The Kilimanjaro Adventurer

To The Kilimanjaro Adventurer

From Wayne Wetherall – Wild Spirit Adventures

When you choose a climb or adventure operator there are certain points that should be checked before you place your life in their hands. Everyone has their own set of criteria – we list below some important issues regarding your Mt Kilimanjaro Climb that may be of interest.

  • Our partner has the experience – operating since 1990 – and over 8000 successful summits of Mt Kilimanjaro. Our partner has a 95%+ success rate, and all our guests come home safe.
  • Our partner has been operating in East Africa longer than any other SA Tour Operator, even before the region opened to South Africans!
  • The majority of our partners’ office team have climbed, and can give first hand advice.
  • Our partner is members of SATOA / SATSA and in Tanzania of TATO e.g. we are legal both in Tanzania and in SA – you have peace of mind when paying your money over that you are dealing with an approved long term member of the industry, who undertakes annual industry led financial analysis to prove their continued viability.
  • Our guides and crew are looked after to international standards, following guidelines laid down by the International Mountain Explorers Connection – in fact our partner isthe only South African linked operator currently working to these guidelines.
  • Guide to climber ratio is one to 2 or 3 guests.
  • Guides are qualified and trained in Mountain Rescue and CPR etc
  • Some guides have well over 400 summits to their name.
  • We carry portable oxygen on all climbs
  • We have available on the mountain portable hyperbaric chambers for groups. Please enquire for details.
  • Guides check guests’ medical condition daily, and monitor this.
  • Our guides are local – e.g. from Moshi, the regional centre, as are our porters. We do not bring in other tribes / people from Arusha etc to work on our climbs, ensuring the area gets the benefit of the income. There is a lot more information contained in other documents you will be sent on booking with this one. These documents will answer many of the questions that you SHOULD be asking before climbing Kilimanjaro (or booking of any travel package!!)

There are a few more points that may help you in this decision:

Price issues – these always come up when groups “research“trips and then compare options. Some will want to go for the cheapest option, some want the better quality and peace of mind of booking through an experienced, reliable licensed operator. At the end of the day, you all buy safe vehicles, put safe tyres on them, and plan to live a long life – don’t compromise on something as important as summiting Kilimanjaro. Temperatures drop to minus 200C, and if you don’t have the correct gear, crew, food and so forth, you may be putting your life, and others, at risk. You want to get to the top, safely – and have a good time doing it.Just looking at our success rate of 95%+, and the AVERAGE success rate of about 50 – 60%, you have about a 30% better chance with us than a budget operator. You don’t want to waste your money. This is where our experienced staff, kit lists, detailed presentations at our offices etc help a LOT.

A lot of the reasons for our success rate boils down to money – we pay enough to get good guides, crew, and to buy you good food, and use decent equipment (which is maintained/upgraded regularly). When you consider that about $600 per person on a 6-day climb goes on park fees alone, and you work out what a budget operator has got left to run a business on, you can see that on budget trips corners will probably be cut. All to the detriment of YOU, the guest.

This could be done in many ways:

  • Dodging Park fees – e.g. paying for a 5-day climb, and doing a 6-day.
  • Not paying their crew properly, porters especially – leaving them to survive on tips only.
  • Overloading porters – and yes, they have even found a way around the National Parks scales at the gate, and manage to load up porters with over 40 kg!!
  • Poor food – not enough budget to buy the right food for altitude – and you can imagine what a “dose of the runs“ does to your chances of getting to the top…
  • Old equipment / not repaired etc.

It has been estimated that in GOOD weather, your summit chances with a budget operator are probably only slightly less than if you climb with a decent operator. In BAD weather, the chances of summiting – indeed surviving without injury – are 40% better with a higher standard of climb. Basically a good, qualified, well paid crew, with decent leadership and good gear, is what you need – and get – from our standard of climb. It is not a luxury trip, but we ensure that both standards and service are maintained to a high level. Our trips are not cheap – and they never will be. We pay our crew well, use good gear, pay local taxes, operate ethically etc. You will however, get good value for money and a good chance at the summit.

Consider the above points well – they are ALL questions you should be asking. I am confident that, knowing the above, we will soon see you on a Wild Spirit Kilimanjaro Climb. If you want cheap, we suggest you contact many of the other “operators“ out there.

Hope to see you up there soon.

