FAQs & Information About Wild Spirit Adventures

Everest Base Camp

Can I add extra days to my trekking trip?

Holiday should never be about making it to the final point quickly. Along your trek we can add days at your request with additional costs to cover guides, porters, accommodation and food.

Can I charge my digital camera or other equipments on my trip?

These facilities will be available in most of the places in your hotel reception by paying some service charges. Remember to bring TWO and THREE pin travel adapters!

Can I obtain the visa for Nepal upon on arrival at the airport?

YES, you can obtain a visa easily upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 30 days can be obtained by paying US $ 40 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 90 days can be obtained by paying US $ 100. Please bring 2 copies of passport size photos.

Can I use credit cards in the places I visit in trekking?

In the cities, yes – to some extent. Once you are out of the cities, all you need is cash. Please change the currency in local Nepali Rupees before you go to the mountains.

Do I need to tip my guide and porters? How much would that be?

This is a difficult thing to gauge. We have seen everything from USD 20 to USD 1000 per person for guides and porters. Tipping is not required, but a small gesture of thanks to your guides and local porters. The level of the tip should reflect the level of satisfaction from and personal involvement with your guide. However, we recommend you to spend minimum 10% of your total trip cost for tipping entire local staffs, the ratio of tipping guide and porter will be given to you at the pre-trip meeting in Kathmandu before starting the trek.

Do we book our own international flights to and from Nepal?

Yes, you need to book your own International flights.

Do you guys have a PAC Portable Altitude Chamber?

Yes, we do have PAC but we don’t use it for Everest Base camp trek since you only have to stay a night above 5000 meters. We will surely provide one if required.

Do you know about how many miles the trek is?

Total distance of the entire trek is about 75 miles.

Do you use yaks/porters on the trek or do we carry all of our own gear?

Whilst on the trek, our porter will take care of your luggage. All you need to carry is your small day bag for your personal belongings like camera, water bottle, sun cream etc only.

Do your guides have trekking guide certificates from the Hotel Management and Tourism Centre? Have they received first aid training for high altitude?

Yes, they have all received 45-day training from the Hotel Management and Tourism Centre in Nepal. The guides have also received high altitude first aid training from KEEP (Kathmandu Environmental Education Project).

How much additional money do I need per day?

It depends on your spending habits. Generally, in Kathmandu, you can allocate USD 10 to USD 15 for a lunch and a dinner. USD 15 to USD 18 per person a day will be enough to buy bottles of water, chocolates, pay for the hot shower and a few drinks during the trekking.

I am a Vegetarian, is that a Problem ?

No problem at all because the lodges mostly serve the vegetarian meals. We always recommend our clients to eat vegetarian meals to avoid the food poisoning, eating heavy meals and non- vegetarian meals at the high altitude is not really safe for the stomach.

I would like to extend my holiday, any recommendations?

Yes, there are a plenty of options and choices to extend your holiday before or after your main trip.

Is the food in mountain prepared to international standard in terms of safety?

YES, the food is very safe during the trekking and we recommend you to eat the vegetarian and local food. Please follow the suggestion of our guide on the trek.

Is there a possibility of getting separate rooms for the Kathmandu portion of the trip? If so how much extra will this cost?

Yes! We can surely book separate rooms in Kathmandu for your portion of the trip. During the trek we will try our best but normally the lodges have twin sharing and dormitory styled room instead of a single room. The lodges will provide a private room for one person when the room is free and additional cost is not required.

The additional cost is USD 70 per person for booking a single room in Kathmandu for four nights when booking for groups of two or more than two people.

Is there any communication while we are on trekking?

There are telephones in some villages along the trekking routes from which you can make international calls. All our guides are equipped with the local mobile phone. You may wish to pass the number of our guide to your family for the callback or you can make a call from the guide’s mobile and pay him directly for the international call too.

Is this a guaranteed departure even if I am alone stating in the request trip?

YES all our trips are guaranteed to run. We never cancel the trip due to not having enough participants, we can arrange the trip for one person as well.

Is water provided and is there still water available at higher altitudes? Is it filtered/boiled? Readily available?

Bottled water is easily available at the lodges and tea houses. You can buy bottled water at the cost of USD 2 at lower elevations to USD 4 to higher elevation per litre. You can also drink the normal tap or spring water if you bring the purifying aid with you.

What immunizations will I need?

No vaccinations are compulsory in Himalaya, but we do recommend you are covered for diphtheria & TB, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, *malaria, typhoid, polio and tetanus.

We also recommend, a dental check-up prior to travelling and that you know your blood group in case of emergency.

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions which might affect you on tour, you make these known to your tour leader.

What is the best season for this trekking?

Our trekking season extends from mid- September to May. From early September the monsoonal rains decrease. By end of September through to December the weather is usually stable with mild to warm days, cold nights. February, March, April, May, October, November, December are the best time to do Everest base camp trek.

What is the success rate for your trips?

We have up to 98% success rate for our Everest treks.

What is the temperature rating of the sleeping bag that you lend to trekkers?

The temperature rating of the sleeping bags we provide are about -10 deg C, we can provide liner or extra blanket if the sleeping bag is not warm enough for you.

What is the weather and temperature like in trekking?

Every trekking trip up the mighty Mt. Everest presents its own amazing, unforgettable moments that forever live on in the hearts and minds of those brave enough to make the climb. One of the most unpredictable elements of the Everest region is the weather. If you’re not properly prepared for the twists, turns and volatility of the conditions that can occur in this breathtaking region, you might find yourself in an uncomfortable and unpleasant situation.

Generally speaking, the nights are much cooler than the daytime hours in the Everest region. Many first-time trekkers are surprised to learn about the incredible range that may occur in a given day. During the day, the thermometer could reach temps as high as 25 degrees C, only to dip down as low as -20 degrees C in less than 24 hours. While there’s no way to know exactly what each day in the mountains will bring, the weather and temperature ranges tend to be somewhat predictable based on the month and season.

Spring – March / April / May / June
Spring is one of the best times of the year to visit the Everest region, although because of this, it can become somewhat crowded. One can meet many other Everest climbers during this season and base camp is full of tents. The beautiful clear blue sky can be seen and the many different species of flower are visible in the lower altitude.

During springtime, the average temperature is 17 degrees C with a maximum of 25 degrees C during sunny days and a minimum of -15 degrees C in the morning and at night for areas above 4000 meters.

July / August through Mid-September are Monsoon Season
This season is not really recommended to travel as it rains in the lower altitudes, below 3500 meters. In areas above 4000 meters, it rains sometimes and although it is also sometimes dry, very few people travel during this season. There are positives to trekking during the monsoon months, however. The excess rainfall can provide ample chance to see spectacular views of the waterfall and it’s also the best season to avoid the crowds. The maximum temperature during the monsoon season averages 25 degrees C during sunny days with a minimum -15 degrees C in the morning and night at areas above 4000 meters. The average temperature tends to hover around a comfortable 18 degrees C.

Autumn – End of September / October / November
Similar to springtime, autumn in the Everest region is also a crowded season, but it’s one of the best times to trek. While it lacks the beauty of flowers, the clear blue sky can be seen, affording incredible views from just about every angle.

The average temperature during the fall is 15 degrees C with a maximum temp of 20 degrees C during sunny days and a minimum of -10 degrees C in the morning and at night, for areas above 4000 meters altitude.

Regardless of time of year, trekkers should always plan accordingly and bring clothing for both cooler and warmer temps. Layering is always recommended, as are pants that can double as shorts. For a full list of clothing and materials to bring to account for various temperatures and weather changes that can occur in the Everest region, visitors should work closely with their travel provider. This will ensure that the adventure will be enjoyable no matter what the weather and that every possible scenario will be accounted for ahead of time.

What mode of transportation do you use?

Depending on the nature of the travel, the transportation to and from the destination varies from domestic flights to vehicular transportation to even piggyback rides on mules and yaks. We provide you only those options which enhance your local experience while allowing you to travel comfortably and efficiently. We use private tourist vehicles for sightseeing, city tours and pickups. Depending on the group size we use cars, minibus, vans or alternatively 4WD SUVs, more manoeuvrable in travelling along the narrow and bumpy roads of Nepal. All the vehicles are usually air-conditioned unless we are travelling in cooler areas.
For domestic flights (Kathmandu – Lukla – Kathmandu), we use Tara Air, Agni Air -popular domestic airlines.

What opportunities will I have for shower along the trek?

In major places (Namche Bazar, Lukla), we arrange guesthouse with hot shower. And in the rest of the places, hotel water in bucket will be provided for shower; it would cost you extra about USD 3-4 per shower.

What safety measures are in place? What safety equipment do your guides carry with them on trek to deal with sickness/accidents?

