Climb Kilimanjaro strongly advise that you to visit your GP or local travel clinic as soon as possible after booking your trip to Tanzania. They will be able to provide you with all the relevant information you will require and the necessary vaccinations or other preventive measures; (such as malaria tablets or Diamox) for your Kilimanjaro trek.
You should to be prepared to pay for the majority of these treatments as the vaccinations you will be provided with on the NHS will vary. Further information about travel health can be obtained from the NHS website.
Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes and is endemic to Tanzania. You may find yourself at risk in almost every part of the country; although this risk is diminished at altitudes above 6,561 feet / 2,000 metres. Care should always be taken between sunset and sunrise, especially during the rainy season. Always sleep under a treated net; wear trousers and closed footwear, and use an effective repellent. Your hotel in Moshi does have mosquito nets in all their rooms. You should check the nets are free of holes and contact reception if you have any issues.
Yellow fever is an epidemic arbours disease spread by the Adedes mosquito. Travellers entering Tanzania from areas with risk of yellow fever transmission areas such as neighbouring African countries are required to provide a yellow fever vaccination certificate. See the Tanzanian Government website for more details. As some countries list Tanzania as a Yellow Fever endemic country you may also be asked for a certificate after departing Tanzania and arriving at other destinations. Basic Swine Flu checks are carried out at the main points of entry to Tanzania.
When you are considering what vaccinations to have prior to your trip you may want to discuss the following with your GP or travel health clinic:
Cholera is an acute infection of the small intestine caused by the Vibrio cholera bacterium which causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea. The disease is transmitted through contaminated food and water and travellers should therefore practice strict food, water and personal hygiene precautions.
Diphtheria is an acute, highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheria which is spread from person to person by coughing and sneezing.
Hepatitis A & B
Hepatitis A is an inflammation of the liver transmitted through contaminated food and drink.
Hepatitis B is an inflammation of the liver transmitted through infected blood or blood products.
Meningococcal Meningitis (ACWY)
Rabies is an acute virus of the central nervous system spread by bites from any infected mammal e.g bays, dogs, cats, foxes and racoons.
Some of the medicines that you may want to consider taking in your first aid kit are listed below. We would recommend that you discuss these and any other medication for Kilimanjaro with your GP especially as some of these; such as Acetazolamide (Diamox) will require a prescription.
Analgesics (pain killers)
Ibuprofen/Nurofen is effective at relieving altitude induced headaches.
Hydrocortizone creams are steroids which can be used to treat inflammation following an insect bite or sting. Oral anti-histamines are also useful in the treatment of insect bites and stings as well as seasonal allergies such as hay fever.
Loperamide hydrochloride (Immodium) is good for the treatment of diarrhoea; we would also recommend taking diaorrylite sachets as they can be used to replace body fluids lost as a result of diarrhoea.
Altitude sickness medicine (Diamox)
Acetazolamide (diamox) is used for the treatment and prevention of altitude sickness; diamox does not mask the symptoms altitude sickness but actually helps to treat the problem. Side effects of taking diamox include; tingling of fingers, toes and face. Carbonated drinks tasting flat. Increased urination and occasionally blurred vision. It would be advisable to take a trial course prior to going to Kilimanjaro as any severe allergic reactions are easier to treat here than at a remote location.
Sterile eye drops
These may be useful if you get dust or grid in your eyes.
Anti-malarial prophylaxis medicine
You will need to consult your General Practitioner or travel clinic about malaria prophylaxis.
Mosquito sprays and creams
These will not be required on Kilimanjaro due to the altitude, but will be required before and after your ascent. It is advisable to have some “protection” against the Anopheles mosquito. Products containg diethyl toluamide (DEET) is recommended as the most effective form of bite-preventive treatment.
We recommend taking creams with a high SPF (30+) as the sun near the equator is very strong.
Kilimanjaro Medical Facilities
Medical facilities in areas of Tanzania outside of Dar es Salam are limited. The Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in Moshi is the nearest hospital providing Anaesthesia, Child Health and Paediatrics, Dental Care and Oral Hygiene, Ear – Nose – Throat, Eye -Ophalmology, General Surgery, Gynaecology/Obstetrics, Internal Medicine, Dermatology, Orthopaedics, Urology, Casualty & Emergency Medicine.
There are also medical facilities at; Mount Meru Government Hospital, Arusha and Selian Lutheran Hospital – Arusha
This page is for the purpose of providing general information about potential health issues related to visiting Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. This is not a medical guide and should not used as such. We strongly recommended all travellers’ should consult with a health professional for specific information related to your travel. Kilimanjaro Expeditions cannot accept any liability for injury, loss or damage arising in any respect of any statement contained therein.