No matter which route you decide to use to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, your daily routine will basically be the same.
Your day will generally start between 06:30 – 07:30 with a wake up call from one of the porters, who will bring you a bowl of warm water for washing with. You will then dress for breakfast, pack you rucksack and ensure you have enough drinking water for the day ahead.
You will set off around 08.00 – 08:30 with your guide for your days walking. Your porters will stay behind to pack up the camp and will catch you up soon after.
Depending on the length of your days walk you will either be provided with a packed lunch, or if it is a shorter days walk you will be served a hot lunch at the next camp.
The days walking will range between 4 and 8 hours depending on the schedule and distance to be covered, you will take regular breaks throughout the day, use this as an opportunity to ensure you are drinking enough water.
The mantra that you will hear from the guides and porters on Kilimanjaro in Swahili is ‘Pole, pole…..’, meaning – ‘slowly, slowly…’ no need to rush!
Your porters will arrive at the next camp in good time and will have collected the water, set up your tents and have afternoon tea ready by the time you get there.
Once you arrive at camp you will be provided with hot water to wash with and a chance to relax before dinner is served. It’s a good idea to wash and put on the clothes you will sleep in under your evening clothes so that you are ready for bed.
Dinner is served around 18:30 (for more information on the typical food see food & water page). After dinner your guide will come to your mess tent and talk to you about the next days walking and advise you on what to wear and carry in your rucksack.
The evening is for you to relax, maybe a game of cards in the mess tent over a cup of tea, reading, or getting to know your fellow travellers. You will typically be in bed by 21:00 to rest for the next days walking………….
Summit day is a different prospect………You will generally set off around midnight and walk through the night aiming to reach Uhuru Peak close to sunrise. Once you have stopped briefly for the obligatory photo, you will then start your decent. Summit day will typically last between 10 – 16 hours depending on which route you choose and your pace. This is a physically and mentally demanding night and day, walking in absolute darkness with only your headlamp to guide the way and temperatures that can reach minus 25 degrees with wind chill is no mean feet, but if it was that easy then everyone would do it!