Our guides are well trained for the high altitude problems and first aid. They always carry the first aid kit bag during the trek. However we still recommend you to bring your personal first aid kit as well. All our guides carry the local mobile phones and SAT phones for the emergency.

What sort of accommodation can I expect in Kathmandu and in trekking?

We use standard rooms at three star hotels in Kathmandu with breakfast included. Along the trekking routes, teahouses/lodges generally provide basic clean facilities with a mattress and a quilt or blanket. We can also offer you sleeping bags if needed (to be returned after the trip) but it is a good idea to always have your own sleeping equipment. The lodges in trekking routes usually provide single and double rooms, or occasionally a dormitory. At times when possible, dining will be around a bon fire. In tea houses, food will be prepared in the kitchen which you should not enter without permission. The toilet in tea houses provides essential and basic facilities and is always outside the room.

What sort of food can I expect in trekking?

Most teahouses (lodges) in Everest Base Camp trails cook a delicious range of mostly vegetarian fare. Pasta, tuna bakes, noodles, potatoes, eggs, daal bhat(rice and lentils), bread, soup, fresh vegetables (variety depends on the season) and even some desserts like apple pies, pancakes, and some interesting attempts at custard. You will find a lot of garlic on the menu because it assists with acclimatization – eat some every day. In many larger villages you may find some meat items on the menu. You can always get hot chocolate, tea, and hot lemon drinks, as well as soft drinks, and treats like chocolate and crisps. Each day dinner and breakfast will be at a lodge you’ll stay at while lunch will be taken on the way to destination.

What type of shape do I need to be in, is this trip for me?

Everest base camp standard trek is suitable for average people who are moderately fit, thus no previous experience is required. Some physical fitness programs such as running, swimming, hiking is recommended before you embark on your journey. Whilst on the trek, it is common to experience some discomfort before being fully acclimatized.

To prepare for a strenuous trek you should begin training at least two to three months before your departure. As a guideline, an hour of aerobic exercise three to four times per week would be considered a minimum requirement. The best preparation is bushwalking involving relatively steep ascents and descents. If you can manage a couple of valley floor to ridgeline ascents per comfortable and able to enjoy the trek to the fullest.

When I pay the remainder of the money on arrival in Kathmandu, how do you take that money? US cash or credit card?

You can clear the remainder of the money upon your arrival in Kathmandu or even before you arrive in Kathmandu. You can use USD cash, American Express, Travellers Cheque, Master or Visa cards for the payment options. There will be 4% bank levy when paying by credit cards.

Where do we toilet along the trail? Is it similar to Kilimanjaro and just wherever we can find privacy?

At most cases you can use the toilet provided by the tea houses/lodges on the trail but normally in case of emergency, you just do toilet along the trail wherever you find privacy.

Will somebody come to pick me up at the airport upon my arrival?

Yes, our airport representative will be there to greet you at the airport. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel by our tourist vehicle.

Will there be a place to store items/clothing not required for the trek?

The hotel in Kathmandu does provide the free storage services. So you can leave all your items that are not required for the trekking at your hotel.

Wild Spirit Adventures

Accommodation

Wild Spirit offers a range of accommodation depending on the type of adventure you choose. Our home stays allow you to become part of the culture and allow you the opportunity view first hand, the workings of a village family. Guest Houses may be a long house dormitory type or a secluded grass hut nestled along a secluded beach.

Our hotel accommodation ranges from basic to 5 star depending on your requirements and what is available in the area. If you are tenting, we supply quality equipment that will allow you to feel safe from the outside environment.

Clothing and equipment

The destinations we visit are varied! Each country has a specific equipment and clothing list. When you book a Wild Spirit Adventure, you receive a password allowing you to enter our “Client Section”. All necessary information and more can be found here. We have spent much time and energy developing what we believe are to be the most detailed and informative clothing and equipment lists of any company.

Food

Wild Spirit is renowned for the quality and quantity of our food. We use local fresh food where possible and have strict hygiene criteria with our cooks and guests. During home stays you will eat with the host family and if you like, assist them with preparation; it’s all part of the experience. Our selected restaurants have been chosen for their cleanliness and the cultural originality of the food they provide. Your dining, whatever the venue, will be a memorable experience.

Guides / porters / staff

Wild Spirit employs local guides and staff because they are the most knowledgeable. It is our policy that our local staff mix with the client group to ensure you have the greatest opportunity to learn about the culture of the country you are visiting. It assists our staff also in learning about other countries, assists them in developing their English speaking skills and aids in everlasting friendships. You are always met at the airport by a Wild Spirit representative who will assist you with hotel accommodation or transport.

How knowledgeable are your Australian Guides?

Our Australian Guides are first class professionals with a passion and understanding of the history of the Track, the POWs, the philosophy and tactics used during the Sandakan incarceration and death march. Being a historical guide is what they do, this is no part time job for them, and they live and breathe the story of the track.
Our Head Guide and Managing Director Wayne Wetherall has spent years researching the history of the Track and has GPS the entire length of the track, to create and up to date profile of the track.

Informative

Full immersion in nature and the culture of the exotic places you visit means you enter a new world mentally as well as physically. Our guides abound in local and historical knowledge. History and nature come alive as you relive the experiences of war-time heroes or the early pioneers. You may finally catch a glimpse of that wild Orang-utan or Bird of Paradise that you have only seen on Television.

Optionable

Some adventures, such as whitewater rafting, can be too demanding for some people. These experiences are not for everyone, so we include these as an Optionable item. You may just want a more relaxing alternative following the tour core activity.

Safety

You depend on us to ensure your journey is pleasurable, memorable and most of all safe! Our head guides are first aid trained; we carry satellite phones and are in constant contact with our home office in the unlikely case something goes wrong. Our pre trip information is designed to reduce risk by getting you as prepared as possible. The measure of a professional company is what it does when something unforeseen happens. We have detailed risk assessment plans and strategies for every country we operate in.

Support

Our staff are always available to answer any question you may have. Just email or phone us and we guarantee we will give you our best service.

Travel Documents

A money belt is a useful item in many of the countries we visit. It allows you to carry travel documents, cash and cards. We advise you to photocopy your passport and other important documents, record the numbers and leave copies with someone at home.

What to expect on your Wild Spirit Adventure

Wild Spirit is passionate about the places we visit and we have made it our priority to become travel specialists throughout the regions we operate in. We are responsible operators.

Wild Spirit adheres to a strict code of conduct in our dealings with local cultures, staff and the environment. We adhere to the International Porters Protection Association guidelines which ensure responsible employment procedures in developing countries.

We have developed excellent working and social relationships in the countries in which we operate and are well respected amongst local peoples for how we operate. In many destinations we have instigated Educational support programs, sponsored orphanages and provided infrastructure to disadvantaged villages. We have a social conscience and firmly believe we and our clients have a responsibility to put something back into the areas where we conduct our journeys.

Our company respects the culture and the people of all countries we visit and we treat them as we would like to be treated.

Sandakan Death March

Can we bring food into Sabah Borneo?

Yes you can. This has not been an issue before. You must declare your food and advise customs that it is for trekking.

Can we drink alcohol on the Sandakan Track?

Sandakan Spirit has a “no alcohol/no drugs” policy while trekking on the Sandakan track. It is however possible in our accommodation to buy local beer to be consumed with your meal, as this is not on the track itself but in a motel style facility.

Do I need a Dr’s Clearance to trek the Sandakan Death March Route?

Yes. Approximately 3 months prior to your trek Sandakan Spirit will post to you a letter for you to take to your Doctor.
We ask that the original Drs Letter be posted to the Sandakan Spirit office no later than 4 weeks before departure.
It is Sandakan Spirit’s requirements that every trekker must obtain medical clearance from their Doctor. If we do not receive the original Sandakan Spirit Drs letter, unfortunately your trek will be cancelled.

Do I need a Visa for Sabah Borneo?

If you hold an Australian Passport No Visa is required.
Travel tip
Wear your boots on the plane and bring essential items in your carryon luggage. Bags do go missing; bags can be left back in Australia. If you have got your boots, medical supplies and some personal items with you and your bag goes missing, then you still have your basic requirements to trek.

Do I need to wear boots on the Sandakan Track?

It is not essential to wear boots across the Sandakan track but I highly recommend good quality comfortable footwear. My boots are 100% water proof. (At least they are until the water comes over the top) They are also a light weight Gortex construction for quick drying. They have an aggressive Vibram flexible grip and sole for better traction on the track. Companies will push their own brands and preferences and attempt to convince you of the benefits. My suggestions are that the boots must be comfortable, be at least one size bigger then you would normally wear. This will prevent you from getting sore toes on the declines; your feet can also swell causing discomfort. They should also be light weight quick drying and have a good flexible and aggressive grip. The track is harsh on boots so do not risk old or suspect boots. I have found Aku and Scarpa boots to be the best for me.

