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KILIMANJARO - ALTITUDE SICKNESS

Since few people have been to the height of Kilimanjaro, it is hard to know who may be affected. There are no specific factors such as age, sex, or physical condition that correlate with susceptibility to altitude sickness. Some people get it and some people don't - some people are more susceptible than others. Most people can go up to 2,500 meters with minimal effect – altitude sickness is more common above 3000 meters. If you haven't been to a high altitude before, it's important to be cautious. If you have been at that altitude before with no problem, you can probably return to that altitude without problems as long as you are properly acclimatised.

There are different degrees of altitude sickness: mild, moderate and severe, each with typical symptoms. If you have symptoms of mild or moderate AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), it doesn't mean you have to give up the climb, but whoever suffers from severe altitude mountain sickness should immediately stop climbing and start to descend as soon as possible.

Symptoms of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness)
  • Headaches
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia, sleeplessness
  • Dizziness, light headaches, confusion
  • Weakness, fatigue, heavy legs
  • Slight swelling of the hands and face
  • Breathlessness and irregular breathing
  • Reduced urine output
Symptoms of HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema)
  • Water in your lungs
  • Increasing shortness of breath even at rest
  • A severe cough – dry / productive
  • Very tired, unusual fatigue while walking
  • High pulse rate
  • Blueness of face, lips, fingernails (that means the inability of transporting oxygen into the blood)
Symptoms of HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema)
  • Water in the head
  • Severe headache
  • Vomiting
  • Walking like an intoxicated person
  • Mental confusion / altered mental status
  • Irritable – does not want to be bothered by other people
  • Unconsciousness or coma
Diamox (it is now generally agreed) does reduce the symptoms of acute mountain sickness. However it does not prevent you getting altitude sickness - it only allow your body to acclimatise faster. Remember, Diamox has a number of side effects. Please be sure to try it before you climb. Golden rule; do not use anything on the mountain you haven’t tried before. Please consult your doctor regarding the use of Diamox, as it is only available on prescription.

How to Try and Prevent Altitude Sickness on Mount Kilimanjaro:
  • Hike slowly (the Kilimanjaro shuffle)
  • No alcohol, sleeping pills or smoking
  • Drink enough liquids (3-4 liters a day) to prevent dehydration
  • Do not carry heavy daypacks (10-12 kgs)
  • Climb higher, sleep lower
  • Make use of Diamox (Please consult your doctor regarding the use of Diamox)
Golden rules to Follow:
  • Before your trip, please refresh your knowledge about altitude sickness so that you can help yourself and others as well.
  • If you feel any altitude sickness symptoms – TELL SOMEBODY
  • If you get mild altitude sickness symptoms, stay at the same altitude until the symptoms are completely gone. Descend 100m or more if needed and try again once all previous symptoms have completely subsided.  
  • If you experience worsening symptoms, go down immediately.
  • Do not climb Kilimanjaro without travel insurance, which includes evacuation.
  • Even when loosing your appetite, it is of utmost importance that you eat to sustain your strength
Fitness
Although a very fit person may be just as prone to AMS as an unfit one, the unfit is more likely to encounter worse symptoms of mild AMS. An overweight person needs more oxygen than a thin person. Fatigue, which is a common symptom of AMS, will be particularly bad, leaving you twice as exhausted if you are unfit or very overweight.  

When you book with eXplore Plus Trafel & Tours, you will receive a comprehensive altitude guide which will help you prepare for Mount Kilimanjaro.  You will also receive our exclusive fitness program, ensuring your climb is as pleasant as possible.
 

Kilimanjaro Packages

K1: Machame 6-day Route

Duration:  8 Days / 7 Nights
Climb:  6 Days
Date:
  Pre-scheduled and private climb
 

K2: Machame 7-day Route

Duration:  9 Days / 8 Nights
Climb:  7 Days
Date:
  Pre-scheduled and private climb

 

K3: Marangu 6-day Route

Duration:  8 Days / 7 Nights
Climb:  6 Days  
Date
Private climb
 

K4: Lemosho 6-day Route

Duration 8 Days / 7 Nights
Climb:  6 Days
Date
:  Private climb
 

K5: Lemosho 7-day Route

Duration:  9 Days / 8 Nights
Climb:  7 Days
Date:  Private climb
 

K6: Umbwe 6-day Route

Duration:  8 Days / 7 Nights
Climb:  6 Days
Date:
  Private climb
 

K7: Rongai 6-day Route

Duration 8 Days / 7 Nights
Climb:  6 Days
Date:
  Private climb
 

K8: Nyiragongo and Kilimanjaro

Duration:  12 Days / 11 Nights
Climb:  2 & 7 Days
Date:  Pre-scheduled & private climbs

 

K9: Mount Meru

Duration:  6 Days / 5 Nights
Climb:  4 Days
Date:  Private climb
 
 
 
 

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