Helpful information for your trip


For most people, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is a once in a lifetime opportunity. If possible, we recommend working with a fitness trainer to lay out the specifics of your training program. Make sure the trainer understands all aspects of training for Kilimanjaro, from the needed endurance and balance, to the focus on uphill and downhill training.

Begin your fitness-training program well in advance of your climb, and increase the intensity and duration of your exercising as you gain fitness. Use a variety of exercises, activities, locations, etc. to keep physically challenged and mentally engaged.

Consult with your Doctor

Since you will most likely want medication (malaria, anti-diarrheal, Diamox for altitude) and vaccinations, a visit to your physician should be a first step. Mention your trekking itinerary and how, if at all, it will affect your current fitness ability. A thorough examination of your past and current health and limitations should be reviewed.

Living Near Sea Level

The majority of all those who climb Kilimanjaro as well as successfully summit reside near sea level. So rest assured that those who have gone before you have successfully done so without living at altitude. The focus of your preparation should be increasing your ability to receive oxygen in your system. There is no need to overdo it, but focusing on increasing your lung capacity, strengthening your core, and training your legs will go a long way in preparing for your climb to thinner air. While mountain hikes may be readily available where you live, brisk walks on uneven terrain such as dirt paths, sand, or rolling hills will train you for the changing terrain experienced on Kilimanjaro.

Training Goals and Logs:

Set your goals at the beginning of your training program. Consider the length, difficulty, and particular challenges of your route of Kilimanjaro. Evaluate your current fitness baseline, strengths, and weaknesses and take into account how long you have until the beginning of your climb. Then, break down the needed training in order to bring your fitness level needed for the climb.

We suggest you create a Kilimanjaro Exercise Log to measure your progress, identify sticking points in your workout, assist in breaking training plateaus, and keep you motivated on the big picture because Kilimanjaro is a big mountain!


Warming Up and Cooling Down

Before each workout, proper warming up and stretching is important. Include 5-10 minutes aerobic warm up and a 5-10 minute cool down in your program. This should also be implemented before and after each day’s trek on Kilimanjaro to maintain limber joints and muscles. Keep your heart rate in an aerobic range; don’t get anaerobic. Warming up could include walking, jogging in place, step mills, treadmills, cycling, jumping rope or jumping jacks.


Include time for quality stretching in your program. Focus on slow, static stretching. Avoid bouncing, ballistic stretching. With static stretching, hold the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds, breathing through the stretch. Hold it only to the point of tension, not to the point of pain. Don’t stretch through pain; you are stretching and tearing muscle fibers with this activity. Be patient. The reward of proper stretching is the joy of movement, which results.

Use aerobic exercises to develop cardiovascular fitness

There are a variety of aerobic exercises, which are fantastic for training for Kilimanjaro. They include: climbing and descending hills, stairs or stadium bleachers, any kind of skiing, snowboarding, running, and cycling. Other excellent aerobic activities, which can benefit you but tend to be less focused for our needs include: aerobic classes, stationary cycling, circuit weight training, boxing and martial arts.


The summit day will put the week of trekking to the final test. Slight feelings of nausea or headaches can be common symptoms of thin air and its effects. A predetermined attitude that understands these effects will create a stronger will if those effects arise. Your pace will be slow and methodical and the One World Safari guides will be with you each step to see you safely along. Positive images and experiences, poems or songs, and inspiring stories can all positively aid a mind that may be calling you to turn back. As with all great physical achievements, a strong and determined disposition is as important if not more so than the conditioned body. As the old Kili saying goes: “Your Attitude determines your Altitude.”


The most common mistake that climbers make is that they over pack and bring too much gear. Be selective in what you take with you. Please note that our porters are limited to carrying 35 lbs (15Kg) of your personal belongings. Baggage carried by porters is strictly limited by TANAPA regulations. All packs and food are weighed at the mountain base prior to departure to ensure that the number of porter is known. If your group has excess weight, you will be required to hire an additional porter. Although you are expected to bring everything you need, most gear and equipment may be rented, subject to availability. All extra luggage, items you will not use on your climb, and other gear can be safely stored at the hotel or the One World Safari Tours office.