Do I need travel/medical insurance for Sabah Borneo?

Yes, you do need Travel Insurance, it is very important. You are responsible to organise your own Travel/Medical insurance, which can be organised at your Travel Agent.
You will need coverage for medical evacuation; medical, theft, loss etc… speak to your Travel Agent about the inclusions. Travel Insurance MUST include Medical Evacuation (anywhere in Malaysia) and medical expenses including hospital coverage in Malaysia and Australia. It can be a very costly experience for you if you do not have your Travel Insurance! **
We require a copy of your personal, Travel and Medical Insurance no later than 4 weeks before departure. Failure to have travel and medical insurance will prevent you from trekking.
Should you require assistance with your travel insurance, please contact our travel department at spiritholidays@wholesaletravel.com.au

How much money will I need on Sandakan Death March Route?

On the Track you need to take with you local currency (Malaysian Ringgit). You can organise to buy Malaysian currency through your local bank before you leave Australia or at the money exchanger at the International Airports. I would highly recommend that you have Malaysian currency before leaving Australia.
There are shops near our accommodation where you can buy food and drinks to top up your stocks or for a treat.

Relax and enjoy?

Every effort is made to make your trip as memorable as possible. Please remember, you are going to a third world country and you may see things and experience things you may have never seen before.
Expect the unexpected in Malaysia. Keep an open mind; schedules/itinerary may and can change without notice, internal transfers may be late, planes may be late due to bad weather, please understand it is out of our control. Schedules work to Malaysian time, not Australian time. Patience and a relaxed attitude are essential for an enjoyable trek. All internal flights are booked and confirmed through our office. If there is a problem internally we have direct communications with the airline and our staff. This is no holiday, but a fantastic trekking adventure, it is a trekking experience, a lifetime experience! Enjoy!

What do I need to bring?

Wild Spirit has a comprehensive Trekking Gear List to help you with your essential items.

Refer to our website for the Trekking Gear List requirements.

What food do we eat on the Sandakan Death March Route?

Sandakan Spirit needs to be advised when booking if there are any particular dietary requirements. We do our best to manage your requirements, but accept no responsibility due to availability. Supplements may be implemented.
We are able to supply Gluten Free and Vegetarian menus on request, we do need to be advised at least 6 weeks prior to trek departure.
Below is a general outline of meals whilst on the trek.
Dinners are at a local restaurant and will either, Malaysian, Indian or Chinese.

  • Breakfasts we have cereals, usually Weetbix or porridge, rice cakes with spread and limited fruits depending on availability, tea, coffee, biscuits, sometimes pancakes and damper.
  • Lunches are often sandwiches, chicken, fruit, cheeses, biscuits, spreads, rice crackers and snack bars
  • We recommend you take your own energy treats/snacks e.g. lollies, muesli bars, energy bars, protein bars, trail mix etc for extra supplements (enough for the duration of your trek).
  • PEANUTS – when cooking our meals some of our sauces have peanut traces. Our porters and trekkers do eat peanuts, muesli bars, biscuits which may contain peanuts. Upon booking it is the trekker’s responsibility to advise Sandakan Spirit should they have an allergy to Peanuts.

    When are the best conditions to trek Sandakan?

    The Sandakan Death March track can be trekked all year round, but the conditions on the track vary due to the changes in the season. The seasons are broken up into the dry season and the wet season. These seasons also have sub seasons which fringe the wet and dry season.
    The dry season is normally from late May to late October. Good conditions can still be expected in April and November. It is possible to get rain and consequently mud on the Track during any season or month. Late November, December, January, February and March are wet and muddy.
    The temperature will range from 24-28 degrees under the canopy and up to 36 degrees out in the open areas. The night time temperature will range from 18-24 degrees. Humidity will range between 80% – 95%

    Do I need a medical kit?

    Yes, absolutely. It is essential that you have an appropriate first aid kit for the conditions.

    Do I need Gaiters?

    Gaiters are a personal choice; you can use the lightweight cotton “gardening/mowing” style gaiters to prevent sticks rocks etc from getting into your boots.  Refer to our website for your Trekking Gear List requirements.

    Do we get a completion certificate and a Sandakan Spirit shirt?

    A Sandakan Spirit shirt will be posted to each trekker. With large groups the shirts are posted to the person who has organised the trek. Completion certificate will be handed out to trekkers on the completion of their trek.

    Do we have exclusive use of the campsites and guesthouses?

    No one has exclusive use of the campsites or guesthouses along the Kokoda Track.  It is quite possible that other campers will share some campsites.

    Do we tip the local guides?

    Malaysia is a non tipping society, so tipping your guides, cooks and driver is not necessary. However you may want to reward a job well done, so RM200 is a good tip. Any of your excess clothes or caps, t-shirts etc would be very much appreciated.

    Do we trek at night?

    Wild Spirit does not trek at night.  Our itineraries are designed to ensure you are in camp well before nightfall.

    Do we walk the real Sandakan Death March Track?

    Yes we do walk the real Sandakan Track. You will walk in the footsteps of the POWs.

    Do you abide by a Code of Conduct?

    We are part of the committee that developed the draft policy. We will continue to support the Code of Conduct to ensure the long term protection of the track.

    Do you cover the Military History and Cultural aspects of Sabah Borneo?

    Sandakan Spirit is dedicated to showing and telling the story of the POWs along the infamous Sandakan Death March Route to our trekkers. It is a story that every Australian should know about.

    Our guides are passionate about the history and will share their detailed knowledge of the route and its history with you. We are also dedicated to looking after the villagers and village people along the Sandakan Death March track. Our Sabah Dusan Guides and Porters will share their history and culture with you.

    Do you have a training program?

    If you would like a copy of our training program we can email this to you upon request.

    Do you have an office in Sabah Borneo and Australia?

    Sandakan Spirit has an office in Kota Kinabalu that is run by our experienced and reputable local partner. This office deals with administration and logistics once clients are in Sabah Borneo and our Head Office is on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

    Does the Holiday Inn have storage facilities and safety deposit boxes?

    The Holiday Inn has baggage storage facilities and safety deposit boxes.

    This means you can leave your non-trekking gear in the storage facility while you trek.

    Make sure you leave passports/travel documents, valuables in the safety deposit boxes.

    To organise this please ask the staff at the Holiday Inn reception.

    Please leave all non-essential valuables at home.

    How do I book?

    Contact the Sandakan Spirit office by email info@wildspiritadventures.com or phone us on 07 5445 2758 we will advise you regarding the different options available.

    How do I minimise my risks on the Sandakan Track?

    The best way to minimise risk on the Sandakan Track is to trek with a professional trekking company like Sandakan Spirit. Sandakan Spirit has a comprehensive risk management plan and safety procedures.
    Our guides are first aid trained for wilderness situations; our Australian guides carry first aid kits and on all treks we carry satellite phones.
    It is important that you get yourself a full medical check before training. Sandakan Spirit requires a full medical clearance from your Doctor before trekking with us. Proper preparation and training before your trek is absolutely essential. It is also essential to ensure you take precautions to prevent, dehydration, Hyponatremia and overheating.

    How do you help the villagers and locals along the Track?

    Please refer to our Sustainable Ecotourism strategy policy on the web site.  It will give you an insight into our philosophy and policy on the Kokoda Track.

    How fit do you have to be to walk Sandakan?

    While you do not need to be an Olympic athlete, you still need to be in great physical condition, with good endurance and stamina. You need to be able to walk up to 9 hours per day in hot and humid conditions. The terrain over the Sandakan Track is tough and very steep. You need a strong heart, lungs, quads, calves and a strong and positive attitude. A dedicated training program is required.
    Contact your fitness professional or check out our training program on the website. We recommend you consult your medical practitioner before undertaking any new training program.
    Please Note: All trekkers need to be aware that being well above your healthy weight range seriously impacts on your ability to complete the Track. Should you fall into this category we highly recommend that you concentrate your training on an intensive weight loss/fitness program. You may like to consider hiring a personal trainer to assist you with your fitness goals. If you require the services of a personal trainer please contact our office as we may be able to assist.
    Once again we recommend you consult your medical practitioner before undertaking any new training program.

    How knowledgeable are your Sabah Dusan guides?

    Our Sabah Dusan guides are the best; they discovered and uncovered sections of the forgotten war time track. Our guides will show you all the historic and cultural sites across the Sandakan track.

    Is a Personal Porter necessary?

    The hiring of a personal porter is highly recommended, our porters take great pride in their job and will assist with all aspects of your adventure.  The cost of hiring a personal porter for your trek is $720 ($750 ANZAC Treks). If you are considering carrying your own pack then you must train with the entire pack weight on your back.

    The Kokoda Track is extremely difficult.  You may believe you have trained adequately for the trail and feel comfortable with your pack, but I assure you the Track can drain the resolve of most pack carrying trekkers.

