There is nothing worse than lost or delayed luggage, especially if you are heading off on an expedition such as Mount Kilimanjaro that requires specialist clothing and equipment, but with an estimated 2.5million suitcases going missing each year, it is something you should consider when packing for your trip.
While any reputable Kilimanjaro Climbing company will be able to assist you with good quality hiking clothing, poles, sleeping bags, and backpacks if yours go missing, some things, like your hiking boots, are an invaluable part of your trip, so always keep them with you, either on your feet, or in your hand luggage.
Wearing your boots to travel in might not be the most fashionable or comfortable option, but if they are on your feet they will free up plenty of space in your hand luggage for other essentials such as medications, a pair of hiking trousers, a complete set of thermal underwear, spare undies and socks, sunglasses, camera’s and your head lamp.
It is also advisable to take your jacket with you as hand luggage. It might be too warm and bulky for at home, but you will be more than happy to have it at 5,000mtrs above sea level, and once you are on the plane, you can secure it in the overhead locker and have one less thing to worry about. You can also pack your hats and gloves in your jacket pockets – so if the worse happens and your suitcase ends up in Tasmania rather than Tanzania, you will at least have the basics!
If you do arrive in Kilimanjaro to find that your luggage didn’t make it, the first thing to do is report it at the airport and let them know where you are staying, but keep the luggage tag with you as you will need this to track your case with the airline.
Most climbers arrive in Kilimanjaro 24-hours before the start of their climb, so there is a possibility that your case will arrive before you begin your expedition, but if not, your Kilimanjaro climbing company should help you buy or rent any equipment you need. A good Kilimanjaro climbing company will also follow up with the airline so that if your luggage does arrive, they can collect it from the airport and send it up to you on the mountain.
Once you are standing at Uhuru Peak overlooking all Africa, the last thing on your mind will be your luggage, so don’t let a lost suitcase spoil your Kilimanjaro expedition, just be prepared and pack as much as possible in your hand luggage!