Gladys Adventure
Private Mt Kilimanjaro Climbs

Gladys Adventure offers both private climbs and open group climbs. A private climb can begin any day of the year, using any route with any number of participants. Each private group has the option of keeping the group closed or allowing others to join. We will never add people to a private climb without consent of the group. In planning your trip, you can count on your date being available unless we post a notice on this page. At the present, all dates are available for climbs.

Kilimanjaro Private Climb Prices

All climb packages include 2 nights hotel in Moshi with B&B plan. Our primary hotel is Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel which we consider a high 3 star hotel. If we cannot get availability there we use Salinero Kilimanjaro Hotel. We can offer alternative accommodations or offer you a price without any Moshi accommodations included. Please ask us if you want to consider other options. If you book your own accommodations it is far better if the accommodations are in Moshi rather than Arusha.

  • Machame Route 6 Days
    1 climber2 climbers3 climbers4 climbers5 climbers6 climbers7 climbers8 climbers9 climbers10 + climbers

  • Machame 7 Days
    1 climber2 climbers3 climbers4 climbers5 climbers6 climbers7 climbers8 climbers9 climbers10 + climbers
  • Lemosho 7 Days
    1 climber2 climbers3 climbers4 climbers5 climbers6 climbers7 climbers8 climbers9 climbers10 + climbers

  • Lemosho 8 Days
    1 climber2 climbers3 climbers4 climbers5 climbers6 climbers7 climbers8 climbers9 climbers10 + climbers

  • Lemosho 9 Days
    1 climber2 climbers3 climbers4 climbers5 climbers6 climbers7 climbers8 climbers9 climbers10 + climbers
  • Northern Circuit (Grand Traverse) 8 Days
    1 climber2 climbers3 climbers4 climbers5 climbers6 climbers7 climbers8 climbers9 climbers10 + climbers

  • Northern Circuit (Grand Traverse) 9 Days
    1 climber2 climbers3 climbers4 climbers5 climbers6 climbers7 climbers8 climbers9 climbers10 + climbers
  • Rongai 6 days
    1 climber2 climbers3 climbers4 climbers5 climbers6 climbers7 climbers8 climbers9 climbers10 + climbers

  • Rongai 7 Days
    1 climber2 climbers3 climbers4 climbers5 climbers6 climbers7 climbers8 climbers9 climbers10 + climbers
  • Marangu 5 Days
    1 climber2 climbers3 climbers4 climbers5 climbers6 climbers7 climbers8 climbers9 climbers10 + climbers

  • Marangu 6 Days
    1 climber2 climbers3 climbers4 climbers5 climbers6 climbers7 climbers8 climbers9 climbers10 + climbers
  • Umbwe 6 Days
    1 climber2 climbers3 climbers4 climbers5 climbers6 climbers7 climbers8 climbers9 climbers10 + climbers

  • Umbwe 7 Days
    1 climber2 climbers3 climbers4 climbers5 climbers6 climbers7 climbers8 climbers9 climbers10 + climbers
  • Comfort add-on options:
    private tent -- $100/trek
    luxury mattress (3" thick and 2.5 ft wide compared to 1.5" thick and 2 ft wide) -- $35/climber
    higher profile tent --$40/tent
    camp cot -- $150/cot (the higher profile tent is required to accommodate the cots, so it must be added also)
    hot water bottle (to warm sleeping bag) -- free upon request
    day pack porter -- $10/day
    Gamow Bag -- $300/trek
    post climb massage -- $20/half hour
    post trek laundry service -- $10/kg (same day service)
    Be aware that some add ons may result in more porters used for the trek. Salaries for added porters are included in the price but not tips. Regarding private tents: Where there is an odd number of climbers, there is no additional charge for the one climber staying single. If there is an even number of climbers and one requests a single tent, only one single tent charge is added although two climbers will end up sleeping single.

  • We can add an overnight at Crater Camp to any route except Marangu Route. A special permit is required for crater camp, additional pay for each staff member who spends overnight in the crater and also private toilet tent(s) are required for the staff.
  • Crater Campsolo climb2 climbers3 climbers4 climbers5 climbers6 climbers7 climbers8 climbers9 climbers10 + climbers
    per person

Each trekking package includes:

  • Airport pick up and drop off - Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) - Moshi
  • Hotel accommodations in Moshi one night before the trek and the night that you finish the trek (or alternatively any two nights)
  • All park fees for the national park including taxes
  • All meals and unlimited drinking water while on the mountain
  • Private toilet tent included (1 toilet for every 7 climbers)
  • All salaries for guides, assistant guides, chef, porters
  • Transport to and from the park gate
  • Oxygen for altitude sickness emergencies
  • All camping equipment (tents, tables, chairs, cooking equipment, dining tent, sleeping mattress -- but not sleeping bag)

