How To Train To Climb Kilimanjaro

Climbing Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s most iconic hikes with its breathtaking views, spectacular glaciers, and awe-inspiring summit stretching 19,430 feet above sea level. But climbing Kilimanjaro is not for the faint of heart. It takes physical, mental, and emotional strength, as well as proper training, to reach the top. With the proper training and preparation, you can ensure that you have the best chance of reaching the roof of Africa. Here are some tips for training to climb Kilimanjaro.

Develop a regular exercise routine

To prepare for the challenging eight-day trek, you must develop a regular exercise routine. Begin by doing a combination of low to moderate-intensity aerobic activities, such as walking, biking, and running, to increase your overall endurance level. Once your endurance has improved, you can increase the intensity of your workouts, with hikes that exceed 10 miles in length and climbs that exceed 4,000 feet. Also, be sure to incorporate strength-training into your workout routine, focusing on the muscles you will use most during the trek.

Increase the duration of your hikes or climbs

In addition to developing a regular exercise routine, you should also increase the duration of your hikes or climbs. As you progress in your training, add significant distance each time you go out. For example, start with a 6-mile hike, then add several miles each time you go out, ultimately getting to the point where you are doing 10-mile hikes or greater. Also, when you are hiking, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and push past the level of comfort – this will help you to develop mental and emotional strength, as well as overall stamina.

Take advantage of the terrain

When training, be sure to take advantage of the terrain you will encounter while hiking Kilimanjaro. Hiking trails that are more rugged, rocky, and steep will help you to develop the necessary strength and endurance to handle the summit. Spend at least one day a week training in a mountainous area to simulate the terrain of Kilimanjaro.

Stay hydrated

Staying well-hydrated is essential for any hike or climb, especially for Kilimanjaro. On average, hikers should drink 6 to 8 liters of water every day to ensure proper hydration. You should also ensure that you are drinking plenty of electrolytes as well, such as energy drinks or sports drinks, to replenish the nutrients that are lost in sweat. Furthermore, it is important to note that you should take smaller sips of water more often when hiking, as opposed to large gulps, in order to maximize your hydration.


When climbing a mountain such as Kilimanjaro, it is important to properly acclimatize your body to the altitude. The best way to do this is to take frequent hikes up high-altitude hills, up to 10,000 feet or more, and then allow your body to recover. This will help your body adjust to the high altitude and allow you to gradually increase your endurance level. Additionally, make sure to stay well-hydrated and limit your time above 10,000 feet until you are confident that your body is properly acclimated.

Focus on nutrition

Nutrition is a key factor in helping you reach the summit of Kilimanjaro. It is important to focus on eating healthy, easily digestible foods that are high in carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins. Add foods such as oatmeal, nuts and seeds, and whole grains to your diet. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. During the trek, it is important to stay nourished to maintain your energy levels and prevent fatigue.

Invest in quality gear

Having good quality gear is essential for surviving the Kilimanjaro trek. Invest in good quality boots and rugged apparel that are designed for the outdoors. Good-quality gear will ensure your comfort and provide much-needed protection from the elements. Also, be sure to check that your gear is in good condition before you set out on the trek.

Train with a partner or a group

Climbing Kilimanjaro is an incredible adventure, but it can be a dangerous one as well. To ensure the safety of all climbers, it is highly encouraged to find a partner or join a group. With a partner, you can help and motivate each other throughout the trek. Additionally, groups will provide a safety net in the event of an emergency, and experienced guides can provide insight on how to prepare and adjust to high altitude.

Do trial runs

Finally, it is a good idea to do trial runs before the actual trek. Try to simulate the conditions you will experience on the trek as much as possible. This will help you to understand better what to expect, fine-tune your gear and nutrition plan, and allow you to adjust to the altitude before you reach the top. Doing trial runs will also help you develop the mental and emotional strength you will need to reach the summit.

Prepare for the mental challenge

Kilimanjaro is a physically demanding climb, but for many, the mental challenge proves to be the most difficult. Your confidence in your ability to complete the climb will have a direct effect on your success. The best way to prepare for this mental challenge is to set small, achievable goals and track your progress. This will help you to see your progress and give you the confidence to keep going. Additionally, it is important to remember to take breaks when needed and listen to your body.

Consider altitude sickness

Altitude sickness is a real danger on Kilimanjaro and can occur at any time during the climb. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms so you can act quickly if they arise. The most common signs and symptoms of altitude sickness include headache, dizziness, nausea, and shortness of breath. If any of these symptoms occur, it is important to rest, hydrate, and if necessary, descend to a lower altitude. Similarly, you can also take preventative measures to reduce the chances of altitude sickness by making sure you properly acclimatize and staying hydrated.

Understand the terrain

Kilimanjaro is a treacherous climb and understanding the terrain is essential for a safe and successful summit. There are seven main routes up Kilimanjaro that vary in difficulty, ranging from peaceful rainforest trails to grueling boulder fields. Prior to your climb, it is important to research each route and decide which one is best for your skill level and physical condition.

Plan and prepare

Planning and preparation are essential for a successful climb up Kilimanjaro. It is important to do your research, understand the terrain, and review the gear you will need. Additionally, it is best to book with a reputable tour company and ensure that you have the necessary permits. Once you have all your ducks in a row, you can focus on training for the trek and be confident that you are prepared for the challenge ahead.

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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