Travel Information on Tanzania - Climbing Guide for Kili Trekking

Few travellers are ever disappointed by Tanzania. Information on the country is widely available, and accessing its main towns and cities is relatively easy. The United Republic of Tanzania is made up of the mainland of Tanganyika and the islands of Zanzibar. Viewed as one of the most spectacular wildlife havens in the world, it is comprised of magnificent unspoilt beaches, endless rolling plains, incredible wildlife parks and lush tropical rainforests. It is also home to a number of legendary lakes and mountains including Lake Tanganyika, Lake Natron, Mount Meru and of course Mount Kilimanjaro.

Visas for Tanzania are relatively simple to obtain either from the Tanzanian Embassy in one's country, or alternatively upon arrival in the country. The former option is however strongly advised so as to avoid the administrative nightmares which often accompany negotiations in a foreign country. Prior to departing on their vacation visitors should also obtain a yellow fever inoculation, which although not compulsory is strongly advised. A course of anti- malaria tablets is also recommended for those planning on visiting the coastal regions.

The national currency of Tanzania is the Tanzanian shilling (TSh). Credit cards and cheques are accepted in most major centres around the country and US dollars and British Pounds are also welcomed in certain places, especially around Kilimanjaro. Carrying cash in the form of shillings is however generally seen as a far wiser and more convenient option.

Shopping in Tanzania can be an absolute pleasure, with superior quality local goods being available at incredibly reasonable prices. Items to look out for on the mainland include ebony carvings and jewellery, precious metals and stones as well as woven goods and textiles. Zanzibar is brimming with exotic spices and fragrant scents as well as intricately carved sculptures and chests.

Most of those who visit Tanzania do so for one of two reasons- either to visit renowned game and marine locations, or alternatively to attempt to scale the tallest peak in Africa. Extending almost 6000 meters into the heaven, Kilimanjaro is both one of the tallest free standing mountains in the world, and one of the only peaks that can in fact be climbed by ordinary hikers.

Those wishing to reach the summit of the Shining Mountain, as it is called by the local population, will need to prepare for a challenging trip. Whilst Porters and guides will provide support and assistance to the best of their ability, ultimately it will be personal tenacity that will determine whether individuals reach Uhuru Peak or not. Slow and steady is the key to success, and climbers will grow accustomed to hearing their guides utter the words 'Pole pole', which from native Swahili translates to 'slowly slowly.'

The cost of scaling Kili varies according to which route climbers wish to take, and the length of time they intend to spend on the mountain. Most tour packages include all Flights, food, guides, porters and accommodation both on the mountain and post/ prior to the climb. Not included are Visas, equipment, tips for porters and guides and spending money for extra food and beverages.

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