Fit for the challenge?
To climb Kilimanjaro you should be healthy and reasonably fit. Having said that, we sometimes hear of people who manage to ascend the mountain against all odds. People in a wheel chair, people with no legs, people of old age, and also people who are very young. The thing with these people is they have done their preparation thoroughly and they all climb with a great team. They are in fact fit for the challenge.
So what would it take for you to be fit for the challenge? Prepare you self by hiking. This is what you will be doing, and this is what you should be preparing. However there is a big difference between hiking in flat areas and hiking up hills. You should be hiking up hills, this is what you will be doing for five to eight hours a day for six to eight days. And you should be wearing athe daypack and the boots you will be using on Kilimanjaro, as you do this. If you don’t live anywhere near hills, the fitness centers have stair case machines. You could be walking the stairs at home too. Remember your daypack and boots.
If you have any health issues, talk to your doctor. As you can see in the picture from the folder, you should not try and climb the monutain without consulting a doctor. If the doctor says it is ok for you to climb, we need to know how to best help you. All our customers will fill in and sign a health statement, which will help us assist you in any way needed.
Altitude sickness is a reaction to the fact that when you breathe on high altitude less oxygen enters your body than at lower levels. There is not less oxygene on high levels, but due to the lower air pressure, you inhale less oxygene when you breathe. Your body will respond to this in different ways, and sometimes the body can not cope with the fact that you get less oxygen and you will become ill. This is to be taken serious.
The higher you go the lower the air pressure becomes. The body reacts to this by producing more red blood cells who can carry the oxygene around in your body. To do this the body needs time. If you go too high too fast, the body does not have time to create the blood cells necessary and you will get ill.
The best way to prevent it, is to go slow, very slow, so you spend time ascending. If you have the possibility to do a climb on lower levels, f.i. on Mt Meru, before attempting to climb Kilimanjaro, this would be the ideal scenario. If not, then try and pick as many days on Kilimanjaro as you can.
Another challenge with the low air pressure is that water evaporates faster. If you do not drink sufficiently you may become dehydrated. As you can see at the top photo 4-5 litres a day is what is recomended to drink at the climb.
The most important thing is for you to communicate with your guide. Your guide is educated in these matters and will guide you to what is best for you. If your guide tells you, you have to go down – then you have to go down. If your guide says it is safe for you to continue then stay close to your guide and make sure you communicate everything to your guide. You can be sure your guide will give you the advise that is best for you and your safety.
Trust your guide and crew
Our mountain crew have a fixed salary where the tip is included. They know from start exactly how much they will get from our office at the end of the climb. This means none of the guides have to worry about wether their advice to the client might jeopardize a potential tip for their crew, at the end of the climb. If your salary is so low it makes you dependent on a potential tip, this can really be an important issue. You can trust the word of our guide, as their entire focus can be on you and your wellbeing.