    More than 50% of trekkers who commence the track carrying their own pack end up requiring the services of a personal porter.

    Porters need to be booked and paid for no later than 6 weeks before departure.  Payment can be made by cheque, money order or direct deposit into our account.  In the event that a trekker requires

    a personal porter once he/she arrives in PNG, or at any stage throughout the trek, the trekker will be charged an extra 25% fee on top of the $720, totalling $900.00 (refer to our Booking Terms).

    Trekkers booking for ANZAC treks should note that porter charges are $750 ($937.50 if booked after arrival).

    A personal porter carries a maximum of 16kg.  This will be strictly enforced.  Space should be left for the porter’s own gear.  If you are hiring a personal porter, you will need to carry your own daypack.  In your daypack you will carry things you need for that day e.g. water bottles, camera, film, bushman plus, snacks, any medication required.  If you are having doubts, we recommend you hire a porter.  We ask you to treat our porters with respect at all times, they do a fantastic job and they do take good care of our trekkers!

    Is a walking pole necessary?

    Walking poles are a personal choice but are a very good aide for trekking. They are used as a support and breaking system for the steep downhill sections. You can buy walking poles through our office or from camping stores. It is a good idea to train with the poles. Some people find one pole sufficient, but it is your choice.

    What are the walking times and distances each day?
    • Wake up time on the track is usually around 6.00 am
    • Breakfast is usually served from 6.30 am
    • We usually start walking around 7.00 am
    • There is usually 5-10 minute breaks every 30 mins or so along the track and depending on the size of the hill more often and a stop for morning tea and lunch.
    • The walking pace is best described as a shuffle which is a consistent but reasonably easy pace. This can vary depending on the terrain.
    • Each walking day will vary between 5 to 9 hours with 7 to 8 hours being the average. Arrival times in the camps and villages are around 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm.
    What are the washing/cleaning/toilets/shower facilities on the Sandakan Death March Route like?

    The facilities on the Sandakan Death March track are very basic at best.
    However our Hotel accommodation has showers toilets and basic washing facilities.

    • Toilets on the Track and villages are known as ‘long drops’ and ‘short drops’. These are simple, deep pits or short pits that have been dug in the ground for use as toilets. There are no toilet seats. These facilities have a roof and screen over them for privacy.
    • You do need to take your own toilet paper (2 rolls).
    • An Antibacterial Hand Gel is essential.
    What camping gear do I need?

    Our web site has a complete list of gear required to trek Sandakan or contact us and we will send the list out to you. We can also supply a range of cost effective camping gear to suit your requirements.

    What happens in case of an emergency?

    Whilst in the villages we recommend you do not give money to anyone, as this does create problems between the village people.  They live as a community and money needs to be shared between all in the village.

    If you would like to take something to the villages, a gift that they can share is more appropriate, clothes, ball games, colouring in items, books, reading and writing material.

    First aid items are also very much needed (and appreciated) e.g. bandaids, antiseptic lotions, strapping etc. We do not recommend leaving your prescription or strong medication with the village people, as they are not used to such medications. If taken without supervision they could cause harm.

    We also ask our trekkers not to wander around the villages in swimming costumes.  Please cover up while walking around the villages; it’s a sign of respect.

    What happens to the rubbish on Sandakan?

    It is very important that we all take good care of the Track. If you purchase soft drinks along the Track, then you need to crush the cans and carry them out with you.
    Whilst trekking, please put your own rubbish in your backpack until you arrive at the next campsite. If you see rubbish on the Track, pick it up and put it in our rubbish bags.

    What happens when we arrive in Sabah Borneo?

    After you pass through Malaysian Immigration, collect your luggage and then you will go through Customs.
    If you are arriving the day before your trek, you will be met at the airport. You will then be transported to the Hotel where you will be checked in.
    If you are arriving earlier than the day before your trek, you will need to arrange with the Hotel for airport transfers. I would suggest when booking your extra night accommodation that you request with the Hotel for airport transfers.

    What is the accommodation like on the Sandakan track?

    Our Hotel accommodation on the track is clean, safe and basic.
    The Jungle camps and camp sites along the Sandakan Track are basic at best.

    What is the size of the groups?

    Our PNG led treks have a maximum group size of 16, with an average size of 12.

    Our Australian led treks have a maximum group size of 20, with an average size of 16.

    Group sizes will vary for Anzac Groups and private groups and special occasions.

    What size backpack do I need?

    You will need a 70/75-litre backpack for your main pack and a 30/40-litre pack for your daypack.  Note: Daypack is only needed if you have a personal porter.  Ladies carrying their own packs may only need a 60-litre pack, depending on their physique.

    Water/Electrolytes

    You will need to carry a minimum of 3 litres of water on you.  There are many places to fill water bottles along the track.  Your porters will advise the best places to fill up your water bottles.

    The furthest you will walk between water is approximately 4 hours.

    It is essential that you take electrolytes/Gatorade/Staminade etc with you.  Put in your water, every 3rd litre, it prevents dehydration due to high perspiration losses due to exertion and high humidity.  Dehydration, overheating and hyponatremia can become major issues on the track.  It is very important to keep drinking fluids and utilising salt and electrolyte replacements on the Track.  Because of the higher level of activity, temperature and humidity you will tend to sweat more.  With the increased fluid intake and sweating you also tend to flush out of your system essential minerals, salts etc.  This is why it is important to use electrolytes, salt replacements and Glucose type products.  We highly recommend Endura and salt tablets.

    Electrolytes: If unsure please discuss with your doctor.

    Water purifying tablets can be taken as a precaution.  The water is generally very good along the Track but always check with the Trek Master or Trek Leader about the quality of the water.

    With the different environments, conditions, food and water, upset stomachs, vomiting and diarrhoea can occur.  Please ensure you bring adequate medication.

     

    When do I make payments for the trek?
    Deposit – your deposit payment is due when your booking is confirmed. Wild Spirit will provide you with a Booking Confirmation letter.
     Final Payment - The final payment is due 6 weeks before your trek date.
    What are your Booking Terms and Conditions?
     We ask all trekkers to read our Booking Terms and Conditions. Some of abovementioned points are outlined in more detail in our Booking Terms and Conditions. These can be found on the website or contact our office and we can send this to you. Every trekker who books a trek will also receive Wild Spirit Booking Terms and Conditions upon their booking.
    Where do we stay in Sabah Borneo?

    Our preferred Hotel in Kota Kinabalu is the 5 Stars Le Meridian. If no availability we will source a similar quality Hotel.

    The Kilimanjaro Adventurer

    Contingencies

    In case one person gets sick and has to stay behind or even return, he or she will be accompanied by one of the assistant guides while other climbers go on with the leading guide and other assistant guide(s). Unlike most other companies who charge about US$100, we provide a free transfer from the mountain to the hotel should a climber return earlier than planned. However, if the climb is extended for any reason, we will charge $170 per day per person.

    Excludes

    Travel insurance, tips (budget approx USD130-150 per person for any of the six day camping route), drinks and items of a personal nature, personal equipment. Airport transfers and shuttle bus optional extra.

    Flights

    It is imperative that you reconfirm your onward/return flights.

    Health

    Please note you will need a Yellow Fever inoculation, this must be done no later than 10 days prior to departure. If you have had any previous history of liver disorders you must consult your physician first. Malaria prophylactics are a must. Please refer to our medical sheet for the mountain.

    Mt Kilimanjaro

    “As wide as all the world, great, high, and unbelievably white in the sun,
    was the square top of Mount Kilimanjaro” Ernest Hemingway.

    The first written reference to Mt. Kilimanjaro was by Ptolemy but even so, Africa’s highest mountain and the highest free standing mountain in the world remained relatively unknown to the outside world until 1848.

    Snow capped and shrouded by clouds, the local Chagga people called it ‘Kilema Kyaro’ meaning ‘that which cannot be conquered’ or ‘that which makes a journey impossible.’ Today, it is the dream of every adventurer to conquer its summit and stand on the “roof of Africa.”

    Situated south of the equator – in Tanzania – at 19 340 feet, (5895m) this is Africa’s highest mountain and the highest “free standing” mountain in the world.

    Huge permanent glaciers flow down from the summit, and spectacular views and beautiful ice formations are the reward for the successful trekker, as well as the satisfaction of conquering this mighty peak.

    It is not for the faint-hearted – this will test you to your limits, mentally as well as physically. The main problems encountered are altitude sickness, which can be countered by use of medicines, and lack of oxygen.

    The standard route is a hike – no climbing as such. It is very cold – correct kit is a must – but our kit lists and hire equipment are top quality. We have personally done the major routes; so can offer first hand advice.

    Good preparation and advice, as well as good guides on the mountain, have given us an over 95% success rate (the average is 60%) – this type of thing is a “once in a lifetime ” challenge, and must not be taken lightly.

