Acute Mountain Sickness in Kilimanjaro


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Acute Mountain Sickness

Acute Mountain Sickness

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  1. Admin Trip Insight

    When you ascent to higher altitudes, you may get altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness (AMS). Symptoms of AMS include breathlessness and other nonspecific symptoms that resemble carbon monoxide poisoning.

    Other symptoms that you may experience with AMS include headaches, nausea, and vomiting, dizziness, and lethargy, or euphoria and lightheadedness on the opposite extreme.

    Most climbers will experience some forms of mild AMS while climbing Kilimanjaro. However, these symptoms are not dangerous to start with and will disappear again with descent. It is when you ascend the mountain too quickly that you may develop more severe forms of AMS.

    The best way for you to avoid altitude sickness is to ascend the mountain slowly, or pole pole (Swahili for slow) as you will undoubtedly hear your guide remind you over and over gain.

    You can do this not only by walking slowly during the day, but—perhaps even more importantly—by booking a longer tour.

    This will give your body enough time to acclimatize. In fact, the length of your tour—i.e., the number of acclimatization days before attempting the final summit—has been shown to be the single most important factor driving your chances of reaching the summit.

    In addition, ensure that you climb with guides who are experienced on Kilimanjaro and well-trained to watch out for your AMS symptoms.

    Finally, listen to your body. Always remember that your priority should be to get back down safely, not to push yourself up to the summit by all means.

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