WHAT TO EXPECT
Climbing Kilimanjaro is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The climb is extremely challenging, with daily hikes lasting 4-9 hours, and usually about 14 hours on summit day. You hike up and down steep inclines, starting at 3,000-ft/915-m and going up to 19,341ft/5,895-m. As you go higher in altitude, you find yourself tiring more easily, so it’s important that you are in excellent physical condition. Tusker’s highly experienced expert guides monitor your health, while our porters carry all the gear during your climb.
YOUR ELITE GUIDING TEAM
Your guides are the heart and soul of your adventure, from the moment you sign up until the day you return. Their long experience climbing Kilimajjaro, meticulous medical training and expert leadership are the secrets to the success of your climb. Tusker’s founder, EDDIE FRANK was brought in to train the US Army’s Special Forces at high altitude. Using the same techniques, he meticulously trained Tusker’s team of elite mountain guides who are all high altitude experts and have led thousands of successful climbers to the summit.
Watch the video to see what it's like to climb the crown of Africa with Tusker Trail, narrated by Will Lyman from National Geographic.
CLIMBING KILIMANJARO SAFELY
Our staff guides were all born and raised on the slopes of Kilimanjaro and know the mountain intimately. They have been working for Tusker for decades. You climb with the assurance that every guide is at the top of their game. Experts on the mountain habitat, they lead you on your adventure in a way you will never forget and transform your climb into a life-changing experience.
Your guides give you a thorough medical examination twice a day and monitor you closely to make sure you are adjusting to the altitude. They are also at your side for your entire climb, giving you the best strategies to reach the summit. Your guiding team consists of 2-6 guides, depending on the size of your group. If you are climbing on your own, you’ll have your own personal guide. On the tough summit day, you can also have a dedicated porter assist you with your daypack.
TUSKER'S ADVENTURE KITCHEN
The adventure of your life demands the food of your life. On expedition, food should never only be about sustenance, but should also fire up your taste buds. And that’s what you’ll discover while you’re climbing Kilimanjaro – great eats. That is why we engaged the Culinary Institute of America to design our unbelievable climbing menus and to train our mountain chefs.
During your climb, you will enjoy extraordinary meals, engineered to keep you well fueled for long hard days on the trail. There won’t be fancy table settings and crystal glasses – after all, you’re on a mountain climb. But you will enjoy 3 incredible meals every day, prepared by masterful cooks performing their magic at high altitude. Think about humus at high altitude, or fajitas at fifteen thousand feet. You’ll be blown away.
CHEFS TRAINED by the CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA
Tusker Trail has partnered with the Culinary Institute of America to train our Kilimanjaro chefs teaching them how to create balanced, nutritious, and delicious menus. During your climb, you will enjoy extraordinary meals, engineered to keep you well fueled for long hard days on the trail. Before you begin climbing Kilimanjaro, our chefs visit the local market to stock up on local fruits, vegetables, meats, and other foods for your climb. We also send regular fresh fruits, veg and meats on supply-runs up the mountain for the Adventure Kitchen during your climb.
LODGING IN MOSHI
Before and after your climb, we stay at one of two boutique hotels – the Park View Inn and Bristol Cottages Hotel. They are both extremely comfortable and well-run family-owned hotels in the heart of Moshi town. The welcoming staff and warm atmosphere make you feel very much at home. The hotels make a great base for your climb.
LODGING ON THE CLIMB
While climbing Kilimanjaro, your lodging depends on the route you take to Kilimanjaro’s summit. On Tusker’s Marangu route, you stay in permanent mountain huts that are situated at strategic rest points along the climb. While climbing Marangu, dining is in a central dining hall. On the longer Tusker Spiral, Lemosho and Machame routes, you stay in Tusker’s signature mountain camp, unlike any camping experience you’ve ever imagined, with custom designed full-size walk-in tents, cots, dining tents, chairs, tables and gas lighting. Tusker’s Signature Mountain Camp is unlike any camping experience you’ve probably ever imagined. Eddie Frank went to Tusker’s tent manufacturer and custom designed our unique walk-in/stand-up tents. Your tent is set up by our crew in some of the most beautiful places on earth, with fantastic views and a great support team. Your food, camp and safety equipment are transported daily by the Tusker crew to your next campsite or mountain hut location.
"Every morning climbers roll out of their sleeping bags, stand up, and walk out of their tents to the most magnificent view of their lives – every morning better than the last, and say how very much ALIVE they feel, breathing in the fresh mountain air."
CUSTOM CAMPING GEAR
Tusker’s custom designed gear includes large walk-in, stand-up tents, cots with comfortable thick air/foam mattresses, camp chairs, tables and safety equipment. Tusker owner/guide, Eddie Frank regularly designs and oversees the manufacturing of Tusker’s custom gear. His latest creation is the larger full-size, walk-in tent that is extremely spacious, and you don’t have to crawl on your knees to get inside. You can walk around inside and take sit-down meals if you like. Eddie’s hands on approach to designing Tusker’s gear really makes your climb much more enjoyable.
Your tent is set up by our crew in some of the most beautiful places on earth, with fantastic views and a great support team. Your food, camp and safety equipment are transported daily by the Tusker crew to your campsite or mountain hut location. The large dining tent accommodates your entire group, with comfortable chairs, tables, and gas lighting — essential after a long day exploring. And for those private moments, you will appreciate our private toilet tents – a welcome addition to your camp.
On the Marangu route, you sleep in shared mountain huts instead of tents. All your meals are prepared by by our expert cooks and served up in a central dining area. The lower elevation huts have running water and toilets.
"There's nothing quite as satisfying at the end of a long day’s climb, than to walk into your extra large tent and have everything prepped and waiting for you. Climbing Kilimanjaro can be a grueling at times, but that doesn't mean that you don't deserve true comfort at the end of your day."
KILIMANJARO CLIMB SUPPORT
Most of Tusker’s crew members have been working for us for decades. They are fiercely loyal to the Tusker family. With virtually no turnover amongst our staff, the Tusker crew is a finely tuned machine that works tirelessly to ensure you have the adventure of your life.
Tusker Trail is an approved partner company with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) and the International Mountain Explorers Connection (IMEC) – Partner for Responsible Travel Program. Established in 2003, KPAP’s mission is to improve the working conditions of the porters on Kilimanjaro. They do a fantastic job. Tusker has been a supporter of KPAP since its early days.
Our porters are fully supported during our climbs. Tusker’s guides monitor our porters’ health on the climb in the same way they do for our overseas climbers. Our team members easily stand out on the mountain as the most well-equipped climbing crew you will see during your climb.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Because of their experience and training, Tusker’s guides often get called in to assist the national park and other companies with their emergencies and evacuations.
We all know that adventure has inherent risks, and it is critically important to prepare for them. EDDIE FRANK, Tusker’s Kilimanjaro expert, who has trained the elite US Army Special Forces, uses the same training techniques for the Tusker guiding team. Part of that training includes a unique high altitude medical course he designed specifically for Tusker guides. With decades of guiding experience and a deep knowledge of the Kilimanjaro habitat, Tusker’s elite team is essential to the success of your life-changing adventure.
If you have an emergency that requires a helicopter evacuation, you are covere