Trekking Planning

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Trek Fitness Programme

Trekking up a mountain requires perseverance and preparation. Get ready for your trek with this three month fitness programme which will ensure you are ready for the challenge that awaits you.

Three Months Before Your Trek

Increase your fitness by doing two sessions of intense cardio per week.

Take 10-15 minute walks daily. The more you walk, the better.

Now is the perfect opportunity to start cutting out soft drinks, sugar and junk food.

Two Months Before Your Trek

Kick it up to three cardio sessions a week. Yoga and swimming are highly recommended to increase mental stamina and improve your physical condition.

Continue taking walks as often as possible, but make sure you have at least one session a week where you walk for over an hour.

Get into a good habit of drinking plenty of water. This will flush out toxins from your body and maintain a healthy perfusion of the body’s cells.

One Month Before Your Trek

Keep up the fitness routine, but don’t push yourself too hard. You don’t want to sustain an injury before your trip, so remember to stretch before and after fitness sessions.

Plan four small hikes for this month that are each at least 2-3 hours long. Remember that with practice, each hike will be easier than the last.

By now you should focus on having a diet that is high in protein and fibre. Eating six small meals throughout the day with healthy snacks in between is much better than eating three big meals.

Mount Trekking Equipment

Climbing a mountain is no easy feat, we understand that, and so we set you up for success by ensuring you have the best possible equipment and guides on your adventure.

Mountain Climbing Wear

  • 4 pairs of thick trekking socks
  • 3-4  thermal undergarments
  • 4 thermal t-shirts
  • Underwear
  • 2 thermal long sleeved tops
  • Normal t-shirts
  • 1  fleece sweater
  • 1  ski-mask
  • 1 balaclava
  • 1  sun hat
  • 1  pair of sunglasses (with UV protection)
  • 1 pair of thin warm gloves
  • 1 pair of thick warm gloves  (These will be worn on the day you summit)
  • 1 pair of rain trousers/waterproof trousers
  • 1 rain jacket
  • 2 pairs of  warm trousers
  • 1 winter jacket (windstopper summit)

Gear on the Mountain

Each day we recommend that you pack the following to carry with you:

  • Waterproof clothes
  • A 3 litre water system or 3 litre water bottle
  • A thermos flask
  • 1 pair of hiking poles
  • 1 pair of gaiters
  • 1 sleeping bag  (note that temperatures do fall between -10 C to -15 C, so ensure that the sleeping bag is warm enough)
  • 1head torch + spare batteries
  • 1 waterproof rack sack and 1 poncho.

Note: We have a selection of gear available for rent. Please contact one of our mountain trekking experts to talk about arranging your gear for the trek.

Gearing Up Before the Trek

All of our guests undergo a thorough pre-briefing, where we explain exactly which necessities and clothes you must bring, and how much your baggage must weigh in total.

All valuable items (jewellery, money, passport and electronics) should be kept in the safe deposit at the hotel.

What to Pack

Baggage weight is restricted at 5-10 kg. Your bag must include: your prepared first aid kit, a sun hat, sunglasses, energy bars, a 3 L water bottle, rain trousers and coat, camera, fleece sweater, hiking poles and the lunch boxes provided by the cook during the trek.

Refer to our recommended trekking equipment guide when selecting and preparing your gear.

Registration at the National Park

All our guests are required to register at the national park upon arrival. Make sure that you have your passport number. Note that your bags will be weighed at the gate before you enter.

Drinking Water

We provide 3 L of water to each guest at the beginning of the trek. This water can be carried in a water system or in Nalgene drinking bottles.

During the trek, your cook will provide you with more drinking water that is fetched from the springs, boiled, filtered and cleaned with purification tablets.

Meals on the Mountain

Meals consist of breakfast, lunch, a small tea snack and dinner. We provide vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.

Hot lunches will be provided if the location allows, and the number of lunch boxes you will receive depends on the amount of days you spend climbing.

Toilets & Bathing

The national park cleans and maintains public built wooden pit toilets that can be used by all our guests. Alternatively, guests can rent a portable chemical toilet that can be used throughout the climb.

Mountain Climbing Shoes

You will need a pair of trainers/sneakers/tennis shoes as well as a pair of waterproof trekking boots (alpine treks).

Make sure that your shoes are ‘broken in’ before the climb so that you reduce the risk of getting blisters. When choosing a shoe size do keep in mind that you will need thick socks as well.

Note: If you do not wish to bring trekking boots we have some available to rent.

