How To Prepare For Kilimanjaro Trek


When climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, one of the first steps is to realize the kind of gear you will need to make the climb. The number one rule is to bring as much lightweight and waterproof clothing as possible. It is best to layer clothing in order to be prepared for the varying temperatures on the mountain. It is also important to bring a hat and sunglasses, a sun hat for protection from the sun, a warm hat for the common cold evening experience, and a light raincoat for protection during rainy weather. Proper hiking boots, a backCountry sleeping bag, trekking poles, and an extra pair of shoes should also be taken. It is also recommended to bring a daypack full of necessary supplies, such as a water bottle, snacks, head lamp, and repair kit.

Altitude Acclimation

The altitude in Mt. Kilimanjaro is very high, so it is important to be aware of the danger of altitude sickness. It is best to arrive two to three days before the start of the trek to give the body time to adjust to the new altitude. It is recommended to keep well-hydrated throughout the trek and move at a slow and steady pace. A rest day or two at a lower altitude may also be necessary to allow the body to get used to the changes in altitude.

Fitness Level

Although anyone can attempt to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, it is important for individuals to assess their own fitness level and prepare for the trek. It is advisable to start a fitness regimen prior to attempting the mountain. This can include running, cycling, climbing stairs and hills, and participating in strength-building exercises throughout the several months leading up to the expedition. It is also advised to allow a few days prior to the climb in order to adjust to the temperature and terrain — to test the gear, and practice some trekking.

Health Issues

Potential trekkers should also know that certain health conditions can arise due to the higher altitude of Mt. Kilimanjaro. It is recommended to consult with a doctor in order to ensure that an individual is physically fit for the steep inclines and descents of the mountain. Altitude sickness is common along Kilimanjaro due to lack of oxygen in the air, and can cause nausea, dizziness, weakness, and disorientation. It is best to be prepared by exactly what to do in the face of certain health challenges.


Due to the heat and altitude, it is important to stay hydrated during the trek. A minimum of two liters of water daily is the standard. It is also recommended to drink a water-based electrolyte solution, or replace electrolytes with foods such as fruits and vegetables. Proper hydration also requires that trekkers take regular breaks and choose an appropriate utility, water bottle size, and hydration system to store water in, making it easy to stay hydrated all day.


Many trekkers find it helpful to hire guides for their journey up Mt. Kilimanjaro. The local people of the mountain have a vast knowledge of its terrain and conditions, which can be especially helpful during unexpected weather changes. The trails are often marked with signs, although not all are accurate. Having the help of knowledgeable guides can also help when navigating different paths as there is a vast variety.


Most of the food eaten on the mountain is a combination of fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins. It is best to have light snacks during the day and a hearty meal in the evening and morning. Bread, pasta, and rice are good to eat as they are lightweight and easy to carry. Nuts, dried fruits, and jerky are also some nutritious snack options. It is important to stay away from heavy, greasy or sugary foods which can cause unbearable stomachaches and sluggishness.

Rest and Recovery

Resting is as equally important on a trek as hiking. It is recommended to take breaks throughout the day in order to reset and replenish energy levels. Proper sleep is also essential in order to recharge and reduce the effects of altitude sickness. It is important to have good gear and an appropriate shelter in order to have a comfortable rest and a good night’s sleep.

Group Consideration

It is important to take into account the preferences and needs of the group when climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. It is wise to keep track of the group’s estimated pace, as certain individuals may climb Mt. Kilimanjaro slower than others. This is a dangerous mountain, and it is best to keep track of the group’s progress and ensure that nobody falls behind.

Mentality and Wellbeing

In order to endure the immense physical demands of the mountain, strong mental fortitude is necessary. It is important to stay positive throughout the trek and to set achievable goals in order to stay motivated. The individual should take heart in knowing that the final summit is achievable, and remain conscious of the beauty of the mountain, natural landscapes, and wildlife.

Research and Planning

Before attempting the climb, an individual should research the climate and terrain of Mt. Kilimanjaro in order gain an understanding of the expectations. One should be able to accurately estimate the time it will take to make the climb and what supplies are necessary to bring. It is also best to know what measures to take in the case of an emergency. Planning and preparing for the trek is essential for a successful expedition.


Accommodations during the hike of Mt. Kilimanjaro vary, but there are a few options. If a hiker is willing to forego comfort, lightweight camping is a feasible option. For those that are able to bring more gear and gear up for a more comfortable trek, mid-range lodges are available and provide shelter at different levels of the mountain. However, regardless of the accommodation, it is best to be aware of the risks and dangers posed by the mountain in order to stay safe.

Resource Management

As Mt. Kilimanjaro is a mountain with limited resources, it is essential to make sure that one does not deplete the mountain’s resources unnecessarily. Proper waste management is essential — particularly in terms of disposing of rubbish. A hiker should take care of trash by either packing out what they carried up the mountain, or disposing of it in the proper way. Water is also scarce when trekking, and it is important to ration water consumption and use it sparingly.


Safety is another significant factor to consider when trekking up Mt. Kilimanjaro. It is important to stay aware of the risks posed by natural elements such as altitude sickness, extreme weather, and dangerous wildlife. It is important to stay alert and be aware of potential risks before engaging in activities. Additionally, if an individual experiences any symptoms of exposure to extreme cold, they should take the necessary precautions.

Guides and Porter Services

Utilizing the services of local guides and porters can help to make the journey up Mt. Kilimanjaro easier and more enjoyable. Guides can be hired to ensure that trekkers have the most accurate information and stay safe during the climb. Porters can also be used to carry tough and heavy gear and can be a great support.

Herman Shaw is a passionate traveler and avid photographer who has seen many of the world's most awe-inspiring monuments. He has developed expertise in various aspects of world architecture and culture which he enjoys sharing with his readers. With deep historical knowledge and insight, Herman's writing brings life to these remarkable artifacts and highlights their importance in the grand scheme of human history.

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