Checked luggage on airplanes can get lost or delayed, therefore, you should prepare for this possibility by wearing or carrying on items that are essential to your climb. While most clothing, gear and equipment can be replaced in Tanzania prior to your climb, there are some things that cannot.

One World Safaris recommends that you wear one complete hiking outfit on the plane, including a long sleeve shirt, hiking pants, underwear, socks, sock liner, and hiking boots. In your carry on baggage, you should bring your backpack, waterproof jacket and pants, insulated jacket, snacks, toiletries, medications, camera and all paperwork.

While on the mountain, our One World Safari porters will be carrying the majority of your belongings. However, you should plan to carry a small daypack, ideally with a water bladder, to hold your small personal accessories (bad-weather clothes, water bottles, photo equipment, snacks, etc.). We suggest you consider the weight of your daypack (as well as that of your larger pack/duffel) while you are packing.

You need to bring the following clothes:Technical Clothing:
1 Waterproof jacket, breathable with hood
1 - insulated jacket, synthetic or down
1 – soft jacket, fleece or soft-shell
2 - long sleeve shirts, lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric
1 - short sleeve shirt, lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric
1 - waterproof pants, breathable (side-zipper recommended) 2 – hiking pants (convertible to shorts recommended)
1 - fleece pants
1 – shorts (optional)
1 – long underwear (moisture-wicking fabric recommended) 3 underwear, briefs (moisture-wicking fabric recommended) 2 sports bra (women)

1 – brimmed hat, for sun protection
1 - knit hat, for warmth
1 – balaclava, for face coverage (optional) 1 – bandana (optional)

Hands wear:

1 – gloves, warm (waterproof recommended)
1 – glove liners, thin synthetic, worn under gloves for added warmth (optional)


1 – hiking boots, warm, waterproof, broken-in, with spare laces
1 – gym shoes, crocs or other easy to wear footwear to be worn at camp
3 – socks, thick, wool or synthetic
3 - sock liners, tight, thin, synthetic worn under socks to prevent blisters (optional) 1 – gaiters, waterproof (optional)


1 – sunglasses or goggles
1 – backpack cover, waterproof (optional)
1 – poncho, during rainy season
1 – water bottle (nalgene 32 oz. recommended)
1 – water bladder, camelback type (optional)
1 – towel, lightweight, quick-dry (optional)
1 – pee bottle, to avoid leaving tent at night (optional)

stuff sacks or plastic bags, various sizes, to keep gear dry and separate
1 – sleeping bag, warm, four seasons (we will provide for you, but you are welcome to bring your own if you prefer).
1 – sleeping bag liner, for added warmth, mummy style (optional)
1 - sleeping pad, self-inflating or closed cell foam (we will provide)
1 – trekking poles (highly recommended)
1 – head lamp with extra batteries
1 - duffel bag, for porters to carry your equipment
1 – daypack, for you to carry your personal gear.


Other items:

Lip balm
Insect repellent, containing DEET First Aid Kit

Hand Sanitizer
Toilet Paper
Wet Wipes (highly recommended)
Snacks, lightweight, high calorie, high energy (highly recommended) Pencil and notebook, for trip log (optional)
Camera, with extra batteries (optional)
iPod (optional)

Trip receipt

Passport with Visa stamp Immunization Papers Insurance Documents


In case you forget, or can’t find what you need prior to your trip, you can rent gear and/or clothing from One World Safari Tours. Your guide will go through all of your gear the day/evening prior to your climb, so if you are missing anything at that time, you can discuss with him how vital it is and whether you will need to rent.

These prices are for ALL the days you are up on the mountain (not per day).