    We ensure that all our climbers have all the facts – medical list, equipment list, etc, long before they travel – possibly the reason for our success rate.

    Any reasonably fit person who enjoys walking can reach the summit of Kilimanjaro. The youngest to make it was nine years old – the oldest seventy-nine.

    While thousands of people scramble to the top of Kilimanjaro each year, there are some extremely severe climbs available to the experienced mountaineer. There are several principal hiking routes up the mountain, like the Marangu (Coca Cola), Shira, Londorossi, Rongai, Umbwe and Machame.

    The Shira plateau can be reached with a four-wheel drive vehicle up to 4 000 metres. These routes are marked and provided with simple bivouac huts and water, we choose to camp on all of these routes (except Marangu which offers communal huts)

    The Machame route is one of the more scenic routes up the mountain, after the Umbwe route, this is probably the most beautiful route by which to ascend the mountain. Nights are spent in ‘alpine tents’ sleeping two persons per tent (three person tents, so there is space for your luggage).

    All your supplies and camping equipment are portaged up for you (tents, 20-25 mm compressed foam sleeping mats, awnings, stools, lights, etc), and your meals are prepared.

    Your personal baggage limit is 12kg for the climb.

    South African tents and sleeping mats are supplied on this trip.
    The Keys Hotel, your base hotel, is located in Moshi and has a swimming pool, indoor bar and garden area, patio, restaurant and satellite television coverage. The rooms are clean, neat and comfortable. Showers are en-suite with hot/cold water. It is one of the best hotels in town, although fairly basic by South African standards. The staff are very friendly and ‘nothing is too much trouble’.

    The guides employed are excellent (some have climbed Kili over 400 times)! They are employed by the Keys Hotel and have looked after a multitude of our clients. Each trip is lead by a senior guide, with other guides in a ratio of approximately one guide per 2 or 3 climbers – if you are a bit slower than the rest or get ill and have to descend, a guide will always be with you.

    Food served on the mountain is generally plain and wholesome, including a lot of carbohydrates, stews and soups, vegetables and fresh fruit. Vegetarians are catered for, but please notify us in advance.

    When flying, we strongly suggest you wear / carry on your boots, wet weather gear and cameras – these are crucial for your climb, and you do not want to risk losing them in the hold. Make sure you have your yellow fever certificate with you – as it will be asked for on in Tanzania and on arrival back home.

    On arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be met by a Representative from Keys Hotel and transferred to the hotel in Moshi (approx 1 – 1 ½ hour’s drive), where you will overnight including a continental breakfast.

    There are two sister hotels – Keys Mbokomo and Keys Uru. Both of these hotels have good views of Mount Kilimanjaro and are classified as modern “Tourist” standard hotels.
    They are of medium size, and rooms are all en-suite.
    Some have air-conditioning, television and mini-bar.

    Meals consist of buffet continental breakfast, full restaurant meals, bar snacks served all day and occasional barbecues. A bar with a full range of drinks including beers, bottled
    water and soft drinks is available.

    Amenities include room service, full laundry service, swimming pool, international telephone, facsimile and internet services, car parking and security.
    Leave any excess clothing and valuables at the hotel – they will lock them up for
    you.

    Pack your bag carefully for the climb – remember the weight limit of 12kg.

    The best time to Climb Mt Kilimanjaro
    The best time to climb Mt Kilimanjaro is during its two dry seasons, January to mid-March and June to October. You can trek Kilimanjaro in the rainy season but not only is there a much higher chance of trekking in the rain, the summits of Kibo and Mawenzi are likely to be wreathed in thick cloud too. Christmas and New Year, when the weather is far from perfect, are actually the most popular times for climbing Kilimanjaro.

    Payments for drinks and extras at Keys Hotel

    For all payments made by Travellers Cheque there is a service charge of US $15. Also all payments made by Credit Cards, attracts a surcharge of 7.5%.
    Please pay preferably by CASH USD, small denomination notes are recommended (1’s, 5’s, 10’s etc for the smaller bills).
    Telephone Calls are EXTREMELY expensive from the hotel for various reasons; please ASK FIRST before you call!

    Phone Home / Let the world know you made it!!!

    There is cell phone network coverage on certain parts of Kilimanjaro and in
    Tanzania, so remember to organise an international roaming facility.

    Please note

    SOLO climber rate – This includes single room supplement at the hotel, single tent supplement on mountain, and solo climber supplement, i.e. to climb privately, not part of a group. Should you request for an individual to join a group, we cannot always guarantee the availability of others to climb, and therefore retain the right to charge the solo rate should we be unsuccessful in finding others to climb with your client.

    Set Departures vs. Private Climbs Mt Kilimanjaro

    Due to popular demand, we have group departures on the Marangu, Machame and Umbwe routes throughout the year.
    When you book, kindly advise if your guests would like a PRIVATE or GROUP departure. Should it be the latter, we will endeavour to put them with other guests on the climb itself. Generally, Saturday arrival (Sunday climb) is the most popular days of the week as such we can more readily put your guests with others over the weekends.
    Your consultant will confirm with you if your clients will be climbing with others or not, and the approximate group size during the booking process. We cannot guarantee a group departure, as certain times of the year are busier than others – and should you guest be travelling alone, then the solo / single supplement would still apply.

    Tipping

    Tipping our porters, guides and cooks is an important way for us to supplement their wages. The following is a guide on what to expect to pay while in East Africa. Guide: US$10 Porter: US$5 Assistant Guide: US$7 Cook: US$4

    This tipping structure is per group/per day. This is a local payment and cannot be paid directly to Wild Spirit Adventures. The amount you tip will depend on which Track you do however on average it adds approximately US$150 – US$250 to the cost of the expedition. All companies use this tipping arrangement.

    Tips

    The tips have become a tradition, and are expected by the guides and porters for all attempting Kilimanjaro. Please budget around USD 170- 190 for this six day camping hike – per climber – which gets split across the group. Old clothing is also appreciated! Please do not provide tips whilst on the mountain (see tipping document).

    Visas

    Most nationalities require a visa to enter Tanzania, which you can obtain on
    arrival for USD 50 per person (depending on your nationality).

    Which is the best season on Kilimanjaro?

    The January to March season tends to be colder and there is a much greater chance of snow on the path at this time. The days, however, are often clearer, with only the occasional brief shower. It is usually an exceptionally beautiful time to climb and is often a little quieter than the other peak season of June to October.

    About Wild Spirit Kokoda 'The Company

    Do you have an office in PNG and Australia?

    Wild Spirit has an office with administration staff, storage facilities and our own vehicles in Port Moresby, and our Head Office on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

    What is the difference between PNG Led and Australian Led Treks?

    Both treks walk the same trek, stay in the same accommodation, eat the same food and have the same wonderful PNG porters.  Our PNG led treks do not have the same degree of historical information or commemoration services that the Australian Guided treks do.  Our Australian guides have a great deal of knowledge about the history of the Kokoda Track and a passion for the story.  The Australian guide is also first aid trained to a higher degree and adds that extra touch of security for those not so comfortable in a wilderness situation.

    What is the size of the groups?

    Our PNG led treks have a maximum group size of 16, with an average size of 12.

    Our Australian led treks have a maximum group size of 20, with an average size of 16.

    Group sizes will vary for Anzac Groups and private groups and special occasions.

    About The Kokoda Track Itself

    Do we trek at night?

    Kokoda Spirit does not trek at night. Our itineraries are designed to ensure you are in camp well before night fall.

    Do we walk the real Kokoda War Time Track?

    Yes we do walk the real Kokoda War time Track.

    There are multiple tracks and trails that run across the Owen Stanley Ranges.  You will walk in the footsteps of heroes, the same Track as our diggers.

    Do you abide by the Kokoda Track Code of Conduct?

    We were part of the committee that developed the draft policy.  We will continue to support the Code of Conduct to ensure the long-term protection of the track.

    .

    How do you help the villagers and locals along the Track?

    Please refer to our Sustainable Ecotourism strategy policy. It will give you an insight into our philosophy and policy on the Kokoda Track.

    Is there an easier direction to trek?

    There is no easy way to trek Kokoda.  Both directions have their challenges.  Kokoda to Owers’ follows the direction of the Japanese and the Australians fighting withdrawal.  Owers’ Corner to Kokoda follows the original direction that the Australians walked to engage the Japanese near Awala north of Kokoda and our advance back over the Track.

    Villages

    Whilst in the villages we recommend you do not give money to anyone, as this does create problems between the village people. They live as a community and money needs to be shared between all in the village.

    If you would like to take something to the villages, a gift that they can share is more appropriate, clothes, ball games, colouring in items, books, reading and writing material.

