You’ll be climbing the highest peak in Africa—therefore, the food that fuels you should be an essential ingredient to your summit success. What is important for your meals on the climb? First, the menus we create for all climbs are specially prepared to provide a balanced high calorie diet consisting of fresh fruit, vegetables, plenty of complex carbohydrates and protein and the right kind of fats to help you sustain your increased levels of body fatigue and exertion. Our selection of food items are also easy for the body to digest at high altitude and that deliver the right nutrition and energy required to counter the rigors of climbing. Expect three good meals a day, plus tasty trail snacks providing simple sugars to boost energy to keep you going.
We cater to a wide variety of special dietary requirements from vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free to celiac to raw food diets.
We always buy local….. we primarily use fresh organic ingredients in preparing all our meals on the mountain produced by the local farmers on the slopes of Mount Meru. Our cooks undergo rigorous training and conduct ongoing workshops to review menus. Our clients are always surprised by the sheer variety of tasty dishes they get on the mountain. The cooks are particularly vigilant in their hygiene practices to avoid contracting stomach bugs which is common among climbers due to poor hygienic conditions practiced by most budget operators.
At camp in the morning, we will wake you up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate, coffee or tea and offer a full hot breakfast in the dining tent. Our sample breakfast include; tea/coffee, sliced fruit, scrambled eggs, bacon, porridge, homemade granola, toast, honey, and jam.
Unlike most other outfitters who provide cold lunch boxes to be eaten on the way side of the trail, we set up a mobile mess tent along the trail midway through the day’s hike to serve delicious hot lunches, sheltered from the wind and chill on the trail.
Our dinners are a specialty, the main meal and get-together time. Cooks have prepared your dinner by the time you end the day’s hike. Dinner menu usually consist of: Tomato ginger soup with baked bread, fresh tilapia with chips, peas with butter and mint, avocado tomato salad, apple pie and cream. At higher altitudes, we eat more starch based food that is easier to digest, including pasta with garlic bread, spaghetti bolognese, cauliflower, carrots, brownies, and fruit cake.
Mountain guides and porters – An indispensable element of your trek
They are an integral part of an every climb we run. Without the hard work of local guides, porters, cooks, camp helpers, your trek wouldn’t be possible! This is also the single most expensive item for an outfitter, and justifiably so, as it is essential to take good care of this indispensable team!
For example, a group of 10 climbers, we typically have a crew of approximately 55 people. Why do we need this many crew members to support our Kili climbs? Not only do they carry all of the group gear (tents, food, safety equipment, climbers’ personal gear, etc.), they are the backbone of all the operations that create an unforgettable journey.
Wanderlust’s operation in Tanzania is a member of Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP), which establishes and monitors porter ethics to improve porter treatment industry-wide and International Mountain Explorers Connection (IMEC) Partnership for Responsible Travel, which recognizes climbing companies with fair treatment practices.
Unfortunately, poor treatment of porters is an epidemic on the mountain and constant debate for discussion. Porters are regularly exploited by scrupulous, unprofessional and budget climbing outfits.
Here’re some of the key elements how Wanderlust treats its team of porters in the mountain.
Why climb with a KPAP partner company?
Majority of Kilimanjaro operators are not members of KPAP. Non-members do not follow or abide by the protocols of KPAP. Although most claim to care about porter welfare, some of the largest adventure companies are the biggest culprits of porter abuse. They force porters to carry more than the stated KPAP weight limits. They feed porters poorly and often they get only once a day. They sleep in dining tents. They pay their staff half of what we pay or some of the respected outfitters pay. Our advice, only climb with certified KPAP partner companies.
On each and every Wanderlust climb, there is a KPAP represented porter staffed among our crew. We allow this voluntarily so that everything we do is constantly evaluated – porter loads, meals, shelters, wages, even tipping distribution. We welcome this scrutiny, from the top down and do not tolerate any deviance, by anyone, from our welfare guidelines.
After each climb, we encourage trip members to donate clothing and equipment to the porters that will otherwise go unused. If you are interested in donating items, your Trip Leader will help you with this process for equitable distribution.
Kilimanjaro is the world’s tallest mountain that can be scaled by a non-mountaineer with no technical climbing skills. However, the summit of Kilimanjaro, at 19,341 feet (5895 metres), is considered extreme high altitude and it is one of the most challenging adventure undertakings you will ever do. Go with complacency and under prepared, it can cost you dearly! Read an article written by our CEO for Examiner.com
As you climb the mountain, the air becomes less compressed and contains fewer molecules of oxygen per breath. At 9,000 feet, there is 75% of the air pressure there is at sea level. At the summit of Kilimanjaro, it is only at 50%. Acute Mountain Sickness (also called AMS or Altitude Mountain Sickness) is the name given to the physiological and symptomatic reactions of the body caused by rapid ascent to high altitude.
Every year, approximately 1,000 people are evacuated from the mountain, and approximately 10 deaths are reported. The main cause for such fatalities is AMS. Everyone climbing Kilimanjaro should be familiar with the symptoms of altitude sickness. And everyone climbing Kilimanjaro should choose an operator that has the proper safety systems and proper acclimatization in itineraries are in place.
Some of the early symptoms include headache, nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, and generally feeling bad. All climbers will likely experience mild early symptoms of Altitude Sickness. But given time (during which you are recommended to not overexert), your body adjusts to the decrease in oxygen by producing more oxygen-carrying red blood cells (hemoglobin) while your kidneys excrete the imbalance of alkali in your blood built up by the increased breathing rate. This process requires time and patience. It is vital to ascend to higher altitude slowly so your body has the time to acclimatize properly.
