Can I fly a drone on Mount Kilimanjaro?

Can I fly a drone on Mount Kilimanjaro? This is the question we frequently get asked by many people. Yes, we are aware that the drone footage is exceptional, and yes, we would love to see more aerial footage of Mount Kilimanjaro. However, you must first obtain special authorization from the Kilimanjaro National Park officials in order to deploy a drone on Mount Kilimanjaro.


“An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that can navigate autonomously or is guided remotely” is a typical definition for a drone. Drones can have cameras, GPS, navigational systems, and sensors and are constructed from a variety of lightweight composite materials. A drone is just a flying video camera. The cost of a drone varies widely, just like most other technologies. Nonetheless, a good drone will typically cost between $500 and $1,500.


In Tanzania, there are numerous regulations regarding drone use. Below is a list of the laws.

  • Drone flight requires a specific permit from the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority. Drones under 7 kg (15.5 pounds) are exempt and do not need a permit.
  • Within 3 km (2 miles) of any domestic airport and 5 km (3 miles) of any international airport, drones are not permitted to be flown.
  • The maximum altitude for drones is 121 meters (400 feet).
  • The pilot must always have a clear line of sight to the drones.
  • All drone operations in Tanzania must have insurance.
  • Drone flights must take place during the day.
  • Without the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority’s and the relevant local body of government’s special approval, drones may not be flown over cities, towns, or other populated areas.
  • National parks may not be flown over by drones (more below).


Drone use in Kilimanjaro National Park and all other national parks is forbidden, according to Tanzania’s regulatory authorities. That includes the animal parks that we frequently visit on our safaris, such as the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.

A pilot’s license, drone insurance, a specific license from the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority, clearance from the Ministry of Defense, and National Service are all requirements for lawfully operating a drone in Tanzania. To put it another way, lawfully using a drone in a national park is a drawn-out process.

Can I fly a drone on Mount Kilimanjaro?
Can I fly a drone on Mount Kilimanjaro?


You might be wondering how others have captured footage of Mount Kilimanjaro using a drone. To obtain the approval, they either jumped through all the hoops of Kilimanjaro using a drone. To obtain the approval, they either jumped through all the hoops. Perhaps they committed a crime. Some guides could feel under pressure to let customers do anything they want. For a bribe, of course, some park rangers may turn a blind eye. Our business is unwilling to take the risk.

Never ever consider using a drone without authorization. The rangers will take it away from you, fine you, and fine our guides if you are seen flying one. You are inviting trouble. Regardless of the law, you shouldn’t use a drone. To escape the clamor and bustle of urban life, many walk outside. Drones are annoying and noisy. They might annoy both people and animals.


And now for the tale of the first drone to fly near the summit of Kilimanjaro. A quadcopter, or drone with four rotor blades, has arrived just below Kilimanjaro’s summit. Cheetah Air created the quadcopter Kilimanjaro drone specifically to track the progress of a group as they scaled the mountain from February 17 to February 25, 2015. Edan Cain, the company’s CTO, constructed two drones’ on-site using parts he had packed in his backpack.


Eddie Frank, who has climbed Kilimanjaro 51 times in the past 39 years and has formerly worked closely with US Special Forces as a high altitude training adviser, led the trekkers who utilized the Kilimanjaro drone on behalf of the Kilimanjaro Climb for Valor. Two Special Forces soldiers who are currently serving, as well as two workers’ families, were among the climbers.

Duskin and Stephens, a charity that supports the families of dead Special Forces men, benefited from the sponsored ascent that was accompanied by a Kilimanjaro drone flying overhead. The charity bears the names of two members of the Special Forces who were killed in action in Afghanistan in 2012 by small-weapons fire: Chief Warrant Officer “Big Mike” Duskins, 42, and Sergeant First Class Riley Stephens, 38, Can I fly a drone on Mount Kilimanjaro?.

The Kilimanjaro drone got as high as 19,000 feet, which is not far from the mountain’s 19,341-foot summit. Although the summit was the original destination, Cain stated that this was not attempted because “the winds had really kicked up” and the weather changed. His justification was that “discretion, which is the greater part of valor, truly applied in this circumstance.”


In addition to assisting the climbers, Cheetah Air conducted ground-breaking high-altitude research in the middle of 30 mph gusts and a five-degree Fahrenheit temperature. “We went knowing that the drones would be pushed to their absolute breaking point in this harsh environment,” Cain continued. He expressed his satisfaction with the results, saying that “it was hugely exciting to see it work, and work well, considering the highest we had tested it in California was 9,500 feet.” He promised the world that Cheetah would return in the future with “an even more powerful craft and Mother Nature’s support.”

The business claimed that the lessons learned from the Kilimanjaro drone project had been priceless and had brought it closer to its goal of utilizing quadcopters to help search-and-rescue efforts and carry medicine to climbers in need. Drones can also be used for product delivery, precision farming, and pipeline monitoring.

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