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The Pristine Promise


All Pristine Trails guides have extensive climbing experience, each trekking at least 20 times per year over many years.

Lead guides are all Wilderness First Responder certified, the highest level of Western industry first aid training available to mountain guides, making them exceedingly skilled in handling emergencies, with a focus on treating and preventing acute mountain sickness caused by the increase in altitude as you hike to the summit. During each low season, we invest in re-certification and extra training in additional health, safety and group management principles.

On all treks there is a minimum of one guide per two clients to ensure all client needs are met and the proper attention is paid to each person’s health.

Cooks are trained by professionals in the field and are re-trained each year on new methods and dishes, to provide our clients with nutritious and delicious meals to fuel you during the duration of the trek.

Your porters are essential to your success on the mountain. They carry everything you need, set up and take down camp each day, and will even link arms with you to get you to and from the summit when your legs are tired. Their hard work and heart are rewarded by Pristine Trails’ partnership with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project, ensuring ethical treatment of Kilimanjaro porters.

Responsible Travel


All camping and cooking equipment are provided for your trek, with the exception of a sleeping bag.

Sleeping tents are Mountain Hardwear Trango 3 tents, built for the toughest alpine conditions. These are 3-person sized tents that are large enough to sleep two people comfortably and fit your gear.

Two-inch locally-made sleeping mats are provided to keep you comfortable and warm each night.

A private portable toilet, with an eco-friendly disposable waste system, private tent and toilet paper. Toilets are cleaned daily and carried to each new campsite.

Mountain Hardwear Lamina Z Bonfire sleeping bags, rated -30°F/-34°C, are available for rent. These are warm, synthetic, water-repellent bags, constructed to enhance loft and eliminate cold spots. Available in regular and long for climbers of any height.

Other equipment items, such as trekking poles and clothing, are available to rent as well.

Ethical Travel

Pristine Trails is partnered with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project, ensuring fair and ethical treatment of Kilimanjaro porters and the entire mountain crew.

This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • All crew are paid at least the minimum daily wage
  • Porter loads do not exceed 20 kg / 50 lbs.
  • Tipping recommendations are given to all clients and tips are disbursed transparently
  • Porters are provided with three meals per day and drinking water on the mountain
  • Porters are provided comfortable sleeping conditions on the mountain
  • Ill or injured porters are descended and provided with treatment

Pristine Trails has done away with all one-use plastic on all mountain, safari and day trips. This decision is in line with our commitment to preserve our environment.

All trash and waste are disposed of properly in designated waste containers. No waste is left behind on the mountain or any Pristine Trails trips.

Health Monitoring

Your mountain guide will twice daily check various aspects of your health to monitor how you are adjusting to the increasing altitude.

Specifically, a pulse oximeter will be used to check your pulse and oxygen saturation levels each day during the climb, an important indication of how a client is acclimatizing. In the event of minor symptoms, your crew will help you to treat yourself. In the event of major symptoms of acute mountain sickness, you will quickly descend off the mountain with one of your guides and if necessary, be transported to a nearby medical facility.

Safety Gear

Pristine Trails employs the highest quality safety standards on all mountain treks, to ensure our clients have an unforgettable experience. Every climb is outfitted with the following:

  • Pulse oximeter: Your guide will monitor your pulse and oxygen saturation twice per day, or more if necessary.
  • Emergency oxygen canisters: These are available for climbers in significant need of supplemental oxygen. However, with the recommended pacing and acclimatization practices, oxygen is not required in order to reach the summit.
  • Radios: Your guides are able to communicate with one another, the Kilimanjaro Park Authority and the Pristine Trails office at all times.
  • First aid kits
  • Gamow bag (hyperbaric pressure bag): Available upon request.

On The Mountain

Food & Drink

Every trek is staffed with a trained cook, who prepares three nutritious and delicious meals per day, in addition to hot tea, coffee, cocoa and snacks.

They can cater to various dietary needs such as vegetarian, vegan and gluten intolerance. On short trekking days, you will be served a hot lunch. On days with longer trekking hours, you will depart camp in the morning with a packed lunch. Below is a sample menu:

Breakfast: Toast, with honey, jam, peanut butter and/or butter; French toast; pancakes; sausage; bacon; eggs; cooked vegetables; fruits; cold and hot cereals.

Lunch (if packed): Cold meat sandwiches; tuna or chicken salad sandwiches; chickpea cakes; grilled cheese sandwiches; fruits; boiled eggs; French fries.

Snack: Popcorn; biscuits; tea; coffee; cocoa.

Hot Lunch/Dinner: Hot soups (carrot, cucumber, pumpkin); pasta; rice; vegetables; roasted or stewed meats; beans and lentils; potatoes; fruits.

Although you will never be hungry on a Pristine Trails trek, we do encourage all trekkers to bring favorite snacks from home such as protein bars and trail mix to nosh on while walking or while hanging out at camp. We also recommend bringing electrolyte drink powders that mix into your water to ensure fast and easy absorption of electrolytes your body may be missing.

Your drinking water is filtered and treated so it is safe to drink throughout the climb. Each morning you will fill your water bottles with up to 3 liters. Upon reach camping in the afternoon, you will have access to as much additional drinking water as you need.