The trekking packages do not include:

  • Extra JRO airport pickups and drop offs ($40 per car)
  • Sleeping bag - please bring your own or rent one from our equipment rental shop
  • International flights & visas
  • Travel Insurance (we require all clients to have medical and evacuation coverage)
  • Mountain climb staff tips
  • Alcholic drinks
  • Personal travel and baggage
  • Telephone/internet bill
  • Laundry service
  • Any items of a personal nature
  • Activities not mentioned in the program

Note: For private groups with an even number of participants, the price is based on double occupancy in the hotel in Moshi and in the tents on the mountain. Private rooms/tents are available at an added price. For odd numbered participants, the price for one single hotel room and tent is already factored into the quoted price. Our default policy is to divide the entire price evenly. If you prefer, we can calculate a separate price for those with double occupancy and the person with single occupancy.

A 10% deposit will secure your climb. We accept payments via wire transfer directly into our bank account or online payment by credit/debit card (3% bank fee for this option). The remaining balance is not due until you arrive. We can accept additions to the groups up until the day before the trek starts.

If you need to cancel your trip we can offer refunds on any amount recoverable by Gladys Adventure less money transfer fees. Or your deposit can be applied to any future booking with Gladys Adventure up to one year after your original start date. Funds can also be transferred to another person who has booked through Gladys Adventure.

Full details about payment terms & conditions can be found here - Payment Terms & Conditions

For more information or to book a climb please contact us though our Info Request page.

Private Climb or Open Group -- Which is better?

Each option has its advantages. Lets help you consider which is best for you...


We offer both open group and private group climbs. Most climbs that we do are through private climbs. While on the mountain, the climbs are nearly identical. We use the same guides, same equipment, same meals. The lone exception being that for open group climbs we do not automatially include private toilet tents (except for Grand Traverse route where they are required). These are available as an add on for open group climbs.

Private Climb

  • Freedom of choice -- You can start your climb and day of the year and any route that you choose.
  • Control over itinerary -- even the day before the climb you can make adjustments in start date, number of days and route. While on the mountain, if you are feeling strong, you can even with the approval of the guide, eliminate the acclimatization day (note that there cannot be a rebate for unused days since park fees are paid in advance). Or you can add an extra day while on the mountain if need be. Non standard options such as ascending via Western Breach, overnight at Crater Camp or daytime summits are available with private climbs only.
  • Control of the group -- You are in control of how many people are in the group and who is joining you. - Even if you request us to find others for your group, we will always consult you before allowing them to join.
  • Discounted Groups -- We offer discounts for both current Peace Corp volunteers, Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and their travel partners. This is done with private climbs only.

Open Group Climb

  • Price -- The open group climbs are the least expensive climbs that we offer. The only discounts that are possible on these climbs are park fees discounts that the government allows for expatriates having Tanzanian residence permits, East African citizens or youths under 16 years old.
  • Social -- Especially if you are traveling alone, this is a way to meet friends. Many times clients who have met on the mountain decide to go on safari or day trip together afterwards. Open Group Climbs include a welcome dinner.

Is opening up a private group to others the same as an open group climb? A: No. A private group climb will never be as inexpensive as an open group climb. If you have a private group and wish to open it up for others, the price will only be reduced if others join and the amount for the climb will never be the same as an open group climb. But, you will always be in control of the group. Before anyone is added, we would seek your appoval first.

How large are the open group climbs? A: Before the pandemic, the open groups had been averaging 4 - 5 climbers. Tourism currrently is just a fraction of how it was previously but is starting to rebound. We have no minimum or maximum number for the climbs. The number of climb staff varies according to the number of climbers. The largest open group climb that we have had so far has been 16 people. We have had a few open group climbs with only one climber.

We welcome any questions or further information requests.

Partners for Responsible Travel

We are proud partners of Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Program. Click to read about their valuable program. Kilimanjaro Porters Association

Climb Staff Tipping

What you need to know about the tipping process and procedures...


Everything you need to know about mountain crew tipping

How many crew members will there be on my climb?
While we will know in advance how many guides, assistant guides and cooks you will have for a climb, we will not know how many porters will be used until the morning of the climb. The maximum weight allowed for each porter to carry is 20kg plus their own gear. Of course, they also need 3 meals a day and a mattress (not all companies supply these for porters, but we do). So once the total weight of all itmes being brought on the mountain is weighed we will know the definite crew numbers. Typically for a small group (4 climbers or less), a rough estimate of the number of porters is 4 porters/climber. For larger groups, approximately 3 porters per climber. Marangu route (overnights in huts) will use about 1 porter per climber less. While we can accommodate group sizes of any number, the national park treats groups over 10 people as 2 climbs. This means that for more than 10 in your group, there will be 2 head guides, 2 cooks, etc. The group will still be together as one group on the mountain though. Comfort add ons such as portable toilet tent or mattress upgrade add to the number of porters needed.

