Medical Advice and Tips on acclimatisation to altitude
- The most important factor in a successful summit of Kilimanjaro is the effort made by the guest in acclimatising to altitude. Climb slowly to increase your acclimatisation time and maximise your chances of reaching the summit.
- To avoid altitude sickness, allow a minimum of five nights; preferably even more for the climb. Take your time and enjoy the beauty of the mountain.
- The sun is particularly harsh on Kilimanjaro a result of both the equatorial position and the altitude; this can have detrimental effects on those who climb without sun cream, hats or block.
- Make sure your health insurance covers you for medical expenses abroad. If not, supplemental insurance for overseas coverage including possible evacuation should be seriously considered. Bring your insurance card, claim forms, and any other relevant insurance documents. Before departure, determine whether your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures.
- We encourage the proper disposal of waste while on a Kilimanjaro climb
Kilimanjaro Food & Nutrition
Climbing Kilimanjaro is a high-altitude and high-energy experience and as such it requires good and nutritious food. 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 use the freshest seasonal produce that is sourced locally whenever possible; the cooks also undergo extensive training and we always have ongoing workshops to review menus, our cooks are particularly vigilant in their hygiene practices as contracting stomach bugs is common for visitors to the developing world.
What's the food like during the climb?
Breakfast is your choice: feel free to choose fromcoffee, tea, porridge, fruits, fruit juice, scrambled eggs/omelet, sausage, toast, margarine, honey and jam.
While hiking some people have a favorite snack that they like; it is recommended to bring this from home. Example of high-energy sweets and snacks include powdered drink mixes, power bars, glucose snacks, granola bars, etc.
Lunches: These 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 as is coffee and tea.
Dinners: These are typically a three course meal consisting of appetizer, main course and desert.
Sample dinner menus:
Non-vegetarian sample menu
Appetizers: hot vegetable or chicken soup/ fresh tomatoes, cucumber and carrot salad
Main course: roasted chicken or beef with a side of cooked bananas and potatoes/ delicious beef stew and rice or pasta/ fish fillet with a side of baked potatoes topped with a vegetable sauce
Dessert: seasonal fruits/ fried bananas topped with chocolate/ African pancakes with honey/ caramel custard
Vegetarian sample menu
Appetizers: fresh cucumber, tomato and carrot salad/ hot vegetable soup with bread
Main course: rice with eggplant sauce and a side of vegetables and avocado salad/ spaghetti with carrot and pea sauce and a side of spinach and cucumber salad
Dessert: seasonal fruits/ African pancake with honey/ fried bananas topped with chocolate/ caramel custard
Drinks, Water & Rehydration
Drink water, We strongly advise trekkers to drink as much fluids as possible on our climbs; as much as 4-5 liters per person per day. Dehydration occurs faster at higher altitudes and results in head-aches which can easily be confused with symptoms of altitude sickness hence making diagnosis difficult.
Where can I get drinking water during the climb? Each evening and during mealtimes, we offer our clients with boiled water to fill their water bottles. A wide selection of hot drinks (tea, coffee, drinking chocolate) is also available at meal time, and soup is served twice daily. The guides will also carry a flask of sweet tea on the trail. However, diuretics such as coffee and alcohol are not recommended as they lead to dehydration.
Clients can treat their own water at their own risk and we strongly advise using chlorine or iodine-based purifying products. Powdered juice is useful for removing any chemical taste.
We recommend the Camel bag systems or equivalent, special bladders that fit inside the rucksack (or their own containers) with tubes and mouthpieces. These are excellent way of drinking constantly whilst walking rather than stopping at regular occasions to drink large quantities.