Our expert adventure guide to...


Kilimanjaro rises abruptly out of the African Savannah with its summit reaching a lofty 5,895m above sea level. Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and qualifies as one of the seven summits. It is a brilliant challenge for fit walkers and doesn’t require any altitude or mountaineering experience.

Kilimanjaro can be climbed via one of seven routes, with the most popular being the Machame or the Marangu route. All routes pass through a huge variety of environments. As you leave the Savannah and pass through the park gates you enter into the rainforest followed by dessert and then into alpine environments, gradually gaining altitude as you climb, finally you will emerge onto the roof of Africa.

Location Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Duration: 6-10 days
Altitude: 5,895m
Experience: Perfect first trekking expediiton
Kit List (PDF): Download Kit Checklist

Don’t fear, to climb Kilimanjaro you don’t need to be an elite athlete. The great thing about climbing this mountain is that the pace is very slow in order to acclimatise to the altitude. You will need to be patient with your body and let it acclimatise slowly, it is no race to the top. However, a good level of cardiovascular fitness is important. You will be hiking for between 4-7 hours a day and then on summit day a lot longer.

You can easily train for a Kilimanjaro expedition close to home. Heading out into your local hills for practice hikes is a great way to build fitness and test out the gear you will be using on the expedition.

Being located just south of the equator, Kilimanjaro doesn’t experience distinct summer and winter seasons. Instead the weather systems fluctuate between dry and wet season. It is possible to climb Kilimanjaro all year round, but recommended to aim for the dry seasons. These take place between early July and late October and January through to March.

Climbing Kilimanjaro is a great way to raise awareness and vital funds for your chosen charity. You can organise to raise funds for a charity independently or join forces with a charity organised trek. Charity organised treks tend to organise all of the logistics for your trip and in return you have to raise a minimum amount of sponsorship for the charity.

The minimum amount of days it takes to climb Kilimanjaro is five days. Some groups will choose to take as many as 9-10 days but the average is 6-8 days. The general rule is that the more days you spend on the mountain the better you will acclimatise and you will have a greater chance of success in reaching the top.

What kit do I need for Kilimanjaro?

While climbing Kilimanjaro, having appropriate kit is of the upmost importance for safety and enjoyment. As you will be travelling through such a variety of environments, your kit needs to be versatile and appropriate for each. Temperatures on Kilimanjaro can change from +30c at the base of the mountain to almost -30c at the summit.

At Tiso we have decades of experience kitting our customers out for overseas expedition. Visit one of our stores across Scotland where our expert sales assistants would be more than willing to help you work through your kit list. We have also put together the below slideshow of our current recommended kit for climbing Kilimanjaro.

Camera - Spare batteries and memeory cards
Personal entertainment - Books, music, diary etc.
Waterbottles - 2-3 litres, Camelbak or Platypus water bladders are great for trekking but may freeze on summit night. So take a 1litre Nalgene bottle as well (doubles up as hot water bottle)
Suncream and lip protection - 30+SPF
Trekking poles - Lightweight, see Black Diamond or Leki
Day bag - 20-30 Litres
Rain cover for day dag
Holdall - 90 Litres, for everything you are not carrying during the day, will be carried by local porter.
Dry bags - To keep kit dry inside of holdall.
Sleeping Bag - down or synthetic fill, rated to minus -15c
Sleeping mat - Inflating mat, sea Thermarest or Sea to Summit
Sleeping bag liner - Silk or Cotton
Headtorch - For use in tent and during summit night, see Black Diamond or Petzl
Baselayers - Merino Wool or similar
Light fleece or Mid layer
Heavy fleece or insulator jacket (Primaloft)
Down jacket - You will appreciate this on cold evenings and during the climb to the summit
Walking Shorts - Great for the lower elvations
Thermal Baselayers - To wear under trousers on summit night
Walking trousers - Lightweight and quick drying
Waterproof trousers - Lightweight, Gore-tex, eVent or similar
Hands and Feet
Liner gloves - Powerstretch or windproof
Thick Gloves/ Mittens - Insulated, big enough to go over liner gloves
Socks 4x lightweight trekking socks, 1 x thick mountaineering socks for summit night.
Hiking boots - Waterproof, with ankle support. Boots need to warm enough for summit night.
Trainers or Walking sandals - To wear around camp
Head and eyes
Sunglasses - Cat 3 or 4
Sun hat - wide brim to cover neck
Buff - Essential against sun, dust and cold
Warm hat - For evenings and summit night

We recommend the following kit - SHOP ONLINE

Need some more Kilimanjaro inspiration? Check out this great video from Mountain Expeditions about the experience of climbing the highest mountain in Africa!

This adventure guide was brought to you by Mollie Hughes Blogger, Everest Scaler, Woman In Adventure



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