How much is a recommended tip?
It is through the accumulation of feedback from our clients that the guidelines below have been suggested.
Recommended tipping rates range from
$20 - $30/day for head guide
$15 - $20/day for each assistant guide
$15 - $20/day for cook
$5 - $7/day for each porter
Out of the group of porters, some will have additional duties during the entire climb such as tent master, waiter and toilet attendant (if using private toilet tents). We suggest giving an additional amount of $3/day to these porters. There will also be summit porters who will have additional duties during summit day only. We suggest $20/trip for the summit porters. These are only guidelines. It is up to you and your budget if you want to vary from this. At the bottom of this article is a chart with the calculations for the tips.

Exactly how and when is the tipping done?
You will not need to bring any money with you on the mountain. You will distribute tips when you get back to Gladys Adventure office after the climb. At the last camp, you will be given a paper listing everyone on the climb staff. You can discuss with others in your group how much you want to tip. If you wish, you can write down the amounts for each staff person and at the gate after finishing the climb you can announce the amount OR ... if you are too tired (not uncommon) at the camp or if you want input from our office you can wait until you get to our office. You do not need to ask and should not ask any of the climb staff about recommendations. Also, you should not feel pressured by any staff member to tip a certain amount or even any discussion about tips. If you have any questions at all, our office staff will be glad to help you once you return to Moshi. If you feel that certain crew members are pressuring you directly or indirectly be sure to let us know. Tactics include telling embellished hardship stories to gain your sympathy. Another is to purposely dress poorly. We make sure before the climb that all porters have proper shoes and jackets. If they are not wearing proper gear while on the mountian, they are trying to fool you. Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) has gear for any porter in need and their office is located 20 meters from our office. At our office, you can collect the money from each climb member and put them in individual envelopes that we will supply - one envelope for each climb staff member. They will then be distributed to the climb staff in your presence. If you need to go to an ATM we can take you. Unfortunately, tips cannot be paid through credit/debit cards since the government will automatically treat this as a payment made to Gladys Adventure and charge us 18% VAT.

Sometimes we have clients who do not like the concept of tipping but want to make sure that the staff is adaquately provided for. It is ok to allot extra money to be paid as salary for the staff. The staff would then be told before the climb that their pay is being increased for the climb but no tips will be given afterwards.

If you wish to donate gear such as walking poles, clothing, etc this is best done through the office staff at Gladys Adventure or through KPAP office. The gear will then be distributed under supervision of KPAP.

Tipping Chart

Head Guides ($20 - $30/day)
1 - 10 climbers uses 1 head guide, 11 - 20 requires 2 head guides

5 days6 days7 days8 days9 days
1 head guide$100 - $150$120 - $180$140 - $210$160 - $240$180 - $270
2 head guides$200 - $300$240 - $360$280 - $420$320 - $480$360 - $540

Assistant Guides (AG) & Chefs ($15 - $20/day)
2 - 4 climbers uses 1 assistant guide, 5 - 7 climbers uses 2 assistants, 8 - 11 uses 3 assistants, 12 - 14 uses 4 assistants. 1 chef is used for every 10 climbers.

5 days6 days7 days8 days9 days
1 Chef$75 - $100$90 - $120$105 - $140$120 - $160$135 - $180
2 AG/Chef$150 - $200$180 - $240$210 - $280$240 - $320$270 - $360
3 AG/Chef$225 - $300$270 - $360$315 - $420$360 - $480$405 - $540
4 AG/Chef$300 - $400$360 - $480$420 - $560$480 - $640$540 - $720
5 AG/Chefs$375 - $500$460 - $600$525 - $700$600 - $800$675 - $900
6 AG/Chefs$450 - $600$540 - $720$630 - $840$720 - $960$810 - $1080

Porters ($5 - $7/day)
The exact number of porters will not be known until everythig going on the mountain has been weighed. Roughly for 1 - 4 climbers, 4 porters/climber is good estimate, for 5+ climbers 3 porters/climber. Private toilet tents will use 1 more porter. Marangu route uses 1 less porter per person.

