Food on Mount Kilimanjaro is usually prepared by our able and experienced chefs/cooks. Meals will be prepared according to our menu or as per your instructions. That being said, we pay special attention to your dietary requirements, you may request a special diet according to your need, restrictions or doctor recommendations.

For a vegetarian diet for our Kilimanjaro vegan climbers, please click here.

Our mountain cuisine consists of three main meals per day namely, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Our chefs are very critical at controlling things like red meat, fats and cholesterol in our cooking oil.

Please inform us before your climb if you have any special dietary restrictions or recommendations.

Despite limited ingredients and equipment on the mountain, our chefs/cooks will go out their way to prepare and serve you sumptuous meals that are easily digestible. They know what your body needs in regards to the tedious days of trekking on the mountain. You will most definitely need balanced diet meals as well as a good supply of energy.

Specialty foods on Mount Kilimanjaro

Specialty foods are not easy to find in Tanzania if needed, we recommend that you come with your own specific ingredients and let our chefs/cooks prepare the meals, just the way you like them.

Also, make sure that you bring just enough quantity to last you the whole trip. Our Tranquil Kilimanjaro office representatives are available anytime in case you need to ask or discuss anything concerning your diet and meals on the mountain.

Other specialty foods like dried fruits, chocolates and cheeses can be found in Tanzania. Please let us know about your special dietary needs before climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with us here.

Special Dietary Requirements  on Mount Kilimanjaro

If you are on a low carbgluten-free, or diabetic (low sugar) diet, your main aim will take enough fat and protein to provide your body with as much energy as possible for your trek.

You’ll need to avoid meals that contain bread, oats, fruit, starchy veggies, pasta, rice, and desserts that may cause inflammation on your body or make your blood sugar levels shoot above normal levels

So, your daily Kilimanjaro menu due to your condition may include more eggs, meat, low-carb veggies, and cheese.

Here are some best practices for eating and drinking on Mount Kilimanjaro.

  • Wash your hands before every meal.
  • Do not skip your meals. Even if you do not feel hungry, just eat.
  • Eat a high carbohydrate diet for energy(which we will provide).
  • Bring snacks from home that you love to eat.
  • Drink at least four liters of water per day.
  • Take electrolytes.
  • Avoid consumption of alcohol, tobacco or depressant drugs including barbiturates, tranquilizers, sleeping pills and opiates.
  • Avoid consuming excessive caffeine.

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Special Event and occasion meals on Kilimanjaro.

If you are climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for a special event or occasion like a honeymoon, a wedding proposal, birthday, or Christmas, the Tranquil Kilimanjaro team can fix a cake and or a bottle of champagne for your big surprise

Great food and plenty of drinking water are important for your well-being on the mountain. We do understand that sometimes altitude sickness might mess with your appetite but for your own well-being, we do recommend that try your best to eat food and drink as much water as possible.

Our meals also come with fresh seasonal fruits for the much-needed vitamins and fiber in the body.

How to deal with the loss of appetite on Mount Kilimanjaro?

Sometimes climbers may lose appetite on the mountain mainly due to altitude sickness. Always remember that you should stay well-fed and drink as much water as possible to prevent altitude sickness as it will help in acclimatization efforts.

Our experienced chefs and cooks have come up with menu plans that consist of meals that are eye-catching, healthy, energy-giving, and yummy. This also includes fresh vegetables and fruits to help you reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

How is food kept fresh on Mount Kilimanjaro?

Food on the mountain is kept fresh throughout the mountain climbing trip by the use of cooler boxes. 

Fresh food for Kilimanjaro
Fruit and Vegetable Market

Mount Kilimanjaro Meal Plan and Menu table

Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate
Vegetable Soup Vegetable Soup
Toast/Bread, Biscuits with Margarine, Jam, Peanut Butter, Honey Bread, Biscuits or Pancakes with Jam, Peanut Butter, Honey Bread, Biscuits or Pancakes with Jam, Peanut Butter, Honey
Eggs, Sausages or Bacon Chicken Curry, Rice, Chapati, Green Beans Spaghetti with meat sauce
Porridge or Pancakes Snack: Peanuts, Popcorn, Cake, Cookies Potatoes, Rice, Pasta
Fresh Fruit: Mango, Orange, Pineapple, Banana, Avocado or Watermelon Fresh Salad: Tomato, Cucumber, Onion, Carrots, Green Peppers Fresh Vegetables: Carrots, Peas, Tomato, Beans, Greens

 

You may want to bring some snacks over like candy bars, chewing gum, chocolate, health bars or powdered energy drinks.

