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Kilimanjaro Hiking Preparations


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How do you train to climb mount Kilimanjaro?

What does it mean to train your way to reach an improved level of fitness? Essentially you need to push yourself, gradually getting your body to do a bit more than it is used to; to get stronger, to improve your endurance and to shorten the body’s recovery time afterwards. It sounds easy, but it’s hard work.

If you are not accustomed to training, it’s important not to try too much, too soon. Establish a routine, devise a program and take things gradually. Start early, as soon as you have decided to take on Kilimanjaro, and then stick to your program. Even better, take some advice from a fitness instructor. Let them know that you are aiming towards a Kilimanjaro climb, so they can structure a program specifically for your needs.

And remember that away from the gym, or any type of formal exercise, there is plenty you can do on your own. Walking costs nothing and can be done anywhere, so build walking into your daily routine. Build up the distance each time you walk and if you are lucky enough to live near some hills – of any height – use them to get used to climbing and descending. Walking as part of your training is also a great opportunity to check that your boots fit and that they are in good condition. If you can find time, walk good distances on consecutive days, as that is what you will be doing on Kilimanjaro.

There are plenty of different ways of improving your strength and stamina and some climbers will already have a fitness routine. Below, we suggest a number of different types of exercise which can be combined to give you the fitness necessary for your Kilimanjaro climb. Even if you do already exercise regularly, we would ask that you read through these suggestions to ensure that you have a good balance between building strength, increasing your aerobic fitness and improving your stamina. Work hard on these and you’ll have every chance of standing on the Roof of Africa!

Kilimanjaro Training Plan

Here are four things you can do to prepare and train for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro:

Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardiovascular Exercise: Kilimanjaro is a strenuous trek that requires good cardiovascular endurance. Engage in regular cardiovascular exercises such as hiking, running, cycling, or stair climbing to improve your stamina and endurance. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity on most days of the week.

Strength Training

Strength Training: Strengthening your lower body muscles, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes, is essential for tackling the steep ascents and descents on Kilimanjaro. Incorporate strength training exercises such as squats, lunges, leg presses, and calf raises into your workout routine to build muscle strength and endurance.

Altitude Acclimatization

Altitude Acclimatization: Altitude sickness is a common concern when climbing Kilimanjaro due to the high elevation. To prepare for the altitude, consider incorporating altitude acclimatization strategies into your training regimen. This may include hiking at higher elevations, using altitude simulation devices, or spending time in hypoxic chambers to simulate high-altitude conditions.

Practice Hiking with a Loaded Pack

Practice Hiking with a Loaded Pack: You'll be carrying a daypack with essential gear and water during your Kilimanjaro trek. To prepare for this, practice hiking with a loaded pack to get accustomed to the weight and distribution of your gear. Start with lighter loads and gradually increase the weight as you build strength and endurance. This will help minimize discomfort and fatigue during the actual climb.

Additionally, be sure to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise regimen, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions or concerns about altitude sickness. Proper preparation and training are essential for a safe and enjoyable Kilimanjaro experience.

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