Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing

On the Kilimanjaro Mountain

A Day on the Kilimanjaro

On a typical day on Kilimanjaro, you will wake up fairly early in the morning. One of your porters will wake you up around 6:30am with a pot of warm water to wash your hands and face.

You will then head to the mess tent and enjoy a hearty and hearty breakfast so that you are full of energy for the day of hiking.

After breakfast, pack your daypack and travel bag before heading out. Porters stay behind to clean up camp and bring your duffel bag when they are done.

On an average day, you will hike between 4 and 5 hours at the pace set by your guide. Your climbing guide will decide the pace and when to take a break, based on their expert assessment of how everyone in your group is coping with the rigors of the climb. We recommend that you have a snack and drink water during the climb to replenish your energy.

During the day you will enjoy, usually, a packed lunch. While you are doing all this, the porters will go ahead of your group and set up your camp for the night ahead. Upon arrival, snacks will be served and you will have some time to relax or freshen up before dinner is served around 6:00pm. During dinner, the guide will discuss the plan for the day ahead and you will have the opportunity to socialize with those you will be climbing with. After dinner, you can spend your free time as you wish.

The exception to this schedule is the summit day, which is much more strenuous at 11 to 16 hours. Your guide has calculated, often around midnight, when you need to leave in order to reach the summit in time for sunrise. The climb begins after a light snack and in near darkness and bitter cold. Due to these factors and the uneven ground, this will be by far your toughest day of climbing and will test you both physically and mentally.

We can’t sugarcoat it – it’s a tough day. For those who don’t make it, porters and assistant guides are available to escort you back to camp. For those who make it to the top, the strenuous day of climbing will have been worth it. You will have the absolute best view of Africa there is and time at the top of the mountain for photos, selfies and celebration. You will then return to camp for lunch before continuing your descent further down the mountain.

Trail Conditions

All regular trails on Kilimanjaro are well marked and maintained, so minimal actual “climbing” is required. The trail to and from Uhuru Point on summit day is mostly gravel – which can be quite strenuous. Inclement weather can pose challenges to your climbing experience, and anyone attempting the climb should be prepared to hike through fog, rain, and snow.

Preparing your daypack

When climbing Kilimanjaro, you are not expected to carry all of your belongings. While porters carry the bulk of your possessions (up to 15 kg), you only need to carry a daypack with the items you may need for the day’s hiking.