5 days6 days7 days8 days9 days
5 porters$125 - $175$150 - $210$175 - $245$200 - $280$225 - $315
6 porters$150 - $210$180 - $252$210 - $294$240 - $336$270 - $378
7 porters$175 - $245$210 - $294$245 - $343$280 - $392$315 - $441
8 porters$200 - $280$240 - $336$280 - $393$320 - $448$360 - $504
9 porters$225 - $315$270 - $378$315 - $441$360 - $505$405 - $567
10 porters$250 - $350$300 - $420$350 - $490$400 - $560$450 - $630
11 porters$275 - $385$330 - $462$385 - $539$440 - $616$495 - $693
12 porters$300 - $420$360 - $504$420 - $584$480 - $672$540 - $756
13 porters$325 - $455$390 - $546$455 - $637$520 - $728$585 - $819
14 porters$$350 - $490$420 - $588$490 - $686$560 - $784$630 - $882
15 porters$375 - 525$450 - $630$525 - $735$600 - $840$675 - $945
16 porters$400 - $560$480 - $672$560 - $784$640 - $896$720 - $1008
17 porters$425 - $595$510 - $714$595 - $833$680 - $952$765 - $1017
18 porters$450 - $630$540 - $756$630 - $882$720 - $1008$810 - $1143
19 porters$475 - $665$570 - $798$665 - $931$760 - $1065$855 - $1197
20 porters$500 - $700$600 - $840$700 - $980$$800 - $1120$900 - $1260
21 porters$525 - $735$630 - $882$735 - $1029$840 - $1176$945 - $1323
22 porters$550 - $770$660 - $924$770 - $1078$880 - $1232$990 - $1386
23 porters$575 - $805$690 - $966$805 - $1133$920 - $1288$1035 - $1449
24 porters$600 - $840$720 - $1008$840 - $1168$960 - $1344$1080 - $1512
25 porters$625 - $875$750 - $1050$875 - $1221$1000 - $1400$1125 - $1575
26 porters$650 - $910$780 - $1092$910 - $1274$1040 - $1456$1170 - $1638
27 porters$675 - $945$810 - $1134$945 - $1323$1080 - $1512$1215 - $1701
28 porters$700 - $980$840 - $1176$980 - $1372$1120 - $1568$1260 - $1764
29 porters725 - $1015$870 - $1218$1015 - $1421$1160 - $1624$1305 - $1827
30 porters$750 - $1050$900 - $1260$1050 - $1470$1200 - $1680$1350 - $1890
31 porters$775 - $1085$930 - $1302$1085 - $1519$1240 - $1736$1395 - $1933
32 porters$800 - $1120$960 - $1344$1120 - $1568$1280 - $1762$1440 - $2016
33 porters$825 - $1155$990 - $1386$1155 - $1617$1320 - $1848$1485 - $2079
34 porters$850 - $1190 $1020 - $1428$1190 - $1666$1360 - $1904$1530 - $2142
35 porters$875 - $1215$1050 - $1470$1125 - $11715$1400 - $1960$1575 - $2205

Out of the group of porters, some will have additional duties during the entire climb such as tent master, waiter and toilet attendant (if using private toilet tents). We suggest giving an additional amount of $3/day to these porters. There will also be summit porters who will have additional duties during summit day only. We suggest $20/trip for the summit porters. The quoted tips are suggested amounts to be given from the entire group. Add the guide amounts, AG/Chef amount and the porter amount and divide by the number of people particpating in your trek to calculate the total tips/participant. As is the nature of tipping, this is entirely at your discretion and your budget.

Mountain Packing List

What you need for a safe and comfortable trek...


Mountain Packing List

mountain packing list itemsBefore your climb we will go through a piece by piece equipment cheeck with you. Any item that you need can be rented at our shop (no prior reservations required). As our client you will receive a 30% discount from our listed prices. If you need to rent every item, this can be done for $250 (client price).


  • 1 - Sleeping Bag -- we suggest a comfort rating of 0 °C (32 °F) plus a liner.
  • 1 - Trekking Poles, collapsable
  • 1 - Head lamp, with extra batteries
  • 1 - Duffel bag - waterproof, 85L capacity or larger, for porters to carry your equipment
  • 1 - Daypack, 30-35L capacity, for you to carry your personal gear


  • 1 - Sunglasses or Goggles ---important to be polarized
  • 1 - Backpack Cover, waterproof
  • 1 - 3 - Water Bottle(s) (Nalgene, 32 oz.)----you will need to carry 3L of water with you each day. It is best that not all water is in a Camelbak since too much chance of system breakdown or line freezing so best that at least some of your water is in a bottle. The park will not allow disposable bottles on the mountain.
  • 1 - Water Bladder (Camelbak type, 3 liters)--or carry 3L in water bottles as an alternative
  • 1 - Towel, lightweight, quick-dry (optional)
  • 1 - Pee Bottle, to avoid leaving tent at night (recommended - not as important if you have a private toilet tent)
  • Stuff Sacks, Dry Bags or Plastic Bags*, various sizes, to keep gear dry and separate. * Important Update: Disposable plastic bags are no longer permitted in Tanzania. But "zip-lock" style bags are exempted since they are expected to leave the country with you.

