Climb Kilimanjaro health requirements

Who qualifies for a Kilimanjaro Adventure trip?

Kilimanjaro Health Requirements
It is compulsory for travellers to Tanzania to have a Yellow fever inoculation. This must be done at least 10 days prior to departure, however, if possible, try to have it done timeously to avoid any possible side effects that could negatively affect your climb . It is also highly recommended to take precautions against malaria. (Please check with your nearest travel clinic). Although no mosquitoes are found on Kilimanjaro due to the high altitude, it is still necessary as most Kilimanjaro expeditions will start from Moshi (closest town to Mount Kilimanjaro). Also, should you take the option of visiting Zanzibar Island, or one of Tanzania’s other National parks, you will be at risk. It is not compulsory to undergo a full medical check-up, that includes a stress ECG, prior to planning and hiking up Mount Kilimanjaro, but it is highly recommended for a safe and enjoyable adventure.

Who qualifies for a Kilimanjaro Adventure trip?
The Tanzania National Park Authorities requires that a person be at least 10 years old for a summit attempt up Kilimanjaro. Our recommendation however is to rather wait until your child is 15 years or older. A summit attempt puts a person under enormous physical and mental strain and young children are normally not yet developed to adapt to this challenge. There is no restriction as far as the maximum age is concerned and many people in their 70’s have in the past successfully summited Kilimanjaro with and without additional support. Kilimanjaro is a strenuous hike, but there is no climbing with ropes, so no prior experience is needed, meaning that it can be attempted by any fit and healthy person. We do however recommend that Kilimanjaro is given the respect that it deserves. Do not take any unnecessary risks and rather ensure that you prepare as best possible and ensure your health status by undergoing a full medical check-up, which includes a stress ECG.

High altitude sickness / acute mountain sickness (AMS)
Most people that are not acclimatized can be affected by AMS. Altitude sickness is mainly caused due to a lack of barometric pressure and oxygen concentration in the air. The most effective way to increase your chances of not being effected by AMS will be to acclimatize adequately on your hike up Kilimanjaro. This is done by ascending slowly to a higher altitude and to drink enough water to avoid dehydration (around 3 ~ 5 litres per day). Apart from hydration being key to the acclimatization process, so is a slow pace, proper nutrition and maintaining a comfortable body temperature – here where correct equipment plays an integral part.
There is medication available from most travel clinics that will be able to also assist you to acclimatize, but unfortunately none that will be 100% effective. The most common first symptoms of AMS will be lack of appetite, headaches & nausea.

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