Recommended Personal Hygiene Items

  • Shampoo
  • Soap
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Outdoor toiletry bag

Useful Medication to Have

  • Micropur water purification,
  • Altitude sickness pills if advised by your physician
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Glucose
  • Sunscreen
  • Anti-malaria pills

Additional Nutrition on the Mountain

  • Power bars ( 1-2 per day)
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Glucose tablets

Mountain Crew

Our highly-qualified and well trained guides will lead you to the top of the mountain safely. 

Although English is the standard language that our guides will use, you can request a guide that can speak your home language. Please note that this will incur additional cost.

When we select the crew that will help you reach the summit, we focus on the size of the group and the specific park’s rules and regulations.

For Example, a Team of 3 Climbers Will be Accompanies by a Team of:

1 Chief Guide

The chief guide is the one who enforces all the safety precautions. The chief guide is fully trained in Wilderness First Aid responses.

1 Assistant Guide

The assistant guide is equally skilled and trained. They are there to fill in for the chief guide whenever he/she is busy or unavailable.

1 Cook

The assistant guide is equally skilled and trained. They are there to fill in for the chief guide whenever he/she is busy or unavailable.

2-3 Porters Per Client 

The porters are the gems that will make your trekking experience even more worthwhile. 

Our chief guides will guarantee you get the best service by ensuring that each porter has the right mountain gear and takes extra care when carrying your equipment, food and baggage throughout the trek.

Zones of Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is made up of five distinct climate zones, making the trek ever-changing and always stimulating. These zones are

Zone One: Cultivated

Elevation: 800 m - 1,800 m

The lower region is an absolute joy to hike through. This lush area is densely populated and made up of farm land and Chagga Tribe villages. You will drive through some of these villages on your way to the starting point of your climb. Your porters and guides most likely grew up in one of these villages.

The natural surroundings of this zone are dotted with rivers and waterfalls formed by glacier run-off from the top of Kilimanjaro. This area receives the most rainfall making it the perfect home to coffee and banana plantations as well as avocado, mango, and other fruit trees. You will walk through fields of these if you start your trek via Meek Gate.

Zone Two: Rainforest

Elevation: 1,800 m - 2,800 m

This is by far the largest and most vibrant zone, with the lush growth flourishing on the south and east side of the mountain where the most rain falls. Rolling emerald hills and ancient trees alive with colour will be a feast for your eyes at every turn.

This area will be heaven for nature lovers however wildlife is a little more elusive. Monkeys can be seen in abundance in most of this area while in certain parts you can also find baboons, mongooses, bushbabies, giraffes, buffaloes and maybe even elephants and black rhinos! If you do catch a glimpse of any of these creatures take joy in knowing there are few who do.

Zone Three: Heather/Moorland

Elevation: 2,800 m - 4,000 m

The dense greenery gives way to the wild grass and rocky trails of the heather zone. Climbing higher the heather, growing up to 30ft high gives way to the tall grass of the moorland. Fields are full of wildflowers and clouds drift by at eye level.

The temperatures in this zone are erratic; during the day it can rise to above 40 degrees celsius while at night it can drop to below freezing.

Next you'll pass through the clouds which is where the views become extraordinary, with rainforest stretched out before you and the Kilimanjaro looming above. At night the sky comes alive with stars.

Zone Four: Highland Desert

Elevation: 4,000 m - 5,000 m

If you do find the heather and moorland zone strange, then you are sure to find this next zone even more at odds with the surroundings you are used to. 

This region is a true desert, with barely a drop of rain all year and impressive flora that can withstand the constant shift between searing heat and freezing cold. Evidence of past eruptions can be seen everywhere including contorted volcanic rock as far as the eye can see. 

After a days trek in this area, you will soon find yourself able to see vast glaciers and the deep gorges created by the explosive volcano.

Zone Five: Artic

This is the final zone, you will only spend a few hours in this zone as you trek from Kibo to Uhuru peak and back.

The lower area of this zone is largely loose gravel and earth, also called ‘screen’. This can be tricky to climb which is why the summit attempt always happens at night, while the ground is frozen and less likely to prove treacherous underfoot.

The trek becomes increasingly icier as you ascend. The typical route taken to the summit will head west and follow the crater rim rising alongside the impressive glacier up to Uhuru peak , the ‘roof of Africa’!

Let Us Plan Your Trip

Let us plan the trip of a lifetime for you. We know that not all set itineraries suit your needs and we believe you shouldn't have to settle for less. We offer bespoke itineraries, which we can shape into exactly what you need.

For those of you interested in making your safari extra special there are a number of add-ons that you can enhance your trip with: balloon safaris, horse riding safaris, cultural tours and walking safaris are all available.
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