One of the famous Seven Summits, Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa standing at 5,895m (19,341 ft) above sea level landing itself in the extreme altitude mountaineering category. Nonetheless, considering its size, it requires no technical skill to reach its summit, at Uhuru Peak.
That doesn’t mean it should be underestimated, climbing Kilimanjaro to the summit is quite challenging. Utmost, 1,000 people get evacuated from the mountain and some deaths have been recorded, the main cause of the deaths being altitude/mountain sickness.
Factors affecting your safety on Mount Kilimanjaro:
- Altitude sickness/Acute Mountain Sickness
- Remote location
- Training and experience of your climbing support crew (guides and porters)
- Number of health checks conducted during the climb
- Emergency preparedness
- Evacuation procedures and protocols
- Nutrition and hydration
- Unpredictable weather conditions
- Mountain climbing equipment and Gear
- Choice of climbing route
- Your physical and mental preparedness
You should take responsibility of your safety seriously, starting with knowing the risks and how to go about them.
- First things first, before attempting the climb, prepare yourself not only physically but also mentally months before you attempt to summit Kilimanjaro.
- Do not rush to the top, take it slow so that you give your body enough time to adapt to the altitude and acclimatize.
- Choose the right route to climb Kilimanjaro putting into consideration your physical health and experience with mountain climbing.
- Do not ignore the symptoms of altitude sickness/acute mountain sickness, this can be pretty dangerous. At any one point you are not feeling fine, take precaution and talk to your guide.
- Be your team members first help. If you notice any of your team members is not feeling well or struggling, call out to the guide.
- Have a personal medical first aid kit on you and make sure your climbing crew, the guides, have proper medical equipment in case of any emergencies.
- Do not compromise when it comes to the clothing and footwear you plan to carry to Kilimanjaro. Invest in the best clothing fit for the harsh weather conditions on the mountain and the best hiking boots.
- Drink enough water while on your climb and make sure you eat well for you need all the energy you can get from proper nutrition to get to the top of Kilimanjaro Mountain.
- Choose a reputable tour company to climb with and always listen to the guidance from your climbing crew, that is the guides and the porters.
Knowing the risks of climbing mount Kilimanjaro can help you minimize the effects and have a safe, enjoyable and successful climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro mountain.
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