Wayne Wetherall

Wild Spirit Adventures



The following are included in the price of your Mount Kilimanjaro trekking adventure trip:

  • Airport/Hotel accommodation transfers
  • Accommodation 2 nights twin share, Keys Hotel in Moshi (pre and post trek only)
  • Breakfast on 2 mornings at Keys Hotel
  • Transport to and from National Park Gate
  • National park fees and Campsite fees
  • All meals during the trek/li>
  • Experienced Guides and Porters
  • Tent and Mattress
  • Certificate on completion
  • Wild Spirit shirt


The following are not included in the price of your Mount Kilimanjaro trekking adventure trip:

  • International flights and Domestic flights (within Australia)
  • Anti-malaria medication and / or inoculations as recommended by your Doctor
  • Personal first aid and personal care items
  • Medical Assessment (Wild Spirit will provide each person with a Doctors letter to take to your local Doctor)
  • Visa for entry into Tanzania
  • Passport
  • Personal Travel Insurance (Insurance needs to include provision for a medical evacuation from Mount Kilimanjaro)
  • Personal expenses (e.g. telephone calls, drinks, meals, room service etc)
  • Tips (budget approx $140-160 per person for any of the six day camping route)
  • Extra nights’ accommodation in Moshi
  • “Trekking Gear List” items
  • All expenses relating to a Medical Evacuation (refer to Booking Terms & Conditions)

“Adventure Grade” Camping Safaris

“Adventure Grade” Camping Safaris are run with a crew of a cook / assistant plus guide. It is a viable option for those keen to camp and stay in more remote places.

You are accompanied by an experienced, knowledgeable guide, a camp assistant and a cook – all fully trained professionals who will prioritise your comfort and safety as well as striving to ensure optimal game-viewing opportunities throughout your journey.

Meals usually consist of a cooked breakfast or brunch, light lunch and a three course dinner. Fridges are used for safe and efficient storage of meat and food, and cool boxes are used for keeping your drinks cold – your guide will show you the best places to purchase these prior to departure and along the way.

You are requested to erect your own tent on arrival at camp and dismantle your tent on departure. This is very simple to do and takes about five minutes – your guide will show you how this is done. The balance of the chores (cooking, washing up, etc) will be taken care of by the camp assistant and cook.

It is important to note that this is a quality camping product, and not a luxury mobile camp. Accommodation is in the public campsites of Tanzania’s National Parks and, despite our best efforts, we have very little control over the quality and standards of ablution facilities at the campsite.

Please be aware that the toilets in public campsites are long-drop style without flush.

Game viewing at Lake Manyara National Park with picnic lunch included.

Lake Manyara is a shallow, alkaline lake at the base of a sheer stretch of the western Rift Valley escarpment.

The north-western area of this lake is protected in a 330 square kilometre national park, which contains a remarkable diversity of terrestrial habitats: the grassy floodplain of the lakeshore, the rocky base of the escarpment, a belt of thick acacia woodland and a lush patch of groundwater forest just inside the northern entrance gate. An interesting biodiversity of fauna and flora can be observed here and a variety of large mammal species including elephant, buffalo, wildebeest, giraffe and lion.

Perhaps, however, the most immediately visible residents are the troupes of olive baboon, sometimes found in the company of the smaller and rather beautiful blue monkey. This is also a wonderful location for viewing groups of elephant and, for keen birders, Manyara has recorded almost 400 species due to the wide habitat diversity.

After game viewing, you will weave your way upwards into the dense forest slopes of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, pausing to admire the splendid view of the crater floor 600 m below at Heroes Point, before driving on to our campsite on the rim of the Ngorongoro caldera.

If we arrive and set up camp in good time, you may consider an early evening/sunset visit to a Maasai boma where you can spend some time learning about the culture, traditions and beliefs of this ancient, noble warrior tribe. This visit is at an additional cost, and should be discussed with, and paid directly to the guide.

