Kilimanjaro Training Programme


Essentially, Kilimanjaro is a multiple day hike. In light of this; hiking and walking are ideal forms of preparation for your body. Hiking at altitude is hard work and so the more preparation you do the better – but not to the point of over exerting yourself or stressing your body especially a few days before the climb. Therefore, the best bet is to work exercise into your daily routine and where possible try to have extended walks where you can wear in your boots, carry your rucksack and get used to some light weight on your shoulders and increase your aerobic ability. If you can combine more exertive exercise, such as swimming and even other forms of aerobic exercise then great – remember that you will be walking for a number of days and so the fitter you are the more adapt your body is to this level of exercise.

A potential 3-month training program is as follows:

Climb date minus 3 months

  • Gym / fitness class / any selection of fitness session x 2 times a week: Choose workouts that make you work hard and increase fitness rather than build muscle
  • Walking: Walk whenever possible – short 10 minute walks are fine, go to the shops, see friends, short trips you might normally take a bus or taxi for.
  • Diet: Cut out soft drinks with sugar or sweeteners and junk food. Remember this is a once in a lifetime event – use it as a great excuse to get healthy!!

Climb date minus 2 months

  • Gym session x 3 times a week: Again choose workouts that make you work hard and increase fitness rather than build muscle. No need to go crazy, but doing 3 workouts a week breeds discipline and mental stamina as well as improving physical conditioning. You can even substitute 1 gym session for an alternative activity such as Yoga (even better yoga session every morning!) or swimming
  • Walking: Keep walking! – short 10 minute walks are good, but increase your distance to at least 1 hour once a week. That’s only 4 x 1 hour walks for the whole month!
  • Diet: Keep healthy but remember to feed the fire! When you exercise you will burn lots of calories and so replace lost fuel and keep very well hydrated – water is life, drink, drink. Lots of water helps flush out toxins and maintains a healthy perfusion of the body cells.

Climb date minus 1 month

  • Gym session x 3 times a week: No need to go crazy on the gym sessions, simply keep up a good routine. Do not over exercise! Going over 3 times a week increases the risk of injury and muscle damage which will prevent you from even starting, which is not what we want.
  • Walking: Be realistic and set 4 hikes for this month of around 2 – 3 hours each. Keep walking when-ever possible. Again, overexertion and strains should be avoided at all costs, but some hill work and distance will definitely help wear in those boots and prepare you mentally.
  • Diet: A good well balanced diet is the way to be. Any loss of body weight or toning should really have been done in the last couple of months and now keeping healthy and maintaining the status quo is our goal. Lots of water and enough calorie intake to complement your exercise routine.

Climb date minus 1 week

  • RELAX. No need for last minute blasts or burn outs. Take a good walk at the beginning of the week and then simply relax. If you haven’t prepared up to this point, then training one week from your arrival is not going to help (people that take that approach should expect to find the hike hard work and possibly be ready to fail). Being MENTALLY RELAXED is as important as physical conditioning. Even if you haven’t managed to put in lots of training time the same applies.

Note: wearing in your boots will avoid discomfort on the mountain – serious blisters can seriously affect your ability to walk and for this reason we also recommend carrying / wearing them on the plane.

Getting your body prepared tends to go further than this. Many people work really hard right up to the night before they leave, and then arrive tired and start climbing tired. A stressed body will not acclimatize as well as a relaxed body and so give your body a chance and try to prepare early. You can also spend extra days in Tanzania relaxing or even doing light acclimatization walking – there are a number of activity options in the Kilimanjaro area from walking with Maasai in wilderness to seeing Chagga culture on foot. 2 or 3 nights before you climb can make a world of difference.


A quick check of where we are. By now you should:

  • Have taken a medical check
  • Prepared all your personal equipment as per the check list
  • Sent the check list back to your agent
  • Traveled with your boots and jacket, any key documents

NOTE: It is a very good idea to wear your boots on the plane and hand carry your outer shell / waterproof jacket. These items are really essential! Also, if you are taking medication then this should also be carried on your person.

With these all completed, on arrival you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel for the evening. Depending on time of arrival you may be briefed the same afternoon or the following day if you arrive late.