Mount Kilimanjaro is a safe place to take a hike, although there have been some deaths almost every year. There are several causes of these deaths, and in this article, we are going to look at what could cause death on Mount Kilimanjaro and how to avoid them.

Mount Kilimanjaro experiences two seasons, the dry and wet seasons, and has unique zones as you go higher, including the rainforest zone, the low alpine zone, the high alpine zone, and the glacial zone. The weather keeps changing with a zone change, so it is better if you are ready for the drastic changes.

What causes Kilimanjaro deaths?

The main cause of death on Mount Kilimanjaro is altitude sickness, although there are other illnesses like heart attacks. We always advise our clients to ask their doctors, especially if they have underlying health issues, before attempting to get to the summit to avoid deaths. Altitude sickness, on the other hand, is when the body fails to adjust to the ever-reducing levels of oxygen as you go higher. Some medications can be used to reduce the symptoms, but in case they become severe, the guides have the right to evacuate you before the situation worsens.

How many people have died while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

Almost every mountain in the world has deaths, and the documented deaths along Mount Kilimanjaro are approximately 3 to 10 from over 300,000 people who attempt to climb to the summit. Unlike other mountains, especially Mount Everest, where it is hard to evacuate people, it is very easy to evacuate hikers by helicopter on Mount Kilimanjaro, reducing deaths, and that is also why you won’t find any dead bodies along the mountain.

It is not easy to tell the exact number since some deaths are not documented, especially for the locals, but just continue keeping safe, and you will enjoy one of the best views when you get to the Uhuru peak.

How to stay safe while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

Mount Kilimanjaro Evacuation AmbulanceOccupation hazards happen everywhere in the world, and the same applies to Mount Kilimanjaro. Some of how you can avoid tragic moments like death include the following:

Drink lots of water to keep hydrated while on the mountain. Forget about going to the toilet all the time because keeping hydrated is key to staying alive since you keep changing zones with the altitude, and it also helps in preventing altitude sickness.

Your hike guides and the whole mountain crew are always on alert to make sure that you are safe, so in case you start feeling sick, we advise that you inform them immediately for a solution.

The higher you go, the cooler it becomes, and that is why you need to pack warm clothes to avoid hypothermia. The warm clothes also extend to the mountain crew, including porters and guides, so make sure that you use a reputable company that cares about the needs of their staff.

Take each step one at a time, and just like the guides usually tell hikers, “pole-pole,” meaning slowly, slowly. When you walk slowly, you give your body a better chance to acclimatize to the low levels of oxygen and the high altitude.

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In conclusion, even though there are deaths on the mountain, they do not happen every day, and the only way you can avoid this is by staying safe. Do not let a few statistics deter you from getting to the highest point on the African continent as long as you keep safe and follow all the rules given by the guides.

This is an extremely hard question to answer because every person has their own opinions, but in this article, we are going to look at some of the reasons why you should visit Tanzania and get to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. The moment you set foot on the mountain, you go through the five climatic zones. Arrival at most camps is always before sunset, and you get to enjoy warm meals prepared by trained cooks, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner because you will be starving after the hike. The first two days are almost similar with a slight change in zones, and the best day, known as the summit day, is brutal but still worth it.

Trekking through the different zones of Kilimanjaro

One of the attractions as you climb Mount Kilimanjaro is the beautiful scenery that keeps changing as you go higher. Hikers go through the rainforest, which is the first zone on the mountain, through the moorlands and Alpine Desert to the Arctic, the last zone that marks the topmost part of the mountain. Every zone on Kilimanjaro comes with its unique characteristics, making the journey an entertaining discovery throughout your hike.

The rainforest zone has thick, tall trees that are home to numerous wildlife species, including black and white colobus monkeys. The Kilimanjaro hiking trails through the rainforest are muddy and slippery, and we advocate for the use of gaiters and trekking poles.

The moorland is the next zone after going through the thick rainforests, and it will take you through the shrubs and the giant senecios, which can only be found in East Africa. You start to notice the vegetation becoming sparse when you get to the moorlands.

The next zone is the Alpine desert, where all life forms, including animals and plants, disappear and you are faced with a harsh landscape.

The Arctic zone is the last one found at the summit. You get to witness the sunrise from a strategic point at the peak and also stand at the highest point on the African continent.

