Africa Tour Operators

Kilimanjaro Trekking Clothes and Gear

What to wear on a Kilimanjaro mountain climb

When you think of places to visit, sights to see and things to do on safari in Tanzania there is absolutely no way you won’t think of the Kilimanjaro Mountains. Standing tall and majestic, close to the Tanzania-Kenya border, the Kilimanjaro Mountains are quite simply a magnificent sight to behold. It’s no wonder that this is one of Tanzania’s most popular tourist attractions.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is every mountain climber and adrenaline junkies dream. It is scary, exciting, memorable and a lot of other things. If you are well prepared there is no way you won’t enjoy climbing the Kilimanjaro. Preparation includes being fit, having the right gear, and of course the right clothes.

Here is a look at what you will need in your wardrobe to be comfortable or almost comfortable when you go mountain climbing Kilimanjaro.

As with all mountains, the higher you go up the Kilimanjaro the colder it becomes. So what you want to achieve with your mountain climbing wardrobe is warmth and comfort as you go up and back down the mountain. There’s something for every part of your body. So think hand wear, foot wear, head gear, and of course full body wear.

Upper and lower body

The trick to achieving warmth and comfort on a mountain climbing adventure is not to carry the biggest thickest jackets and clothes you have. The trick is layering. With layering you can always add or remove a layer as the temperatures vary. Heat is trapped between the different layers and this works together to generate comfortable warmth. Comfortable layering comes with knowing which materials to use as you layer. Proper effective layering has baser layers, middle layers and outer layers. Base layers are lighter mid weight materials-think long john tops, shirts, t-shirts, preferably of moisture wicking synthetic material.

Mid-layers: short shell jackets or fleeces make for good middle layers. Fleeces especially are light and yet warm. Going up Kilimanjaro, carry at least two fleeces; One thick one and one of medium of medium thickness. You will probably need to wear both fleeces in colder places such as the night walks up Kibo peak. They are easy to pack and dry fast when washed, or if it does rain on them.

Outer layers: shell jackets, shell pants, rain ponchos are some of the outer layers you can consider. Water proof jackets would be very nice.

Aside from all the layering carry t-shirts, shirts, pants preferably safari trousers. Jeans are not recommended, they are heavy not necessarily warm. While many people like to hike in shorts, you are much safer in trousers.

Hand wear

Your hands need to be kept warm too. Frozen fingers can be painful. So as you pack for your Kilimanjaro climbing adventure, pack some gloves and mittens. Get some fleecy gloves, and thermal under gloves. Keep your hands warm. You will be glad you did.


Socks: your feet need warmth and comfort too. Carry a pair of thermal socks, and a couple of extra pairs of socks. These will keep your feet warm and comfortable in your boots.

Boots: if you are taking some rarely used routes you might need proper mountaineering boots. But if you taking the usual Kilimanjaro climbing routes, normal trekking boots should be just fine. These should be comfortable with enough toe room. When you’re descending down the mountain your toes will be constantly shoved deeper into the boots, so there should be enough toes room, and padding from the socks should keep your toes happy. The boots should be broken in way before you embark on you Tanzania safari trip so you don’t get blister and your feet don hurt. Try to get boots that are high enough to cover your ankles as well.


Your face, eyes, neck and head need to be protected and kept warm too. Sunhats are good for protect your neck as well, base ball caps can work to shield your eyes especially if you wear spectacles, but you will need to cover your neck some way. Balaclavas are good too they will protect your face from the biting gusts of wind. You could go fleecy all the way and get a fleecy hat.

Underclothing: thermal underwear will come in handy up in the cold. As for the rest of your underwear carry it like you would for any other trip. General rules of dressing up still apply.

There you have it, the basics on how to pick out your clothes for the Kilimanjaro mountain climbing trip you are planning.