Preparing for Kilimanjaro


It is frustrating to be uncomfortable, inconvenienced or unable to do all you want because you packed improper equipment or too much equipment for your Kilimanjaro climb. To avoid overloading yourself (or the crew) and to be sure what you bring is suitable, please review SENE’s recommended packing lists:

SENE Kilimanjaro Climb Packing List

Additionally, you may wish to consider: Homeopathic Climbing Kit for Kilimanjaro

Once we receive your registration form and deposit, we will send you a copy of Mambo!, SENE’s exclusive pre-trip PDF document with invaluable information and loads of interesting details to help you prepare for your Tanzania adventure.


FitnessBrues-Holland 2011 Dec (33) (800x533)

What can you do before a Kilimanjaro climb to help improve your chances of summiting, assuming you’ve been approved by your doctor for this physically demanding activity? The short answer is to get in shape! Quit smoking – this improves both heart and lung function. Trim off extra fat. Exercise to improve muscle strength and cardiac and respiratory function.

Being “in shape” does not necessarily guarantee good performance at altitude – but it can help since your body has adapted to working efficiently under physical duress. Everyone, even athletes who train compulsively, must understand that maximum exercise capacity decreases steadily with increasing altitude (3%/1,000 ft), so your physiological efficiency decreases as you climb higher.  In any case, being “out of shape” definitely increases your chances of faring poorly on Kilimanjaro!

We recommend that you start a moderate training program several months before departure, then slowly build up to a more strenuous level. An effective conditioning programs must contain aerobic activity that increase the heart rate for a minimum of 45-60 minutes four times per week. Strengthen leg muscles used for trekking by running, ski touring, bicycling, rollerblading, hiking with a pack, stair-climbing or working on equivalent machines in the gym.  Since training is highly sport-specific, always include some hiking, running, or strenuous walking into your program.  Please consult your physician if your body is not responding well to exercise or if you have questions concerning your underlying health.

Photo Credits: Peter Brues, Van Grotenhuis, Sandy McFarren