Taking a photo at Uhuru Peak

The Uhuru Peak point is marked by a wooden sign, and taking a photo to mark the successful climb is necessary. It is a memorable snap that captures your resilience in climbing through the different zonal changes and making it to the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and in Africa.

The Seven Summit Challenge

Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the seven summits (the seven summits are the tallest mountains on each of the continents). There is a thrill one gets from scaling the seven summits, and the good news is that you can still climb Mount Kilimanjaro even when you do not have any experience.

The legendary glaciers

Mount Kilimanjaro has two famous glaciers near the summit, and they have been around for over 11,000 years, although they are currently reducing in size, and it is believed that they will keep on shrinking with time. The two glaciers known as the Ratzel and Rebmann glaciers offer warmth from the cold for hikers trekking to the summit, and by putting a climb to Kilimanjaro on your to-do list, you will be among the people to see the glaciers before they completely melt.

Exploring Africa

Mt Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania, and you can combine a Kilimanjaro climb with other safari destinations both within Tanzania and in the rest of Africa. Some of the destinations you get to check out include Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Kilimanjaro National Park, among others.

Kili climb is not an easy climb but if we are as you get to face a lot of challenges like headaches, shortness of breath, nausea, and tiredness at the end of the day when you are at the highest point of the mountain (Uhuru peak), all these will be worth it and some can be avoided like the nausea and shortness of breath, all you need to do is take easy and slow paced steps (note there is no rush in getting to the peak).

We find the uniqueness of Mount Kilimanjaro an experience that everyone should get, and to answer the question of whether Kilimanjaro is worth the climb, yes, we certainly believe that it is worth the climb.

The Mount Kilimanjaro Climb should never be underestimated because it is not an easy climb, but this is not the case with most climbers who think it is just a walkover. Preparation is key if you plan on climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Carry out enough research, ask all the necessary questions, and make sure that you choose the best tour operator. Almost 50% of the climbers make it to the summit, whereas thousands are evacuated for various reasons. To answer the question, yes, it is safe to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, but only if you are educated on the risks and how to avoid them.

Kilimanjaro Climbing is not without risks and considered dangerous. Approximately 10 people pass away while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, while more than a thousand others are evacuated by the authorities for various reasons. Land evacuation is the responsibility by Kilimanjaro National Park personnel while air evacuation is available from a private helicopter evacuation services.

Safety overview on Mount Kilimanjaro

When climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, safety always comes first, because if it is not the top priority, hikers might stop attempting the Kilimanjaro summit. Safety in this instance means a lot of things, including the type of clothes, equipment, good meals, proper accommodation, choosing the best route, and hiking with experienced guides.

Food on Mount Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro is not an easy climb, which means that you need to eat properly and get enough food into your system to be able to effectively continue with the climb. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are prepared by the cooks and served hot, and you can carry your favorite snacks as well.

Choosing the best route

Mount Kilimanjaro has seven routes that are all used to get to the summit, but only a few of these offer proper and better acclimatization. The Shira route has a high starting point altitude, offering poor acclimatization; the Umbwe and Lemosho routes also have a low summit success rate, and climbers don’t have better acclimatization, whereas the Northern Circuit, Lemosho, and Machame routes offer better acclimatization.

Another better way of quickly adjusting to the high altitude is by climbing high and sleeping low, although not all routes offer this. The Marangu, Rongai, and Umbwe routes don’t have this offer, but Lemosho, Machame, and the Northern Circuit do. Climbing high and sleeping low simply means you climb to a higher altitude and hike down to a lower altitude for the night to let the body adjust accordingly to the ever-changing altitude and reduced levels of oxygen.

Acute Mountain Sickness

Hikers who take on places with high altitudes are always prone to getting acute mountain sickness, which can also be referred to as altitude sickness. It is mainly caused by the body failing to get used to the low levels of oxygen found at high altitudes, and most hikers will experience it at some point while hiking up Mount Kilimanjaro. The symptoms of altitude sickness include fatigue, nausea, abnormal sleeping patterns, headaches, shortness of breath, and loss of appetite. If your symptoms are mild, then you are good to go, but if they become more serious, the only solution is to descend the mountain.

One of the most commonly prescribed drugs used to prevent altitude sickness is Diamox, also known as Acetazolamide. Diamox helps in increasing the breathing rate, thereby preventing altitude sickness for whoever has taken it.

