Preparation for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

The very best way of how to prepare for climbing Mt Kilimanjaro is to climb to high altitude.  Although this is difficult for most people, remember that the higher the altitude and the longer the hikes, the bearer. Whether it’s to hike 2,000 feet to the top of the local hill or climbing larger mountains further afield; just being out hiking up hill is the best. This also allows you to get used to your backpack and boots.

Running and biking are also very good and at least take you outdoors so you can test your equipment. Stair masters and climbing machines at the gym will work if outdoor hiking isn't an option. Try not to go for short hard blasts of exercise but long sustained workouts instead.  An adequate training regime is to maintain 80% of your max heart rate (220 minus your age) for an hour, three to four days a week. Remember high altitude mountain climbing requires acclimatization and a strong mind is as important as a strong body. If you are fairly fit and choose a climbing itinerary that allows plenty of time to acclimatization you have the formula for success.


Before travelling to Africa, you should make an appointment with your travelling doctor to discuss immunization such as Yellow fever, Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, malaria prevention and for the Kilimanjaro Climbers, you should definitely discuss your fitness level with your doctor who will advise on how best to prepare. You can also discuss with your doctor the usage of Diamox, a medication which helps against the altitude effects. Your doctor will be best to tell you if Diamox is appropriate for you. If you have any medical conditions so as heart condition, high blood pressure, pulmonary condition, you should make sure to discuss with your doctor Travel insurance When you book your Kilimanjaro Trek with Explore East Africa, you are automatically enrolled Tanapa evacuation plan and into an evacuation insurance from Knight Support, which will cover for the ground evacuation from the mountain to the local hospital. However, it is essential that clients take out adequate insurance cover against all risks associated with travel in Africa, this means appropriate travel and medical insurance prior to departure of clients from their country of origin. Make sure your insurance cover personal accident, hospitalization, medication and surgery, all medical expenses, repatriation, cancellation, loss of luggage and others. Explore East Africa should not be held responsible for any medical treatment or evacuation during your trip.


It is possible for individual Canadians, Americans, all residents of European Union countries, Australians and New Zealanders to obtain tourist visas valid for 3 months with single entry. The formalities are simple and the cost is $ 50 for Canadian citizens and European citizens and 100 USD for U.S. citizens. Your passport must be valid for a period of six months. As the waiting is usually very long at the airport to get your visa on entry, we recommend that you get it in prior to your departure through the embassy of your country prior to y our departure. A return ticket from your country of origin is required to obtain a visa to enter Tanzania.

Travel Accessories List

“Kili” is the highest mountain in Africa and it’s capable of making its own weather. We can’t predict exactly what kind of conditions you’ll encounter, but based on our experience, we can give broad guidelines: On Kilimanjaro daytime temperatures at most altitudes over 8 000 feet range from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius, at night, it can go downs to 0 degrees Celsius.

Try to go as light as possible and take only the essentials. Excess baggage can be a burden to you and to our support personnel. Also remember, there are limits on how much your Kilimanjaro trekking duffel can weigh 25 pounds or 12 kilograms including sleeping bag. Extra kilograms on your luggage will require extra porters and extra fees.

While you are out on Kilimanjaro, your city clothes and second duffel can be safely stored in a luggage storage area at the hotel.


2 duffel bag: one for your Kilimanjaro gear and a smaller one for your city clothes. For the Kilimanjaro duffel, we suggest a size of about 14” x 30” with a lock. (your duffel bag should be big enough to hold your sleeping bag, parka, and other cold weather gear but please do not exceed 25 pounds or 12 kilograms in weight, the amount your porter can carry. You do not need a frame pack for Kilimanjaro; porters will carry your duffel on the climb in a waterproof bag.

Day pack.

It should have a capacity of 1500 to 2000 cubic inches and can double as your carryon bag. Your daypack or camera bag should not weigh more that 11 pounds or 5 kilograms. Remember that youll have to carry it yourself. It will be used to carry your camera, water for the day, sunscreen lotion, rain coat, personal belongings like passport, money etc.

Combination locks for your duffle bags and Bag tags.


Trekking to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa, requires dressing to protect yourself from cold and possibly wet weather. In your clothing selections for kili, think of layering: wearing multiple layers that you can shed when you’re too warm and put back on when you’re cold again. The innermost layer should be synthetic long underwear. The middle layer should be items like synthetic turtlenecks and wool or synthetic shirts and wool or

Synthetic pants. The outermost layer should be a synthetic or down jacket and/or a good quality GoreTex wind/rain parka and overpants.

A Word about Synthetic Fabrics: For Kilimanjaro, we recommend that you layer with synthetic clothing (such as polypropylene, Capilene, or pile). Synthetic fabrics are the most effective barrier to cold. They provide the best insulation because they are light in weight, wick away perspiration, and remain effective if wet. Coaon garments should not be used for cold or wet

Mountain conditions.

We have not included quantities for each item listed. Use your own judgment, based on the expected weather conditions and overall packing/weight restriction for your luggage.

List of equipment


Regular underwear. Synthetics are easier to wash and dry.