Daypack (including rain cover) $15
, Large backpack or duffel bag (including rain cover) $10

Headlamp + extra batteries $15
, Walking poles $15
, Small lightweight quick drying towel $15, Water bottles - $10

Clothing & Shoes
Wicking undershirt (2) $15
, Long underwear/ thermals (top and bottom) $15, 3 T shirts (wicking is best) $15, 
Fleece or Wool sweater $15
, Fleece or warm pants $15, 
All-purpose trekking pants $15, 
Heavy winter coat $20, 
Heavy winter mittens/ gloves $10
, Warm winter hat $10, 
Balaclava or neck warmer $15
, Trekking socks $10
, Lining socks $10, 
Rain jacket and pants $15, 
Sunhat $10, 
Sunglasses $10
, Gaiters (can be provided) $15
, Trekking shoes (broken in) $30


Hygiene is important on the mountain, and so fresh underwear, fresh socks and washing are all important. Hot water is provided in the morning by your tents and when you get in to camp. Water and soap is also available after you have been to the restroom.


While on your climb, it is essential to try and eat as much as possible and to keep very well hydrated. Your body uses up to 3 times as much water compared to normal while at altitude, so keeping hydrated is essential. During meals, take in as much liquid as you can – hot drinks, cold drinks, and soups will be provided to you to help assist you in hydration. During the day, you should also be drinking liquid at every opportunity – thus a camelback or Nalgene bottle should be with you at all times. Also at altitude, you may notice a lack of hunger. Regardless of whether you feel hungry or not, you should try to each as much as possible. Your body needs the fuel, even if your brain/stomach are not telling you so.

Please note that people with special dietary requirements can normally be accommodated, but please let us know any special requirements or food allergies as soon as possible so that we can prepare accordingly.

A sample menu:


Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate
Toast, Biscuits with margarine, jam, peanut butter
Eggs, meat, sausage
Fresh fruits: mango, banana, avocado, watermelon, oranges 
Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate
Chicken or Vegetable Soup
Bread, Biscuits or Pancakes with jam, peanut butter
Sandwich with meat or cheese, boiled egg
Snack: Peanuts, popcorn, cake, cookies
Fresh fruits and vegetables, or fruit salad: tomato, cucumber, onion, carrots 
Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate
Chicken or Vegetable Soup
Bread, Biscuits or Pancakes with jam, peanut butter
Roasted chicken, beef or fish
Potatoes, rice, or pasta
Fresh Vegetables: carrots, peas, tomato, beans
On Kilimanjaro the water is actually very clean. We draw water from streams, and while it is suitable for consumption, we take two precautions: 
 Filter the water
2. Then, boil the water 
Each day you should have 2-3 liters of water on you when you start your trek. For the entire day you should be drinking between 4 and 6 liters of water. Each person is different, but a simple rule is that your urine should be clear and copious: if it isn’t keep drinking 
We cannot stress enough that keeping hydrated is essential. Your guides will be carrying extra water on route every day in their packs – if you run out, just ask them for some water. Proper hydration will have lasting effects on your current situation, as well as the days that follow. Please drink up!

Altitude & Altitude sickness

Our mountain guides are trained to ensure that you are monitored at all stages, and are able to recognize various forms of mountain sickness and their severity and to take appropriate steps. Their ability to make these decisions is also based on years of experience on the mountain and so their decisions must be adhered to all times. 

Definitions of Altitude

Different altitudes can be classified as
High: 8,000 – 12,000 feet
Very High: 12,000 – 18,000 feet
Extremely High: 18,000+ feet 
Therefore, on a typical Kilimanjaro hike you will pass from High altitude on your first day all the way to Extremely High at the summit. Kilimanjaro is an extremely high mountain.

Environmental Changes in Altitude
As you ascend Kilimanjaro the barometric pressure decreases. The temperature also drops – for every 1000 feet around 5 degrees F (10 C per 1000 meters). The effects of these changes are a decrease in the density of the air. Essentially there is less air to breath in, hence the term “thin air”. The percentage of oxygen remains constant at around 21%, but there are simply less oxygen molecules for the given volume of the air that you breath in.

As you ascend, your body needs to deal with the reduced amount of oxygen available in every breath. The changes that your body makes are the process of acclimatization. The main changes that occur in the body are:

The depth of breathing increases
Pressure in the pulmonary arteries increases – making blood flow into parts of the 
lungs not necessarily used at lower altitudes.
The body produces more red blood cells
Production of more of a certain enzyme that facilitates the release of oxygen from 
Hemoglobin to the body’s tissues
You urinate more 
Failure to acclimatize properly therefore leads to certain symptoms – signs that your body is not adapting, or had not yet adapted, to the change in altitude. 

