Kilimanjaro SAFETY

Updated: Oct 10

Kilimanjaro Climbing Tours - Safety is Our Number One Priority


When it comes to safety on Kilimanjaro, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First and foremost, always follow the guidelines set forth by your tour operator or guide. They are there to help you have a safe and successful climb. Secondly, be prepared for the conditions you will encounter on the mountain. This means having the proper gear, being in good physical shape, and acclimatizing to the altitude before you attempt to summit. Finally, always listen to your body. If you are feeling sick or exhausted, it is best to turn back and descend to a lower altitude. By following these simple guidelines, you can help ensure a safe and successful climb of Africa's highest peak.


When planning to climb Kilimanjaro, it is important to consider your safety. We ask all our climbers to fill in a comprehensive medical questionnaire, and in the case of pre-existing conditions, we may ask for confirmation from your doctor that you are fit to climb. Your guide will need to know any existing medications you are taking (including over-the-counter) and whether you are taking Diamox to help acclimatization. If you have any concerns about your safety while climbing Kilimanjaro, please inform your guides.



Guide Training


Hiring a properly trained guide is essential to a safe and successful climb of Kilimanjaro. All of our guides undergo Wilderness First Responder training, which teaches them how to detect the early signs of altitude sickness and what to do about it. We’ve also partnered with the Sentinel Outdoor Institute, a high-altitude medical training organization, to make sure our guides are kept up to date with emerging medical protocols. So you can rest assured that your safety is in good hands when you climb with Kilimanjaro Climbing Tours.


Daily Health Checks


If you're feeling unwell or have any other symptoms while climbing Kilimanjaro, it's important to let your guide know. Your guide will be keeping an eye out for any signs of trouble, such as difficulty on the trail, fatigue, lack of appetite, or difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to tell your guide so they can help you stay safe on the mountain.


We require all of our climbers to have a comprehensive health check-up twice per day. Using a pulse oximeter, we measure your blood oxygen saturation and resting pulse rate. We then use this data in combination with the Lake Louise Scoring System to determine whether you are showing signs of altitude sickness. We also ask self-assessment questions to determine how you are feeling. Our constant monitoring prevents a mild case of altitude sickness from escalating into an emergency. So, if you're looking to climb Kilimanjaro, look no further than us! We'll make sure you have a safe and memorable experience.


Emergency Oxygen and Medical Supplies


It is important to be prepared for the challenges of high altitude. Our team carries a comprehensive medical kit, including bottled oxygen and a portable stretcher, to ensure that we are prepared for any eventuality. Supplemental oxygen is essential for climbers suffering from acute mountain sickness, and the only cure for AMS is immediate descent to a lower elevation. In the case of an injury that prevents a climber from descending on foot, we carry a portable stretcher to evacuate them from the mountain. Our first aid medical kit is also essential for treating minor injuries. By being prepared for the challenges of high altitude, we can ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience when climbing Kilimanjaro.


Helicopter Evacuation


In the event of an emergency, while climbing Kilimanjaro, we use Kilimanjaro SAR, a search and rescue service that operates out of Moshi. Within 5 minutes of a distress call, a helicopter will be despatched to the nearest landing point and the patient can be airlifted off the mountain and taken to a hospital or the High Altitude Medicine Clinic. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we have a team of experienced medical professionals on standby at all times to assist. So rest assured that if you do encounter any problems while on your Kilimanjaro adventure, help is never far away. Just remember to always put safety first and follow the guidelines set by your guides and tour operators to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.


Equipment and Gear


Trekking on Kilimanjaro takes you through five major climate zones, from the warmth of the low slopes to the bitterly cold, sub-zero temperatures at the summit. In addition to the medical and emergency equipment, the quality of the equipment used in the camp is also an important consideration. Weather on any mountain can be unpredictable, and keeping safe, warm, and dry at night is imperative to the health of any climber.

This is why we recommend using a reputable guide company that can provide:

  • Kilimanjaro National Park certified guides

  • An emergency communications system

  • A comprehensive medical kit

  • High-quality, weatherproof camping equipment

When you're planning to climb Kilimanjaro, it's important to make sure that you have the right gear. This includes clothing that will keep you warm, sturdy hiking boots, and a sleeping bag that is appropriate for expedition conditions. Without the right clothing, you could easily twist an ankle or injure yourself on the rocky trails. Without effective rain gear, you'll quickly get soaked and turn hypothermic. And if you don't protect yourself from the sun, you could end up with a nasty case of sunburn or sunstroke. So make sure that you pack appropriately for your Kilimanjaro climb, and always remember to never stay in wet clothes. By doing so, you'll help ensure a safe and enjoyable climb. See our comprehensive packing list for everything you will need on the mountain.


Food, Water and Hygiene


If you're planning to climb Kilimanjaro, there are a few things you should know in terms of safety and sanitation. First, there are no showers on the mountain, so it's important to bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands frequently. Second, the combination of altitude, tiredness, and dietary changes can make you more susceptible to traveler's diarrhea or other stomach problems. That's why we take great care in preparing our food safely, to avoid any gastrointestinal issues. So drink plenty of water and eat regularly to keep your energy levels up. With a little preparation, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience on Kilimanjaro.


Be Prepared


A little bit of planning can go a long way in ensuring a safe and enjoyable trip. First, schedule a medical check-up with your doctor. Be sure to discuss any existing medical conditions or medications you’re taking. Then, get the recommended vaccinations for Tanzania and Kilimanjaro. You may also want to consider taking Diamox to help with acclimatization. Discuss this with your doctor, as there may be interactions with existing medications. Next, arrange travel insurance that covers emergencies. This is mandatory for anyone looking to climb Kilimanjaro. Finally, make sure you’re physically fit enough for the journey. Hiking over rugged terrain for multiple days requires a good level of fitness. While it’s not necessary to be an athlete, you should at least be able to walk long distances without too much difficulty.

If you take these precautions, you’ll be well on your way to a safe and successful Kilimanjaro climb.

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