10 things to know before climbing Kilimanjaro

  1. Choose your route
    • There are 6 routes on Kilimanjaro and the length of climbs ranges from 5 days to 9.  Some include camping at the crater rim, some have huts for sleeping, and some have a higher successful summit rate than others.  Click here to read more about the Kilimanjaro routes.
  2. Choose your outfitter (Boma Africa, obviously!)
    • There are many travel agents that sell the tours to a second hand outfitter “on the ground” in Tanzania or Kenya. It’s worth confirming who will be executing your climb so that you can have all the information on their safety standards and services provided.  www.bomaafrica.com
  3. Training
    • Being in good health and fitness is an asset when attempting to summit Kilimanjaro. Cardiovascular training, along with some climbing/ mountainous hiking can help to prepare you.  To reduce the risk of altitude sickness you can spend some time at higher altitude before your climb. You can do this by doing some hiking at home, or in and around Arusha.  Read more about preparing for your climb here!
  4. Break in  your boots
    • A good pair of boots is a must on Kilimanjaro. They should have good ankle support, water proof, and warm, and of course, be comfortable!  IF you are buying new boots for this epic adventure, make sure you break them in before you come. Nothing is worse than finishing off day 1 with a giant blister!
  5. Practice your day pack
    • Same as above- if you are getting a new day pack, break it in!  Practice putting in all the items you will be carrying for the day to make sure everything fits and you will be comfortable.  Typically you would carry rain gear, 3L of water, your lunch box, sunscreen, a hat, lipsyl, your camera, and extra layers of clothing, that either get peeled off or get put on as the day goes by.  What to expect on the mountain is explained in more detail here.
  6. Think about Medication
    • You may want to discuss with your physician to see if taking medication to help prevent altitude sickness is a good option for you. Also ask about other medications or vaccinations you might need for travel to Tanzania.
  7. Bring an SPF lipsyl
    • Make sure you bring a lipsyl with SPF!
  8. Remember “Pole Pole”- walk slowly!
    • Walking slowly will increase your chances of submitting successfully!  Conserve your energy and give your body time to adjust to changes in altitude.  This will be on the of the first Swahili words you will learn from your guides, Pole, pole- Slowly!
  9. Drink a sip of water every 10 minutes
    • Hydration is important in any physical endeavour, and dehydration can increase the risk of altitude sickness. Taking frequent small sips throughout your climb keeps you well hydrated and fit to climb to Uhuru peak!  To see your packing list, click here.
  10. Turn back if reccommended
    • Your guides are trained to recognize the signs of altitude sickness and fatigue. If they have concerns regarding your health they will recommend beginning to descend. While this can be very disappointing, it’s important to take their advice seriously.  Kilimanjaro is a friendly mountain, climbed by thousands, young and old, from around the world every year, but needs also to be taken seriously as altitude sickness can be a very serious health hazard.  More on safety here.

Questions?  Email us at info@bomaafrica.com



Testimonial from Golden, BC


We were with Boma Africa for five weeks. They picked us up at the Arusha airport when we arrived, and we were taken care of from that point until we were dropped off at the Dar es Salaam airport on our departure. Our trip included safaris in Ngorongoro, Tarangire, Serengeti, and Ruaha; hiking to Lake Natron, the Empakai Crater and the farmlands around Lushoto; climbing Kilimanjaro; and ending on the beaches of Zanzibar; with many cultural tours in between.
In short, it was fantastic! We really want to congratulate Boma on an excellent product. We were super happy. The organization, logistics, and excellent client care throughout were great. The guides were excellent – professional, knowledgable, and had our safety as their first priority. It all worked out perfectly. Most importantly for us, there was no stress, as everything was so well managed. If we know of anyone planning a trip to Tanzania, we would recommend Boma Africa in a heart beat.

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Ngorongoro Highlands Trek

Specific feedback on the trip:
The itinerary worked really well for us. It was a good blend of game drives, cultural tours and information, and hiking. It was nicely broken up, and Kilimanjaro was a great interlude mid-trip
Guides: all were excellent. They were all professional and very well informed.
Chefs: amazing what they could do – especially on Kilimanjaro. We were very happy with the quality of food, and how much effort they put into our well being.
Lushoto – really cool place! We could have spent another day here, just to hike around.
Ruaha – super cool, really enjoyed our one night there.
Zanzibar was a really nice way to end the trip.

2017 In a Nutshell

2017 was a great year for Boma Africa!

Highlights include:

  • The Mafuru family moving to Tanzania
  • A handful of great safaris, treks, and Kilimanjaro climbs
  • Providing free education to 20 students at LK Kindergarten
  • Funding to pay the teacher for 6 months of 2018
  • Collection of enough school supplies for the next year at LK Kindergarten
  • Funding to fix the water source at LK Kindergarten
  • Acquired 20 used tires to add play structures to the Sue and Martin Parnell Playground
  • Shipping  40′ sea container FULL of supplies and equipment for Boma la Mama Birth Centre
  • Opening the Mto wa Mbu Community Centre in partnership with The Mto wa Mbu Project

Thank you to George & Jean Terpsma, Ella and Charlotte Jobin, AP Elementary School, Beating Hearts Music, Rotary Club of South Edmonton, Maureen Fath, Emmanuel Foundation, The Mto wa Mbu Project, Lindsay Kimmett Memorial Foundation, Shanualea Vliegenthart, Lucina Midwives, Barbara Campbell, the Birrells, and to the many private donors that filled the shipping container, their suitcases, and our hearts!

