Planning & Preparation for Climbing

Altitude sickness (AMS) is brought about by climbing to high altitudes where there is little air pressure than required. There is a great calculator here that calculates atmospheric pressure in reference to altitude.

When you reach the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro air pressure decreases to a mere 49%. This means that every air that you inhale, contains about half amount of oxygen. Due to the respiratory strain that this brings to your respiratory system, it is advised to take it slow on the mountain. As you do not want fluid to build up in your lung cavities causing pneumonia and the gap between the brain and the skull causing severe headaches and migraines. The result can be fatal at times.

With great emergency precautions and great acclimatization practices, we will help minimize or avoid altitude sickness (AMS). Read more here about altitude sickness and acclimatization rules.


Then best training for Kilimanjaro is doing walking exercise on the hills to familiarize with high altitudes and build stamina. We recommend at least 7-8 hours of walking each day to prepare you for Mount Kilimanjaro.

Below are a few areas concerning training for mountaineering that you need to work on.

  • First is pure cardio. The higher you climb the mountain the thinner the air becomes meaning oxygen levels decrease. This makes your respiratory system strain. You will need to do a lot more cardio exercise to make it easier for your cardio system not to overwork.
  • Make an effort of working very hard for a brief period of time then rest in between the intervals.
  • Second is leg strength. Do not skip leg day. Your legs will be responsible for carrying your body and day pack. Leg workouts and squats will help relieve the strain that comes with mountain climbing.
  • Build your stamina. Try some exercises that will take longer and push you to the edge to build your stamina. This will prove to be helpful during summit night when you will need endurance for that last push to the peak. Some of stamina building exercise may include long walks on the hills or long cycling tours.
  • Stretch your body. Stretching will help you recover more quickly after your treks on the mountain. It also makes you flexible enough to avoid some injuries. Read more about training and download our recommended training plan.

More training for Kilimanjaro information


Yes, to get to Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, you will need a negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate is required when arriving the country. The PCR test needs to be taken within 72 hours of travelling to Tanzania. You will also be tested on arrival at a cost of $25), and need to complete this Traveller Survey 24 hours before you arrive at the airport in Tanzania.

You might also be required to have a negative Covid-19 test certificate when you depart Tanzania to return home. Here are updates on this requirement from the UK and USA.

Read more about COVID-19 and PCR tests in Tanzania


You’ll need to apply online here for a Tanzanian visa (Tourist). This is simple to accomplish at any port of entry. You do not need a visa if you are an East African or a member of the SADC. Most other nations charge $50 for a visa on arrival. However, if you are from one of the countries listed below, you must get a visa from a Tanzanian diplomatic mission prior to your arrival or have a special referral visa that your local sponsor can apply for. Click here to learn more about the Tanzania Visa application.


Because Kilimanjaro is a marathon, not a sprint, you won’t need to trek as frequently as you may think. It’s a long and arduous road. However, if you are able, go for 2–3 hour treks. There’s a tremendous difference between walking for a long period on a level surface and trekking.

The major aspect of climbing Kilimanjaro that might be deemed “hard” or “tough” is altitude sickness. The thing with Kilimanjaro is that if you go slowly but steadily, you should be able to reach the summit without too much difficulty. Sometimes all it takes to avoid altitude sickness is a gradual ascent. You’re probably in for it if you’re attempting to get up there as quickly as possible.

You don’t have to be in great shape to climb it, but you must be healthy enough to perform the treks described.

Learn more about training for Mount Kilimanjaro climbs.


The safest option is to go with a reputable firm that has well-trained guides and a proven track record of success. Use the internet to conduct your study. A skilled guide will be able to moderate the rate of climb, do daily medical checks, and respond to any signs of altitude sickness. A well-equipped medical kit should be carried by the guides.

When you increase altitude too rapidly for your body, you get altitude sickness. Slow is always preferable to quick, whether in terms of walking speed or daily elevation gain.

Read more about Altitude sickness, symptoms and how to avoid.