Each day on Mount Kilimanjaro would be a unique experience. Starting from the lower rainforests to the snow covered summit, Kilimanjaro will test your strength and will inspire you to push your limits and go further.

What is a Typical Day’s Schedule?

On a typical day on the Kilimanjaro Mountain, you will be awakened from your tent around 6:30 AM by your porter. You will be provided with warm water for washing your face and hands. Once you get fresh, breakfast will be served. Meals are served in a mess tent or occasionally outdoors if the weather is nice. Our mess tents are equipped with chairs and tables along with dinnerware and silverware.

You will start your climb by 8:00 AM once you assemble your day pack. While the hiking hours vary from day to day, your average hiking time will be around 4-6 hours per day. Your guide will decide the pace you ascend and will make sure to provide regular breaks depending on the assessment of the group’s performance.

The Porters consistently move ahead of the group in order to prepare food, collect water, and set up tents so that everything is ready when you arrive. Your lunch will be served hot part way through your day’s trek although on occasions a boxed lunch may be provided.

At the end of your day, you will be provided with evening snacks, once you arrive at the campsite. You will be again provided with warm water to freshen up. Dinner is usually served at around 6:00 PM and the guide will discuss with your group the next day’s events after it.

Downtime is usually spent chatting with your group members, staff and others sharing the campsite.  You can also carry a book or two to read when you get time.

Summit Day

Summit Day on Mount Kilimanjaro is a tough day as compared to the rest of your days. You will be spending 11-16 hours of your summit day trekking to achieve the monumental feet. The summit day begins very early as guides try to time their trekking group to reach Uhuru Point at sunrise. Your ascend to Uhuru Point begins at around midnight in darkness, facing the cold winds. The weather makes this climb difficult and adding to the difficulty are the loose rocks and a very steep slope. The summit tests your physical as well as mental strength.

Our experienced guides will be with you every step of the way to assist you and motivate you during your Kilimanjaro Quest. They will provide short breaks for quick snack and drinks to keep you energised and hydrated and will regularly check your condition and will be prompt to act if they see any signs of discomfort.

Once you reach the summit, a good amount of time is spent in celebration and taking photos before returning to high camp, either Barafu or Kibo Hut. Here you regain your strength and provide your body with the necessary rest before continuing to descend to a much lower camp. The long descend immediately after the summit is where most climbers get tired due to the exertion they go through the night before for reaching the Summit.

Climbers feeling ill from the altitude will start feeling better as they descend to the lower elevations.

Your Day Pack

In your day pack, you are only required to carry items from your gear list that you may need prior to reaching your next campsite. For your daily pack, you can choose a small to medium sized backpack, with a volume capacity of up to 30 litres. The altitude and the trail conditions determine the specific items that you carry. Typically, your daypack will have – waterproof gear, extra clothing, water, snacks, gloves, hat, sunglasses, and other small items such as sunscreen and bug repellent. You can always ask your guide about what all you can carry or exclude from your day pack.

Everything else that you are not carrying in your daypack is placed in your duffel bag/backpack, which the porters carry. You can use plastic bags or dry bags to separate and waterproof your gear. You will be expected to pack your day pack and duffel bag daily which the porters will carry from campsite to campsite. The weight limit of the duffel bag should not exceed 15kgs and it should be noted that since porters bundle the bag with other items and carry the load on their heads, a duffel bag is preferred.

Where Will I Sleep?

If you are worried about whether you will be able to get some quality sleep or not on the mountain, then rest assured as all Kili Quest’s climbers are provided state of the art, four-season mountain tents during the trek. The tents are warm, waterproof and roomy – perfectly suited for your Kilimanjaro adventure. Our Mountain Hardware Tango 3 tents are built for the toughest alpine condition, and we keep them as dry, warm and comfortable as possible for your comfort. The Trango 3 tents are fully waterproof and have fully taped seams and welded corners. Each 3-person sized tent with interior floor space of 48square feet will comfortably house two climbers and their gear.

A 1.5-inch foam sleeping pad is a standard issue to all climbers. These sleeping pads are locally sourced and work better than the commercially available ones. The pad is placed inside a washable cover for cleanliness and provides warmth and comfort.

If you by any chance forgot to bring your sleeping bag, then you can rent sleeping bags available on location with us. Our sleeping bags are temperature rated to -30F (-34C) and are long enough to fit someone 6’6’’. The synthetic sleeping bags are warm with a durable nylon shell that repels water, keeping the climber dry and warm. All our sleeping bags are washed after every use and rented for only a short period of before they are removed from the rental inventory.

What are the Trail Conditions?

Mount Kilimanjaro’s trails are well marked and maintained. The mountain does not require technical skills of a climber. Although there are a couple spots where scrambling (climbing on hands and feet) is required, such as the Barranco Wall, the Western Breach approach and optional Lava Tower Climb. The path to and from Uhuru Point is on scree, which can especially tiring and slippery. Bad weather can also complicate matters making the trek difficult. Climbers should be prepared to trek through all types of weather, such as fog, rain, snow, and all types of earth, whether loose, dusty, muddy, wet, snowy or icy.

Food, Water and Refreshments:

You will be provided with 3 meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) for each day you spend on the mountain. The food is specially selected to provide you energy and help you climb. The food is easy to digest with primary carbohydrates being rice, potatoes and pasta. Fresh fruits and vegetables are readily available during meals. Meat is served in limited quantities as it is not easily digestible at high altitude and nor does it keep well on the mountain. A supply of fresh food is maintained throughout the climb.

Water is collected from mountain streams and treated with Aquatabs water purification tablets to kill any contaminants present in it. Water is provided only at the campsite, so you need to carry enough water (usually about 3 litres) to stay hydrated while you hike.

Below are sample menus for your three meals:

Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate
  Vegetable Soup Vegetable Soup
Toast, Biscuits with Margarine, Jam, Peanut Butter, Honey Bread, Biscuits or Pancakes with Jam, Peanut Butter, Honey Bread, Biscuits or Pancakes with Jam, Peanut Butter, Honey
Eggs, Sausages or Bacon Chicken Curry, Rice, Chapati, Green Beans Spaghetti with meat sauce
Porridge or Pancakes Snack: Peanuts, Popcorn, Cake, Cookies Potatoes, Rice, Pasta
Fresh Fruit: Mango, Orange, Pineapple, Banana, Avocado or Watermelon Fresh Salad: Tomato, Cucumber, Onion, Carrots, Green Peppers Fresh Vegetables: Carrots, Peas, Tomato, Beans, Greens

You can bring some supplementary foods such as candy, gum, chocolate, health bars or powdered energy drinks along with you on the climb.

We can accommodate vegetarian and vegan diets as well. Tanzania does not offer much in terms of food selection, so although we will try to please all clients, in some cases clients will be asked to bring their specific food items to us, which our cooks will prepare.

For those with special diets, we request you to discuss all your requirements beforehand, and we will try and make arrangements for the same.

Public Toilets/Private Toilets:

There are “long drop” public toilets at every campsite on Kilimanjaro. There are no commodes in the public toilets, the toilets are wooden structures built around a deep hole dug into the ground. You relieve yourself in a hole cut into the bottom of the shack and given the crowds on Kilimanjaro, these public toilets see a lot of use and therefore can get rather dirty.

Private Toilets are included in all of our climbs. Private toilets consist of a plastic toilet and a privacy tent.

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