Rate of Acclimatization

How quickly you acclimatize is affected by a few main factors:
How quickly you ascend: an ideal target rate is 1000 feet per day (305 meters per day) and even 3000 feet, spending an extra day at the same altitude.
The amount of time spent at a particular altitude: extra days spent at the same altitude can help. The maxim “climb high, sleep low” also applies.
The condition of your body: being prepared and taking it easy ensure that your body is given the best chance of dealing with the changes in environment.
How will hydrated you are and your diet: a high carbohydrate combined with lots of fluids is essential. 

Types of Altitude Sickness

If your body is not able to deal with the change in altitude, there are 3 main types of illness that may be apparent:

Acute Mountain Sickness
: a number of symptoms that indicate you are not acclimatized to your current altitude. These include a headache combined with loss of appetite, fatigue (even at rest), dizziness, mild swelling in extremities, and disturbed sleep. The important thing to note is that a large proportion of people climbing Kilimanjaro do get mild mountain sickness and with rest and time your tolerance for altitude increases, so most people will be able to continue.

High Altitude Cerebral Edema – HACE
. Excess fluid leaking on the brain is the predominate cause of a headache and severe forms of this can lead to HACE. Excess fluid leakage causes mental impairment and this can be fatal. The hallmarks of HACE are a severe headache and impairment of the ability to think. Ataxia, or the loss of coordination is an easy sign to recognize. Decent is the only cure.

High Altitude Pulmonary Edema – HAPE.
Fluid on the lungs. Signs can include breathlessness even at rest, cough (possibly frothy or pink sputum), rattling breaths, lack of blood to the extremities and drowsiness. HAPE can be confused with pneumonia, but rapid decent soon differentiates the two.

Periodic breathing or “Cheyne-Stokes” respirations are not an illness. Periodic breathing often happens at night whereby the climber may experience wildly fluctuating breathing cycles in their sleep. It can be quite disturbing to listen to or to suddenly wake up to, but it is not considered abnormal at high altitudes. Acetazolamide (Diamox) can be helpful in relieving periodic breathing.


Diamox (the brand name) is a sulfa-based drug that is a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. Essentially the effect it has is to act a s a respiratory stimulant, which impacts your breathing particularly at night and can eliminate periodic breathing. Clinical trials have not been performed conclusively, but it is widely known to increase the rate of acclimatization. It is not a wonder drug, however, and research and data on how it may work for different people is still quite limited. The only real cure for altitude sickness is removal from altitude.

Key points:
It is a sulfa-based drug and so some people are allergic to it – our doctor much prescribes it for you to take it.
It is a diuretic
It is used in the following ways:

o Atthestartofandduringtheclimbtopreventmountainsickness

o Ontheonsetofanysignsofmountainsickness o Asatreatmentformountainsickness

Some side effects include tingling in the fingers and toes, altered taste (especially of carbonated drinks with tend to taste flat) and possibly ringing in the ears.

Consult your doctor for advice. Form experience we have found that a good dose is 125mg twice a day, at breakfast and then after diner. This minimizes the side effects and helps keep a steady breathing pattern when you are asleep. But again, consult your doctor for their recommendation.

Dehydration is caused by a lack of fluid to your body. As already indicated, your body uses a lot of water at altitude, so drinking as many fluids as possible should be a major goal. Consider these times and potential sources of fluid:

Breakfast: porridge, hot drinks, water (approx. 1 liter) Hiking: water bottle (approx. 3 liters)
Lunch: Fruit juices, hot drinks, water (approx. 1⁄2 liter) Afternoon tea: hot drinks, water (approx.. 1⁄2 liter) Dinner: soups, hot drinks, water (approx. 1 liter)

In bed at night: water (approx. 1 liter)

This guide simply shows places where you may be able to get fluids – drinking 7 liters a day is a bit excessive, but again, better to be hydrated than not!


