night’s camp, and to spend an extra night at every third camp.

But if you were to follow this on the Kilimanjaro’s Marangu Route, for example, from Mandara Huts you would have to take a further eight nights in order to safely adjust to the Kibo Huts’ altitude of 4700m – whereas most trekkers take just two days to walk between the two.

Tactics for avoiding altitude sickness on Kilimanjaro

Take a pre-acclimatization climb before tackling Kilimanjaro

How to avoid altitude sickness

Celebrating at the top of Kilimanjaro

The EAC realize that the short distances and high per diem cost of climbing Kilimanjaro make this lengthy itinerary impractical, so instead they recommend a pre-trek acclimatization walk on Mount Meru or Mount Kenya (4895m to Point Lenana).>

This is an excellent idea if you have the time and are feeling fit, and providing you do one of these walks immediately before you climb Kili, these treks can be beneficial – and the views towards Kilimanjaro from Meru are delightful too.

Take rest days on Kilimanjaro

But what if you don’t have the time or money to do these other climbs? The answer is to plan your walk on Kilimanjaro as carefully as possible. If you have enough money for a ‘rest day’ or two, take them.

These ‘rest days’ are not actually days of rest at all – on the Marangu trail, for example, guides usually lead their trekkers up from Horombo Huts to the Mawenzi Hut at 4600m before returning that same afternoon. But they do provide trekkers with the chance to experience a higher altitude before returning to below 3000-4000m again, thereby obeying the mountaineers’ old maxim about the need to ‘climb high, sleep low’ to avoid mountain sickness.

Choose a ’slow’ route up Kilimanjaro

The route you take is also important. Some of the routes – the Machame, Lemosho and Shira trails via the Barafu Huts, for example – obey the mountaineers’ maxim on the third or fourth days, when the trail climbs above 4500m before plunging down to an altitude of 3985m at Barranco Camp where you spend the night.

Some of the shorter trails, however, do not: for example, it is possible for a trekker walking at an average pace on the Marangu or Rongai trails to reach the Kibo Huts in three days and attempt an assault on the summit for that third night. This sort of schedule is entirely too rapid, allowing insufficient time for trekkers to adapt to the new conditions prevalent at the higher altitude.

This is why the majority of people fail on these trails and it is also the reason why, particularly on these shorter trails, that it is imperative that you take a ‘rest day’ on the way up: to give your body more time to acclimatize.

Walk as slowly as possible on Kilimanjaro — go ‘pole pole’ if you don’t want to feel ‘poorly poorly’

How to avoid altitude sickness

Taking a rest on the Lemosho Route

How you approach the walk is important too. Statistically, men are more likely to suffer from AMS than women, with young men the most vulnerable. The reason is obvious. The competitive streak in most young men causes them to walk faster than the group; that, and the mistaken belief that greater fitness and strength (which most men, mistakenly or otherwise, believe they have) will protect them against AMS. But AMS is no respecter of fitness or health.

Indeed, many experienced mountaineers believe the reverse is true: the less fit you are, the slower you will want to walk, and thus the greater chance you have of acclimatizing properly.

The best advice, then, is to go as slowly as possible. Let your guide be the pacemaker: do not be tempted to hare off ahead of him, but stick with him. That way you can keep a sensible pace – and, what’s more, can ask him any questions about the mountain that occur to you on the way.The most frequently heard phrase on Kilimanjaro is ‘Pole pole’. It means ’slowly slowly’, and it should be your mantra for your trek.

Other tips for avoiding altitude sickness on Kilimanjaro

There are other things you can do that may or may not reduce the chance of getting AMS. One is to eat well: fatigue is said to be a major contributor to AMS, so try to keep energy levels up by eating as much as you can.

Dehydration can exacerbate AMS too, so it is vital that you drink every few minutes when walking; for this reason, one of the new platypus-style water bags which allow you to drink hands-free without breaking stride are invaluable. Wearing warm clothes is very important too, allowing you to conserve energy that would otherwise be spent on maintaining a reasonable body temperature.

Although there hasn’t been a serious study on this subject, many people swear that carrying your own rucksack increases your chance of succumbing to AMS. Certainly, in my experience, this is true, so, finally, hire a porter to carry your baggage (the agencies will assume you want this anyway unless you specify otherwise)

 109 total views

The symptoms of altitude sickness

Mild altitude sickness (mild AMS)

The symptoms of mild AMS are not dissimilar to the symptoms of a particularly vicious hangover, namely a thumping headache, nausea and a general feeling of lousiness. An AMS headache is generally agreed to be one of the most dreadful headaches you can get, a blinding pain that thuds continuously at ever decreasing intervals; only those who have bungee-jumped from a 99ft building with a 100ft elasticated rope will know the intense, repetitive pain AMS can cause.

Thankfully, the usual headache remedies should prove effective against a mild AMS headache. As with a hangover, mild AMS sufferers often have trouble sleeping and, when they do, that sleep can be light and intermittent. They can also suffer from a lack of appetite. Given the energy you’ve expended getting to altitude in the first place, both of these symptoms can seem surprising if you’re not aware of AMS.

Moderate altitude sickness (moderate AMS)

The symptoms of altitude sickness

Walking slowly on the mountain can delay/prevent the onset of AMS.

Moderate AMS is more serious and requires careful monitoring of the sufferer to ensure that it does not progress to severe AMS. With moderate AMS, the sufferer’s nausea will lead to vomiting, the headache will not go away even after pain-relief remedies, and in addition the sufferer will appear to be permanently out of breath, even when doing nothing.

