for a Kilimanjaro climb
people prepare for Kilimanjaro with fitness
While getting reasonably fit makes sense,
the gym work outs or sprinting up flights
of stair etc. will not prepare your body
for the demands of a Kilimanjaro climb.
do need to get your body used to walking
for several hours in uneven country, for
several days. But any fitness training
beyond that will not increase your chances
to reach the summit.
the altitude that will get you, not your
lack of fitness.
unwanted baggage and suitcases can
be safely stored at the office or
if you can, expose your body to some altitude
before you tackle Kilimanjaro:
you are living somewhere near mountains,
climb them! If there is a chance to overnight
at higher altitude, do it. (Note that
for this to make a difference it needs
to happen right before your Kili climb.)
people do acclimatization treks on Mt.
Kenya or Mt. Meru before they climb Kilimanjaro.
We ecommend it, but only for people with
some previous trekking experience.
Ngorongoro crater rim is over 2200 metres
high and even the crater floor is at 1700
metres. If you think of doing a safari
while in Tanzania, why not plan it so
you can spend a night or two on the crater
rim before transferring to Kili?
at where you will be spending the night(s)
before your climb.
We will offer you accomdoation Moshi or
Marangu hotels. Moshi lies at 890 m, Marangu
at 1800 m...
matter where you will be staying, definitely
fly in a couple of days early!
your body time to adjust to the different
climate, the food, to
recover from the strains of a long haul
flight and to get over the jet lag if
you came from a different time zone.
early can improve your chances of reaching
the summit by five percent or more.
What to do during a Kilimanjaro climb
is Kiswahili for "slow and steady"
and you will hear it day in, day out.
the single most important thing to keep
in mind during the climb. I can tell you
now, no matter what you expect, you will
be surprised when you see just HOW slow
your guides make you walk. Everything
on Kilimanjaro happens in slow motion.
walk so slowly,
the first days it seems ridiculous. You
may even feel you just CAN'T possibly
walk THAT slowly. (If you have that problem,
breathe through your nose only. That'll
slow you down.)
you will notice some changes. You stop
for a photo and catching up with your
group leaves you breathless. Drinking
from your camel back while walking becomes
an effort. The slow, slow speed does not
seem so slow any more...
happens, do avoid exertion at all cost.
the group? So what? That's
why bigger groups have several guides.
not be tempted into speeding up because
others are walking faster. (Serious altitude
sickness is more common in groups than
it is during private climbs!)
group overtaking? Let them! You will pass
their crumpled bodies soon enough...
is NOTHING to gain on Kilimanjaro by being
you know which group has the lowest success
rate? Young males
between 20 and 30, exactly the
people you think would do the best.
they overestimate the role of fitness
and underestimate the mountain. Often
they feel they have to lead, they don't
like being overtaken, and being the strongest
and fittest makes it just sooo easy to
walk too fast.
you know that older people have a good
They are wiser than that. And many of
them just aren't fit enough to make the
mistake of walking too fast.
fitness can be a trap. You don't feel
the strain, but your body uses lots of
oxygen all the same.
I think you got the message. Pole pole!
A few more tips on climbing Kilimanjaro
and avoiding altitude sickness
first point is very important for avoiding
and your guides will likely keep reminding
drinking! It's VERY easy to dehydrate
at altitude without noticing.
The air is very dry so you breathe off
more moisture. Also, your body adjusts
to the high altitude by eliminating more
water. Keep replacing it.
make sure you eat plenty! Most
people lose their appetite at altitude,
but the cold weather and the long days
mean your body burns through a lot of
calories. Keep replacing them. You will
need them. High carbohydrate foods are
better than fatty foods. (Any good tour
operator will have considered that in
their shopping and meal planning.)
keep warm! The
correct gear is a must, not just because
shivering isn't nice and hypothermia dangerous,
but also because staying nice and toasty
will lessen your risk of succumbing to
your day pack light. Only
take what you really need. Every extra
kilo needs extra oxygen to carry.
last but not least, avoid alcohol, tobacco,
most definitely do not touch sleeping
tablets! Or you may not wake up again...
that's about it. Even if you are not in
a position to afford extra preparation
for the altitude (e.g. a Mt. Meru climb),
if you are healthy, pick a good route
and operator, arrive a couple of days
early and take on board all of the above
tips, you have a very good chance of making
it to the summit.