Synthetic thermal underwear. You need a lightweight or mediumweight long underwear top and boaom of a polyestertype fabric. Wool and wool/synthetic blends are also suitable, but by all means avoid coaon, which holds moisture and keeps you chilled.


Longsleeved, synthetic turtleneck. Again, todays new synthetics and coaon/synthetic blends are a real boon for travelers because they are featherweight, durable, wrinkle resistant, and they dry quickly. A longsleeved wool shirt is also suitable.

Longsleeved synthetic or coaon shirt

Shortsleeved synthetic or coaon Tshirts.


Mediumweight sweater or jacket of synthetic or wool or pile.


Fulllength pants, preferably of synthetic fabric.

Synthetic pile or wool overpants (for warmth on Kili)

Hiking shorts, preferably of a synthetic fabric.


Sun hat with wide brim, preferably with a chin strap to keep it from blowing off.

Balaclava (wool or synthetic cap and face mask) for warmth on Kili.

Badanna. It will keep your neck from gexng sunburned and can double as a hand towel.

Foul Weather gear

Mediumweight down or syntheticfill jacket (1012 oz. of down or 1520 oz of fibrefill, or a heavyweght fleece jacket) for Kilimanjaro.

GoreTex rain/wind pants for Kilimanjaro.

Sturdy poncho to protect daypack and camera gear from rain at lower altitudes.

Hand wear

Gloves (wool or synthetic)

Waterproof overmias for Kilimanjaro (must fit over your other gloves)

(optional) Synthetic glove liners.


We recommend you bring six outer pairs and two liner pairs for the climb.

Heavy duty hiking socks (synthetic or wool/synthetic blend) for Kilimanjaro.

Athletic socks (synthetic) for lower slopes of the mountain.

Sock liners (synthetic)


This is where the rubber meets the road take care in your choice. Sturdy, properly fixing footwear can make your trip much more pleasurable.

Mediumweight hiking boots (preferably all leather), waterproofed and well broken in, for Kilimanjaro. Try to break them in by wearing them as omen as possible before the trip.

Tennis shoes for the camp.


Ankle or Kneelength gaiters to keep pebbles and scree out of your boots when youre hiking up Kilimanjaro

Trekking Poles

Telescopic trekking poles, useful especially when going down

Sleeping Bag

Mediumweight, down or fibrefill, rated from 0 to 10 degrees F., to keep you toasty warm on the Kilimanjaro climb.

Thermo rests or sleeping pad

Travel Accessories

Water boales, 1 or 1.5 quart capacity. Bring two and make sure they are leakproof, heavyduty plastic. Lightweight plastic boales, such as Eviantype boales and the kind used by bigyclists, arent recommended they break. Hydration bag with a tube give you quick access to your water and are really useful on Kilimanjaro, but still also bring Nalgene boale for the summit and during the night.

Water purification tablet even though we filter the water, you might still want to use the tablet or in case the pump would get damage during the climb.

Toiletry kit – soap, toothbrush, and so on.

Washcloth and towel dry quick

Toilet paper. Bring one roll. TP is provided while we’re camping, but it’s handy to have one roll of your own preferred brand.

Insect repellent with about 35% Deet.

Ace bandage or brace if you’re prone to sore knees or ankles.

Sunglasses to protect your eyes from Africa’s strong sun.

Sunglasses with sidescreens and lenses that absorb 85% of UV. For high altitude on Kilimanjaro, it’s good to have glasses with a special dark lens and side shields that block reflected UV.

Spare par of prescription glasses, prescription sunglasses, or contact lenses.

Sunscreen with at least SPF 30 rating. The sun in Africa is much more intense that you are probably used to

Sunscreen lipstick of SPF 30 or higher.

Glacier sunscreen or zinc oxide sunscreen for Kilimanjaro. You need serious UV protection at high altitudes.

Small flashlight with spare baaeries.

Headlamp with spare baaeries. We strongly recommend that you bring a lightweight head lamp to use on the summit day when we start our climb in the predawn darkness. It will also come in handy for reading in your tent

Purell hand sanitizer for quick hand washing and hygiene at camp.

Plastic bags of various sizes for keeping things sorted out and dry in your duffel. Ziplock bags work well. (Theyre also great for camera gear.)

Nylon stuff sacks to stash your down jacket and other bulky gear into.

Heavyweight plastic garbage bag to use as a waterproofing liner inside your duffel.

First aid or drug kits “very important”

Other Items

Swimsuit for use at the hotel pool.

One set of casual city clothes that are dressier than your trek clothes. You can leave them at the hotel while on the trip.

Sandals for the hotel.

Optional Travel Accessories

Collapsible Walking stick or Hiking poles

Iodine water tablets

Repair kit with needle thread and safety pins

Swiss Armytype pocket knife

Reading and writing material

Powdered mixes such as Gatorade to flavour the water in your water boales to keep your electrolytes and good hydration

Your favourite snack food. We’ll have plenty of excellent food, but you might want to bring along your favourite snack food (such as raisins or nonmelting chocolate)

Earplug, if you have a snoring neighbour in your tents.

Spare contacts or glasses: contacts can be a problem in dusty conditions; glasses wearers should have a spare set Insect repellent.