With moderate AMS, it is possible to continue to the summit, but only after a prolonged period of relaxation that will enable the sufferer to make a complete recovery. Unfortunately, treks run to tight schedules and cannot change their itineraries mid-trek. Whether you, as a victim of moderate AMS, will be given time to recover will depend largely upon how fortunate you are, and whether the onset of your illness happens to coincide with a scheduled rest day or not.

Severe altitude sickness (severe AMS)

With severe AMS, on the other hand, there should be no debate about whether or not to continue: if anybody is showing symptoms of severe altitude sickness it is imperative that they descend immediately. These symptoms include a lack of coordination and balance, a symptom known as ataxia.

A quick and easy way to check for ataxia is to draw a 10m line in the sand and ask the person to walk along it. If they clearly struggle to complete this simple test, suspect ataxia and descend. (Note, however, that ataxia can also be caused by hypothermia or extreme fatigue. As such, ensure that the sufferer is suitably dressed in warm clothing and has eaten well before ascertaining whether or not he or she is suffering from ataxia, and what to do about it).

Other symptoms of severe AMS

Other symptoms of severe altitude sickness include mental confusion, slurred or incoherent speech, and an inability to stay awake. There may also be a gurgling, liquid sound in the lungs combined with a persistent watery cough which may produce a clear liquid, a pinky phlegm or possibly even blood. There may also be a marked blueness around the face and lips, and a heartbeat that, even at rest, may be over 130 beats per minute. These are the symptoms of either HACO and HAPO, as outlined in the next section.


 98 total views

Tipping Kilimanjaro crew

Should you tip your crew on Kilimanjaro?

Like a herd of elephants on the African plains, the subject of tipping on Kilimanjaro is a bit of a grey area. What is certain is that, in addition to the cost of booking your trek, you will also need to shell out tips to your crew at the end of it all.

Tipping your Kilimanjaro crew

The gratuity system on Kilimanjaro follows the American-style: that is to say, a tip is not so much a bonus to reward particularly attentive service or honest toil, as a mandatory payment to subsidize the poor wages the porter and guides receive. In other words, tipping is obligatory.

To anybody born outside the Americas this compulsory payment of gratuities seems to go against the very spirit of tipping. Nevertheless, it is very hard to begrudge the guides and porters a decent return for their labours – and depriving your entourage of their much-needed gratuities is not the way to voice your protest against this system.

Clearly satisfied with the size of their tips, these porters started to dance uncontrollably.

How much money should you give out as tips on Kilimanjaro?

As to the size of the tip you should give on Kilimanjaro, there are no set figures or formulas, though we do urge you to let your conscience instruct you on this matter as much as your wallet. One method that’s currently very popular is for everybody to contribute 10% of the total cost of their trek towards tips. So if you paid US$2000 for your trek, you should pay US$200 into the tip kitty. (If there are only one or two of you, it would be better to pay slightly more than 10%.)

Another approach we’ve heard about is where each member of the trekking staff receives a set amount, from US$20 to each of the porters to US$40-50 to the assistant guides, and US$60-70 to the guides; or a per diem amount such as US$5 per porter per day, US$7 for the assistant guide, US$10 for the guide. These are mere guidelines, and you may wish to alter them if you feel, for example, a certain porter is deserving of more than his normal share, or if your trek was particularly difficult.

Having collected all the money, the usual form is to hand out the individual shares to each porter and guide in turn. Whatever you do, do not hand all your tips to the guide unless the trekking company has in place procedures to ensure that he distributeds it fairly and doesn’t trouser most of it. For more details of this, see the KPAP website link.

 119 total views

What to carry in daypack

What to carry in daypack What to carry in daypack

Normally you will not see your backpack from the moment you hand it to the porter in the morning to at least lunchtime, and maybe not until the end of the day. It’s therefore necessary to pack everything that you may need during the day in your bag that you carry with you. Some suggestions, in no particular order:What to carry in daypack

Walking through the Groundsel grove with an over-full dapack yours should not be nearly as packed!

  • sweets
  • water and water purifiers
  • camera and spare film/batteries
  • the guidebook/maps
  • sunhat/sunglasses and suncream
  • compass
  • toilet paper and trowel
  • rainwear
  • walking sticks and knee supports
  • medical kit, including chapstick
  • watch
  • whistle
  • lunch (supplied by your crew)

 110 total views

Food on mount Kilimanjaro

What do you eat on the mountain?

Remember to tell your agency if you have any special dietary requirements – because both meat and nuts form a substantial part of the food on Kilimanjaro. One of the marvels of a trek on Kilimanjaro is the skill with which the cooks are able to conjure up tasty and nutritious food despite little in the way of equipment and ingredients. They are also able obey almost any dietary restrictions, so that vegans, vegetarians, gluten and lactose intolerant and those with restrictions due to their religious beliefs are all accommodated. Just make sure you tell your company in advance of any dietary restrictions you may have.

Food on Kilimanjaro Food on Kilimanjaro

A typical Kilimanjaro breakfast will involve eggs (boiled or fried), porridge, a saveloy (possibly with some tomatoes too), a piece of fruit such as a banana or orange, some bread with jam, honey or peanut butter and a mug or two of tea, hot chocolate or coffee.

Lunch on Kilimanjaro is usually prepared at breakfast and carried by the trekker in his or her daypack. This packed lunch often consists of a boiled egg, some sandwiches, a banana or orange, and some tea kept warm in a flask and carried by your guide. KINAPA are trying to stop trekking operators from making cooked lunches along the trail for environmental reasons.

At the end of the day’s walking, afternoon tea is served with biscuits, peanuts and, best of all, salted popcorn. The final and biggest meal of the day, dinner usually begins with soup, followed by a main course including chicken or meat, a vegetable sauce, some cabbage, and rice or pasta; if your porters have brought up some potatoes, these will usually be eaten on the first night as they are so heavy.

 120 total views