Is it safe to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in 2023-2024? 2023-2024 Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Safety: The most crucial factor to take into account while organizing a safari vacation to any location is safety. Any safari tour would be more interesting and pleasurable if it were safe; therefore, safety directly affects how much you enjoy your safari. When visiting Mount Kilimanjaro, just like many other African destinations like the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara National Reserve, safety is an important factor to take into account when planning your trip. This is true not only because climbing Kilimanjaro can be risky due to weather conditions, but also because the area is home to some dangerous animals like buffalo.
Despite its danger, Mount Kilimanjaro can be safely climbed and explored if you plan your trip well in advance. To climb and explore Mount Kilimanjaro safely, it’s vital to have the proper gear and clothes, climb with knowledgeable and responsible guides, eat well, and choose a route that allows for proper acclimatization.
Is Mount Kilimanjaro safe for 2023-2024 safari tour? Is it safe to climb Kilimanjaro in 2023-2024? In a word, yes! It is safe to climb Kilimanjaro as long as you follow all laws, guidelines, and professional recommendations regarding how to do it safely. The difficulty of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro should never be underestimated. Yet so many people undervalue it! In addition to the fact that only approximately 50% of climbers actually reach the top, about a thousand people are rescued from the peak each year. Additionally, there have been reportedly more than 10 deaths. If you don’t conduct the required investigation and planning, you’re putting your safety in jeopardy. If you don’t select a certified Kilimanjaro trip operator as your climbing companion, you’re also playing with fire.
The ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro is risky and regarded as perilous. The number of climbers who pass away each year is reported to be far greater, at 10, while another 1000 are rescued from the mountain’s hazards. All climbers are strongly advised to keep an eye out for the symptoms of AMS because it is the main cause of fatalities.
Any prospective Mount Kilimanjaro climber must be aware of the dangers he will face in advance, so being cautioned is a positive concept rather than a scare tactic. Although there are risks involved in climbing at great altitudes, these risks can be reduced by adhering to expert climbers’ guidance.
KILIMANJARO CLIMBING SAFETY OVERVIEW
Here are the key factors to consider when it comes to Kilimanjaro climbing safety:
- Altitude sickness
- Experienced Kilimanjaro guides
- The right safety equipment
- Choosing a qualified tour operator
- Nutritious food and safe water
Please be aware that this article’s goal is to inform you, not to frighten you. Your safety is our first priority at Focus East Africa Tours. We want you to know the most secure approach to ascending Kilimanjaro. Kilimanjaro climbing is risk-free, but only if you are aware of the risks and know how to minimize them.
WHY SAFETY MUST COME FIRST
We want to highlight three reasons why your safety on the climb should be a top priority for both you and your tour operator before we go over the four aspects to take into consideration to make sure you have a safe Kilimanjaro climbing safari.
- You’re in a remote location.
It’s crucial to remember that when climbing Kilimanjaro, you’re in a remote area. Therefore, if something were to happen and you got hurt or sick, there wouldn’t be a hospital nearby. Before being taken to the hospital, you will typically need to descend the mountain.
Your mountain crew is prepared to respond to accidents and illnesses especially altitude sickness when you travel with a respected tour operator such as Focus East Africa Tours. For any client who is unable to walk down the mountain alone, they also carry a stretcher.
For treating diseases or injuries that occur on Kilimanjaro, it is still more reliable to quickly descend the mountain on foot or by stretcher. Possibly the most beautiful portion of the climb is through the jungle on Kilimanjaro, but you’ll need good tread on your boots because it can get slippery when it rains.
- There is extreme and unpredictable weather.
The temperature can (and frequently does) drop below freezing further up on Mount Kilimanjaro. It may be frosty and quite windy at night, and it may even snow. The weather is also unpredictable.
All climbers must be outfitted with the proper gear and apparel to withstand the weather. For your benefit, we’ve created a thorough Mount Kilimanjaro packing list so you may be aware of and prepare for what’s required.
- You’re trekking to a very high altitude.
The highest peak in Africa, at over 6,000 meters above sea level, is Kilimanjaro. Although some people don’t conceive of Africa as having towering mountains, the continent actually boasts a lot of mountains that are extremely high. Many of its mountains really tower far higher than the highest mountains in Europe! Did you realize that Mont Blanc is only a few hundred meters shorter than Kilimanjaro? Mont Blanc is 4,696 m tall, while Kilimanjaro is 5,895 m, 2023-2024 Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Safety
Altitude sickness is one risk associated with high-altitude trekking. When you don’t give your body enough time to adapt to the decreased oxygen intake per breath, this illness will eventually manifest. Moderate to severe altitude sickness is a hazard, although mild altitude sickness is not. It’s a significant subject because altitude sickness may be fatal, and we’ll talk more about it shortly.