The two more life-threatening complications of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) are High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE, water accumulation in the lungs) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE, water accumulation in the brain). In both cases, immediate descent to lower altitude is mandatory.
The young and physically fit often assume that they need to worry less about Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), but there is no correlation between age, physical fitness and successful acclimatization. Pole pole. Swahili for “slowly” is the #1 key to proper acclimatization for everyone.
Climbing Kilimanjaro is a rigorous adventure. Although it is a non-technical mountain walk, it reaches high altitudes. All high altitude traverses in the mountains involve inherent dangers, which can never be totally controlled.
With that in mind, providing adequate precautions and ensuring your safety in the mountain is our team’s sole concern. One of the integral aspects to our high success rates on Kilimanjaro climbs is our diligence in implementing effective protocols for the health and safety of every climber – from the food they consume to the medical support they receive.
Our Trip Leaders from Canada and local mountain guides are the most experienced on the mountain. All our leaders are Certified First Responders (WFR) and undergo extensive training beyond the normal standards of WFR to provide our climbers with the safest possible trek up Kilimanjaro. Every year our guides go through Wilderness First Aid (WFA) training in Arusha, Tanzania.
This certification and ongoing training is mandatory for all of our Kilimanjaro guides. The WFR course is well known internationally and is often regarded as the world standard in outdoor medical care.
Each of our local mountain leaders have climbed Kili over one hundred times. They know the mountain as a second home and are incredible resources of knowledge and expertise on how to prepare for each day, safety precautions, and keeping climbers healthy in the hike toward the summit. They will monitor each climber’s health and wellness throughout the ascent and are trained to detect early signs of altitude sickness as well as in the protocols for high-altitude emergency evacuation.
Every time we take our clients up the mountain, be it one solo climber or a group of 50 or more, Wanderlust’s local team is always equipped with the following health and safety equipment at their disposal:
Arusha Children’s Trust is a small educational charity run by British-born Ishbel Brydon, a teacher by profession, who has been living in Tanzania for more than 20 years. The Arusha Children’s Trust is non-religious and non-political. It does not impose or promote western values but presents information that facilitates the development of knowledge to enable young people to make decisions which will improve the future for themselves and their communities.
Managed personally by Ishbel and run by unpaid volunteers, ACT provides educational materials, classroom furniture and sports equipment for the schools in the tribal communities in Arusha, near Mount Kilimanjaro. It builds new classrooms and teachers’ houses and sends teachers on training courses.
ACT has built and furnished a community centre in a Maasai village near Arusha and the local community run a kindergarten for 100 children aged 4 to 6 years. ACT pays the teachers’ salaries and provides the children with porridge every day. The charity sponsors ex street boys of Arusha in full-time secondary education and seeks financial help from donors to ensure they achieve their goals. ACT believes that education is the key to a better future for the children of Tanzania.
All our clients on Kilimanjaro climbing expeditions and wildlife safari adventures, get a chance to visit the ACT projects in Arusha, meet the children, caretakers and get involved.
Our Canadian non-profit partner, Mom2Mom Africa was a project undertaken by Alison Fraser (Founder and Director) to raise awareness in her local community about the challenges that young women face in Tanzania to receiving a quality education. Alison was inspired by stories from a good friend, Jessica Hogendoorn, living and teaching in Tanzania at the time. She decided to hold a small backyard fundraiser with friends and family to help send a young woman (Wanderlust’s Tanzania Director Rob Chekwaze’s sister), who befriended Jessica, back to school. The fundraiser was a financial success. However, what really inspired Alison was the response from those who attended the event. People were inspired and wanted to do more. Subsequent fundraisers saw greater attendance and the response to the project was overwhelming.
Alison subsequently decided to launch Mom2Mom Africa as a Canadian not-for-profit organization and involve others in supporting Mom2Mom Africa. What started several years ago as a project to send a young woman in Tanzania back to school is now an organization that funds the educational needs of more than 74 boys and girls, supports the education of CHETI School teachers and inspires global awareness in all involved.
Wanderlust Adventures travelers are provided with the high standard of comforts in our Kili mountain camps, considering the climb is a serious undertaking in high altitude under different weather conditions. On all our Kili climbing expeditions, We use sturdy 3-person Mountain Hardwear Trango tents, which we offer just for two people each, to give more room and enough living space for two people. Sumptuous Meals are served in a large dining tent. Breakfast is hot cereal, toast, eggs on request, lunch is picnic style, always with hot soup for hydration, salad, sandwich fixings, and hot dishes such as quiche or pizza if we are in camp. Dinner is hot soup, salad, pasta, and stews or fish. Snacks and drinks are always available at camp. The staff brings tea or coffee and a bowl of washing water to your tent to get you started in the morning, and each camp has separate men’s and women’s toilet tents, both with seats.
Nestled on the lower slopes of majestic Mt Meru, the legendary Ilboru Safari Lodge has been welcoming mountain climbers and safari travellers to northern Tanzania for decades. Ideally located between the northern safari circuit and Mt Kilimanjaro, this beautiful swahili sanctuary is set on a five acre plot , tucked away beneath ancient trees on the outskirts of Arusha town.
There are thirty-eight rooms in which to accommodate guests. Apart from the 4 rooms that are in the main building, close to the pool and other facilities, each with a balcony overlooking the garden, rest of the rooms are double cottages situated throughout the lushly landscaped grounds.
F&B team works passionately to create a seasonally adapted menu featuring fresh produce from the surrounding farms nearby Mt Meru. The lodge restaurant is a favourite with locals as well as guests and serves three meals daily. Additionally there is a poolside menu and a full bar service including fine wines.