Daily Schedule

While hiking distance and time varies each day, there is a typical daily schedule while you are on the mountain.

You will be woken up between 6:00-7:00 am and brought a basin of hot water and soap for brushing teeth and washing your face. Once you are dressed, you will have breakfast served in the mess tent, followed by putting your daypack together and heading out for the day’s hike. The porters will break down the camp once you leave.

The average daily hiking time is 4-6 hours. You will hike with your guides and other group members at a relatively slow pace, enjoying the mountain and allowing your body to acclimatize. You will see your porters and cook zoom by you at some point as they head to the next camp to set up, collect water and prepare your lunch.

Upon reaching the camp, you will set down your things and eat lunch. (On long trekking days, you will eat a packed lunch on the trail). The afternoons will be spent relaxing or taking an acclimatization walk. A snack will be served in the late afternoon, followed by dinner.

At dinner, you will sit with your guide and discuss the following day’s schedule. After dinner, you may hang out in the mess tent and play cards or chat, or retreat to your tent for the night. Hot water will be provided to brush your teeth.


Each morning and evening, there will be a basin of hot water and soap outside of your tent, for brushing teeth and washing up.


There is no power available on the trek, so we recommend bringing additional batteries, external chargers and/or small solar powered chargers that can charge essential electronics like a phone and camera.

Group vs. Private Trek

Open group treks are offered once or twice per week. Groups are open for different parties to join and are capped at a total of ten climbers.

A group trek can be confirmed with a minimum of two climbers. On group treks, the pace is set by your guide and the group must remain together, except in the instance that a climber needs to descend from the mountain early. In this case, he/she will do so with one guide and the remaining climbers will continue with the trek.

Group Treks

A private trek can typically be accommodated on any date during the year. These treks are booked by individual parties and will not open for any others to join. Private treks can be any size and will be priced according to the total number of climbers in the party. In the case of really large private groups, there may be a discount available.

Crater Camp

We offer a couple of itineraries which include an overnight at Crater Camp. This camp is located at 5750 m / 18,865 ft above sea level, between Uhuru Peak (Kilimanjaro’s summit) and the Furtwangler glacier. While some people are excited about the possibility of sleeping here, we only advise doing so with caution. Sleeping at such a high altitude is quite dangerous on its own. You also must take into account that the previous night, you will have slept 915-1220 m / 3,000-4,000 ft below, which is an increase far too great for most people. If you have interest in sleeping at Crater Camp, please speak to your Trip Expert and they will advise you.


Climbing Seasons

While you can climb year-round, it is recommended to hike during the two dry seasons, when the likelihood of finding rain on the mountain is low. These periods are late December through March and mid-June through October.


As you ascend the mountain, there are various climate zones you will pass through to the summit, each with its own weather pattern.

Rainforest: Warm and humid temperatures, in the range of 15-25°C / 60-75°F.

Heath and moorland: Air becomes both cooler and drier and temperatures starts to drop, eventually reaching freezing temperatures at night.

Alpine Desert: Daily temperatures can be quite hot as the sun is very strong, but expect it to drop below freezing at night.

Arctic Zone: At the summit you will experience temperatures around -5°C / 23°F in the daytime. Lows in this zone tend to reach -10°C / 15°F, with wind chill even lower.


Tipping is customary on Mount Kilimanjaro for all members of your mountain crew.

Although the crew all receive a fair wage, they rely on tips for a total fair compensation as set by the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project Partners for Responsible Travel.

The total recommended tipping amount per client typically ranges from USD $350-500, depending on the trek length, trekking package and total number of people in the trekking group.

To ensure fair and transparent tipping for each crew member, there will be a tipping ceremony at the Pristine Trails office following your descent from the mountain. Envelopes will be provided to divide your tips for each member of the crew.

For more specific information about tipping amounts, please see the individual route itineraries.


The best way to train for your trek is to get outside and go hiking around local trails, or to make use of a treadmill or Stairmaster in your home or at a gym. If you do not have access to either of those, you can get outside for long walks.

Begin your training at least 2-3 months prior to your trek. Start with exercising in shorter time frames and a relatively slow pace. As the weeks go on, it is best to increase your time and distance rather than increase your pace, since this best mimics your time on the mountain. Start exercising as well with your day pack, increasing its weight up to a maximum of 7-8 kg / 15-20 lbs. If you can, train about 3-4 times per week. Your hardest workouts should be a few weeks prior to your departure for Tanzania, allowing your body some rest in the week or two leading up to your trek.

It is very important that you train in the hiking boots you will wear on the trek, so your feet get comfortable in them and the boots get broken in sufficiently.

Lastly, if you are able to spend time at high altitudes before your trek, this will help your body acclimatize to the lower oxygen levels on the mountain.


For any clothing and equipment you do not have or wish to buy for your trek, we offer a variety of items for rent, including sleeping bags, walking poles, clothing items, and other miscellaneous items. Click here to view the full list of available rentals.

Storing Valuables

It is recommended to carry only what you absolutely need on your trek and leave extra luggage and valuables (including cash for tipping) behind in Moshi town. The Pristine Trails office has a secure storage facility for extra baggage and small valuables, such as wallets and laptops.

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