High altitude has harmful health effects, including acute mountain sickness (AMS), or altitude sickness. At sea level, there is around 21% oxygen in the atmosphere. The proportion stays the same, but there are fewer oxygen molecules in each breath as you ascend higher. At 3,600 m (12,000 ft.), there are around 40% fewer oxygen molecules in each breath. Because of this, the body struggles to adjust and continue operating normally with less oxygen, 2023-2024 Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Safety
The body’s inability to swiftly acclimate (adapt) to these reduced quantities of oxygen is what causes altitude sickness. Climbers frequently make the error of ascending too quickly (rate of ascent).
DON’T RUSH TO THE TOP.
On your Kilimanjaro ascent, you’ll hear the phrase “pole, pole” quite a bit. This phrase, which means “slowly, slowly” in Swahili, ought to serve as your travel mantra. No need to hurry. Enjoy the beauty that surrounds you and take your time!
ALTITUDE SICKNESS IS COMMON.
Having said that, experiencing altitude sickness is very natural. In actuality, at altitudes higher than 3,000 m, more than 75% of climbers develop at least a mild case of AMS. As a result, it is highly likely that you will suffer from altitude sickness when climbing Kilimanjaro.
Keep in mind that you only need to stop your climb and descend to a lower altitude when your altitude sickness is mild to severe. Those who experience just mild symptoms of altitude sickness are able to continue climbing, although the trek leader constantly monitors them for any indications of a deteriorating illness.
Before climbing Kilimanjaro, we advise you to discuss your plans to do a high-altitude trek with your doctor. To help avoid and treat the symptoms of altitude sickness, some people prefer to pack a drug like Diamox on their climb.
DO FIT PEOPLE GET ALTITUDE SICKNESS?
You might be surprised to learn that altitude sickness is unaffected by age, sex, or physical fitness. And just because you haven’t experienced it before doesn’t guarantee that you won’t on a subsequent trip. So everyone needs to get ready for it.
IT’S IMPORTANT TO CHOOSE A GOOD ROUTE.
Not every Kilimanjaro path is the same. Compared to others, some provide superior acclimatization. Particularly, the Lemosho route, the Northern Circuit, and the Machame route all present excellent opportunities for acclimatization. As a result, these routes have the highest summit success rates. And ultimately, that is the main motivation behind your ascent of the mountain.
As a result of their poor (or inferior) acclimatization profiles, some routes tend to cause more altitude sickness than others. For example, the Umbwe and Marangu routes make hikers ascend the mountain swiftly, which results in poor summit success rates. A sizable portion of trekkers ascending these routes experience inadequate acclimatization and develop AMS.
A dangerous approach from the perspective of acclimatization is the Shira route. This is as a result of its 3,600-meter starting position. The majority of the other routes have starting points between 1,600 and 2,300 meters. This has a significant impact. You run the danger of getting altitude sickness at the beginning of your trek by starting so high, 2023-2024 Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Safety
IT’S GOOD TO “CLIMB HIGH, SLEEP LOW.”
In order to better acclimate to the high altitude, we at Focus East Africa Tours adhere to the “climb high, sleep low” philosophy. This entails hiking to a high elevation before returning to a lower elevation for the night to allow your body to acclimate.
You can do this on some routes, including the Lemosho, Northern Circuit, and Machame. We choose these routes above others in large part because we enjoy seeing our climbers standing and beaming at the peak.
The Rongai, Umbwe, and Marangu routes do not permit high and low ascents. They don’t have the same success rates at summits as some of the others, in part because of this.
EXPERIENCED KILIMANJARO GUIDES
It is vitally important that you only ascend Kilimanjaro with a qualified mountain crew and guide. On the mountain, your support system consists of the people you climb with. Your life is in danger if they are unable to react appropriately in a crisis.
At Focus East Africa Tours, we guarantee that your guides have the education, practical understanding, and experience necessary to keep you secure. Each of our Kilimanjaro guides has extensive knowledge of how to avoid, recognize, and treat altitude sickness. The Kilimanjaro guides at Focus East Africa Tours are also trained wilderness first responders (WFR). As a result, they are equipped with the knowledge and abilities to make crucial local medical and evacuation decisions.