Technical Clothing

  • 1 - Waterproof Jacket/Poncho, breathable with hood
  • 1 - Insulated Jacket, synthetic or down
  • 1 - Soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell
  • 2 - Long Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
  • 1 - Short Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
  • 1 - Waterproof Pants, breathable (side zipper is ideal)
  • 2 - Hiking Pants
  • 1 - Fleece Pants
  • 1 - Shorts (optional)
  • 1 - Long Underwear, moisture-wicking fabric
  • 5 - Underwear, moisture-wicking fabric recommended
  • 2 - Sport Bra (women)


  • 1 - Brimmed Hat, for sun/rain protection
  • 1 - Knit Hat, for warmth
  • 1 - Balaclava, scarf or Buff


  • 1 - Gloves/mittens, warm and waterproof
  • 1 - Gloves (liner gloves)


  • 1 - Hiking Boots, warm, waterproof, broken-in
  • 1 - Comfort Shoes, to wear at camp (optional)
  • 5 - Socks, wool or synthetic -- cotton does not dry quickly enough
  • 1 - Gaiters, waterproof
  • 5 - liner socks (optional)
  • 1 - crampons Note: These are only needed during periods of heavy precipitation. They were last needed in 2020. But it is best to check with us before your trek if you are having an April, May, or early June trek date.


  • Toiletries
  • Prescription medicine -- if using Diamox, this is readily available in Moshi.
  • Sunscreen -- the UV is quite strong so this is important even if you do not typically use this
  • Lip Balm -- important to have UV protection
  • Insect Repellent, containing DEET -- not in pressurized can. This is only needed at lower altitudes
  • First Aid Kit -- your guide will have a first aid kit also but some basic items for blisters, upset stomach/nausea/diarrhea and headache is a good idea
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Toilet Paper -- some will be brought along but best to bring an extra roll
  • Wet Wipes (optional but recommended)
  • Dry Wipes (optional)
  • Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional but can be a big help on summit day) -- these are not available locally
  • Electrolytes, powder or tablets (optional)
  • Camera/phone (optional) -- there is no charging capabilities on the mountain unless you bring a solar charger. Extra batteries/memory card are a good idea.


You will not take these on the mountain

  • Passport
  • Visa (available at JRO Airport upon arrival)
  • Immunization Papers --no immunization is needed unless you are coming from a Yellow Fever risk area.
  • Insurance Documents
  • Emergency contacts

Equipment Provided by Gladys Adventure:

  • sleeping tents (for clients and staff)*
  • mess tent*
  • cooking tent*
  • sleeping mattress (for clients and staff)*
  • folding table*
  • folding chairs*
  • Portable toilet tent(s) -- One toilet & tent for every 7 clients
  • cooking utensils
  • dining utensils
  • cooking fuel
  • food
  • water purification tablets
  • emergency oxygen cylinder(s)
  • portable stretcher (brought on request)
  • first aid kit
  • walkie talkie to communicate with Gladys Adventure office (we have our own private channel for this)

* indicates equipment not used for Marangu Route

Meals on the Mountain

A climb requires a lot of energy and maximum performance. Meals play a very important role during your trek...


Meals on the Mountain

While on the mountain, eating a good diet is essential for a successful climb. The food must be high energy, plentiful, appealing and easy to digest. These are important components since a great amount of energy is required. The most common symptoms of altitude sickness are nausea and loss of appetite. Food that will not disturb the stomach further is essential and since climbers at times have to force themselves to eat. The food must be appealing.

A typical breakfast may have combinations of the following:
Porridge, breads/chapati, plantains, pancakes, eggs, sausage, hot chocolate/ tea/ coffee, fruit
Lunches and dinners:
Pasta, rice, plantains, potatoes, vegetables, meat, bread, soup/stew, fruit, popcorn, peanuts

Our cooks can accommodate special diets such as vegetarian/vegan, food allergies, gluten free, etc. We welcome special requests (before we are on the mountain please).

There is no food preservation method on the mountain (this gets less important as the temperature gets colder) but we resupply the food part way through the climb to insure freshness.

Excerpts from our Tripadvisor reviews:

