Mount Kilimanjaro Drinking Water
Kilimanjaro drinking water

We supply water during the whole ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro. Of course, finding enough water when climbing Kilimanjaro is a major issue for trekkers. The water is gathered, boiled, and filtered at low elevations where there are streams and flowing water. Chlorine pills are used to filter and purify the water at higher elevations. You don’t need to carry any water-purifying equipment.

Success on Kilimanjaro depends on proper hydration since it makes climbers more acclimated to the altitude. You should prepare to drink 4-5 liters of water each day to help with the altitude since your staff will supply endless amounts of filtered water on the journey. Bring along bouillon cubes to switch up the flavor so you can keep drinking, or powdered drink mixes with electrolytes!

Drinking water while trekking on Kilimanjaro is of utmost importance for maintaining your health, energy, and acclimatization. The high altitudes, physical exertion, and often changing weather conditions can lead to rapid dehydration, making adequate hydration a crucial aspect of a successful climb. Here’s what you need to know about drinking water on Kilimanjaro:

  1. Hydration for Altitude Adaptation: Proper hydration plays a significant role in helping your body adapt to the changing altitudes. Drinking enough water can reduce the risk of altitude sickness symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and dizziness.
  2. Daily Water Intake: Aim to drink around four to five liters of water per day during your Kilimanjaro trek. This may vary depending on factors like your body size, exertion level, and weather conditions.
  3. Water Bladder and Water Bottles: Many trekkers choose a combination of a water bladder (hydration bladder) and water bottles. Water bladders are convenient for sipping water on the go, while water bottles allow you to monitor your intake and mix electrolyte supplements.
  4. Hydration Bladder Advantages: Hydration bladders, like CamelBak or Platypus, allow for hands-free sipping through a tube. They are excellent for consistent hydration without breaking your stride.
  5. Water Bottle Benefits: Nalgene water bottles are durable, easy to clean, and provide a clear view of your water level. They are especially useful in cold conditions where hoses might freeze.
  6. Strategic Refilling: Plan your water refills at designated stops, such as rest breaks and campsites. Ensure you have enough water to last between refills.
  7. Electrolyte Balance: Alongside water, maintaining electrolyte balance is vital. Add electrolyte supplements to your water to replace lost minerals and prevent cramping.
  8. Sip Regularly: Rather than taking large gulps infrequently, sip water regularly throughout the day. This prevents overloading your system and keeps you consistently hydrated.
  9. Monitor Urine Color: A helpful indicator of hydration level is the color of your urine. Aim for pale yellow to light straw color, which shows you’re adequately hydrated.
  10. Weather Considerations: In colder conditions, stay vigilant about drinking water, as you might not feel as thirsty. Cold weather can still lead to dehydration.
  11. Limit Caffeine and Alcohol: Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages can contribute to dehydration. Minimize their consumption during your climb.
  12. Prevent Overhydration: While staying hydrated is vital, avoid overhydration, which can lead to hyponatremia (low blood sodium levels). Balance your water intake with your activity level and environment.
  13. Stay Hydrated at Night: Don’t forget to drink water in the evenings to prevent waking up dehydrated in the morning.

Drinking water on Kilimanjaro requires conscious effort and planning. By consistently sipping water throughout the day, monitoring your intake, and utilizing a combination of hydration bladders and water bottles, you’ll help ensure a safe and enjoyable trekking experience on this majestic mountain.


Your mountain crew will supply you with plenty of drinking water at camp that has been safely treated after being gathered from nearby water sources by your porters each morning and evening. You will want enough hydration systems or water bottles (ideally a combination of both) to carry around 3 liters of water during the day. In the park, plastic bottles are not permitted. A fantastic lightweight and reusable option are Nalgene bottles.

On Kilimanjaro, you can obtain drinking water from a few different sources:

  1. Bottled Water: Many climbers opt to bring bottled water with them. You can purchase bottled water before your trek or at certain points along the route, such as at the entrance gates or camps.
  2. Water Provided by Tour Operators: Reputable tour operators typically provide treated drinking water for their climbers. They boil or treat the water to ensure it’s safe for consumption and cooking. This water is usually provided in large containers at campsites and dining areas.
  3. Water Filtration/Purification: Some trekkers choose to use water purification methods like water filters or purification tablets. This allows them to refill their own containers from available water sources, such as streams or taps, and treat the water to make it safe to drink.

It’s important to rely on safe water sources to avoid waterborne illnesses during your climb. Your tour operator will usually advise you on the best practices for obtaining and consuming drinking water while on Kilimanjaro.


We will provide you a basin of hot water each morning to use for washing up. You can wash your hands with hot water and soap before breakfast and supper. We will replenish all of your water bottles every morning.

We will provide potable water in all of your water containers every morning. Bring containers big enough to hold enough water for a day’s worth of hiking, and this water should last you the entire time. Water is not offered at lunch. Water will be available during dinner, and you may fill up your bottles then.

Water bottles vs water bladder for mountain climbing 


We advise bringing a minimum of two 1-liter bottles or one hydration bladder like a Camelbak. You should consume more water than normal on hikes at lower elevations because you will be at higher altitudes.