In cases of medical emergencies, our tour leaders expressly employ the Lake Louise Scoring System (LLSS). The LLSS was created to assess adult patients for signs of acute mountain sickness. To establish if a person has no AMS, mild AMS, or severe AMS, the system uses an assessment questionnaire and scorecard, 2023-2024 Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Safety
THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT FOR KILIMANJARO CLIMBING SAFETY
The resources you and your squad carry up with you are the only ones you can use after you start your climb. Your Kilimanjaro team has all the tools they need to keep an eye on you while you ascend. They check on you several times a day to make sure you’re adjusting properly. The equipment that your mountain crew carries on the mountain to ensure your safety is listed and described below.
A pulse oximeter: A climber’s fingertip is where the oximeter is put. Two light beams from the oximeter are directed into the capillaries and tiny blood arteries in your finger. The sensor displays the blood’s oxygen content. Within seconds of being put on your finger, this little piece of equipment collects the necessary data.
Bottled oxygen: Only use bottled oxygen in an emergency. It is never used to help people who haven’t adjusted to the greater altitude properly.
Descending is the fastest cure for mild to severe altitude sickness. No matter which of the seven Kilimanjaro route you choose to hike, it is always possible to quickly descend the mountain.
A portable stretcher: On every climb, a stretcher is brought so that there is a way to evacuate any climber who needs to descend but is unable to walk by themselves.
A first aid kit: This kit has what’s needed to treat minor scrapes, cuts, and blisters.
WHAT IF YOU FEEL SICK ON KILIMANJARO?
Speak out if you feel unwell while climbing. Always! This is crucial. You might just need someone else to identify the solution for you if it’s something that is simple to repair. As an illustration, some hikers get headaches from not drinking enough water. On the trip, especially in the steamy rainforest stretch, you perspire a lot.
SYMPTOMS OF ALTITUDE SICKNESS
Inform your guide if you feel any symptoms of altitude sickness. Don’t feel foolish or ashamed. Dizziness, nausea, headaches, and appetite loss are some of the symptoms. Please visit Kilimanjaro altitude sickness for a more detailed discussion of the symptoms.
Because they don’t want to inconvenience the rest of the company, some people are reluctant to admit they are feeling sick. Communication is the key to a Kilimanjaro successful summit, and your mountain crew is there to accompany you on your adventure. Rely on your team!
Remember that at some point during the ascent, most likely every member of your group will feel the effects of altitude sickness. Recognize your unity as a team and your ability to support one another.
It’s also useful to know that groups can be divided to account for varying skill levels. This is one of the benefits of hiking in large groups in the mountains. We therefore reiterate: Inform your guide if you feel unwell. Drinking water can help reduce the effects of altitude sickness, 2023-2024 Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Safety
PERSONAL SAFETY EQUIPMENT
You get all the camping supplies you need for a climb up Mount Kilimanjaro from your tour operator. We’re talking about things like tents, furniture, and cooking supplies. You will also receive a four-season sleeping bag and excellent sleeping mats from Focus East Africa Tours.
Organizing your clothing is obviously your responsibility. Please make sure you take the necessary climbing equipment to keep you as warm and cozy as possible. In our Kilimanjaro packing list, we go over in great detail each piece of clothing and footwear required for a secure and comfortable climb. However, we’ve highlighted the most crucial points below.
Footwear: When climbing Kilimanjaro, your footwear is crucial. Your hiking boots should fit well, be warm, water-resistant, and well-worn. Wearing your boots as often as you can before your hike is the best way to break them in. To test how well your feet perform when they become hot, sweaty, and exhausted, you should ideally go on long excursions in them. When the inside soles of your boots begin to mold to the bottom of your feet, they have been properly broken in. On a climb up Mount Kilimanjaro, you don’t want to chance having blisters, sore toenails, or anything similar!
Additionally, you want boots with wide lugs that provide excellent traction. When tackling the notorious Barranco Wall, undoubtedly the most perilous section of the course, you don’t want to be slipping. Having said that, there is really nothing to be concerned about when climbing the Barranco Wall; just go gently and gradually. (From below, it appears worse than it is.)
When it rains, the mountain’s jungle area can become a little dangerous to go across. On summit day, when snow and ice cover the mountain’s summit, some climbers decide to put crampons on their shoes. But we don’t see them as necessary.
In spite of everything, Kilimanjaro is a straightforward climb. With the possible exception of the Barranco Wall, which you can avoid if you’d like by selecting a different path, none of the seven ways is any riskier than a typical hiking track, 2023-2024 Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Safety
Important to note: We like to emphasize how crucial it is to keep your hiking boots in your carry-on luggage so that you can continue to climb even if your luggage is delayed. Except for hiking boots, which must be broken in by the time you reach Kilimanjaro, Focus East Africa Tours can help you rent the majority of the equipment you’ll need.