  • "Bosco [guide] ... knew how keep us on track, motivated, healthy, hydrated, well nourished and safe. The food on the trip was great. We had 4 people on gluten free diets and they were able to accommodate us.” -- February 2018
  • “... Moreover food was excellent when other climbers (with other companies) were complaining their amount of food. “ -- February 2018
  • “...Food was outstanding and plentiful -- it was much better than some friends received in climbs they did in the past with other companies. “ -- October 2017
  • “...Faustine, the head chef, made incredible meals on the mountain. We ate way better there than we do back home. “ --July 2017
  • “...The food also exceeded our expectations. Hot soup with every meal, and fresh fruit each day. The crew even sent up our dining tent ahead of us a couple of the days and we had hot lunches. It was things like this that really blew us away. “ --July 2017
  • “...Great food and thoughtful menu that took into account changing preferences at altitude, which really helped us get down calories even at high altitude when appetite is usually suppressed.” --July 2017
  • “...the food is great (to be completely honest every girl on the trip was secretly hoping to maybe lose a kilo or 2, but it just did not happen…the food was way too tasty and Prosper, our guide, was closely monitoring the calorie intake to make sure we have enough energy for the summit day (summit night actually) …my compliments to the chef.” --February 2017
  • “...The food we had on the trail was the best food we had over our month in Africa. It was great and when you factor in it was cooked between 4,000 and 15,000 feet it was incredible.”--January 2017
  • “...Muita who was our waiter who made sure we ate as much as humanly possible ...Throughout our 8 days we were cared for, fed, and sheltered by this great group and it only got better with each day! “ --January 2017
  • “...The meals were also amazing. I had no idea we would be eating so well on this hike.” -- January 2017
  • “... We had the best food on the mountains, fresh and hot, served as per our food preferences.” --December 2016
  • “... And the food from Peter the cook was restaurant quality, in my opinion; I ate chicken, eggs, and many delicious soups.” --December 2016
  • “...They emphasized the importance of drinking enough water and eating enough, which was not difficult at all, because the meals our chef Mariki prepared were delicious. He always made sure that I got a vegetarian meal whilst my husband and our travel companion were also served meat.” -- October 2016
  • “...The food was fantastic (compliments to the chef!) People say that your appetite suffers at altitude but I never would have known that with such delicious food on offer for every meal. I ate so much! “ -- October 2016

Mountain Safety

Trekking above 5,000m cannot be taken lightly. No matter your fitness level adaquate precautions must be taken ...


Mountain Safety

Mt Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain that can be climbed without technical skills or equipment. So in mountaineering it is referred to as a "walk up mountain". But that does not mean that it is not difficult or should be taken lightly. It is because it is a "walk up mountain" that provides the challenge. At 5,895m (19,341 ft) elevation at the summit there is less than 50% of the oxygen available at sea level. Adjusting to the altitude is the challenge because it is possible to ascend faster than your body can adjust. Technical climbs progress far more slowly than walking, so the body has more time to adjust. This makes Mt Kilimanjaro more dangerous in regard to altitude related problems. It is important to go only with a well trained guide and with proper health monitoring of each person. Gladys Adventure guides will monitor your vital measurments including respiration, pulse, blood oxygen saturation, blood pressure, body temperature and blood sugar to make sure that you are fit. Our guides are Wilderness First Responders (WFR), trained to pay attention to your respiration and just by engaging in a conversation with you along the way they are monitoring your condition. It is imperative that you are honest and open with your guide about your health. Before the trek, we need to know of any health conditions and medications that you are taking. Chances are very great, that your honesty will not disqualify you from climbing, but the guide will be giving special attention to any potential health threat. Gladys Adventure has a 98% rate of success. We are not striving for everyone to summit. We are striving for 100% safety with the right number to summit.

Diamox---good idea? Approximately 75% of climbers will display symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Symptoms include severe headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appitite, loss of reasoning, confusion and irratability. Diamox is a drug that causes an increase in respiration thereby increasing your body's ability to acclimatize. It is very difficult to predict a person's ability to handle high altitude. There have been world class athletes that have had to abandon their climb by the 3rd day while some who are far less fit or older have succeeded (88 years old is the current Kilimanjaro age record). There is no good data for comparing whether Diamox has made a difference for a specific person. If you do choose to use Diamox, it is best to purchase it when you arrive in Moshi. It is readily available at pharmacies in the correct dosage and will most certainly be less expensive here. Start taking Diamox before the trek so we can monitor any side effects so the effects of the drug can be distinguished from effects from the altitude. Before the trek, your guide can answer your specific questions.

First Aid Kit -- We will always have a well stocked first aid kit on hand. We suggest that you may bring a few simple items for blisters, sunburn, insect bites, stomach upset, diarrhea and headache.

Stretcher -- Mt Kilimanjaro National Park has some stretchers available scattered along the mountain. They are metal frames with a single motorcycle wheel and suspension mounted under the center of the metal frame. Unfortunately, the ride down is very rough. Rough enough to cause injuries since it is not uncommon for the stretcher to tip over or to throw the disabled climber off unless they are securely strapped in. The park has recognised that these are terrible and are in the process of eliminating them. Instead they will invest in making landing sites for helicopter rescue (see our evacuation insurance article). Gladys Avdenture has portable stretchers for their climbswhich we bring upon request. Rather than rolling these over the rough terrain like the park stretchers, we use porters to carry the disabled climber off the mountain or to an altitude where they can walk under their own strength. Gladys Adventure has portable stretchers available for their Kilimanaro treks. Rather than rolling these over the rough terrain like the park stretchers, we use porters to carry the disabled climber off the mountain or to an altitude where they can walk under their own strength. Because bringing a stretcher will most likely add an extra porter for your climb, we will bring a stretcher only upon your request.

