At 5,895m (19,341 feet), Kilimanjaro is the “World’s Highest Free Standing Mountain” and the “Roof of Africa”. Located within 2 hours of Arusha and Kilimanjaro International Airport, Kili is high on many people’s bucket list.
Kilimanjaro is considered the easiest of the 7 Summits with year around good weather and relatively easy trekking. Most people in reasonable shape who take the time to train and acclimatise comfortably reach the summit.
There are many different routes on Kilimanjaro but you’ll be climbing the Machame Route over 7 days. Starting in rainforest at 1,800m, you’ll ascend through 5 different ecosystems before reaching the giant glaciers at 5,895m.
The packing list below is a comprehensive list of the minimum items you will require to trek Kilimanjaro.
When packing, please keep in mind that Kilimanjaro is an extremely large mountain, with 5 different climate zones. It is so large that it generates its own weather (ranging from sun to rain to wind to snow). Temperatures vary significantly, often from warm 20-25 degree days to – 20 degree nights, and you should not underestimate how cold it may get.
Purchasing all of these items can be extremely expensive which is why we recommend that you:
We check your gear before the climb and where necessary we’ll take you to a shop where you can hire more equipment.
Must be warm and waterproof.
Must be well worn to avoid blisters.
Can hire but cannot guarantee they are waterproof.
Should be warm and a little large to fit extra socks on summit night.
Must be thermal not cotton or silk.
Recommended for additional warmth and to keep your bag clean.
Hard to buy in Tanzania.
Hard to find good quality thermals to hire.
Should buy, borrow or bring 1 pair (top, bottom & socks) of good quality thermals. May need 2-3 pairs all up.
Can easily hire additional pairs if needed.
Must be warm and waterproof.
Must also bring cotton inner gloves, often available from K-Mart or Target.
Gortex or equivalent jacket and pants are highly recommended.
If you want to save money, a large and thick, quality poncho will suffice.
Need a waterproof bag cover or your poncho must cover your bag.
Must be warm (at least -10 degrees Celsius rating).
More training programs and videos coming soon.
Altitude must be taken seriously by everyone! Above 2,500m (day 1) there is a possibility that you may begin to show symptoms of altitude sickness.
Mild symptoms are frequent and they are relatively easy to manage. For example, it is not uncommon for a climber to experience mild headaches at the end of a hike. The great news is that by the next morning he/she is usually feeling better and is able to continue.
To help you better understand altitude sickness, we’ve developed a basic FAQ sheet (left).
Our team is extremely experienced and we complete an altitude sickness scorecard each day for every climber. We have developed safety procedures to minimise the risk and ensure you enjoy your experience. One of which is our “safety over summit” policy.
It is advised that you transparently communicate with our team so that we can help you manage your symptoms. This way, you can safely continue to the summit or if your symptoms are severe, we can quickly get you off the mountain to avoid injury or death.
Whilst fitness is beneficial, grit and determination are essential.
Must be comfortable walking for 6-7 hours with a day pack on (6-10kg).
If you can do 1 hour of continuous exercise (i.e. spinning, jogging) without difficulty, you are fit enough.
Most people struggle with altitude more than fitness.
Start 3 months before you climb.
Walking up & down hills for as far and long as possible.
Walk up and down stairs.
Exercise 3-4 sessions per week.
Build endurance and strength in your legs.
Stretch. Most sports injuries occur due to poor stretching.
Make sure you pack enough warm clothes. It gets extremely cold at night and it is better to have too much than not enough.
Train for 3 months before your climb. See training advice above.
Make sure your boots are well worn to avoid blisters.
Make sure you cut your toe nails before summit night.
Enjoy the journey. You have no right to think about the summit until you reach Base Camp (Barafu).
The permit costs approximately US$1,000 per climber.
Your fee covers a large support team, porters, camping equipment, food, etc.
We pay our support team and porters above minimum wage for the incredible job they do.
You get what you pay for.
Tipping is expected in Tanzania.
Guides, porters and cooks work incredibly hard to ensure you are safe, happy and comfortable.
Our staff are professional and experienced and you’ll love their service.
To help you budget and make it easy, we collect tips at the start of the trip.
Each day, you’ll walk between 5-12km which will take you approximately 5-8 hours.
Hardest days are: day 2 (quite steep), day 3 (long day) and summit night (extremely long day).
At the end of each day, after you’ve eaten and relaxed, you will have the option to accompany us on a short acclimatisation walk.
Read more day-to-day notes here.