Drinking-Water on Mount Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro water bottleDrinking water is very vital in combating altitude sickness and helps with acclimatization when you stay hydrated. It is recommended that you drink at least 3-5 liters of water every day while on the mountain. We will provide bottled water at the campsites but mostly water on Mount Kilimanjaro is tapped from mountain streams and treated with water purifying tablets by porters along the route.

The higher you climb the scarcer water becomes; therefore, it is recommended that you carry enough water bottles with a capacity to fill at least 2 liters.

The kind of beverages served in the camp include coffee, tea, and hot chocolate with a mix of powdered milk if you like.

Is it ok to drink coffee on Mount Kilimanjaro?

Caffeine which is a constitute of coffee and is also present in tea is dehydrating component, which can affect acclimatization efforts negatively. Caffeine is a diuretic too meaning it will make you want to urinate more, therefore dehydrating your body.

A typical day’s meals on Kilimanjaro

Breakfast on Kilimanjaro Climbs

Breakfast on Kilimanjaro

A typical Kilimanjaro breakfast is normally a hearty affair with will either boiled or fried eggs, porridge, sausage, toast with either margarine, honey, peanut butter, or jam, a fruit e.g banana or orange served with a cup or two of your favourite beverage (tea, hot chocolate or coffee.)

Lunch on Kilimanjaro Climbs

lunch box for climbing KilimanjaroLunch on Kilimanjaro is usually prepared by the cook/chef during breakfast time in the morning and is usually packed and carried by climbers in their daypacks. Packed lunch usually includes of a boiled egg, a piece of chicken, some sandwiches, a snack, a piece of fresh fruit (a banana or orange), and a drink.

 

Afternoon Tea/Coffee on Mount Kilimanjaro

Afternoon tea is usually prepared before you get to camp after a day of trekking. By the time you get to your campsite, you will find your tea or coffee to wind down your day and relax. Usually, tea/coffee is usually served with some bites of either biscuits, peanuts, or popcorn to revitalize your body with energy.

Dinner on Kilimanjaro Climbs

Dinner is normally the last meal you have each day on the mountain. A typical Mount Kilimanjaro dinner meal consists of a main course meal that comes after a starter soup. The main meal for supper on Kilimanjaro could be chicken or meat served with a vegetable sauce, some rice or pasta/spaghetti, some cabbage or potatoes. However, potatoes are usually eaten on the first day as it is heavy and bulky for the porters to carry to every stage on the mountain. 

dinner on Mount Kilimanjaro

SNACKS: The snacks served with beverages for the afternoon tea break may include Peanuts/Crisps/Popcorn/Cookies

Bearing in mind that trekking is a calorie-burning activity, taking snacks on the mountain can help boost your energy levels and it is recommended to pack the snacks that you are familiar with and you love because even when you do not have the appetite, snacks can fuel your body.

Below are the most common snacks used by mountain climbers all over the world including Mount Kilimanjaro.

Nuts and trail mix. Nuts are beneficial as they contain a good protein, energy, and fiber supply. One great advantage is that they rarely melt or freeze inside your day pack. They go so well with a trail mix if chocolate and dried fruits

Energy bars and protein bars Great energy boost courtesy of protein and energy bars with a mix of nuts, seeds, dried fruit etc.

Cheesejerky, and meat sticks. Perfect snacks for climbers on a low-carb diet restriction. Very rich in protein too.

Hard candies and gummies Good for climbers with low sugar as they will spike your sugar levels while at the same time preventing your throat and mouth from drying due to high altitudes.  You can opt for zero-sugar versions too.

Candy bars Like snicker bars will boost your sugar reserves with instant glycogen since they contain nuts, chocolate, sugar, and fat in them.

Electrolyte replenishers for example powdered sports drinks, hydration tablets, and electrolyte mixes can be added to your drinking water to replace the electrolytes that you may lose in your body.

ON WAY TO THE SUMMIT (midnight snack)

Hot Chocolate, Tea or coffee and biscuits, orange squash or soup

Special Dietary Restrictions due to Religion on Mount Kilimanjaro

special diet for Kilimanjaro climbers

Kosher diet for Mount Kilimanjaro trips, Tanzania

Kilimanjaro Kosher diet for Jews from israelWe take the dietary requirements of our Jewish clients seriously by preparing meals that follow a set of dietary laws of the Jews (kashrut) while at the same time respecting Jewish prayer times (Shabbat) while on Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. We will provide fresh fruits and vegetables and try our best to come up with a suitable meal plan and menu that will have a good supply of high-calorie, high-carbohydrate diet that is, of course, Kosher certified to compensate for the calorie-burning trekking activities on Mount Kilimanjaro.

