The typical day on Kilimanjaro starts with a wake up call from the waiter who will bring you a warm water to wash before you warm up yourself with a cup of coffee or tea followed by full breakfast. Daily Plan on Kilimanjaro.
Around 5.30-6am our porters wake us with a steaming cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Bleary eyed this is a welcomed sight after a potentially restless night. A bowl of hot water is also awaiting as we unzip our tent door to have a hot wash and wake up properly! Breakfast is usually served at around 6.30am and at around 7.30am we begin trekking as a group.
We spend around 4-5 hours trekking in the morning, stopping for breaks until reaching our lunch stop. We take a longer break here before continuing in the afternoon for around another 4 hrs depending on the day’s distance. On arrival at the camp our tents will already be pitched up by porters with our luggage waiting, so we can kick off our walking boots and get into some warmer clothes. Our porters will rally around, working for us with well deserved hot drinks and snacks before dinner at around 6pm. After dinner our Kilimanjaro Climb Leader will brief us on the day ahead before we settle into our sleeping bags and attempt a full night’s sleep! While the hours vary from day to day, your average walking time will be around four to five hours per day. During the walk, your guide will decide the pace and when to take a breaks depending on his assessment of the party’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 the party arrives. Lunch may be a boxed lunch or on occasion a hot lunch if the day’s hike is a short one.
Once you arrive at the campsite, snacks are served. Then, before dinner, a pan of water is again provided for clean up. Dinner is served around 6:00 PM. The guide will discuss the next day’s events with the group after dinner. Down time is spent chatting with your fellow climbers, staff and others sharing the campsite, reading, or otherwise relaxing. Daily Plan on Kilimanjaro.
Summit day is a tough, 11 to 16 hour day. This monumental effort is what makes climbing Kilimanjaro an achievement. It begins very early as guides try to time their trekking party to reach Uhuru point at sunrise. Climbers go to sleep after an early dinner the night before and are awaken around midnight to prepare for the summit attempt. After a light snack, climbers ascend in the darkness, cold and wind. It goes without saying that under these conditions, climbing is difficult, especially on loose rock and up a very steep slope. Once you reach the summit, a short time is spent celebrating and taking photos, before returning to high camp, either Barafu or Kibo Hut. There, you eat lunch and regain your strength, before continuing the descent to a much lower camp.
During the trek, it is common that someone may have to turn around on the mountain due to altitude sickness, exhaustion or a variety of other matters. Each group will have a lead guide, a number of assistant guides depending on the party size, and lead porters – all of whom are able to escort climbers down. Therefore, if a person cannot continue the ascent, one of the staff members will accompany this climber while the lead guide takes the group onward. The remaining party is unaffected and continues their climb as scheduled.