Oxygen -- All Gladys Adventure climbs will have emergency oxygen available. We reserve the use of the oxygen for emergencies. Our guides are very well experienced to know how and when to allocate the use of the oxygen. Oxygen cylinders are a very important item but are one of the items often left out by companies looking to cut costs, especially if they are using guides that are not properly trained in administering the oxygen properly anyway.

Gamow Bag -- A gamow bag is an portable compression chamber designed for high altitudes as treatment if a trekker suffers from severe AMS. This can be a lifesaver where the recommended treatment of quickly descending is not possible. On some mountains this is a very important piece of equipment. On some mountains getting a person to a lower altitude can take days. But as we mentioned, being a "walk up" mountain means that it is a problem that people can ascend faster than their body can acclimatize. But this also means that a person can descend quickly with the aid of porters and supervised by a guide. Descending quickly is the preferred treatment of AMS. Gamow bags are inflated with a foot pump. They are also designed intentionally not to be air-tight. So descending with a gamow bag requires frequent stops to reinflate the bag. We do not include a gamow bag as standard equipment but have gamow bags available as an optional add on for any climb ($300 fee).

Our Guides -- Last but certainly not least is the experience and expertice of our mountain guides. It is easy for a company to say whatever they like. But here are what our clients have reported about Gladys Adventure climb safety on Trip Advisor reviews:

  • ...we had a meeting with our guide the afternoon before we took off to make sure we had everything we would need on the hike and that we weren’t bringing too much with us up the mountain. At once, I felt at ease around our guides. They were very friendly and had years and years of experience on the mountain. Our main guide had been climbing the mountain for nearly 25 years and our assistant guide had also been climbing for over a decade. Between them I was convinced that we had the experience necessary to make a SAFE and successful trip up the mountain. One thing Gladys has done a great job of is attracting the best talent for guides and staff for their treks. Everywhere on the mountain, other guides were coming to our guide to say hi and sometimes ask for advice when they needed help. It was very apparent that our guide was one of the most respected people on the mountain and that a lot of people looked up to him. You got that impression everywhere you went; when people understood you were with Gladys, they knew you were in good hands and had a better chance than most at making it to the top. Our guide took our vitals every morning and evening as we went along the trek and watched us very closely for signs of altitude sickness…. I was anxious about hiking at elevations so high and all of that anxiety was alleviated within the first day of noticing how much experience and competence Gladys group had. We also had supplemental oxygen and other supplies in case of emergency.
    Reviewed March 2018
  • ...our guide (Job) was exceptional, he was trained in mountain rescue so we immediately felt super safe. Every evening he would do briefings about the next day. He made sure everyone felt good during the day. He was also very reassuring whenever one on us was anxious.
    Reviewed February 2018
  • ...the head Glady’s guide, Bosco was amazing. Not just capable and knowledgeable, but fantastic at managing the whole trip including his assistants (Ron, Francis, Julius, Sinai and Alkadi) the porters, and most importantly us! He knew how keep us on track, motivated, healthy, hydrated, well nourished and safe. The food on the trip was great. We had 4 people on gluten free diets and they were able to accommodate us. They monitored everyone's medical / health conditions throughout.
    Reviewed February 2018
  • ...The trek itself was the most difficult challenge I have ever done in my life. I had bad altitude sickness for most of days 3, 4 and 5. The guides, Simon and Ignas, looked after me really well during my altitude sickness. They were both extremely well experienced on the mountain and never pushed us to go faster than our pace. They made sure I was doing alright during the climbing and at the camps to recover well. They had lots of good advice about the altitude sickness, provided medicine when necessary and especially helped keep our spirits up during the toughest parts of the climb, as their awesome encouragement kept us going. I highly recommend Gladys Adventure for climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. For sure we would not have made it without our amazing guides and the whole team behind everything.
    Reviewed February 2018
  • ...Ayubu was absolutely amazing, from the beginning right through to the end. We had health checks every morning and spent the days climbing with him asking him lots of questions about his extensive experience and mountaineering knowledge. We felt so safe with his leadership….When altitude sickness and tiredness kicked in, they sang to us to keep up our spirits. Ayubu prepared us every day for what was ahead of us mentally and physically and on summit night, we both made it to the top as a direct result of amazing support from our guides and porters.
    Reviewed November 2017
  • Our guide, Bosco, was an outstanding mountaineer. He had extensive mountain emergency training and was proactive in checking our heart rate, lungs, etc. each day. He actually helped some clients of other guides who were struggling with altitude sickness. I was impressed that he took time to do this; we saw one young woman summit, after being assisted by our guide -- her own guide didn't seem to know what to do. We heard similar stories from two references who each used other Gladys guides.
    Reviewed October 01, 2017
  • Our guides Prosper, Juma, and Cash were very knowledgeable and took excellent care of us. They were the only guides on the mountain with emergency oxygen and actually had to go to the aid of a climber in need, when their guide did not have the proper emergency supplies. We felt very safe at all times.
    Reviewed September 20, 2017
  • Our head guide Prosper did daily health checks on us and once at higher elevations really kept a close eye on us. One of our crew (and ER nurse) required O2 on summit day and this was handled with great care and professionalism. I'm an ICU nurse and can say these guides had plenty of experience with AMS. They knew exactly what to watch for and always erred on the safe side.
    Reviewed July 2017
  • Strong focus on safety, with emergency oxygen and evacuation insurance included and daily medical checks for everyone.
    Reviewed July 2017
  • The day before the trek we met our amazing chief guide, Prosper, who patiently went through everything with us and ensured that we all felt prepared. Throughout the entire trek, I could tell that our health and safety was number one to our guides, as they took our medical checks and any new symptoms of altitude sickness very seriously.
    Reviewed February 2017
  • From my very first contact with Gladys Adventures (who was recommended by friends also from New Zealand) they were very responsive and made me feel very relaxed and confident in their abilities and service. Casper was our lead guide who was brilliant, medical checks twice daily and he took the time to make sure all 5 of us were happy and comfortable at all times.
    Reviewed January 2017
  • Gladys do a health check every morning (pulse, oxygen saturations and self-assessment of headache/nausea/vomiting etc) and we always felt well looked after. Safe, positive and encouraging.
    Reviewed January 2017
  • Caspar ensured that our safety was #1 by regularly taking our vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, temperature, and listened to our lungs) at least once a day as well as making sure we weren't having any side effects from the altitude such as nausea or headache. Medications and oxygen were readily available if needed.
    Reviewed January 2017

