Altitude sickness is not uncommon on Mount Kilimanjaro, also known as the Roof of Africa in Tanzania! Towering at an incredible 5895m above sea level, climbing this majestic mountain has its challenges. The most common of them all? Altitude sickness. Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness and your overall safety on the mountain go hand in hand and should be taken very seriously. Get the guide to find the effects of enduring high altitudes, what to expect and how to overcome them.


Symptoms Of Mild Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness? Most high altitude sickness symptoms are very normal when Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. They are generally mild and appear a few hours after moving to higher altitudes.


All trekkers attempting Kilimanjaro or any other high elevation trek should be aware of the potential threat of High Altitude Sickness or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). AMS is caused by the limited oxygen available at altitude. At top Kilimanjaro, there is half the oxygen that there is at sea level, which means you are likely to feel some of Acute Mountain Sickness’ physiological effects. There’s no understating how important it is to be aware of this potentially life-threatening condition and its symptoms. It’s a common misconception that physically fit persons are less likely to feel its effects. Everyone is susceptible to AMS, it does not discriminate.

Cause Of Acute Mountain Sickness:

The primary cause of AMS is that the amount of available oxygen in the atmosphere decreases with altitude. While the percentage of oxygen (21%) in the atmosphere remains constant the density of the atmosphere decreases so that the available oxygen when you take a breath becomes less. The decrease in density of the atmosphere is not linear and that density decreases more rapidly with increasing altitude so that the impact of going from 10,000 to 20,000 feet is not as significant as going from 20,000 to 30,000 feet.

Oxygen Use On Kilimanjaro:

We always carry supplemental oxygen for use in cases of severe altitude sickness. We will never let an individual use supplemental oxygen to continue climbing. If you have serious symptoms of AMS it’s imperative to head down the mountain.

The Facts About Proper Acclimatization:

It is important not to increase your elevation too much per day otherwise you will be at a higher risk of developing Acute Mountain Sickness. Measure this by where you sleep at night and not how high or low you trek during the day. In fact trekking, higher during the day and then returning to a lower elevation to sleep can increase the speed of acclimatization. It’s important to know that the routes that spend more days climbing (and therefore acclimating to the mountain) are more successful in summiting.


At Mowgli Safari Tours, we take your safety very seriously. Kilimanjaro Guide will monitor you closely, but to do that, they also need your help. If you feel in any way unwell, you should inform your guide immediately. Keep an eye on other members of your group, if you see someone behaving strangely or they appear to be suffering, tell your guide.


Every day your guide will check your oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter, question you about how you are feeling, and listen to your chest for unusual lung sounds. Catching it early is the best way to prevent mild altitude sickness escalating.


We carry emergency oxygen and portable stretchers on every Kilimanjaro Climb. If a climber is suffering from Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness and cannot proceed, we have partnered with Kilimanjaro helicopter rescue for emergency evacuation.