Although Camelbak bladders are highly useful, their tubing will likely freeze during the nighttime summit trek, so make sure to choose a bladder with an insulated tube. It may freeze even with an insulated tube. So, don’t forget to include a water bottle. You shouldn’t only carry water in your Camelbak. If you plan to bring any powdered drinks, you should use the water bottle to drink them and keep just water in the bladder because these bladders are more difficult to clean.

On Mount Kilimanjaro, disposable water bottles are not permitted.

The choice of how to carry your water on Kilimanjaro is a matter of personal preference. There are several options available, each with its own advantages:

  1. Water Bladder: Using a water bladder, such as a CamelBak or Platypus, is convenient as it allows for hands-free drinking through a hose. It’s suitable for carrying plain water and encourages consistent hydration.
  2. Nalgene Bottles: Nalgene bottles are a popular choice due to their durability and ease of use. They come in various sizes and can be easily accessed from your backpack’s side pockets. They’re also great for mixing in electrolytes.
  3. Combination: Some trekkers opt for a combination of a water bladder and Nalgene bottles. This setup provides the benefits of both systems – easy hydration with the bladder and versatility with the bottles.

For enhanced hydration, it’s often recommended to use a bladder for plain water and a Nalgene bottle for mixing electrolytes. Ultimately, the choice depends on what you find most comfortable and efficient during your climb.


Water, tea, coffee, and hot cocoa will be available. You could start to want for some other flavors in your beverages after a few days on the mountain. We advise carrying some powdered drink mixes like Gatorade, Iced Tea, Fruit Punch, etc. because of this. You’ll also benefit from energy drink blends on your lengthy hikes.

Safe drinking water on the mountain

Throughout your entire climb on Kilimanjaro, the provision of water is taken care of by the expedition team. Adequate water supply is a significant concern for hikers, and the process of water collection and purification is managed as follows:

  1. Water Sources: At lower elevations where streams and running water are available, water is collected. It’s then boiled and filtered to ensure its safety for consumption.
  2. Higher Elevations: As you ascend to higher elevations, water sources become scarcer. In these areas, the water is filtered and purified using chlorine tablets to make it safe for drinking. This eliminates the need for trekkers to carry their own water purification devices.
  3. Unlimited Purified Water: The expedition crew provides trekkers with unlimited purified water throughout the journey. Proper hydration is essential for acclimatization, and drinking 4-5 liters of water daily helps climbers adjust to the altitude.
  4. Flavor Variations: To make staying hydrated more enjoyable, you’re encouraged to bring powdered drink mixes with electrolytes or bouillon cubes. These can be added to your water to change the flavor and encourage consistent drinking.
  5. Water Collection: Your porters collect water each morning and evening from local sources, treating it to make it safe for consumption. This water is used for cooking, cleaning, and providing you with drinking water.
  6. Water Containers: You’re advised to carry around 3 liters of water during the day. This can be achieved by using at least two 1-liter bottles or a water bladder like a CamelBak. However, due to the possibility of the tubing freezing during cold nights, it’s recommended to choose an insulated tube for your CamelBak. It’s also suggested to carry a separate water bottle in case of freezing or for drinking powdered drinks.
  7. Avoid Disposable Bottles: Disposable water bottles are prohibited on Mount Kilimanjaro to promote environmental sustainability. Instead, reusable options like Nalgene bottles are recommended.
  8. Powdered Drink Mixes: While water, tea, coffee, and hot chocolate are provided by the team, you can bring powdered drink mixes like Gatorade or Iced Tea to add variety to your beverages. These mixes can also provide extra energy during long hiking days.

In essence, the expedition crew ensures a continuous supply of clean and safe drinking water, allowing you to focus on your climb without worrying about water purification.

How much water should you drink per day? On Kilimanjaro, the daily recommended water intake is around four to five liters. This helps combat dehydration caused by high altitudes and physical exertion.

Where do you get the water from? You can get water from various sources, including:

  • Your tour operator provides boiled water that is safe for drinking and cooking.
  • Bottled water that you bring with you or purchase along the route.

1. Do we need to bring our own water purification tablets or can we just rely on the operator to purify the water?

It’s generally not necessary to bring your own purification tablets. Reputable tour operators provide treated water, but having a backup method like tablets can be a precaution.

2. Is it routine to fill water at breakfast, lunch, and dinner time?

Yes, it’s common to refill your water containers at meal times. Camps usually have water stations for this purpose.

3. Is a CamelBak type of water bladder really essential, or would it be fine if I just bring water bottles?

How many water bottles would be good enough? A CamelBak-style water bladder is convenient for sipping water on the move. However, it’s not essential. Water bottles, like Nalgene, work well too. Bringing three or four bottles is generally sufficient.

4. Do you need to bring an insulated thermoflask? Is it a good idea?

While not necessary, an insulated thermoflask can help keep your water cool in warmer conditions or prevent freezing in colder weather.

5. Would 2L in the morning and 2L in the afternoon be enough?

Yes, that would likely be sufficient, but it’s important to listen to your body. You might need more if you’re sweating heavily or experiencing altitude-related symptoms.

6. If you run out of water during hiking, would the guide/porters have extra for the group?

Your guides and porters typically carry extra water for emergencies. However, it’s best to manage your water consumption to avoid reaching that point.

Remember, proper hydration is key to a successful climb. Regular sipping, monitoring your urine color, and refilling at designated points will help ensure you’re well-hydrated throughout your Kilimanjaro trek.


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