Preparing to climb Kilimanjaro

Preparing for Kilimanjaro

In our experience, the vast majority of prospective Kilimanjaro climbers would benefit from undertaking a well planned strategy of preparation before beginning an ascent of the world’s largest freestanding mountain. The following are areas you are well advised to pay attention to:

The results obtained by using the calculator below should not be regarded as authoritative as this is not an objective means of measurement. The algorithms are simply based on a reasonably accurate correlation between known the performance of athletes on the beep test and their otherwise-measured pre-known VO2 max data. It is however, a very useful tool in our view, and renders a very acceptably accurate approximation of VO2 max.

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While it is not necessary to undergo any specialised form of mountain specific Kilimanjaro training, we do strongly recommend that if you’re planning to climb Kilimanjaro, you should certainly give plenty of thought to how much time you can make available to train for Kilimanjaro.

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There is no requirement to have any vaccinations for visitors to Tanzania unless the climber will have recently visited, or spent more than 12 hours in transit through, a Yellow Fever risk area prior to entering Tanzania. This requirement will affect climbers en route to Arusha from Nairobi if they choose to overnight there. Yellow fever risk areas are shown in yellow below.

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Nearly all climbers who are not East African residents are required to obtain a visa for Tanzania. There are a few exceptions to this rule, with some countries having reciprocal visa-free relationships with Tanzania. To ensure that you have up to date information with respect to the requirements of passport holders of your nationality, we recommend using the Passport Index website.

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We are sometimes asked whether we are able to obtain travel insurance on behalf of our clients. However, we have found over the years that climbers prefer to be in direct contact with the insurers, as in the event of a claim, there is quite a lot of passing information back and forth, and this is generally most easily managed directly, rather than via an intermediary.

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If you choose to climb Kilimanjaro with us you will be required to purchase your flights yourself and to send us details in order to confirm precise dates for your climb, if you are not climbing on one of our scheduled climbs.

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In our experience, the vast majority of prospective Kilimanjaro climbers would benefit from undertaking a well planned strategy of preparation before beginning an ascent of the world’s largest freestanding mountain. The following are areas you are well advised to pay attention to:

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When ascending mountains at high altitude, perhaps the most significant factor contributing to success, beyond acquiring safe and thorough acclimatisation, is the trekker's power to weight ratio. If you're heavy, you're going to struggle, whether the reason you're heavy is that you're carrying a lot of muscle, or your body is well equipped with unused "emergency reserves".

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