    First aid items are also very much needed (and appreciated) e.g. bandaids, antiseptic lotions, strapping etc. We do not recommend leaving your prescription or strong medication with the village people as they are not used to such medications. If taken without supervision they could cause harm.

    We also ask our trekkers not to wander around the villages in swimming costumes. Please cover up while walking around the villages, it’s a sign of respect.

    What are the walking times and distances each day?
    • Wake up time on the track is usually around 5.00 am
    • Breakfast on the track is usually served from 6.00 am
    • We usually start walking around 7.00 am
    • There is usually 5-10 minute breaks every 30 mins or so along the track and depending on the size of the hill more often and a stop for morning tea and lunch.
    • The walking pace is best described as the ‘Kokoda Shuffle’ which is a consistent but reasonably easy pace. This can vary depending on the terrain.
    • Each walking day will vary between 5 to 9 hours with 7 to 8 hours being the average. On average arrival times in the camps and villages are around 2.30pm to 3.30p.m.
    What are the washing/cleaning/toilets/shower facilities on Kokoda like?

    The facilities on Kokoda are very basic at best.

    • Toilets on the Track and villages are known as ‘long drops’ and ‘short drops’.
    • These are simple, deep pits or short pits that have been dug in the ground for use as toilets.  There are no toilet seats.  These facilities have a roof and screen over them for privacy.
    • You do need to take your own toilet paper (2 rolls).
    • The river is used for the shower and washing facilities or in some villages a simple water pipe is used to flow the water onto the trekker for washing.  Washing of clothes is done in the river.  We suggest you bring environmentally friendly soap.
    • Antibacterial Hand Gel is essential.
    • There are no specific changing rooms on the Kokoda Track or villages.
    What do I need to bring?

    Kokoda Spirit has a comprehensive Trekking Gear List to help you with your essential items. Refer to our website for the Trekking Gear List requirements.

    What happens to the rubbish on Kokoda?

    It is very important that we all take good care of the Track.  If you purchase soft drinks along the Track, then you need to crush the cans and carry them out with you.  All rubbish is either burnt or carried out.

    Accommodation On The Kokoda Track

    Do we carry our own tents?

    If you have a personal porter he would carry your tent.  If you were carrying your own pack then you would carry your tent.  Your personal porter will help you to erect, and pack up your tent each day.

    Do we have exclusive use of the campsites and guesthouses?

    No-one has exclusive use of the campsites or guest houses along the Kokoda Track. It is quite possible that some campsites will be shared by other campers.

    How many people sleep in each tent? What size are the tents?

    Only one person per tent, unless you specifically want to share a tent i.e. partner/friend etc.

    The tents are 2 person tents.  Couples may prefer to bring a 3-man tent.

    What camping gear do I need?

    Our web site has a Trekking Gear List of requirements to trek Kokoda or contact us and we will send the list out to you.  We can also supply a range of cost effective camping gear to suit your requirements

    What is the accommodation like on the Kokoda Track?

    The accommodation on the Kokoda Track is very basic.  Jungle camps and campsites along the Kokoda Track are basic at best.

    The Guest House accommodations are open-air huts with no mosquito protection.  Guest House accommodation is not always available, so we will camp at the best available campsites.  We recommend tents for privacy and mosquito protection.

    Clothing And Footwear For Trekking Kokoda

    Do I need gaiters?

    Gaiters are a personal choice; you can use the light weight cotton “gardening/mowing” style gaiters to prevent sticks rocks etc from getting into your boots. Refer to our website for your Trekking Gear List requirements.

    Do I need to wear boots on the Kokoda Track?

    It is not essential to wear boots across Kokoda but it is highly recommended. Boots should be of good quality, 100% waterproof, of Gortex construction for quick drying, lightweight and with a good flexible and aggressive grip. Importantly footwear must also be comfortable. Boots that are one size bigger than your normal size should be considered. This can help prevent sore toes on the declines and discomfort if feet swell. The Kokoda Track is harsh on boots so do not risk old or suspect boots.

    Do we get a completion certificate and a Wild Spirit shirt?

    A Wild Spirit shirt will be posted to each trekker prior to your trek departure.  With large groups the shirts are posted to the person who has organised the trek.  Completion certificate will be presented to trekkers on the completion of their trek.

    Is a walking pole necessary?

    Walking poles are a must! They are used as a support and braking system for the steep downhill sections.  You can buy walking poles through our office or from camping stores.  It is a good idea to train with the poles.  Some people find one pole sufficient, but it is your choice.

    Food And Drink

    Can we bring food into PNG?

    Yes you can.  This has not been an issue before.  You must declare your food and advise customs that it is for trekking on the Kokoda Track.

    Can we drink alcohol on the Kokoda Track?

    Wild Spirit has a “no alcohol/no drugs” policy while trekking on the Kokoda Track.  We do enforce this policy.  It is our way of showing our respect for the Kokoda Trail and the Villages; we ask our trekkers to do the same.  Prescribed medication from your GP is acceptable.

    Water/Electrolytes

    You will need to carry a minimum of 3 litres of water on you. There are many places to fill water bottles along the track. Your porters will advise the best places to fill up your water bottles. The furthest you will walk between water is approximately 4 hours.

    It is essential that you take electrolytes/Gatorade/Staminade etc with you. Put in your water, every 3rd litre, it prevents dehydration due to high perspiration losses due to exertion and high humidity. Dehydration, overheating and Hyponatremia can become major issues on the track. It is very important to keep drinking fluids and utilising salt and electrolyte replacements on the track. Because of the higher level of activity, temperature and humidity you will tend to sweat more. With the increased fluid intake and sweating you also tend to flush out of your system essential minerals, salts etc. This is why it is important to use electrolytes, salt replacements and Glucose type products. We highly recommend Endura and salt tablets.

    Electrolytes: If unsure please discuss with your doctor.

    Water purifying tablets can be taken as a precaution. The water is generally very good along the Track but always check with the Trek Master or Trek Leader about the quality of the water.

    With the different environments, conditions, food and water, upset stomachs, vomiting and diarrhoea can occur. Please ensure you bring adequate medication.

    What food do we eat on the Kokoda Track?
      You will be required to pay for all your meals whilst you are in Port Moresby.
      Kokoda Spirit needs to be advised when booking if there are any particular dietary requirements. We do our best to manage your requirements, but accept no responsibility due to availability. Supplements may be implemented. We are able to supply Gluten Free and Vegetarian menus on request, we do need to be advised at least 6 weeks prior to trek departure.

      Below is a general outline of meals whilst on the trek.

    • The Trek Master and the team organise and cook all your meals. They also take care of the washing up. The porters are also well catered for with food on the Track.
    • Breakfasts we have cereals, usually Weet-Bix or porridge, rice cakes with spread and limited fruits depending on availability, tea, coffee, biscuits, sometimes pancakes and damper.
    • Lunches are often canned meats spam, beef and fish, fruit, cheeses, biscuits, spreads, rice crackers and snack bars (We do not cook lunches)
    • Dinners are fresh local vegies, potatoes, rice and pastas with the cooks special PNG mixes rotated on alternative nights. Pre Dinner snacks is varied may be soup, popcorn, biscuits. Tea and coffee is available.
    • The meals are large filling and very nourishing.
    • Food may vary due to season and/or availability.
    • We recommend you take your own energy treats/snacks e.g. lollies, muesli bars, energy bars, protein bars, trail mix etc for extra supplements. (Enough for the duration of your trek)
    • PEANUTS – when cooking our meals some of our sauces have peanuts traces, our porters and trekkers do eat peanuts, muesli bars and biscuits which may contain peanuts. Upon booking it is a trekkers responsibility to advise Kokoda Spirit if they have any allergy to Peanuts.

    Health And Fitness For Trekking Kokoda

    Do I need a Doctor’s Clearance to trek Kokoda?

    Yes.  Approximately 3 months prior to your trek Wild Spirit will post to you a letter for you to take to your Doctor.

    We ask that the original Doctors letter be posted to the Wild Spirit office no later than 4 weeks before departure.

    It is Wild Spirit’s requirements that every trekker must obtain medical clearance from his or her Doctor.  If we do not receive the original Kokoda Spirit Doctors letter, unfortunately your trek will be cancelled.

    There is nowhere along the Kokoda Track to get access to any medications.

     

    .

    Do I need a medical kit?

    Yes, absolutely.  It is essential that you have an appropriate first aid kit for the conditions. Refer to our Trekking Gear List as a guide.

    Do I need travel/medical insurance for Kokoda?

    Yes, you do need Travel Insurance, it is very important.  You are responsible to organise your own Travel/Medical insurance, which can be organised at your Travel Agent.

    You will need coverage for medical evacuation; medical, theft, loss etc… speak to your Travel Agent about the inclusions.  Travel Insurance MUST include Medical Evacuation (anywhere along the Kokoda Track) and medical expenses including hospital coverage in PNG and Australia.  It can be a very costly experience for you if you do not have your Travel Insurance!