Travel Insurance for Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is over 5895 meters high, and if you plan on climbing the mountain, make sure that you have travel insurance because no reputable company will work with you if you do not have it. Discuss the risks you will be taking by hiking, the existing medical conditions if you have any, and any potential threats that might arise. Make sure that the travel insurance you get covers medical, lost luggage, evacuation, and cancellations.

Malaria on Mount Kilimanjaro

Tanzania is located in a malaria zone, which means that Kilimanjaro hikers will need to take all the necessary precautions to avoid malaria. We advise that you visit your local doctor to get antimalarial drugs and follow their advice on what to do. Other ways of preventing malaria, especially in the rainforest zone, are by wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers, using insect repellent, and sleeping in a treated mosquito net.

Safe drinking water

Safe drinking water is provided by the crew throughout your journey. The water is carried by the crew from the lower parts of the mountain to the different camps. The water is used both as drinking water and for cleaning. Purifying tablets are used to make drinking water safe, and in case you don’t like the taste of the tablets, there are different flavors of water that you can use. You should also note that no one will carry your drinking water in the hydration pack or water bottle, which you must fill before leaving the camp.

When it comes to hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro, hydration is key because if you are dehydrated, you will not make it to the summit. We always tell our clients to carry at least 3-liter water bottles for the hike, take two to three cups of water before leaving the camp, and not stop taking water even after the hike. The higher you go, the more water you should take since it helps in alleviating altitude sickness, and do not mind about the constant urination (this can be done in the nearby bushes).

Climbing equipment

The climbing equipment used on Mount Kilimanjaro is provided by the tour operator, who does an inspection a day before the climb. Equipment provided includes sleeping tents (if you are not using the Marangu route), chairs, tables, cooking equipment, trekking poles, and sleeping mats, among others.

Trekking poles:

The trekking poles are a necessity when it comes to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro because of the valleys, the steep slopes, and the rocks, which are sometimes slippery, especially in the rainforest zone and when descending the mountain. The poles also help by keeping the pressure off your legs and knees during the descending period.

An oximeter:

Kilimanjaro Health SafetyA pulse oximeter is used to test the levels of oxygen in one’s blood during the climb, and it is placed on the climber’s fingertip.

First-aid kit:

The kit is used to treat minor injuries and must have all the necessary medicines and items to clean blisters, cuts, and other illnesses that are not serious.

Bottled oxygen

Bottled oxygen is rarely used and is only carried as a precaution. The main treatment and solution for severe altitude sickness are descending, and this works for all the different routes used to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.


The weather keeps changing the higher you go, and the types of clothes that you should carry should include both light-layered and warm clothes. The light-layered clothes are for when the weather is warm; the warm clothes help with the ever-fluctuating cold weather, and you will also need some waterproof clothing as well. (Note that the clothes should be long-sleeved shirts and trousers.) Footwear is also important, and it should be waterproof, worn in, have good traction to prevent slipping, and fit well. Do not bring new hiking boots because they will not be suitable and you do not want to put on ill-fitting shoes, causing blisters on your feet.

Sun protection

There are lots of sunscreen types on the market to help with the sun, and our advice is that you get sweat-resistant sunscreen and do not forget a sunhat as well.

Climbing with experienced guides

Trained and experienced guides are part and parcel when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and we always make sure that all our staff is experienced to safely take you to the summit and back. They are trained to deal with altitude sickness, offer first aid, and also have the necessary skills to make an emergency evacuation when necessary. Guides and the mountain crew are your support system throughout your hike, and you must use someone you are comfortable with so as not to put your life at risk.


There are no specific vaccination requirements needed to enter Tanzania, but a yellow fever vaccination book will be required. And just to be on the safe side, talk to your doctor about the different vaccinations, especially hepatitis A and B, tetanus, polio, meningitis, typhoid, measles, mumps, and rubella, among others.

Choosing a registered and qualified tour operator

Finally, the most important thing you need to do to keep safe while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is to get a trusted and local tour operator who follows all the above-mentioned aspects. We value your safety and promise that you will get value for your money. Avoid getting companies that are too good to be true because you might be scammed, and by choosing a good tour operator, you will have a safe climb with an operator who has extensive knowledge about Mount Kilimanjaro and a head guide who is well-trained in all aspects.

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and with the large crowds attempting the climb every year, it is best to note that this is not just a walk in the park and you need to be well prepared for the climb. Things that you need to know about Mount Kilimanjaro before climbing include the following.

Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain (free-standing) in the world. It is 5,895 meters high and as with most mountains that are part of other mighty ranges, Kilimanjaro is an isolated mountain which allows you to see it from an extremely far away distance.

It is a cod place! Know how the internet and people keep on saying that Africa is hot, well when you get to Mount Kilimanjaro, the cold that hits you is different because the moment that you get there and start elevation, the temperature keeps on dropping automatically. During the day, the sun is up and it is a bit warm as compared to the nights and that is why we advise tourists to carry both warm and light clothes for the hike.

Over 2500 people attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro per year and only two thirds are successful. One of the main reasons why many people fail to get to the summit is because of the altitude sickness that forces them to descend. Note that altitude sickness is real and extremely dangerous, meaning that it needs to be taken care of with immediate effect. What to know Kilimanjaro climbing

Mount Kilimanjaro is not an extinct volcano but a stratovolcano, which means that the mountain is filled with rock, ash, and lava. A volcano is considered dormant if it has not erupted in over 100,000 years, and the same applies to Kibo. The last eruption on Mount Kilimanjaro was about 360,000 years ago, and climbers who take the two-hour trip around the ash pit from the crater camp get to experience the smell of sulphur when around the ash pit.

Kilimanjaro has three extinct volcanic cones: Shira (about 3962 meters high), Kibo (5895 meters), and Mawenzi (5149 meters).

The first attempt at climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was made in 1889 by Hans Mayer, a German geologist, Kinyala Yohani Lauwo, the local guide, and an Australian named Ludwig Purtscheller. The first attempt, however, was not successful because they encountered lots of snow and ice walls, which forced them to descend. Meyer tried a second time but was still not successful after being captured by the locals who were rebelling against the Germans during the Abushiri Revolt. The third successful attempt was in the year 1889, and this time Meyer attempted with the help of two local tribe leaders, a local guide, a cook, and nine porters who reached the summit from the southern side of the crater via the current Marangu route.

Any person, regardless of their age, can climb Mount Kilimanjaro, as the different old people aged 86 years in 2015 (Angela Vorobeva), 88 years in 2007 (Fred Distelhorst at the Uhuru peak), and 89 years in 2017 (Anne Lorimor) have shown. The National Park Authority has set a minimum age of 10 years for hikers up Kilimanjaro. Coaltan Tanner has so far been the youngest hiker on Kilimanjaro since his parents made a special request and obtained permission.

Mount Kilimanjaro has seven official routes that can be used to reach the summit, and climbers can use any of these routes. Note that some of these routes are not favourable, and you need to check our website about the best routes for hiking Mount Kilimanjaro. The southern routes include Umbwe, Machame, and Marangu; the northern routes include Rongai; and the western routes include the Northern Circuit, which starts from the west and circles around the North; and the Lemosho and Shira routes.

All the main routes on Mount Kilimanjaro end up at the main base camps where the summit attempt begins. There are three main routes to the summit, and these are the Western Breach, which is the most technical from the west, Stella Point from the south, and Gillman’s Point from the south (this is the most used route).

Mount Kilimanjaro has five major zones, and this is due to the fact that it lies along the equator. The journey up the mountain is like taking a walk from the equator to the North Pole. The different zones along Mount Kilimanjaro include the rainforest zone, low alpine zone, high alpine zone, and glacial zone.

Book through a local tour company to get an authentic and great experience while hiking. The Tanzanian government clearly stipulates that you must be able to hire a local guide to be able to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Locally registered companies know the ins and outs of the mountain and the best routes to use, and for an additional cost, you can take an exclusive safari to the different national parks in Tanzania.

Make sure that you do not limit your budget when it comes to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. The fact is that you will not find a trip below $1000, but it can go as high as $3000 or more. The fee usually includes transport, food, and accommodation, excluding personal purchases and international flights. And as you plan for the climb, please do not forget to tip the porters. Bring between $400 and $500 in cash (it is better if it is in Tanzanian shillings), as the wages paid help the porters support their families.

With a good mountain guide, you will be able to achieve acclimatization as long as you take it slowly. Hikers respond differently to altitude, with some facing severe sickness as their bodies find difficulty adjusting to the pressure. You will often hear guides say “pole-pole” which is loosely translated as “slowly-slowly (this is to make sure that you achieve acclimatization at your own pace without falling sick).

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Do not forget your gear; carry all the necessary medications and a first aid kit; and if possible, pay for an optional bathroom that will be located outside your tent.

When is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro?

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