Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Climbers, How to Prepare for the High Altitude of Mount Kilimanjaro

unsplash-logoSergey Pesterev

If you are a little concerned about your fitness level for the high altitude, then you will find comfort in knowing that your body will get in great shape for the Kilimanjaro climb with physical training to prepare you for altitude. Understandably, and this may come as no surprise, the ability to adjust quickly to the changing oxygen content is largely genetic. According to documented success rates, some people can climb Kilimanjaro in as little as 5 days (not recommended), while some still fail with 8 days. It is basically impossible to predict how well a prospective climber will fair in an oxygen deprived atmosphere until he or she is actually in that environment. High altitude training systems enable climbers to pre-acclimatize at home, thereby drastically improving their success rate, safety and enjoyment of the Kilimanjaro climb.

The more you undergo altitude training in systems that simulate high altitudes, the more you’ll induce beneficial biological adaptations in the body. For this, you can go to high altitude places to help pre-acclimatize to high altitude before your trip.

It may come as a surprise that all climbers should have a medical check prior to attempting the Kilimanjaro mountain climb. And the best place to start is to ask your doctor if high altitude trekking is permissible for your age, fitness level and health condition. And make sure your doctor ascertains whether or not you have any preexisting medical conditions that can cause problems on the climb. Ask if any of your medications can affect altitude acclimatization. And if you find that you have medical issues that can make climbing Kilimanjaro more dangerous for you than the average person, it is recommended that you inform your tour operator before you book. The medical issues in question would include but not be limited to: spine problems; circulation problems; internal problems such as diabetes, hypoglycemia, intestinal or kidney problems; respiratory issues like asthma; high or low blood pressure; head trauma or injury; heart conditions; blood disease; hearing or vision impairment; cancer; seizure disorders; joint dislocations; sprains; hernia.

You’re probably wondering what the minimum age for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is. Well, just so you know, the minimum age is 10 years old. There is no maximum age. However, because the climb is strenuous it will present health risks to people in high risk categories. That being said, serious consideration should be given to anyone under the age of 18 and over the age of 60. For those climbers on the extreme end of the age spectrum, consulting a doctor is highly recommended.

If your resting heart rate is under 100 beats per minute, you will qualify for the minimum fitness requirement. Please note that before you climb, your resting heart rate will be checked. And if your resting heart rate is above 100, you will be required to see a local doctor for approval, prior to the climb. Just for your information, the average resting heart rate is 60-80 beats per minute. If you’re the kind of person that wants to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, I hope this article helps you adequately prepare for your exciting adventure.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a creative travel writer who blogs at, and writes exclusively for tour operators on safari destination Tanzania. For more information on booking a Kilimanjaro climb in Tanzania, visit:

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