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Climbing Kilimanjaro: 5 Tips for Staying Safe

Climbing to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro is both a thrilling and rewarding experience that offers offers spectacular views and a great sense of achievement. However, high altitudes have some physical and health challenges and it is important to take precautions.

Here are some tips we gathered for you:

1. Bring the right equipment:

Wear comfortable clothing. Choose well-fitting shoes that provide ankle support, stability and grip. Carry gear for all types of weather in your backpack since it can change to both extremes. Pack rain- and windproof outerwear made of lightweight material, a hat and sunglasses. Wear sunscreen for protection from strong sun rays. Use walking poles to walk on the rocky areas for better balance and to reduce physical impact off your knees, hips, ankles, and lower back.Make sure you stay hydrated all through, because sweating is generally more in higher altitudes.

Tips-How-to-Prepare-for-a-Kilimanjaro-Climb

2. Prevent altitude-related sickness:

Acute mountain or altitude sickness is the most common illness in high altitudes. Symptoms may include:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Insomnia

Some other altitude-related disorders include:

  • High-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE)
  • High-altitude cerebral edema (HACE)
  • Peripheral edema, which causes your hands, feet, and face to swell
  • Altitude throat
  • Altitude bronchitis

3. Acclimatization:

Altitude-related illnesses are caused by a lower concentration of oxygen in the air at high altitudes. It’s important to take your time when climbing mountains with a high altitude and in Tanzania, people say ‘pole-pole’, which means ‘slowly-slowly’. You should walk slowly up the mountain in terms of speed and distance. Every stop on Kilimanjaro is a chance for you you to adjust to the altitude.
 
Your health may limit how high you can safely climb, and it is important to get a health checkup before you climb. It’s also important to be fit and doing some training walks or other workouts can make the experience easier and much more enjoyable.
Staying hydrated is also a priorit, as well as eating enough to keep your energy level up. Smoking and alcohol are not recommended and can make it even more difficult to deal with the already harsh conditions at such a high altitude.

4. Medication:

Medication can help you to take in more oxygen and to acclimatize better to the high altitude. The best thing to do is to visit a doctor or a pharmacy to get some advice on the best medications for altitude sickness. These medications will also help to improve the quality of your sleep and breathing.

5. Descent:

Upon noticing any altitude-related illness, it is advisable to descend immediately. Try to descend by 3,000 feet or more.

About the Author
Our Marketing Manager is responsible for our online presence and bookings. She will most likely be the first person to reply to your request. Before moving to Tanzania, she was travelling through East Africa and has been employed in the tourism industry since 2008 in marketing and tour guide positions. Favorite place in Tanzania: Usambara Mountains and Serengeti National Park.

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