    We require a copy of your personal, Travel and Medical Insurance no later than 4 weeks before departure.  Failure to have travel and medical insurance will prevent you from trekking.

    Do you have a training program?

    If you would like a copy of our training program we can email this to you upon request.

    How fit do you have to be to walk Kokoda?

    While you do not need to be an Olympic athlete, you do need to be in great physical condition, with good endurance and stamina.  You need to be able to walk up to 9 hours per day in hot and humid conditions.  The terrain over the Kokoda Track is tough and very steep.  You need a strong heart, lungs, quads, calves and a strong and positive attitude.  A dedicated training program is required.

    Contact your fitness professional or contact our office for the training program.  We recommend you consult your medical practitioner before undertaking any new training program.

    Please Note:  All trekkers need to be aware that being well above your healthy weight range seriously impacts on your ability to complete the Track.  Should you fall into this category we highly recommend that you concentrate your training on an intensive weight loss/fitness program.  You may like to consider hiring a personal trainer to assist you with your fitness goals.  If you require the services of a personal trainer please contact our office, as we may be able to assist.

    Once again we recommend you consult your medical practitioner before undertaking any new training program.

    Water/Electrolytes

    You will need to carry a minimum of 3 litres of water on you. There are many places to fill water bottles along the track. Your porters will advise the best places to fill up your water bottles. The furthest you will walk between water is approximately 4 hours.

    It is essential that you take electrolytes/Gatorade/Staminade etc with you. Put in your water, every 3rd litre, it prevents dehydration due to high perspiration losses due to exertion and high humidity. Dehydration, overheating and Hyponatremia can become major issues on the track. It is very important to keep drinking fluids and utilising salt and electrolyte replacements on the track. Because of the higher level of activity, temperature and humidity you will tend to sweat more. With the increased fluid intake and sweating you also tend to flush out of your system essential minerals, salts etc. This is why it is important to use electrolytes, salt replacements and Glucose type products. We highly recommend Endura and salt tablets.

    Electrolytes: If unsure please discuss with your doctor.

    Water purifying tablets can be taken as a precaution. The water is generally very good along the Track but always check with the Trek Master or Trek Leader about the quality of the water.

    With the different environments, conditions, food and water, upset stomachs, vomiting and diarrhoea can occur. Please ensure you bring adequate medication.

    What are the walking times and distances each day?
    • Wake up time on the track is usually around 5.00 am
    • Breakfast on the track is usually served from 6.00 am
    • We usually start walking around 7.00 am
    • There is usually 5-10 minute breaks every 30 mins or so along the track and depending on the size of the hill more often and a stop for morning tea and lunch.
    • The walking pace is best described as the ‘Kokoda Shuffle’, which is a consistent but reasonably easy pace.  This can vary depending on the terrain.
    • Each walking day will vary between 5 to 9 hours with 7 to 8 hours being the average.  On average arrival times in the camps and villages are around 2.30pm to 3.30p.m.
    What size back pack do I need?

    You will need a 70/75 litre back pack for your main pack and a 30/40 litre pack for your day pack.

    Note: Day pack is only needed if you have a personal porter. Ladies carrying their own packs may only need a 60 litre pack, depending on their physique.

    When are the best conditions to trek Kokoda?

    The conditions on the Track vary due to the changes in the season.  The seasons are broken up into the dry season and the wet season.  These seasons also have sub seasons which fringe the wet and dry season.

    The dry season is normally from late May to late October.  Good conditions can still be expected in April and November.  It is possible to get rain and consequently mud on the Track during any season or month.  Late November, December, January, February and March can be wet and muddy.

    The temperature will range from 24-28 degrees under the canopy and up to 32 degrees out in the open areas.  The night time temperature will range from 18 degrees in the lower sections down to 8 degrees in the higher areas like Mt Bellamy.  Humidity will range between 80% – 95%

    Kokoda History

    Do you cover the Military History and Cultural aspects of the Track?

    Wild Spirit is dedicated to showing and telling the story of the legends on the Kokoda Track to our trekkers.  It is a story that every Australian should know about.

    Our guides are passionate about the history and will share their detailed knowledge of the track and its history with you.  We are also dedicated to looking after the villagers and village people along the Track.  Our PNG Guides and Porters are from the track and will share their history and culture with you.

    .

    When did the Australians commence their walk to Kokoda?

    The Australians commenced walking to Kokoda from McDonalds Corner (south of Owers’ Corner, Port Moresby end) on July 7, 1942. The first company was ‘B’ Company of the 39th Battalion led by Captain Sam Templeton and Guided by Bert Kienzle. Captain Sam Templeton was killed in battle and the two crossings over Iora Creek are named in his honour. The Australians arrived in Kokoda on July 15, 1942.

    When did the Australians first battle the Japanese?

    The Australians first battled the Japanese at Awala just north of Kokoda on July 23, 1942.

    When did the battle of Isurava take place?

    The battle of Isurava commenced August 26, 1942 and finished August 29, 1942.

    When did the battles for Kokoda take place?

    The Australians withdraw to Kokoda July 24, 1942. July 29, 1942 the first battle for Kokoda is lost.

    August 8, 1942 the Australians occupy Kokoda unopposed. August 10, 1942 the Japanese retake Kokoda. November 2, 1942, the Australians recapture Kokoda unopposed.

    Where did Private Bruce Steele Kingsbury win his Victorian Cross for bravery?

    Bruce Kingsbury won his VC at the battle of Isurava on August 29, 1942.

    Prices And Bookings

    How do I book?

    Contact the Wild Spirit office by email info@wildspiritadventures.com or phone us on 1800238368 we will advise you regarding the different options available.

    How much does it cost to trek Kokoda?

    The trek prices do vary according to the choice of trek.  We have 7 and 8 night treks to choose from.  There is also a choice of Australian led treks or local PNG led treks.  If you were unsure which trek would suit your requirements please contact our office for advice.

    All treks include pre and post accommodation in Port Moresby (unless individuals request otherwise).

    Please refer to our Trek Dates for the various options available.

     

    Relax and enjoy ?

    Every effort is made to make your trip as memorable as possible. Please remember, you are going to a third world country and you may see things and experience things you may have never seen before.

    Expect the unexpected in PNG. Keep an open mind; schedules/itinerary may and can change without notice, internal transfers may be late, planes may be late due to bad weather, please understand it is out of our control.

    Shedules work to PNG time, not Australian time. Patience and a relaxed attitude are essential for an enjoyable trek. All internal flights are booked and confirmed through our office. If there is a problem internally we have direct communications with the airline and our staff. This is no holiday, but a fantastic trekking adventure, it is a trekking experience, a lifetime experience! Enjoy!

    Suggestions

    If you are travelling interstate, it may be a good idea to arrive the day before your International flight (International flights to Port Moresby depart from Brisbane, Cairns and Sydney). Sometimes there is not enough time to catch both Domestic and an International flight on the same morning. Our treks need to run to our date and time schedule, if you miss your flight to Papua New Guinea you will miss your trek. Unfortunately we are unable to delay trek departures. Something to think about!

    Wear your boots on the plane and bring essential items in your carry on luggage. Bags do go missing; bags can be left back in Australia. If you have got your boots, medical supplies and some personal items with you and your bag goes missing, then you still have your basic requirements to trek.

    What are your Booking Terms?

    We ask all trekkers to read our Booking Terms. Some of abovementioned points are outlined in more detail in our Booking Terms. These can be found on the website or contact our office and we can send this to you.  Every trekker who books a trek will also receive Wild Spirit Booking Terms upon their booking.

    Every effort is made to make your trip as memorable as possible.  Please remember, you are going to a third world country and you may see things and experience things you may have never seen before.

    Expect the unexpected in PNG.  Keep an open mind; schedules/itinerary may and can change without notice, internal transfers may be late, planes may be late due to bad weather, please understand it is out of our control.  Schedules work to PNG time, not Australian time.  Patience and a relaxed attitude are essential for an enjoyable trek.  All internal flights are booked and confirmed through our office.  If there is a problem internally we have direct communications with the airline and our staff.  This is no holiday, but a fantastic trekking adventure, it is a trekking experience, a lifetime experience!  Enjoy!

    When do I make payments for the trek?

    Deposit –                 Your deposit payment is due when your booking is confirmed.
    Wild Spirit will provide you with a Booking Confirmation letter.

    Final Payment -      Final payment is due 8 weeks prior to trek departure.

    Safety While Trekking Kokoda

    How do I minimise my risks on the Kokoda Track?

    The best way to minimise risk on the Kokoda Track is to trek with a professional trekking company like Wild Spirit. Wild Spirit has a comprehensive risk management plan and safety procedures.

