Training for Kilimanjaro


Kilimanjaro is one of the most iconic mountains in the world, standing tall at 5,895 meters above sea level. Every year, thousands of people embark on the trek to reach the summit, which is a challenging and rewarding experience. However, to successfully complete the trek, it's important to prepare properly and train for the physical and mental demands of the journey. Training for Kilimanjaro is a crucial aspect of the preparation process, and it requires a combination of endurance, strength, and mental toughness. In this article, we will explore the best training techniques to help you reach the summit of Kilimanjaro.

Fitness Training

Training for a high-altitude trek like Kilimanjaro can seem daunting at first, but with the right approach, almost anyone can do it. Building your endurance and strength is crucial in preparing for such a trek, and there are exercises that anyone can do to achieve this.

To build endurance, start by going for regular walks and gradually increase the distance and duration of your walks. If possible, try to find hilly terrain to walk on, as this will better simulate the conditions you will encounter on the trek. As you progress, try to add weight to your backpack to simulate carrying a load (e.g. 5kg).

Training Hike
Training hikes are a great way to get ready, and also see some of your local scenery!

Strength training is also important, especially for your legs. Exercises like squats, lunges, and calf raises are great for building leg strength, and can be done with or without weights. If you don't have access to weights, try doing these exercises using your body weight. For upper body strength, push-ups and dips are great exercises that don't require any equipment.

Mental preparation is also important. Visualize yourself reaching the summit and imagine how you will feel when you get there. Think about the obstacles you might encounter and how you will overcome them. This can help build mental toughness and prepare you for the mental challenges of the trek.

Remember to start your training at least 3-6 months before the trek to give yourself enough time to prepare. And as always, consult with a medical professional before beginning any new exercise regimen, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.

Training doesn't have to be extreme - regular jogging is a fantastic way to get ready for your trip


Acclimatisation is a critical component of preparing for high-altitude treks like Kilimanjaro, Everest Base Camp, and Mt Blanc. As you ascend to higher altitudes, the amount of oxygen in the air decreases, and your body needs time to adjust. Acclimatization is the process by which your body adapts to these changes in oxygen levels. It is essential to acclimatize properly to avoid altitude sickness, which can range from mild symptoms like headaches and nausea to more severe conditions like pulmonary or cerebral edema.

A few people use altitude training equipment like an altitude mask or an altitude tent, before their trek. While these methods are definitely not a replacement for proper acclimatization on the trek itself, they could theoretically help your body get used to the decreased oxygen levels you will encounter at higher altitudes. However the impact has generally been found to be quite small in academic studies, and we therefore don't typically recommend this.

However, even though there aren't any great ways to train for the effects of altitude, there are steps that all our trips take to minimise the impact. These include ascending slowly, allowing your body time to adjust to the decrease in oxygen. Hydration is also critical in the acclimatization process, so be sure to drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can dehydrate you. Your guides will remind you of this on your trek!

Base Kili
Don't forget - the summit isn't the only incredible part of the journey however!

Mental Preparation

In addition to physical preparation, mental preparedness is also essential for a successful Kilimanjaro trek. The journey can be challenging both physically and mentally.

Team motivation is also crucial for a successful Kilimanjaro trek. While the trek can be a personal journey, it's important to remember that you are part of a team. Encouraging and supporting each other can make all the difference in achieving your goal. Our guides are experts at motivating and supporting their teams, providing encouragement and guidance every step of the way. They are there to help you stay motivated, manage your energy levels, and ensure that everyone is safe and healthy throughout the trek.

It's important to remember that the journey to the summit of Kilimanjaro is not just physical, but also mental and emotional. The trek can be a life-changing experience that challenges you in many ways. By booking experienced local guides, you can rest assured that you will have the support and motivation you need to have the best chance of success on this incredible journey.