Climbing Essentials

Before you arrive, Keys arranges for all guides, porters, Park fees, huts or camping, and all food necessary for your climb.

The day before you climb you will usually arrive at Keys Hotel for dinner and overnight, as well as a full briefing by our skilled & experienced staffs.


Embarking on Kilimanjaro trek is a challenging and serious activity which requires a good level of physical fitness, stamina, and realistic awareness of risk posed by high altitudes. We strongly recommend that you should do plenty of exercise at least fourteen weeks before your trek.

On your physical fitness preparation please consider the followings:

You must have a physical checkup for overall fitness before your preparation for Kili trek and do it continuously at least 2 times up to one week before your climb.

We advise a gym program for eight weeks before your climb. Gym program may include:

  • Stretching and warm up
  • Leg development aerobics (cycling)
  • Leg combination (squats and leg presses)
  • Thighs isolation (leg extensions and leg curts)
  • Lower legs isolations (calf raises and pulls)
  • Lower back combination (hyper extensions & good morning exercise)
  • Abdominal (crunches and leg raises)
  • Stairs master as well as stretching and cool down


Before your do the above seek the approval from your medical doctor. But again always ask the local gymnasium instructor to shows you how to perform each exercise correctly and safely.

  • We advise a walking program which include uphill (3-4 kms per hour), down hills (4-7 kms per hour), and flat terrain (4.5 kms per hour).
  • Make sure you warm up and stretch at least before for 10 minutes before you start your walk.


  • Valid passport and visa
  • Airline ticket
  • International health card with immunizations (Yellow fever)
  • Travel insurance
  • Medical insurance
  • US$ cash / Travelers Checks / Credit Card
  • Duffel bag - large enough for all climbing gear and clothing. To be carried by the porters.
  • An extra bag to be left at the hotel with extra gear
  • Small luggage lock - to lock zippers
  • Day backpack. Large enough to carry your water, camera, raincoat, lunch pack, snacks & warm clothing
  • Sleeping bag
  • Ski-pole / walking stick
  • Water bottle / containers
  • Kilimanjaro map (Can be bought at the hotel)
  • Waterproof, breathable & windproof jacket
  • Waterproof, breathable & windproof pants (outer wear)
  • Polar fleece (middle layer)
  • Thermal underwear (under layers)
  • Mittens or warm gloves
  • Glove liners (if necessary)
  • One pair thermal (polertex) socks
  • Balaclava
  • Gaiters
  • Thermal water flask
  • Shorts
  • Hiking pants
  • Regular underwear
  • T-shirts
  • Water resistant semi-stiff hiking boots - mid weight boots work great
  • Shoes for overnight camps. For example sneakers, running shoes.
  • Socks - several pairs for the climb
  • Liner socks - to keep your feet dry and limit the risk of blisters
  • Sun hat or similar (with a brim)
  • Water bottles - two or three (total capacity at least 4 litres)
  • Head lamp, good strong one with spare batteries and an extra light bulb
  • Water purification tablets
  • Sunglasses, good quality dark lenses for the climb, with a securing strap
  • Flashlight (torch) with spare batteries
  • Personal Items
  • Toilet kit (soap, tooth brush, toilet articles, wet wipes, etc.)
  • Towel
  • Sun screen and lip protection, SPF 30+
  • Ziploc bags - to protect camera, binoculars, etc. from dust
  • Toilet paper
  • Money belt for passport and valuables
  • Camera, extra lenses and film (ASA 200 film recommended)
  • Binoculars
  • Powdered sports drinks for the climb (ex. Game or Isotonic drinks)
  • Pocket knife
  • Notebook & pencil
  • Plastic bags to keep clothing dry (masking tape)
  • Energy snacks and sweets
  • Video camera, tapes, battery packs and tri-pod (optional)
  • Headache tablets
  • Altitude sickness-Diamox (as recommended by your doctor)
  • Diarrhea – Imodium
  • Nausea – Valoid
  • Malaria – Prophylaxis
  • Water purification tablets
  • Painkillers
  • Muscular sprains
  • Abrasions blisters and cuts - Plaster, bandages
  • Antiseptic cream – Betadine
  • Flu and colds
  • Eye drops
  • Insect repellent


Regarding altitude sickness medicine we strongly recommend to follow advice from your doctor

Yellow Fever Inoculation is necessary and must be done no later than 10 days prior to departure, (If you had previous liver disorders you must consult your physician first). Your International Vaccination Certificate must be taken with you.

Anti-Malaria tablets are also necessary

Please consult your pharmacist or physician.

Certain items of equipment may be available for hire at Keys Hotel, in Moshi.

You may wish to spend an extra day at Horombo on the Marangu route, or Shira on the Machame route, in order to acclimatise more fully, although this may not always be possible during the busiest climbing periods.

We are often asked about gratuities – they are, of course, always at your discretion. Please let us know if your guide or his porters press you for tips as they have all been forbidden to do this.

Visas are required for all passport holders. Your passport should be valid for minimum 6 months after return date from Tanzania, and have ample pages for visas.

We strongly recommend that you take out Travel Insurance, to cover your Medical Costs during the Kilimanjaro Climb.

You can click here to download the Climbing Essentials & Preparation Instructions File.