Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness is a significant concern when Climbing Kilimanjaro. Hence Before attempting you should know, “How To Avoid Altitude Sickness Kilimanjaro” in order to summit the peak successfully.
Most of the climbers will get at least some symptoms of Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness while Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro as it is the recorded high Altitude Mountain in Africa. Due to the permit system on Kilimanjaro, it encourages operators to offer shorter itineraries in order to be competitive on price. This implies on shorter schedules full acclimatization won’t be conceivable and even on longer schedules, an enormous extent of individuals Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro will suffer from mild symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness.
KILIMANJARO ALTITUDE SICKNESS OVERVIEW
Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness which is also called acute mountain sickness is the Physical distress from difficulty in adjusting to the lower oxygen at a higher altitude level. Most of the cases in altitude sickness are mild but it can also be life-threatening too. The Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness Symptoms will occur within a few hours after arrival at a higher elevation which has a high-altitude level and includes headache, shortness of breath, nausea, and inability to exercise. Sometimes you will need to be moved to the lower altitude to get adjusted to your body.
Everyone who climbs to a higher altitude will not get altitude sickness if you maintain the proper Health precautions by practicing Altitude Training For Kilimanjaro and it is also unpredictable as who will be vulnerable to the altitude sickness. The main cause of Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness would be due to shorter itineraries, as this will not allow you for proper acclimatization and make you feel uncomfortable to intake oxygen.
Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness which is also called acute mountain sickness is the Physical distress from difficulty in adjusting to the lower oxygen at a higher altitude level. Most of the cases in altitude sickness are mild but it can also be life-threatening too.
The Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness Symptoms will occur within a few hours after arrival at a higher elevation which has a high-altitude level and includes headache, shortness of breath, nausea, and inability to exercise. Sometimes you will need to be moved to the lower altitude to get adjusted to your body.
Everyone who climbs to the higher altitude will not get altitude sickness if you maintain the proper Health Precaution by practicing Altitude Training For Kilimanjaro and it is also unpredictable as who will be vulnerable to the altitude sickness.
The main cause of Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness would be due to shorter itineraries, as this will not allow you for proper acclimatization and make you feel uncomfortable to intake oxygen.
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WHAT ARE THE ALTITUDE ZONES OF KILIMANJARO?
As per the trekking terminology, there are 3 main altitude zones in Kilimanjaro. Each of the zones is unique in its own zone and gives the entire climbers a special experience.
VERY HIGH ALTITUDE
These are the main Altitude zones:
High Altitude: 8,200 ft – 11,400 ft (2,500 – 3,500m)
The high altitude level starts from 2400 meters to 3500 meters and this ecological zone does not harm the climbers and most of them will cross it without Training for Kilimanjaro as it is the lower elevation routes and provides the Best Acclimatization for Climbing Kilimanjaro. You will get an option to sleep in this zone if you opt for a longer itinerary.
Very High Altitude: 11,400 ft – 18,000 ft (3,500 – 5,500m)
The very high altitude level starts from 3,500 meters to 5,500 meters and this ecological zone and this covers before the summit attempt.
Here the altitude condition becomes more acute and you will need to walk very slowly in this region. This is the place where more people experience adverse symptoms and require using emergency oxygen. This zone can be difficult for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for Beginners.
Extreme Altitude: above 18,000 ft (5,500m)
This is an extremely high altitude level above 5500 meters. This zone covers the summit Uhuru peak and if you stay in this zone without Kilimanjaro Safety like oxygen for more time, you may not be able to control the symptoms and may require Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness Medications.
As the mountain is 5,500 meters above sea level, it has a very high altitude level which sometimes may be a serious problem while on the mountain without any precautions.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF KILIMANJARO ALTITUDE SICKNESS?
The high Altitude sickness is most common while Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. These symptoms are very mild and may get to experience within a few hours of moving to higher Altitudes. These symptoms normally come during the night time when the respiratory drive is decreased. Here is the list of some symptoms of Altitude Sickness:
- Headache: It is one of the main symptoms of Altitude sickness which gets worse during the night time and when you wake up.