Trekking Gear List – Mount Kilimanjaro

(This is our recommendation of gear required)

1Roll on deodorant
2Rolls of toilet paper
1Wet ones
1Zinc cream for protection from UV rays and dry air
1Ladies hygiene products
1Antibacterial Hand Gel
Camping Trekking Gear
 Camping Trekking Gear
1150 litre kitbag for porter can be hired
1Daypack (for personal use) can be hired
1Sleeping bag and sleeping bag liner (at least -5 rating) can be hired
1Self inflating mattress - 2 foam rolls are supplied but will not give a great level of comfort
1Pillow (optional)

(Inflatable travel pillow or cushion insert – do not bring full size pillow)
1-2Walking poles – this is essential can be hired
1-2Gloves, 1 inner thin pair plus thicker outer glove or mitts, water and wind proof
1Torch (and spare batteries)
1Head Torch (and spare batteries)
2Dry bags or waterproof bags (available from camping stores) or garbage bags to keep clothing dry in kitbag
Water - need minimum of 4 litres

(your choice of water bottles or water bladder, you will need easy access to bottles)
3ltrBackpack bladder and 1 water bottle (for mixing supplements)
1Water drink bottles
1Waterproofing product
Camera + lots of film, spare batteries, disposable camera

(Note: Cameras and video recorders cannot be charged on the Mountain as there is no electricity)
Medical Kit
 Medical Kit
Medications as Prescribed by your Doctor

(Anti malaria, antibiotics for wounds and infections, anti inflammatory, anti vomiting, epi-pen etc…)
1Diamox for altitude sickness, max of 3 per day
12Gastrolyte (must have)
1Endura Powder (available from Chemists)
1Headache Tablets
1Diarrhoea Tablets
1Travel Calm Tablets
1Anti-Inflammatory medications (eg. Ibrofen, Voltaren, Nurofen)
1Antihistamines (e.g. Telfast, Phenergan 10mg)
Multivitamins / B1 Tablets (start a couple of weeks prior to trek)
2Antibacterial hand gel (e.g. Aqium)
1pktBlister Pads (optional)
1Roll of strapping tape
smallVaseline (blisters)
2pktLarge size band-aids (Elastoplast)
1Knee and/or ankle guards
1Antiseptic lotion/cream (e.g. Paraderm Plus, Betadine, Bepanthen)
1Papaw ointment
1Hydrocortisone cream (for bites)
10Cotton wool balls
3Insect repellent roll-on / cream

(we suggest ‘Bushman Plus’ – always keep it on)
2pktWater purification tablets (highly recommend)
1Sunscreen (always keep it on)
1Sunglasses – wrap-around style for UV protection
1Salt tablets
3pktGlucose Jelly Beans or Glucose lollies
4 pktsGlucodin Tablets
For every dayMunchies (chocolates, muesli bars, lollies, beef jerky, nuts etc...)
All clothing should be LAYERED for maximum warmth. Lightweight layers – usually thermal plus 3 layers and a down jacket for the final ascent. DO NOT take heavy woolen jumpers or jackets.
1Walking boots (waterproof) and spare boot laces
1Lightweight shoes to wear in camp at night e.g. running shoes
2Tracksuit/ fleece pants for colder days & evenings
1Waterproof pants , lightweight and breathable can be hired
2Thermal underwear polypropylene or similar, must be breathable
4Long sleeved lightweight fleecy shirts for layering
2Synthetic pants and shirts, breathable and wind-resistant, highly recommend the zip-off pants
1-2‘skins’ style sports clothing shorts

(highly recommended, great to reduce chafing)
1Waterproof Jacket Gortex or similar. Breathable wind and waterproof jacket, must have a hood can be hired
1Lightweight poncho – for heavy rain
5Thick Synthetic hiking style socks
5Thin socks to help prevent blisters
3Comfortable underwear / bras
1Gaiters alpine type, not the anklets can be hired
1Warm fleece hat or balaclava, need to ensure ears are covered
1Microfiber Towels
1Scarf/ Buff to keep the neck warm
Repair Kit
For broken bags, boots – these items can be shared amongst a group
 Repair Kit
10Long cable ties
1Electrical tape
1Pocket knife or Multi tool
1Small super glue
Below are some ‘optional extras’
Diary and pen
Small mirror
Playing cards
Large zip lock bags (for personal items, clothes, lollies)

* If travelling with friends or part of a group you may be able to share some of the above items e.g. creams / lotions.
* This list is our recommendation of what to take

Mountain Safety

Safety, when undergoing these treks, is important to us and we strive to give you all available and necessary information in regards to your health and well being while going on your adventure. We strongly recommend you read the following pages of information on mountain safety – particularly in regards to health issues that can occur at high altitudes and in unfamilar climates.