Whether you ascend or just stand at the bottom and stare it, Kilimanjaro is a delight to behold. The ascent to the peak is through seven official routes, each having a different climate, vegetation and different level of challenges. As it’s a high altitude climb, rapid ascent doesn’t help for acclimatization and it makes the climbers feel Acute Mountain Sickness also known as Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness.
The most common challenge of all during Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing? Altitude sickness. Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness is caused by a failure of the body to adapt quickly enough to these lower levels of oxygen. Often climbers make the mistake of going too high too quickly. But don’t worry, it is perfectly normal to get Altitude Sickness on Kilimanjaro.
KILIMANJARO HAS THREE DISTINCT ALTITUDE ZONES: :
•High altitude (2,500 – 3,500 metres)
•Very high altitude (3,500 – 5,500 metres)
•Extreme altitude (above 5,500 metres)
The effects of Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness first come once you cross the 2400m mark and happen stronger once you cross 3000m. The preliminary symptoms you can feel are headache, fatigue, problems with the digestive system, sleep disturbance and dizziness.
SYMPTOMS OF HIGH ALTITUDE SICKNESS :
Most high altitude sickness symptoms are very normal when Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing. They are generally mild and appear a few hours after moving to higher altitudes.
•Shortness of breath with physical exertion
•Loss of appetite
•Nausea and vomiting
•Swelling of the hands, feet, and face
•A rapid heartbeat
HOW TO AVOID ALTITUDE SICKNESS KILIMANJARO ?
•Follow the principles of climb high and sleep low
•Hydrate your body
•Take enough calories on the mountain
•Take rest and go thorough Kilimanjaro •Acclimatization and take preventive medicines as per your doctor’s advice
•Never be rushed. Pole- pole will help you to reach the top