- Loss of Appetite: You will not have any desire to eat or drink. You will experience a decent amount of weight loss. It may also be due to dehydration.
- Nausea: Feeling sick to your stomach. You may also vomit while on the climb.
- Lethargic: Feeling weak and tired. In severe cases, you do not have the energy to eat, dress, or do anything.
- Insomnia: Waking up constantly during the night or not sleeping at all. Your body will start shedding excess body weight via urination so you may find yourself waking up in the middle of the night to use the restroom.
- Dizziness: You may feel dizzy and disoriented as your body will need more time to get adjusted and acclimatize to the altitude changes.
There are seven main factors that affect the incidence and severity of Kilimanjaro altitude sickness,
- Rate of ascent
- Altitude attained
- Length of exposure
- Level of exertion
- Hydration and diet
- Inherent physiological susceptibility
- Use of oxygen systems or drugs
HOW TO AVOID ALTITUDE SICKNESS KILIMANJARO?
Kilimanjaro has a recorded high altitude and has a risk of Altitude sickness. However, there are few things which you can follow to avoid altitude sickness.
First of all, you will need to follow the 3 main golden rules of higher altitude:
Rule 1: If you feel unwell, you have altitude sickness until proven otherwise
Rule 2: Do not ascend further if you have symptoms of altitude sickness
Rule 3: If you are getting worse then descend immediately
Spend More Time On The Mountain:
However, spending more time on the mountain and sleeping low will give you time for proper acclimatization. The porters often keep saying Pole Pole, which means slowly in the Swahili language. As we know slow and steady wins the race. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is like a marathon and not a sprint. Acclimatization to the low levels of oxygen in the mountain requires you to take your time and this will make your body slowly get used to lack of oxygen. This is the important thing to follow for success on the mountain while Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Eat Plenty And Drink A Lot:
When you are at higher altitude there are more chances of being dehydrated and dehydration may cause Acute Mountain sickness. Staying hydrated and eating necessary food will definitely help to prevent altitude sickness. It is advised to drink water regularly and have some energy-boosting snacks while you are Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. In other words, Symptoms of dehydration are similar to Acute Mountain Sickness. You will need to drink adequate water and not extra water.
Get Enough Sleep:
While on the mountain make it a routine to eat hike and sleep. You will need adequate sleep and it is important in the mountains. But the altitude changes may not allow you to sleep. Although if you sleep properly the quality improves as time passes. It means that you are recovering better from the daily activities and that you are acclimatizing too.
It is recommended not to expend energy needlessly throughout the day. You need to take breaks whenever it is necessary. When you are at the campsite spend time lying down and relaxing in your tent. After that change out the trekking clothes and into your sleeping clothes. Eat dinner if you don’t feel like eating. Have a good sleep if you are not willing to sleep too.
Acetazolamide or Diamox is a drug that is proved to prevent Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness. Similarly, The drug helps to improve the acidity of the blood by acting as a diuretic and promoting urination. It is preventive medicine and may not cure AMS. Normally, it is advised to consult a doctor before using Diamox as it is a prescription medicine.
It is also recommended that taking Diamox 2-3 days 2 weeks before departure to check if you suffer any side effects as per Climb Kilimanjaro Guide.
Prepare Before Your Climb:
It is advisable to pre-acclimatize yourself before attempting Mount Kilimanjaro; Mount Meru would be a good option for pre-acclimatization before Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
In other words, you will need to choose the best Kilimanjaro Routes which will give you additional time for acclimatization. Make sure that the route allows for a good climb high, sleep low opportunity.
In addition, it is always recommended to go as slowly as possible, do not overexert yourself, even on the lower elevations. Drink sufficient fluids (4 liters a day) Avoid drinking alcohol, taking stimulants, smoking, or consuming caffeine on the mountain.
However Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa which has recorded high altitude and everyone has the question, “How To Avoid Altitude Sickness Kilimanjaro”. Hope the above information will answer the question and help you Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro tension-free.
In conclusion, we at Jerry Tanzania Tours have a specialized mountain team that is professionally trained as per KPAP guidelines and also experienced. Your safety is our priority. Plan your next climb with us!