What’s the Food Like on Kilimanjaro? | Kilimanjaro Sunrise

Kilimanjaro Sunrise
6 min readMar 3, 2023
Mountain chef chopping vegetables

Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, attracts hikers and adventurers from all over the world. One of the most important aspects of a successful Kilimanjaro climb is proper nutrition. Climbers need to consume enough calories to keep their energy levels high throughout the strenuous ascent, and the food must be properly carried and prepared to ensure that it is safe to eat.

While preparing for your climb, you’ve probably wondered how’s the food on Kilimanjaro. In this article, we will discuss the food we provide, how it’s transported, and how it’s prepared on Kilimanjaro. It is not all the same. Many budget operators do not provide enough food for you and especially for their porters. It is not nutritious or sustaining. It will be harder to climb Kilimanjaro without proper food.

The food we serve on Kilimanjaro is all locally sourced. The food is not genetically modified nor does it contain preservatives. It is fresh and tastes great. We create meals to help you have enough calories and energy each day. Our trained chefs will amaze you with what they can create with such limited resources.

Our mountain chefs go through an annual training course to improve their cooking methods and menus.

Carrying Food

A porter carrying supplies

The porters are responsible for carrying all the food and supplies required for the entire climb. We pack the food in durable bags, often made of canvas or nylon, and then loaded onto the backs of porters who carry them up the mountain. Each porter can carry up to 33 pounds. They are responsible for carrying not only food but also equipment—tents, stoves, chairs, and the clients’ duffel bags.

Food Preparation

Chef cooking on a propane stove

The mountain crew prepares all the meals for the climbers. We cook the meals using propane gas stoves. The cooking equipment includes pots, pans, utensils, and cutting boards. The porters also carry a supply of water. It’s collected from mountain streams and filtered to make it safe for drinking and cooking.

A porter carrying water from a nearby stream

Once you are above 13,000 feet or so, depending on the route, there are no more streams. The porters will go down and fill up large bottles and bring them to camp.

The Food on Kilimanjaro

Our chefs make pasta before summit night

The food on Kilimanjaro is simple, nutritious, and high in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are important because they provide the energy needed for the strenuous climb. Meals usually consist of a combination of rice, potatoes, pasta, vegetables, and meat. Breakfast is the most substantial meal of the day. Breakfast often includes porridge or cereal, eggs, bacon or sausage, and bread.

The mountain chef made a pizza

Sample Menu

DAY 1:

PICNIC LUNCH
Fried Chicken, Juice, Fruit, Boiled Egg, Cake, Burger, Crisp

DINNER
Starter: Cucumber Soup with Toast Bread
Main: Boiled Potatoes, Fish fillet, vegetable
Dessert: Fruit
Beverages: Tea, Milk, Hot chocolate

DAY 2:

BREAKFAST
Millet Porridge and Fruits, Toast bread, sausage, Fried egg, Butternut, Honey, Jam, Margarine
Beverages: Tea/Coffee, Milk, Hot chocolate

PICNIC LUNCH
Fried Chicken, Juice, Fruit, Boiled Egg, Pie, Crisp

DINNER
Starter: Carrot soup and bread
Main: Macaroni bolognese sauce, vegetables, fruits,
Beverages: Tea, Milk, Hot chocolate

DAY 3:

BREAKFAST
Millet porridge, fruits, toast bread, Pancake, sausage, fried egg, Butternut, Honey, Jam, Margarine
Beverages: Tea/Coffee, Milk, Hot chocolate

HOT LUNCH
Starter: Zucchini soup with roll bread
Main: French fried, fried chicken, salad
Beverages: Tea/Coffee, Milk, Hot chocolate

SNACKS
Tea/Coffee with Nuts

DINNER
Starter: Sweet potatoes soup
Main: Rice with green beans & Vegetables
Dessert: Fruit
Beverages: Tea, Milk, Hot chocolate

DAY 4:

BREAKFAST
Millet’s porridge, Pancake, Mandazi, sausage, omelets, fruit
Beverages: Tea/Coffee, Milk, Hot chocolate

HOT LUNCH
Main: Vegetable stew toast bread
Dessert: Fruits
Beverages: Tea, Milk, Hot chocolate

