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Tips Tanzania

Written by DanielaZavala. Posted in Africa, Tips

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Published on February 21, 2011 with No Comments

Mt. Kilimanjaro

Mt. Kilimanjaro

TRAVEL AGENCY:

Climbing Kilimanjaro: Climbing Kilimanjaro has over 15 years of experience in Kilimanjaro trips and provides all the information you need to prepare you for a successful and safe climb. Although based in South Africa, Climbing Kilimanjaro works with local tour operators in Tanzania that provide excellent service. Its staff was very helpful and answered my emails promptly. It offers tailored-made itineraries to suit your interests and needs. I chose a route and after sending the payment, I decided to change it. It was a last minute change and Yvette Seri (the person who helped me with my trip) was very kind and patience with my questions and she was very quick to make the change I requested to my itinerary. Address: 671, 31ST Avenue, villeria, Pretoria, South Africa. Tel.(+27 12) 333 7110. Email: Datinfo@mweb.co.za. Website: www.climbingkilimanjaro.com

Hidden Valley Safaris: This was the local tour operator Climbing Kilimanjaro used for my hiking trip. I strongly recommend this operator. Its owner Manasseh was available 24/7. Whatever question or issue I had, he came personally to the hotel to answer my question or resolve my problem. Not only that, the hotel, the food, but mostly my guide and my team of porters in Kilimanjaro were excellent. I would have not made it to the summit without my Tanzanian team lead by Aaron Mwaigwisya (Email: mwakikipesile_2000@yahoo.com. Tel. +255-745886227). Aaron is a knowledgeable and fearless guide who loves deeply Kilimanjaro to which he refers as “his girlfriend”. His passion for the mountain was inspiring. I strongly recommend him as a guide. Address: AICC complex-Ngorongoro Wing. 4th Floor. Room 423. P.O.Box 11355, Arusha. Tel: +255 732 97 81 98/784 71 26 30. Email: hiddenvalley@habari.co.tz
www.hiddenvalleysafaris.com

ACCOMODATION:

Sal Salinero, Moshi: This hotel was arranged by the tour operator. I had requested a budget accommodation and I was gladly surprised with a beautiful hotel with most facilities and gardens. Rooms are spacious and clean with phone and satellite TV. Bed was comfortable and there was plenty of hot water in the shower. This hotel was the perfect oasis to recover after a long flight and then after a tough climb. Although it was a large restaurant, don’t expect much of the breakfast buffet included in the package. It is better to ask from the menu as it has more options. The only thing I felt it was missing in the hotel was internet. Also, at the time of my visit, they didn’t have a safety box to leave documents and valuables while trekking in the mountain. Address: Lema Road, Moshi. Phone : +255 27 2752240. Website : http://salsalinerohotel.com Email : salinerohotel@yahoo.org.tz

Aaron, my guide

Aaron, my guide

Impala Hotel, Moshi: Very near Sal Salinero, and very similar: large and equipped rooms, and large pool. Friendly staff. I ran into this hotel while looking for internet access. http://www.impalahotel.com Email. impala@cybernet.co.tz.Tel: +255-27-254 3082

Kia Lodge, between Arusha and Moshi: Next to Kilimanjaro Airport. The rooms are spacious, new, gorgeous, and clean. The hotel is just a few minutes drive from the airport and built in the middle of the savannah. The room and the hotel itself are so beautiful that it was like a destination for honeymooners. It has a bar, a pool, large restaurant, and offers massages, tours, etc. I requested a hotel near the airport to crash for the night, so I was in shocked when I found out that the closest hotel was actually this luxurious. It is convenient if you have an early flight, but you can make this hotel your base if you are going on a climbing tour or a safari. Strongly recommended. Website: www.moivaro.com. Email: reservations@kialodge.com. Tel +255 (0) 27 2554194

Kilimanjaro Backpackers: If your budget is really limited, you can check this hostel. Located in the city’s center, this is probably one of the cheapest options (Room prices start at US$7) with single, doubles and shared rooms. Address: Double Rd near Chagga Street. Tel. +255 27 2755159. www.kilimanjarobackpackers.com

VISA: Most nationalities need a visa to get into Tanzania, which can be obtained at an embassy or consulate. Some nationalities can get a visa upon arrival at the airport or at a border crossing. Check prior travel to Tanzania to see which applies to you.

HOW TO GET THERE:
Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) is approx 40 minutes from Moshi. Although small, it serves for domestic and international flights. You could also fly to Nairobi, Kenya, and take a bus to Moshi, which is about six hours ride.

WHAT TO SEE:
I didn’t have time to explore the center of Moshi, but it didn’t seem that there was much of interest anyway. Besides a base for Kilimanjaro climbs, Moshi and Arusha towns are good base to go on safaris. Some of the near parks are: Arusha National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Lake Manyara Park. You can also arrange cultural trips to visit the Maasai villages, but they are not very authentic.

MONEY: The local currency is Tanzanian Shilling, however, I never had the need to change money as US$ is widely accepted. Most big hotels and tour operators accept credit cards and there are ATMs in the town, but I would recommend bringing enough cash.

Kilimanjaro scenery

Kilimanjaro scenery

WHAT ROUTE TO TAKE:

There are six routes to climb Kilimanjaro: Marangu, Machame and Umbwe are routes that start from the south of the mountain, the Lemosho and Shira routes that start from the west, and the Rongai route that starts from north. The routes vary in difficulty, scenery and accommodation options. The Marangu route (known as “Coca Cola”) is considered the easiest and offers accommodation in huts, but it is crowded and not as scenic as other routes. The Machame route (known as “Whiskey”) is the most popular, but more difficult than Marangu and one of the most scenic, but also very crowded. The Lemosho Route (the one I took) is the newest route and offers breathtaking sceneries. It is not crowded (only at one point that meets with the other routes) and it is absolutely gorgeous as it crosses the Shira Ridge. I strongly recommended it. The Shira Route is similar to Lemosho but starts from the Shira Gate, near the Shira Ridge, where you are taken by a car. Take this route only if you are used to high altitude since the climb starts at 11,800 ft (3,600mt). The Rongai Route is the only one that starts from the north of the mountain. It has low traffic. The Umbwe Route is short, steep and the most challenging but less scenic. Due to the quick ascent, it is less used and chances of summit success are low. Some of these routes have access to an alternative route up to summit known as the Western Breach and Crater Camp. This path is the steepest, challenging (requires some scrambling), dangerous (it was closed for a while after some climbers died there in 2006), and brutally cold, but it is said to be the absolutely most spectacular route of all. If I had one more day to acclimatize, I probably would have not hesitated to take it…

HEALTH:

Malaria: It is recommended to take some malaria pills if exposed to areas at altitudes less than 1800 meters.

Yellow fever: It is recommended and required for all travelers. Before you got to immigration, you will be required to show your Yellow Fever Certificate upon arrival at the airport.

Other vaccines that are recommended are typhoid, and hepatitis A and B.

High Altitude: If you are climbing Kilimanjaro, be ready to experience some sort of mild symptoms. Climbing Kilimanjaro sent me a huge preparation kit to read so I can be informed and be ready for the climb. I took Diamox with me and it was helpful, but I still experience high altitude sickness. Water is supposed to be the best medicine to prevent high altitude. I drank tons of water (the minimum was 3 liters per day, I drank over 5) and still got the symptoms. Each body is different, but it is better to be ready. Do not leave home without a good travel insurance that includes evacuation. Be aware that high altitude sickness can be fatal, so do not take this lightly. Always inform your guide all what you are feeling as he will be able to decide if you are OK to continue or need to descend immediately.

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