Travel/Medical Insurance

For all Mt Kilimanjaro treks we require each client to have medical insurance coverage ...


Travel/Medical Insurance

For Mt Kilimanjaro climbs we require medical insurance coverage. You must be sure that this covers non technical trekking up to 6,000m.

Through experience, we find World Nomads to be a good provider ( You can also consider using Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance ( Other companies that our clients commonly use include AIG, Priceline, I-Trek, Columbus Direct, Virgin and Simply Travel Insurance.

Q: Doesn't Kilimanjaro National Park already charge a rescue fee? Doesn’t this provide coverage?
A: There is a mandatory fee of $20/climber (already included in your climb package price). This goes to maintenance of one wheeled rescue stretchers, not towards evacuation costs.

Q: Is there emergency airlift available?
A: Unfortunately, this service is no longer available for Mt Kilimanjaro. The government is working to be able to restore this in the future but as of February 2021 this is not an option.

Coffee Tour/Waterfalls Hike

If you are arriving a day early in Moshi we suggest this culture/acclimatization half day tour...


Coffee Tour/Waterfalls Hike

We offer a very popular half day cultural/ acclimatization tour. This tour visits a small village just outside of Kilimanjaro National Park boundary. We will tour a small coffee farm and you will learn from a local guide about the cultivation and processing of coffee. You will also learn about the history and customs of the local Chagga tribe. There will be hiking at a waterfalls and even a chance for a swim if you like. The local women will prepare a lunch consisting of traditional Chagga foods. Included in this tour is private transportation, local fees and taxes, English speaking guide, lunch and drinking water. Good shoes for hiking are needed since to get to the waterfalls involves some steep terrain. Athletic shoes are ok, sandals are not. There will be a chance for a short swim so a swimsuit underneath your clothes and a towel would be good items to bring. This trip offers some exercise after your long flight but not so much as to tire you out for the climb.

Prices (quoted in USD) 1 person participating: $120, 2 people: $81/person, 3 people: $69/person, 4+ people: $50/person

Some excerpts from our Tripadvisor Reviews about it...
“........the tour itself was way more than I expected. The coffee part was great (Emanuel went through the process for preparing the beans, and we drank the coffee that). Emanuel we made), and it was followed by a walk to a waterfall (which was honestly dream-like, seeing the water cascade down and the swifts flying around described the history of his area (coffee-growing during colonial times and the development of irrigation from the waterfall) and showed us many interesting plants and animals (chameleons on trees, the nice smell of lime and eucalyptus leaves, a rough leaf used as sandpaper, and, of course, coffee berries [sweet and delicious!]).”
“...We did a day trip to the Matharuni village with a coffee plantation tour and a hike to the waterfall. This was our acclimatisation day, which seemed very helpful and a lot of fun. “