Whether you are currently planning your trip to the Roof of Africa, or if you have already booked your Kilimanjaro Expedition, chances are, you have a lot of questions about what day-to-day life is like on Africa’s highest mountain.
It’s hard to prepare for something when you don’t know what to expect, so here is an overview of a typical day on Mount Kilimanjaro, to help you plan, prepare, and get even more excited (and perhaps nervous), than you already are!
06:00 Wake Up Call
The time may vary slightly, but you will be woken each morning with a cup of your favourite brew served directly in your tent. A few minutes later, you will receive a bowl of warm water for washing, and you’ll have around 30 minutes to get dressed, prepare you daypack, and pack up your rucksack and sleeping bag before heading to breakfast.
If you book your Kilimanjaro Climb with a reputable company, breakfast time is a real treat! You can expect a bowl of porridge, fresh fruits, toast, fried eggs, sausage, bacon, and sweet treats such as waffles and pancakes. All of which is washed down with copious amounts of tea and coffee.
07:25 Final Preparations
After breakfast, you’ll have time to brush your teeth, fill up your water bottles, grab your snack pack, and prepare for the hike ahead.
07:30 Morning Hike
At around 07:30, you will leave camp and make your way along your chosen route. Most morning treks last around 4 – 5 hours (including water, snack and photo breaks), and you’ll arrive at the lunch camp at around midday.
After enjoying a delicious, freshly prepared lunch in the mess tent, you’ll have a short rest before topping up your water bottles and heading back out on the trail towards base camp. If you have booked a Private Kilimanjaro Climb, you will have access to your own toilet tent during lunch, so you don’t have worry about looking for bushes! Depending on the route you have chosen and the number of days you are on the mountain, your afternoon trek will range from 3 – 5 hours.
17:00 Arrive at Base Camp
It’s always exciting when you arrive at a new Base Camp, and once you have signed in and found your crew, you will have some time at leisure to explore, or simply rest in your tent. Your crew will provide you with a bowl of hot water for washing, so it’s the perfect time to change into your evening wear.
18:00 Tea Time
When climbing Kilimanjaro, you are encouraged to eat and drink as much as possible to keep up your energy levels. Before dinner, you can head to the mess tent for hot drinks, popcorn and biscuits, and escape the now chilly outside temperatures.
Dinner is a sumptuous affair on Kilimanjaro, and you can expect three delicious courses (again, this depends on the company you choose). A typical menu would include a freshly made soup, a meat or fish dish (vegetarian options are available if booked in advance), a rice, pasta or potato dish, and a vegetable dish. Dessert could be something like fresh fruit or banana fritters with honey, and as with every mealtime, you can expect plenty of hot drinks such as Ovaltine, hot chocolate, and herbal teas.
There’s no such thing as a ‘late night’ on Kilimanjaro, and while you might not think that you’ll be heading to bed at 9pm, you’ll be surprised at just how tired you feel when hiking at altitude. After quickly brushing your teeth, it will be time to jump (or wiggle) into your sleeping bag for the night, and prepare for the day ahead.
You may find it difficult to sleep on Kilimanjaro, but this is perfectly normal. High altitude affects different people in different ways, but sleep disruption is a common symptom. It is important that you rest your body, so try to snuggle down and get comfortable… morning will be here before you know it!
06:00 There’s that wake-up call again!