This paper reviews experimental results concerning magnetic anisotropy in geometrically frustrated kagome staircase lattices. Following problems are discussed: high-temperature susceptibility measurements of kagome single crystals; inelastic neutron scattering measurements on Co3V2O8 single crystals; EPR of Co2+ ions in kagome staircase Mg3V2O8 single crystals. The single-ion anisotropy Hamiltonian is used to analyze experimental results. It is suggested that the magnetic anisotropy in kagome staircase M3V2O8 (M = Co, Ni, Mn) oxides has mainly single-ion origin. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.