Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), can affect climbers when ascending to high altitudes like those encountered during Kilimanjaro climbs. Being informed and taking preventive measures is essential to minimize the risk. Here's what you need to know:
  • Understanding Altitude Sickness:

    Firstly, altitude sickness happens when you go up to high places too quickly without giving your body time to adjust to the lower oxygen levels.

    Common symptoms of altitude sickness include a headache, feeling sick to your stomach, dizziness, tiredness, trouble breathing, and difficulty sleeping.

    Kilimanjaro Altitude Zones:

    Next, Kilimanjaro has different altitude zones, each with its own challenges.

    You start your trek in the lush rainforest at lower altitudes.

    As you go up, you’ll pass through moorland, alpine desert, and finally reach the freezing Arctic summit.

    The most significant risk of altitude sickness usually happens at higher elevations.


    To lower the risk of altitude sickness, pick a Kilimanjaro route that lets you get used to the altitude properly. Routes that take longer and have slower climbs are usually safer.

    Remember to take your time and keep a slow, steady pace during the climb.

    Stay Hydrated and Well-Fed:

    It’s important to drink lots of water to stay hydrated because dehydration can make altitude sickness worse.

    Make sure to eat a balanced diet to keep your energy up. Foods with lots of carbohydrates are often a good choice.

    • Altitude Sickness Medications:

      First, talk to a doctor before your trip about medicines for altitude sickness. One common medicine is Acetazolamide, also known as Diamox. It can help prevent and treat AMS.

      Listen to Your Body:

      Next, pay close attention to what your body is telling you. If you start feeling the symptoms of altitude sickness, talk to your guide and the others in your group.

      It’s really important not to push yourself too hard. Often, the best way to treat altitude sickness is to go down to a lower place.

      Travel Insurance:

      Make sure you have good travel insurance that will pay for medical help, including getting you down from a high place, in case you get very sick from the altitude or have another big problem.

      Altitude Sickness Training:

      You might want to think about going to a class about altitude sickness. You can learn a lot and get ready for your trip.

      Rest Days:

      On many Kilimanjaro trips, there are days when you don’t climb as high. These rest days can help you get used to the altitude. You can use these days to go on easy hikes and relax.

  • Amref Insurance:
  • In addition, we have Amref Insurance, which takes care of medical needs and support while you’re climbing Kilimanjaro.
  • Responsibility for Travel Insurance:
  • Please remember that even though we provide Search and Rescue Insurance and Amref Insurance, you need to take care of Travel Insurance yourself. This type of insurance covers other things on your trip, like if you have to cancel your plans, if something happens to your belongings, or if you have more medical costs.
  • It’s really important for you to get your own travel insurance.
  • Pre-Existing Medical Conditions:
  • If you have any medical conditions that you had before, tell your insurance company about them. Check if your insurance will cover these conditions. Some insurance plans might help with conditions that are stable.
  • Read the Fine Print:
  • To start with, carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of your insurance policy. This includes things like how much the insurance will pay, how much you have to pay first (the deductible), and how to make a claim.
  • Emergency Contact Information:
  • Next, make sure to keep a copy of your insurance policy and emergency contact information with you all the time while you’re climbing Kilimanjaro.
  • Documenting Your Adventure:
  • Lastly, consider taking photos or videos of your equipment and gear before you leave for your trip. Having this documentation can be really helpful if something gets lost or damaged
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Genius Kilimanjaro

Welcome to Genius Kilimanjaro, the preeminent climbing and guiding company owned and operated by Patrick Makere, a consummate mountain guide with an unwavering passion for the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. We are dedicated to providing you with an unparalleled adventure experience on Africa's loftiest peak.
9-Day Northern Circuit Route

Altitude sickness can affect anyone, regardless of fitness level or previous high-altitude experience. Proper preparation, acclimatization, and awareness of the symptoms are key to a safe and enjoyable Kilimanjaro climbing experience. Always follow the guidance of your experienced guide, who will be familiar with altitude-related issues and can help ensure your well-being during the trek.


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Altitude Sickness Awareness and Prevention