Everybody can climb Kilimanjaro! But one should be prepared accordingly and respect several things also during the ascent. In this article, we describe how to optimally prepare for a healthy ascent and which type of medical specialist can support you. We focus on aspects that can significantly influence a successful ascent of Kilimanjaro. We found medical specialists of the following areas of expertise helpful during our preparation.
In case you already have a GP, it would be a reasonable decision to see him/her, for he/she may know you since long already. The ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro can represent a major (physical) challenge depending on each individual’s age and personal condition. At this point, your GP can give you specific advice on how to get prepared for the ascent. Additionally, he/she will refer you to specialists if necessary, whom you can consult for the respective matters regarding your journey.
Travel Vaccines and Medicine
Although the German Federal and other Foreign Offices have not announced any travel vaccinations to be compulsory for people entering from European countries, we nevertheless strongly recommend some preemptive measures. Why and which ones we suggest you find summarized in another article of ours.
You should be prepared to walk 4-6 hours per day, mostly slightly uphill, 6-7 days in a row. On top, you carry your daypack weighing approximately 5-6 kg. This, at first, sounds much, but generally the walking time is not problematic, even when carrying additional weight. Here you can find an overview of the requirements and daily routine on Machame route.
The hike can become burdensome, however, if you suffer from already existing physical pains or pains that develop during the hike. If you are physically active on a regular basis, you probably do not face great problems. The latest during your physical preparation for the ascent you will notice where to turn your attention to. If you do not work out regularly and you need more certainty on how to prepare yourself adequately we suggest you see an orthopedic.
With or without consulting a specialist, you should bear in mind not to commence your expedition suffering from foot or back/spinal disc pains. These body parts will be burdened more than usual when climbing Kilimanjaro. Bandages for your knees or orthopedic insoles for your shoes can be useful.
Cardiology, Pneumology, and Allergology
Specialists of those areas of expertise can be helpful as well during the preparation process. However, your personal predispositions are pivotal for the necessity of seeing one of the above-mentioned specialists. For instance, if you suffer from organ or vascular damages, which could foster heart attacks, seeing a cardiologist becomes a requirement.
The same applies for visiting a pneumologist (lung specialist). Asthmatics should see a pneumologist if in doubt about how to act aloft.
It is probably wise for everybody who wants to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to see an allergist, since presumably you will eat foods unknown to your body. People who are prone to allergic reactions should pay special attention to this issue.
The so far mentioned points concern body parts, organs, and medical aspects, which you should attend to before commencing your journey. They can become decisive to a successful ascent. A specialist can be of great support during your preparations.