Mountain Cuisine

The menus for all climbs are specially prepared to provide a balanced diet of fresh fruit, vegetables, plenty of protein and carbohydrates. We have tried to choose food items that are easiest to digest at high altitude. Our cooks undergo extensive training and we have ongoing workshops to review menus. The cooks are particularly vigilant in their hygiene practices as contracting stomach bugs is common for visitors to the developing world.

Dinners are typically a main course with vegetable and salad. Chicken and fish are served at some of the days during the climb, with pastas and rice dishes being served in the middle of the climb while up high. Lunches are often on the trail and usually consist of cold cuts and vegetables laid out on a table, so you can make your own sandwich. Fresh hot vegetable soups are served at every meal, and packet soup is available on request between meals there is coffee and tea. Breakfast is based on your choice of: granola, toast, fruit, eggs, and sometimes pancakes or French toast. While hiking some people have a favorite snack that they like; it is a good idea to bring this from home.

Sleeping Gear

  • Sleeping bag and stuff sack: night-time temperatures on Kilimanjaro can >be as low as zero degrees Fahrenheit so bring
  • A warm bag
  • Pile or wool hat: it must cover the ears; a balaclava works well
  • Sleeping pad: full-length Therma-Rest or equivalent Head and Face
  • Shade hat: a visor hat with a good brim is essential for protection from the equatorial sun
  • Bandannas: various uses – cleaning glasses, sun protection when tied around the neck, etc.
  • Sunglasses with side shields or glacier glasses: essential eye protection whether in the tropics, at high altitudes or by the water

Upper Body

  • Enough t-shirts that will get dry very quickly; polypropylene is best; no cotton.
  • Upper body layers: three warms layers for the upper body. These must be made of wool, polypropylene or pile. Layers must fit over each other and provide good insulation. A long underwear top, a sweater and a pile or heavy wool shirt make a good combination. Cotton should be avoided.
  • Rain parka: a good parka made of Gore tex or waterproof nylon that has been seam sealed. Afternoon showers are common in East Africa, especially on Kilimanjaro.
  • Poncho: quick and handy protection for your body and your day pack; poor protection in windy rain
  • Wool gloves or mittens: wool or pile; one pair of heavy mittens and a light pair of gloves works well
  • Mitten shells: one pair to go over mittens; provide protection from the wind and rain at higher altitudes on the mountain


  • Down or Synthetic Jacket: although not required some individuals may prefer to bring a heavier expedition weight jacket for cold mountain nights.

Lower Body

  • Undergarments: adequate supply for the entire climb
  • Hiking shorts: one pair of quick-drying shorts; good for hiking at lower elevations on the mountain
  • Tights: comfortable to hike in, protection from vegetation and sunburn, warm on cool misty days; Lycra are best
  • Long underwear bottoms: one pair, either wool or polypropylene pile, bunting or wool pants: one comfortable pair that fit loosely over the long underwear bottoms
  • Rain pants: a good pair of Gore tex or nylon pants (nylon pants must be made of breathable, water resistant nylon); must be roomy enough to fit comfortably over pile or wool pants


  • Thin socks: two pair of polypropylene socks to wear under heavy wool socks; help prevent blisters and keep feet dry
  • Thick socks: six pair of heavy wool or polypropylene socks
  • Hiking boots: one pair medium weight hiking boots large enough to be comfortable with one thin and one heavy sock
  • Gaiters: one pair of high gaiters made of breathable material; keeps dirt and snow out of boots
  • Tennis shoes: to wear in camp after a day of hiking

Personal Health and Comfort

  • Toiletries: toothbrush and paste, comb, shampoo, tampons, foot powder, hand cream, etc. Bring enough for the entire trip as few are available in Tanzania.
  • Sunscreen: bring plenty of sun block with SPF of 15 or more. It’s easy to underestimate the amount necessary for equatorial sun protection.
  • Lip balm: must have SPF rating of 15 or more
  • Ear plugs: to block out snoring and other noise to ensure a good night’s sleep
  • Flashlight and/or headlamp: bring extra batteries
  • Adjustable ski poles: required to assist with a rigorous descent from the mountain
  • Pocket knife: simple Swiss Army type with scissors
  • Personal first aid and drug kit: see Health and Medical Information
  • Towel: for wash up in camp
  • Toiletries: individually wrapped anti-bacterial towels are great for
  • general hygiene
  • Spare contacts or glasses: contacts can be a problem in dusty conditions; glasses wearers should have a spare set
  • Umbrella (optional): protection from rain and sun; most guides use one
  • Portable chair: (optional): Therma-rest and Crazy Creek both make light-weight, comfortable portable chairs. Stools are provided in camp for dining.
  • Snacks: (optional): bring a supply of your favorite snacks to eat on the climb. It is a nice treat for the porters to receive a small snack on the climb.
  • Fingernail brush (optional): for removing dust from your nails, clothes or boots
  • Plastic sandwich bags: keeps personal items separate and dry


  • Water bottles: two one-quart, wide-mouthed plastic bottles. If you use a collapsible water bottle or hydration system you are welcome to bring it along for drinking water. However, continue to bring at least one hard plastic bottle in addition. These can be used in cold weather as hot water bottles in your sleeping bag (example: Nalgene).
  • Water treatment tablets: two bottles of Potable Agua or Polar Pure crystal iodine; purifies drinking water while on the climb and is lightweight and easy to use
  • Water flavoring: powdered additives like Tang, Gatoraid and Wyler’s lemonade make treated water taste better

Carrying Gear

  • Large day pack: with padded shoulder straps and waist belt; used for carrying personal gear such as water bottle, extra clothing, snacks, camera, etc. Individual loads will be between 15 and 20 pounds. A climbing pack with a volume between 2500-3500 cu. in. (40-50 liters) serves most people needs well.
  • Large duffel bag: with a lock; mountain gear will be kept in it and the entire duffel will go into the group mountain bag that will be carried by the porters. Limit loads to items on the equipment list. Your large duffel will weigh between 25-30 lbs.
  • Medium duffel bag: to store your non-mountain gear; this will be stored at the hotel, to be used after the climb and will be brought to your hotel.
  • Baggage tags: makes identifying your bags easy at the airports or hotels
  • Plastic bags: sleeping bag and clothes will be double-bagged while on the mountain for protection from afternoon rains. Heavy duty garbage bags work great and can store dirty or wet clothes as well.


  • Our Guides are trained on safety procedures and carries first aid kits i.e. Gammow bags/oxygen and multiple communications equipment on every single climb-Satellite phone.
  • Guides are also trained in wilderness first aid, mountain craft, natural history and ecological awareness.


  • Our climbs are equipped with the finest climbing and camping apparatus, safety equipment and communications network on Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Comfortable and private Salewa tents allow our travelers to bypass the very rustic mountain huts where most trekkers spend their nights


All Kilimanjaro climbs can be combined with Tanzania safaris or Zanzibar, for a perfect combination.