What are some goals for 2018, you ask??

  • Obtain funding for operational costs for 2 years in order to open Boma la Mama
  •  Request funds to expand the school
  • Place several skilled volunteers at the school and community centre
  • Add play structures to the Sue and Martin Parnell Playground
  • Resume running water at the Boma sites
  • Register Boma Africa as a Non Profit Company in Canada & implement new organizational structure
  • Invest in marketing to sell more tours & generate more funds for our projects!
  • Establish a “safe gear” program to ensure our Boma Africa porters have warm boots and gear on our climbs

and….check out this amazing hornworm!

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Hornworm in Tanzania

Photo Gallery- People & Culture of Tanzania

Join Boma Africa for the Kilimanjaro Marathon- March 4, 2018

The annual Kilimanjaro marathon is coming up in just over 2 months!  Not sure I can train up to a half marathon that quickly, but might sign up as a 21 km run/ walk for myself.

The marathon was founded in 2002 and attracts almost 9000 runners including locals and athletes from around the world. The route heads up the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, passing through forest, plantations, villages, and the town of Moshi.  Winners claim prizes up to 4 million TSH.

Our most memorable Kilimanjaro Marathon was Kili Quest 95.2 in 2013.  Lawrence and Martin Parnell of Canada planned to run the marathon, then attempt to climb Kilimanjaro in just 24h!  It was amazing- they summited Kilimanjaro- but not quite in the 24 hours they had hoped!  This was a successful fundraiser for the organization Right to Play.

The only marathon I’ve ever done was the Kilimanjaro Marathon- and I only did half!  It was hard, but such a fun day!  Everyone is in such high spirits and the locals of the sleepy villages come out to cheer you on or join up with you for a few kilometres.  Many folks from around the world, and from Tanzania are there for a fun day- mixed with elite athletes training for the Olympics!

If you are looking for a race to add to your itinerary and a chance to go on a world class safari, or to climb Kilimanjaro, get in touch!


Heri ya Kristmasi from Tanzania!

Wishing everyone a fun filled holiday season from Boma Africa!

Happy to see tourists having lunch and riding bikes in the village today; celebrating this special day in Tanzania!  It’s 34 degrees, the children are drinking Fanta orange and getting dressed in their best!

My first day in Tanzania was Christmas day, 2008!  This was also the day Lawrence and I first met, on Mount Kilimanjaro!  The rest, they say, is history!

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Christmas Cubs Photo by Andrew Knapp

Canadian Midwives in Tanzania

I am personally volunteering with this program, featured on CTV news, in March to help facilitate emergency skills training sessions for rural midwives!

Boma Africa is also looking into being involved on the Tanzanian side of this project… there was a call for a Tanzanian NGO to support CUSO & TAMA. This would be a new type of project management for Boma Africa, but we are going to apply regardless and are hoping that having a Canadian midwife and a Tanzanian midwife who has been doing this type of outreach work for the last several years on our team will make our application successful!

Click below to watch the short news clip about the Midwives Save Lives program!

CTV NEWS- Canadian Midwives and CUSO in Tanzania

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“Wow what a great trip we had up Kilimanjaro. The guides were outstanding. The attention to detail in regards to safety and our well being was amazing. Their communication skills excellent, their organizational skills again excellent. Both John and I have worked most of our lives in the outdoor recreation business and how well trained and professional they are in every respect blew us away. And they were fun and made every effort needed to get us to the top and make the trip a success in every way. The chefs!!! Again far exceeded our expectations. The food was so good. We are so well . I know I never lost a pound as I never lost my appetite as it was too good not to eat. The porters, again exceptional. How hard they worked and long days and the loads they carried and all we ever saw were happy smiling faces looking to be helpful in any way possible.” – BRENDA, CANADA, 2017

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Gilleman’s Point, Kilimanjaro. Boma Africa

Katie’s Sponsorship ongoing…. asante!

Asante Sana Wilson Family for your donation- Katie is excelling at the Mwalimu Anna school thanks to your scholarship.

Katie has been sponsored since pre school (originally by Mr. Jeremy) and has been fortunate to attend the awesome Mwalimu Anna school in Mto wa Mbu village. She loves school, and gets A’s.  Her grandpa gets up at 5 every day to get her ready for school. The school bus picks her up at 6 am and drops her off at home at 5 pm.  It’s  a long day but she thrives.  This is an english medium school where most instruction happens in English.

Katie- sponsorship- Boma Africa
Katie- sponsorship- Boma Africa