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Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness

Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness

Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness, otherwise called Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), is a short-term illness caused by exposure to the low pressure of oxygen, which many climbers experience at high altitudes.


It causes when hikers don’t acclimatize properly. The peak of Kilimanjaro sits at an altitude of 5895 metres or 19340 ft. At this height, the pressure is much less than that at sea level.

AMS doesn’t affect all. It’s also difficult to predict who can be at risk at high altitude.

AMS can be serious, sometimes it causes death, so immediate treatment is much recommended.

Symptoms to recognize AMS

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Light-headedness
  • Loss of balance
  • Malaise
  • Shortness of breath

How to avoid AMS

  • Walk high, sleep low– It is the strategy by which you climb higher each day, and then descend lower to sleep. This lets you gradually become accustomed to lower pressures, and then recover somewhat overnight.
  • Follow your guide’s world (Pole Pole)– You need to follow your guide and proceed slowly. A fast hike leads to high altitude sickness and increases your chances of becoming ill.
  • Drink much more water than you think you need– Hydrate your body as much you can. As your body gets exerted much faster in the high altitude of Kilimanjaro, so drinking plenty of water is much recommended.
  • Take good-calories of food– In high altitude, the calories of your body burn too fast. So taking high-calories of food is much recommended.
  • Medicines– Some medicines can be used to recover from AMS, but you should consult your doctor before taking them.

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