Badly worn in hiking boots or new boots are the main culprits for blisters. Blisters can vary in their seriousness and this will affect your ability to walk. To avoid this, please train in your boots and get them worn in.

A hot spot may be where you are experiencing friction and rubbing and is likely to develop into a blister. Having blister patches and good socks, sock liners, and well worn in boots are ideal to avoid this.

If you feel a hot spot developing, stop and sort it out!

Cramping is normally the result of muscle fatigue, overexertion and/or dehydration. Hence, keeping hydrated and not overexerting yourself is essential. Lights stretching normally helps the cramps go away in a matter of minutes.

Sun burn/wind burn
The amount of harmful UV rises as you ascent. Having high factor sun block is essential. This should be applied at the start of each day. Lipbalm with high SPF should be carried close at hand as it will continue to be depleted from your lips from fast breathing, wind, sun, sweat, water, and snack consumption.

Sprains are not that common as long as climbers take our advice and do not rush. Areas where you are particularly at risk are in the forest section, some rocky sections such as the Barranco wall or midway up the summit, as well as on your descent. A slow pace and care are essential. For those with weak joints due to previous sprains, breaks or ligament tears, be prepared! Having and wearing necessary support for the injured muscle/joint is far better than overstressing the injury and not being able to go all the way to the summit. Trekking poles can be a limb saver!


There are sometimes different expectations when it comes to tipping. In Tanzania, tips are customary in most service industries and the mountain is no different. Nonetheless it is not obligatory to tip, and One World Safari Tours pays well compared to many other operators and in comparison to average Tanzanian wages.

How and when to tip
On Kilimanjaro and Safari, tipping is an expected practice for the crew who assist you. As a general rule, USD $200-$300 per person will adequately cover crew tips on the mountain. For Safaris, you should budget $15 per person per day. Tipping can be done in USD or Tanzanian Shillings. Please bring all tipping funds with you up the mountain.
Several factors can increase or decrease the per person amounts. For instance, smaller groups typically will tip more as they will employ a larger number of crew per customer than larger groups. Also, additional days added to treks or safaris would then correlate to additional tipping.

The following amounts are overall per group sharing and are recommendations only: Guide US $120-$132
, Assistant Guide: US $90-$108
Skilled Cook: US $90-$108, Mountain Waiter: US$60-$84 Porters (each): US$48-$60

The above numbers correlate to DAILY rates as follows: Guide US $20-$22
, Assistant Guide: US $15-$18,

Skilled Cook: US$15-$18, Mountain Waiter: US$10-14 Porters (each): US$8-$10

Each client should expect to tip between US$200-$300, and if you spend more days on the mountain or are a smaller group, please adjust your tip accordingly. Kindly note that the cook and waiter will also perform the duties of a porter on the trip, and that preparing and serving meals are additional duties.

At the end of our trek, you may choose to either tip each crewmember individually or give your entire tip to the lead guide who will in turn divide the tip accordingly to each crewmember. Tips can be handed out on the final night on the mountain or as you complete your journey on the final day. Do what you feel works best for your group and don’t hesitate to ask your Guide what he may recommend.

On your final day of this program, One World Safari Tours will proudly take you to visit the beneficiaries of your trek – the local organization/village that has received the donation associated with your climb. One World Safari Tours donates a minimum of 10% of profits from each of our tours to support local non-profit organizations and development projects in the Arusha area. Your trek has helped make a difference in the lives of our local community and we want to thank you whole-heartedly for your contribution, your visit, and your support.

To continually provide the highest level of service on Kilimanjaro, we would love to have your feedback on your experience after your program. We hope that you will also recommend us on The Clymb, Lonely Planet, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Twitter, and to anyone interested in joining us for a great adventure in Tanzania!

Thank you again for choosing One World Safari Tours and best of luck on your upcoming adventure!


Contact us

Subsidiary trade name: Tanzania
ONEWORLD Safari Tours under
True World African Safari & Tours Ltd
REG #72410
TIN #108732814 

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