It goes without saying that trekking Kilimanjaro comes with obvious risks.
To ensure you are covered for all risks we have set out the main Kilimanjaro Travel Insurance considerations below and provided a nifty travel insurance calculator from adventure travel insurance experts, World Nomads.
Please note: We are not insurance experts. The considerations below are based on our personal experiences and research, and should not be construed as professional advice or recommendations. Please consult an insurance professional to decide which product is right for your travel needs and make sure you read the terms and conditions of the policy wording/description of coverage. It is ultimately your responsibility to decide if the policy you choose is right for you.
Travel Insurance for Climbing Kilimanjaro
First and foremost is the risk of high altitude trekking.
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and it’s severe forms, High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HACE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HAPE) are very real issues on Kilimanjaro. See our Kilimanjaro altitude sickness article.
You need to ensure that you are covered for high altitude trekking up to 6,000 meters. Most travel insurance providers do not include this under their standard packages and therefore it needs to be selected separately.
The insurance provider, World Nomads, offer a Sports / Adventure activities upgrade that includes hiking up to 6000m.
Important: most routes on Kilimanjaro are pure hiking paths. If you plan to do mountaineering with ropes etc (i.e. on the Western Breach), you will need to inform your insurance provider and this will likely double your premium. In the case of World Nomads, you would need to add ‘mountaineering’ to your cover.
Like AMS, general trekking accidents, like falls, rock slides and complications related to your health (i.e. heart conditions) whilst trekking are also a real concern on Kilimanjaro.
You need to ensure your policy covers accidents that can occur on the mountain, including the costs of evacuation and hospital coverage in Tanzania.
Off mountain illnesses and accidents
Tanzania is a developing country where illnesses like yellow fever and malaria are concerns.
Cover for any illnesses and accidents that can happen off the mountain should be included in your Kilimanjaro travel insurance coverage.
As a side note, you will need to have a yellow fever vaccination before arriving in Tanzania. In terms of malaria you will not be at risk whilst on the mountain (there are no mosquitoes above 1,800 meters) but you are at risk before and after your climb. You can take anti-malarial medication and we recommend you do so if you plan to travel in Tanzania before or after your trek.
Theft is also a concern. You will likely be carrying valuable items with you, including things like trekking poles, a sleeping bag, expensive trekking clothing and cameras. Your Kilimanjaro travel insurance needs to cover theft as well.
As a precaution we recommend using a small lock to secure your luggage.
Your coverage should also include insurance for trip interruption, cancellation and delay; lost, stolen and damaged baggage and financial tour operator default.
Below is a nifty calculator from World Nomads which you can use to get a Kilimanjaro travel insurance quote.
Once you click Get a Price you will be presented with two options, a ‘Standard’ and an ‘Explorer’ travel insurance policy.
For comprehensive cover we recommend the Explorer option.
Once you select your option you will have the chance to add Sports / Adventure activities that you plan to do on your adventure to Tanzania. You need to add hiking up to 6,000 meters.