Kosher meals will include powdered milk, cocoa, juices, soups, pasta, couscous, porridge, and pancake mix and packaged tuna fish or salmon steaks for protein.

For Shabbat, we will pack for you some grape juice, challah rolls, and some delicious vacuum-packed salami.

It is possible to bring your own pots and pans that are toiveled (Toivelling is immersing dishes in a ritual bath (mikvah) to use them for Kosher food preparation)

Tranquil Kilimanjaro will provide disposable dishes and plastic utensils (spoons, knives, forks) for use for eating your Kosher-friendly food while on the mountain.

Halal food for Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Halal food Kilimanjaro for muslims and arabsTranquil Kilimanjaro will offer fresh halal food, prepared in accordance with Islamic guidance. We will offer a Muslim-friendly service for mountain climbing in Tanzania and Muslim guides plus chef/cook. The importance of a Muslim guide is to make sure the environment is conducive for Muslim prayers and making sure you have a mountain taint next to your sleeping tents.

Whether you will need a vegetarian or special diet halal food, please let us know before booking your Kilimanjaro climb by contacting us here.

Diet & Nutrition For Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

It is critical to eat adequately and satisfy nutritional requirements while tackling any mountain climb. You should consume enough calories to fuel your ascent, as well as a variety of meals, with a focus on high-quality protein, complex carbs, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, and fiber-rich whole grains. Fluid intake is critical, and you should consume 2 liters per day before climbing, increasing to 3 to 4 liters per day throughout the climb.

Start your diet as soon as you know you’re going to climb the mountain; the sooner you start, the better. You should also start your workout routine at the same time since the two go hand in hand for optimal hiking health.

Choose healthy foods and fluids to provide your muscles energy, improve endurance, and speed up muscle repair. Nutrient-dense meals can also help you avoid injury and speed up your recovery if you do get hurt. Another crucial aspect is your immune system; eating the correct meals can help to improve it and ensure that it performs effectively, reducing the likelihood of you being ill.

Fruits and Veggies

Brightly colored fruits and vegetables (yellow, orange, dark green, and red) should make up the majority of your weekly grocery list because they contain more Vitamin A and C. You can also consume fruit juice, but avoid concentrates and go for freshly squeezed.

Carbohydrates

Make sure you eat a lot of carbohydrates! Wholewheat pasta, wholewheat rice, wholewheat or brown bread, cereal (avoid sugar), maize, barley, and oats are all good options. If at all possible, pick wholegrains since they are enriched with vitamins, minerals, and fibre and are therefore nutritionally superior.

Protein

Protein is necessary since zinc, iron, and magnesium are all found in it. Lean meat, fresh, oily fish, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and tofu are all good sources of protein.

Dairy

Calcium, vitamins A, D, and B12, protein, and healthy fat are all found in milk or soya milk (or other equivalents).

Calcium and Vitamin D assist to preserve bone density, which is beneficial while carrying a backpack for extended periods of time since it also helps to prevent muscular cramps. Remember that dairy products are generally high in saturated fat, so go for low-fat milk, yoghurt, and cheese instead. Drinking a glass of milk after exercising is a wonderful suggestion because it is a great natural muscle rehabilitation drink.

Hydration & Drinking

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is an endurance test, therefore staying hydrated is critical. Your body must be adequately hydrated in order to prepare because it will lose liquids throughout the ascent and descent. To restore lost fluid, drink lots of water before any pre-climb training, throughout training, and after planning. Remember that while sweating cools your body naturally, it can also cause dehydration after activity. Electrolytes, which are chemicals that transform into ions and carry electricity, are lost when you sweat. Sodium, potassium, chloride, and bicarbonate are electrolytes that help organs and cells work normally. Electrolytes are necessary for your body to function, especially during periods of extreme effort. The more fluid you lose via perspiration, the more electrolytes you lose. You must keep hydrated since this might influence muscle function. Some sports drinks restore lost electrolytes and are therefore acceptable for climbing, although drinking 3 to 4 litres of water every day is enough.

Supplements

If you want to supplement, it’s a good idea to do so, but always see your doctor first because all vital vitamins and minerals should come from your normal food consumption. However, taking a high-quality multivitamin is always a smart idea.

Mount Kilimanjaro Packages

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8 days Lemosho Route

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The 9 days Northern Circuit Route is one of the easiest routes on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is a recently introduced

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7 Days Shira Route

The 7 days Shira route package is seldom used mostly because Shira is an ancient route that does not follow