Health Issues

Health Issues

Health Issues

While ascending Mt. Kilimanjaro, there are possibilities that you may face some challenge including some health-related issues during your trek. The cause of these health issues is mainly due to the change of altitude and weather.

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

This is the most common health issue that most climbers face while summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro. AMS occurs when you reach very high altitudes, for example, Gilman’s Point, Stella Point or on the Summit of Kilimanjaro. However, it can be treated quickly, by taking the person suffering down to a lower altitude. However, the illness can be avoided by starting with a slow pace at the beginning of your trek, adding extra time to acclimatise to the high altitude and by drinking at least 3-4 litres of water every day during the trek. Preventative medicine available are also available, but it is best to consult your doctor before you take these medications.

Symptoms of AMS are:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Exhaustion
  • rapid pulse
  • Insomnia
  • Swelling of hands and feet
  • A decrease in urine output


Hypothermia occurs when the body’s temperature drops drastically, however it can be avoided with care. The right clothes and equipment are critical in the prevention of Hypothermia. Preventing clothes from getting wet, either by perspiration or from the rain. Layering clothing is also an excellent idea. The treatment of hypothermia is not difficult and someone suffering with it should be brought to a sheltered area as soon as possible. Following which all the wet clothes should be removed from the victim’s body before placing them inside three sleeping bags for warmth, preferably with another person to help raise body temperature.

Symptoms of Hypothermia are

  • Shivering
  • Slurring Of speech
  • Clumsy actions
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue

Foot Problems

Ill-fitting boots or new boots that have not been worn in will damage feet, resulting in pain and blistering. So it is very important to wear a suitable pair of footwear. The toenails should be kept short so they don’t rub or catch on your socks. If you develop a blister, then quickly remove the boot and treat it with zinc oxide tape or a proper plaster.


Persons suffering from any cardiac or pulmonary problems are advised to consult your doctor before attempting to trek Mount Kilimanjaro.


While you trek Mt. Kilimanjaro you come in direct contact of UV rays of the Sun, which causes severe sunburn if proper care is not taken. So while trekking Mt. Kilimanjaro it is recommended to use +30 SPF sunscreen cream. Wearing a wide hat which covers your face and wearing UV protective sunglasses preferably with a side panel.

Symptoms of Sunburn

  • Redness of skin
  • Blistering
  • Swelling of skin
  • Headaches
  • Shivering
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Extreme thirst

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