    Our guides are first aid trained for wilderness situations; our Australian guides carry first aid kits and on all treks we carry satellite phones.

    It is important that you get yourself a full medical check before training.  Kokoda Spirit requires a full medical clearance from your Doctor before trekking with us.  Proper preparation and training before your trek is absolutely essential.  It is also essential to ensure you take precautions to prevent, dehydration, hyponatremia and overheating.

    What happens in case of an emergency?

    Kokoda Spirit carries satellite phones on all treks; we have an emergency evacuation plan which is implemented. On receiving call for assistance we activate our plan and organise medical, travel insurance and evacuation plans. Contact us if you require further details.

    Villages

    Whilst in the villages we recommend you do not give money to anyone, as this does create problems between the village people. They live as a community and money needs to be shared between all in the village.

    If you would like to take something to the villages, a gift that they can share is more appropriate, clothes, ball games, colouring in items, books, reading and writing material.

    First aid items are also very much needed (and appreciated) e.g. bandaids, antiseptic lotions, strapping etc. We do not recommend leaving your prescription or strong medication with the village people as they are not used to such medications. If taken without supervision they could cause harm.

    We also ask our trekkers not to wander around the villages in swimming costumes. Please cover up while walking around the villages, it’s a sign of respect.

    Travelling To PNG

    Do I need a Visa for PNG?

    PNG VISA NOTICE

    As of the 1st March 2014, all holders of Australian Passports will have to obtain a PNG Visa before entering PNG.

    There will be no issue of Visas on arrival.

    Information for Australians obtaining a visa for PNG from the consulate:

    -          A visa application for PNG takes 5-7 days to be processed (process starts once documents are received) providing all paperwork is complete

    -          PNG Consulates are located in Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra. A new Consulate office will open in Cairns in the near future.

    -           The application form and requirements remain the same

    -          Cost for a visa will remain the same

    • $0 – Tourist Visa (no application fee)
    • $215 – single entry business visa
    • $435 – Multiple Entry Business visa (12 months period commences on first arrival)

    Brisbane

    Consulate-General of Papua New Guinea

    Level 3, 344 Queens Street

    GPO Box 220

    Brisbane 4001

    Tel: (07) 3221 7915

    Fax: (07) 3229 6084

    Email: pngcg@kundubne.org (Note: New Office Location – Level 3, 344 Queens Street)

    Sydney

    Consulate-General of Papua New Guinea

    Level 2, Clarence Street

    Sydeny NSW 2000

    PO Box A2273

    Sydney South, NSW 1235

    Tel: (02) 9283 9020 Fax: (02) 9283 5424

    Email:pngcg@kundusyd.org

    Canberra
    Consulate-General of Papua New Guinea

    Ph: 612 62 733 322

    Fax: 612 62 733 732

    Email: kundu@pngcanberra.org

    If you do not hold an Australian Passport, please contact the Papua New Guinea Consulate for their advice.

    Suggestions

    If you are travelling interstate, it may be a good idea to arrive the day before your International flight (International flights to Port Moresby depart from Brisbane, Cairns and Sydney).  Sometimes there is not enough time to catch both Domestic and an International flight on the same morning.  Our treks need to run to our date and time schedule, if you miss your flight to Papua New Guinea you will miss your trek.  Unfortunately we are unable to delay trek departure.  Something to think about!

    Wear your boots on the plane and bring essential items in your carry on luggage.  Bags do go missing; bags can be left back in Australia.  If you have got your boots, medical supplies and some personal items with you and your bag goes missing, then you still have your basic requirements to trek.

    Do I need travel / medical insurance for Kokoda?

    Yes, you do need Travel Insurance, it is very important. You are responsible to organise your own Travel/Medical insurance, which can be organised at your Travel Agent.

    You will need coverage for medical evacuation; medical, theft, loss etc… speak to your Travel Agent about the inclusions. Travel Insurance MUST include Medical Evacuation (anywhere along the Kokoda Track) and medical expenses including hospital coverage in PNG and Australia. It can be a very costly experience for you if you do not have your Travel Insurance!

    We require a copy of your personal, Travel and Medical Insurance no later than 4 weeks before departure. Failure to have travel and medical insurance will prevent you from trekking.

    Should you require assistance with your travel insurance, please contact our travel department at spiritholidays@wholesaletravel.com.au

    Does the Gateway Hotel have storage facilities and safety deposit boxes?

    The Gateway Hotel has baggage storage facilities and safety deposit boxes. This means you can leave your non trekking gear in the storage facility while you trek. Make sure you leave passports/travel documents, valuables in the safety deposit boxes. To organise this please ask the staff at the Gateway Hotel reception.

    Please leave all non essential valuables at home.

    How much money will I need on the Kokoda Track?

    On the Track you need to take with you local currency (PNG Kina).  You can organise to buy PNG currency through your local bank before you leave Australia or at the money exchanger at the International Airports.  We would highly recommend that you have PNG currency before leaving Australia.

    Most things on the Track will cost K5 – K10 (5 Kina approx $3.00 AUD) i.e. bunch of bananas, photo with Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel, can of Coke.  Around 400 Kina should be plenty.

    Please Note:  the local villages do not have change to give you, therefore lots of small change is best.

    In Port Moresby Eftpos machines are few and far between.

    For your own safety we do not recommend you go into Port Moresby town to the local bank.

    What camping gear do I need?

    Our web site has a Trekking Gear List of requirements to trek Kokoda or contact us and we will send the list out to you. We can also supply a range of cost effective camping gear to suit your requirements.

    What do I need to bring?

    Kokoda Spirit has a comprehensive Trekking Gear List to help you with your essential items. Refer to our website for the Trekking Gear List requirements.

    What happens when we arrive in PNG?

    After you pass through PNG Immigration, collect your luggage and then you will go through Customs.

    If you are arriving the day before your trek, either a Wild Spirit employee or a Holiday Inn employee will meet you at the airport.  You will then be transported to the Holiday Inn where you will be checked in.

    If you are arriving earlier than the day before your trek, you will need to arrange with the Hotel for airport transfers.  We suggest when booking your extra night accommodation that you request the Hotel for airport transfers.

    What size back pack do I need?

    You will need a 70/75 litre back pack for your main pack and a 30/40 litre pack for your day pack.

    Note: Day pack is only needed if you have a personal porter. Ladies carrying their own packs may only need a 60 litre pack, depending on their physique.

    When are the best conditions to trek Kokoda?

    The conditions on the Track vary due to the changes in the season. The seasons are broken up into the dry season and the wet season. These seasons also have sub seasons which fringe the wet and dry season.
    The dry season is normally from late May to late October. Good conditions can still be expected in April and November. It is possible to get rain and consequently mud on the Track during any season or month. Late November, December, January, February and March can be wet and muddy.

    The temperature will range from 24-28 degrees under the canopy and up to 32 degrees out in the open areas. The night time temperature will range from 18 degrees in the lower sections down to 8 degrees in the higher areas like Mt Bellamy. Humidity will range between 80% to 95%

    Where do we stay in Port Moresby?

    Our preferred Hotel in Port Moresby is the Holiday Inn.  If not available we will source a similar quality Hotel.  The Holiday Inn is a three/four star Hotel, with pool, restaurant, bar and 24 hour security.

    Check-in time is 1.00pm – Checkout time is 10.00am.

    Trekking Guides & Porters

    Do we tip the porters?

    PNG is a non-tipping society, so tipping your porter is not necessary.  However you may want to reward a job well done, so K100 is a good tip.  Any of your excess clothes or caps, t-shirts etc would be very much appreciated.

    How knowledgeable are your Australian Guides?

    Our Australian Guides are first class professionals with a passion and understanding of the history of the Track, the battles, the philosophy and tactics used during the Kokoda campaign.  Being a guide on the Kokoda Track is what they do, this is no part time job for them, and they live and breathe Kokoda.

    Our Head Guide and Managing Director Wayne Wetherall has spent over 11 years researching the history of the Track and exploring the many tracks across Kokoda.  He has also spent considerable time interviewing Australian and Japanese veterans about the battles on the Owen Stanley Ranges.

    Our guides may not be all ex military, but are all keen students of military history and tactics.
    They are also expert track guides and familiar with the culture of the people along the track.

    .

    How knowledgeable are your PNG guides?

    Our PNG Guides are among the best on the track, with years of on the track history training and our unique PNG guide-training program.  Our guides will show you all the historic and cultural sites across Kokoda.

    If I have a Personal Porter do I need to supply a backpack?

    Yes. If you are having a personal porter you need to supply your porter with a 70/75 litre back pack which he will carry with your gear. You will be required to carry your own smaller daypack with your personal daily items (see above).

    Wild Spirit do hire 70/75 litre backpacks out to our trekkers, please contact our office to arrange this.