Trekking poles: On a hike up Mount Kilimanjaro, trekking poles are practical and are frequently brought by climbers. Some individuals only bring their ski poles. First off, trekking poles can help you maintain your balance when the ground is rocky or uneven. Additionally, they can assist in relieving some of the downward pressure on your knees.
Sunscreen use: On Mount Kilimanjaro, it’s crucial that you protect yourself from the sun. You’re hiking to a high altitude where the sun is really intense. Snow can also make visible light stronger. Without suitable protection, the UV radiation at high altitudes can be quite harmful to your eyes.
To avoid glare coming from the sides into your eyes, we advise using wrap-around sunglasses. When you wish to remove your glasses and keep your hands free, a cord for your glasses may come in handy.
Sunglasses, like everything else you pack for Kilimanjaro, shouldn’t be brand new. To make sure they are comfy and not the kind that steam up easily, you should have hiked in them before.
Additionally, you must bring sweat-resistant, high-SPF sunscreen. A minimum SPF factor of 30 is advised. We also heartily advise using a lip balm with SPF. Too much sun exposure can quickly harm the skin and collagen in your lips (and the wind). Finally, a nice hat is essential for preventing sunburn on your face.
Clothing: Throughout the entire Kilimanjaro ascent, the weather will change. Trekking will take you across four different climate zones. At the mountain’s foot, the weather can be warm and tropical, while the summit can be extremely cold.
Therefore, it’s crucial that you are dressed appropriately so that you can add and remove layers as needed. For your ascent, a down jacket is especially vital. We provide appropriate down jacket rentals for your climb in order to enhance your safety and overall pleasure.
Include the proper base layers, insulating layers, and waterproof layers in your Kilimanjaro wardrobe. Our Kilimanjaro packing list includes a description of every piece of clothing you’ll need for a secure and comfortable hike, 2023-2024 Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Safety
Electrolyte tablets: Your tour company will supply all of your meals, beverages, and water while you are climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. At Focus East Africa Tours, that’s at least how we operate! However, electrolyte tablets and sports drink sachets are not something we offer.
Your Kilimanjaro packing list should include electrolytes in the form of electrolyte tablets or sports drink sachets that you may add to your personal water supply. They aid in replacing electrolytes depleted as a result of perspiration.
Our blood loses sodium when we perspire a lot, so it needs to be refilled. In fact, it might be harmful to drink a lot of plain water after a vigorous workout without also replacing your electrolytes.
When climbing Kilimanjaro, you don’t have to hydrate with water that has been electrolyte-enhanced all day. It’s a good idea to keep your hydration pack filled with plain water and alternately sip from an electrolyte-infused water bottle. A few oral rehydration salts can also be a good idea to pack in your toiletry bag in case you ever need them.
CHOOSING A QUALIFIED TOUR OPERATOR
For Kilimanjaro’s safety, all the topics we’ve mentioned in this post are crucial. However, the most important thing is to make the correct Kilimanjaro tour operator selection. Your climb may succeed or fail based on this choice. Seriously.
Your safety on the Kilimanjaro is our top priority at Focus East Africa Tours. Instead of only treating the symptoms of any illness, we try to address its underlying causes. The key is to prevent
We prefer to think of ourselves as a business that offers good value. At Focus East Africa Tours, we prioritize keeping the expense of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to a minimum while maintaining nutrition, safety, and high-quality gear.
Nutritious food and safe water: The success of your ascent depends on your regular consumption of wholesome meals. You must also have access to clean drinking water and maintain a healthy level of hydration throughout your walk, 2023-2024 Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Safety
Eating sufficient and nutritious food: For a successful ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro, it’s imperative that you consume enough wholesome meals. Your body is doing intensive exertion, so you must provide it with enough nourishment to prevent breakdown.
On the mountain, you are served hot beverages, snacks, and meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner by your Kilimanjaro cook. Others like to bring some of their favorite goodies from home to enjoy while on the hike. Even if you’re not hungry, we encourage that you try to eat all three of the meals that are offered. High on the mountain, it’s typical to lose one’s appetite. You are experiencing the consequences of the high altitude, which is why. But even if you don’t feel hungry, your body still needs food to function. Your body needs the food to stay strong and healthy because you are taking lengthy hikes every day.
SAFE DRINKING WATER
You receive all the water you require from your mountain crew, including water for drinking and cleaning. They gather it from the mountains’ lower streams and transport it up to the higher camps. Using purification tablets, the water that is intended for consumption is made clean. As a result, you can forget about worrying about bringing your own water purification tablets on the hike.