DINNER
Starter: Celery soup
Main: Omelet’s spaghetti, beef sauce, vegetable
Dessert: Fruit
Beverages: Tea, Milk, Hot chocolate

DAY 5:

BREAKFAST
Oat’s porridge, Pancake, toast bread, sausage, omelets, fruit
Beverages: Tea/Coffee, Milk, Hot chocolate

HOT LUNCH
Starter: Pumpkin soup
Main: Mushed potatoes with mushroom sauce, vegetable sauce, fruits
Beverage: Tea, Milk, Coffee, Drinking Chocolate

DINNER
Starter: Vegetable soup
Main: Pizza with vegetable sauce
Dessert: Fruit
Beverage: Tea, Milk, Coffee, Drinking Chocolate

DAY 6:

BREAKFAST
Oat’s porridge, Pancake, Mandazi, sausage, omelets, fruits
Beverages: Tea/Coffee, Milk, Hot chocolate

HOT LUNCH
Main: African food “MATOKE” Mix fruits
Beverages: Tea, Milk, Hot chocolate

DINNER:
Starter: Leek’s soup
Main: Spaghetti and vegetable
Dessert: Fruit
Beverage: Tea, Milk, Hot chocolate

DAY 6: BEFORE SUMMIT
Tea/Coffee with Biscuits

DAY 7: FOR SUMMITING:

Juice, Apple/Biscuit, and Chocolate Bar

DAY 7: AFTER SUMMIT

BRUNCH:
Potatoes soup with toast bread, Chapati, vegetables, Fruits, Tea/Coffee

DINNER:
Starter: Pumpkin soup
Main: Zanzibar rice, red beans, vegetables
Dessert: Surprise chef celebration cake and fruit
Beverages: Tea/Coffee, Milk, Hot chocolate

DAY 8:

BREAKFAST:
Oat’s porridge, Pancake, Mandazi, fried egg, fruit
Beverages: Tea/Coffee, Milk, Hot chocolate

HOT LUNCH:
Main: French fries with fried chicken, salad, mixed fruit
Beverages: Tea/coffee, milk, hot chocolate, soda

Note: The menu may change due to environmental realities.

Trekkers should bring a variety of snacks to eat while hiking. They should include items such as protein or energy bars, trail mix, nuts, and anything else you like to eat while hiking.

Snacks are also provided once you arrive at camp. The snacks can be popcorn, nuts, and fruit.

Snacks are provided every day at camp

Furthermore, climbers need to stay hydrated throughout the day. The porters provide plenty of water. You’ll be frequently encouraged to drink. The guides will say “maji, maji,” which means drink in Swahili.

SPECIAL DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

If climbers have special dietary requirements, such as vegan or gluten-free diets, we can accommodate these needs. Climbers need to communicate their dietary requirements well in advance of the climb so that the support crew can make the necessary arrangements. You will do this on your Client Form.

FOOD SAFETY

Porter cleaning dishes

Food safety is a critical concern on Kilimanjaro because climbers can become ill if they consume contaminated food or water. To ensure the safety of the food, the support crew takes several precautions, including:

  • Washing their hands and wearing gloves when handling food
  • Cleaning and sanitizing all cooking equipment and utensils
  • Boiling water for at least three minutes to kill any bacteria or viruses
  • Using water filters or water purification tablets to treat water from mountain streams
  • Keeping food covered

FINAL THOUGHTS

Proper nutrition is essential for a successful climb up Kilimanjaro. The mountain crew plays a critical role in carrying and preparing the food. By working together, climbers and their mountain crew can ensure that everyone stays healthy and energized during their Kilimanjaro climb. You will be provided with plenty of food. We also have porters resupplying our chef with fresh food halfway up Kilimanjaro, so don’t be bashful, eat!

How’s the food on Kilimanjaro? In our opinion, pretty good. They provide the most amazing soups you’ll probably ever eat. Don’t believe us? Book your adventure of a lifetime and find out.

Originally published at https://kilimanjarosunrise.com on March 3, 2023.

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Kilimanjaro Sunrise is a Kilimanjaro Trekking and Tanzanian Safari Company