Every day, we advise taking a good, long drink at camp before setting out on the hike. You should also fill up your water bottle and hydration pack at this time. We recommend that you bring along a three-liter hydration pack in addition to a water bottle in our Kilimanjaro packing list because you are responsible for carrying your own drinking water on each day’s climb. We advise carrying a few flavor sachets that you can add to your own water supply if you don’t like the flavor of water that has been purified using tablets.
The secret to keeping healthy throughout your Mount Kilimanjaro climb/ walk is hydration. Here are some tips for staying hydrated when hiking.
- Do not wait until you are thirsty to consume drinks since, by the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Drink water frequently throughout the day.
- Drinking a cup or two of water before you leave camp in the mornings is a good idea. The first benefit is that you can keep all of the water in your hydration pack while hiking. Additionally, it will keep you from becoming dehydrated while hiking, which will keep you at your peak performance, 2023-2024 Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Safety
- Keep in mind that even after your day of trekking is complete, you should continue to consume water. To help your body replace its fluids, keep drinking. Additionally, always hydrate a little more than you think you need to because our bodies actually require less water than they do when we are thirsty. Also keep in mind that drinking water has the added benefit of easing altitude sickness symptoms. So drink up!
Kilimanjaro National Park is located essentially on the zone’s edge, with the majority of Tanzania falling within a recognized malaria zone. As a result, climbers of Mount Kilimanjaro must take care to avoid catching malaria.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM MALARIA?
Most foreigners visiting a malaria region adopt a two-pronged approach to malaria prevention:
They take anti-malaria medications: By donning long clothing, applying insect repellent, and sleeping under a mosquito net, they try to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes.
The good news is that since much of Kilimanjaro is too high and cold for mosquitoes, they are only a problem when climbing to and from the summit and while sleeping in the rainforest region. We always advise seeing your local doctor before visiting a malarial region and heeding his or her recommendations.
We take safeguarding you from COVID-19 extremely seriously since, as we’ve already stated, your safety is our main priority when you climb Kilimanjaro with us. Also keep in mind that if you decide to have a COVID-19 test while traveling with us in Tanzania, we will be pleased to organize it and accompany you to the closest hospital. We’ll arrange for us to obtain your results as well, 2023-2024 Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Safety
And lastly, keep in mind…
You should research the following before traveling to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro:
- Travel insurance
It’s crucial to know that we won’t take anyone who doesn’t have travel insurance up Kilimanjaro with us. Any credible Kilimanjaro trip company will tell you this.
Before scheduling your climb, it is advisable to address any pre-existing medical concerns with your doctor. Talk to them about the possible dangers of climbing Kilimanjaro and get their recommendations on the best way to prepare, possible medications to take, and other matters.
A sufficient supply of any prescription medication should be brought with you to Tanzania. Additionally, we advise that while on the mountain, you always carry these with you (versus having your luggage carried by a porter).
Last but not least, make sure you have any required immunizations before visiting Tanzania. There are no special vaccination requirements for entry into Tanzania in terms of immunizations. However, if you are coming from a place where there is a risk of yellow fever, be aware that the Tanzanian government will need confirmation of immunization upon arrival. If you haven’t already, we advise you to discuss receiving the following shots with your doctor:
- Hepatitis A and B
- Yellow fever
- Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
- Meningococcal meningitis (Africa and Asia)
OUR KILIMANJARO SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
- Because they assist more than 1,000 climbers annually, our guides have a great deal of experience preventing, recognizing, and treating altitude sickness.
- Our tour leaders perform twice-daily health checks using a pulse oximeter to track your heart rate and oxygen saturation.
- To help identify whether you have altitude sickness symptoms and how severe they are, our guides use the Lake Louise Scoring System (LLSS).
- Our tour guides hold Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification. They are equipped to make important medical and evacuation choices right away, 2023-2024 Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Safety
- On every climb, a member of our crew carries bottled oxygen that can be immediately administered to climbers experiencing mild to severe altitude sickness.
- On northern routes, our team carries a foldable stretcher to help climbers who need to descend but are unable to walk by themselves. There are various ways to use the park’s wheeled stretchers.
- For treating minor scrapes, cuts, and blisters, our staff members carry a first aid kit.
A lot of deaths and evacuations related to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro have recently occurred. It’s still debated whether it was because of ignorance, a lack of sufficient planning, or careless tour operators. However, if you plan ahead and take the proper precautions, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro need not be risky. In fact, you can greatly lower, if not completely eliminate, most hazards by doing so.
“Climb Kilimanjaro safely with us at Focus East Africa Tours, safety and quality safari tour is our first priority”