Climbing Kilimanjaro is one of the most exciting things you can do. The memories you gain from taking the adventure of a lifetime is simply indescribable. However, while many get lost in the dream of travel, the practicalities of protecting yourself during the trip by purchasing travel insurance must not be overlooked.
Although nobody likes to believe that anything may go wrong during their journey, having travel insurance gives you the peace of mind to know that you will be able to get the treatment you need should you fall ill or succumb to injury.
Climbing Kilimanjaro increases your risk of accidents and illness. You will need a good insurance that covers your overseas medical expenses and emergency evacuation, including for higher risk activities such as high altitude trekking. So below, we have included our top travel insurance tips for Kilimanjaro climbers.
You can find more information about preparing for your journey on our Climb Kilimanjaro Experience page.
What are the other benefits of travel insurance?
Insurance can also cover you if you need to cancel your trip for any reason. Even a short trip can leave you out of pocket if you are unable to travel, so it is important to take out a policy that covers you in the event of a cancellation. It goes without saying that you will definitely need travel insurance if you are doing anything that has a slightly higher risk profile – such as climbing Kilimanjaro.
In case you are wondering whether you can really afford the additional expense of travel insurance, here are 2 compelling reasons why it should not be overlooked:
Financial protection: If you do have to cancel your trip for any reason or you get sick or injured while you are abroad, the last thing you want to worry about is being left with a huge bill or worse – not being able to pay for your treatment. Most tour operators will not refund you if you cancel after a certain period of time, so it is advisable to purchase travel insurance as soon as you have booked your trip. There will also be other non-refundable costs associated with your trip, such as airline tickets and other items.
Safety: Climbing Kilimanjaro increases your risk of accidents and illness. You will need a good insurance that covers your overseas medical expenses and emergency evacuation, including for higher risk activities such as high altitude trekking.
Which travel insurance provider should you book with?
There are so many things to consider when you are booking your insurance. For example, each provider will have their own terms and conditions and some providers offer specialist coverage for specific activities, such as mountain climbing.
You may also have a number of questions about what type of cover you should get and whether you should use separate insurers for different types of claims. Other common questions revolve around how to save costs and whether credit cards will insure against any risks.
Well, we’ve done all the hard work for you and concluded that World Nomads provides the most comprehensive and affordable coverage for travellers to Africa.
Get your quote now:
Why do we recommend World Nomads?
There are many reasons to take out insurance with World Nomads, and we’ve listed the top eight.
- Trusted reliable underwriters
WorldNomads.com is backed by a suite of strong, secure, specialist travel insurers who provide you with great cover, 24 hour emergency assistance and the highest levels of support and claims management when you need it most.
- Value for money with the cover you need
WorldNomads.com provides cover for what’s important for travellers from 140 countries. By focusing on what you need and leaving out what you don’t, World Nomads prices are some of the most competitive online.
- Flexibility when you need it most
Had a change of plans? You can buy more cover or claim online while you are still away. You can even buy a World Nomads policy if you’re already travelling.
- Cover for a range of adventure activities
From skiing & snowboarding in New Zealand to whitewater rafting in Colorado, WorldNomads.com covers a range of adventure activities, giving you peace of mind to get the most from your travels.
- World Nomads keeps you travelling safely
All WorldNomads.com members have access to up-to-date travel safety alerts, as well as travel safety advice and tips online through the World Nomads Travel Safety Hub.
- More than just great value travel insurance
All WorldNomads.com members can learn the local lingo through a series of iPod & iPhone Language Guides and can stay in touch with family and friends with an online travel journal.
- Commitment to exceptional customer service
We want to make sure you get the most from WorldNomads.com. You can find out more about why travel insurance is important for your trip. If you have any questions about your travel insurance or travel safety in general, please contact WorldNomads.com directly.
- Excellent reviews
World Nomads has had good reviews compared to other insurance providers. One of the most famous travel bloggers in the world – Nomadic Matt has consistently recommended them, because of their comprehensive coverage.
Special recommendations for travellers climbing Kilimanjaro
Once you've booked your Kilimanjaro climb, if not sooner, it is important that you take these steps:
1. Take out travel insurance
Travel insurance is mandatory to participate in climbs booked via Fair Voyage (read more here). To protect your financial investment in case of cancellation due to illness or other unforeseen changes, it is best to take out your insurance (that should cover cancellations) as soon as you've booked your Tour. We recommend the travel insurance by World Nomads which has good coverage at affordable prices. You can easily apply for it online within few minutes (get it now).
2. Book your flight
To maximize your chances of finding a convenient & affordable flight, it's best to book your flight as soon as you've booked your climb. Kilimanjaro International Airport is conveniently located within 20-60 minutes drive of most hotels in Moshi and Arusha, which are both commonly used as a base to climb Kilimanjaro. It is best to arrive at least 2 nights before the start of your climb and to depart a day after you finish your climb. If constrained by time, it is also possible – but not recommendable – to arrive on the evening prior to the start of your climb, and to depart on the evening of your last climbing day.
3. Make sure your passport will be valid for 6 months
To enter Tanzania, you will need a visa. To obtain a visa, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of your entry to Tanzania. Check your passport's expiry date. If required, make sure to apply for a new passport well ahead of your trip.
4. Obtain an electronic visa or pack enough cash
Visas can be obtained upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport and other major entry points, including the Tarakea border when crossing by road from Kenya. Visas on arrival must be paid for in cash (US$100 for US citizens and US$50 for most other nationals). End 2018, Tanzania also launched an electronic visa service – apply for your visa here. As of mid July, the online visa process is not yet always working smoothly. If you experience issues, you may prefer to obtain your visa on arrival. After the current introductory period, however, it is expected that Tanzania will phase out visas on arrival and make electronic visas mandatory. The exact date for this transition is not yet known.
5. Get a health check & required vaccinations
It is important that you are in good physical health. If you are at increased risk due to age, level of fitness, or health condition, you must get a medical check and confirm with your doctor that strenuous exercise in high altitude is permissible for your condition. Please also check all required & recommended vaccinations and medications for travelling to Tanzania. As some vaccinations may need to be administered over longer periods of time to become effective, it is best to consult your medical expert well in advance of travelling to Tanzania.
6. Fill in the Traveller Details Form
Please fill in the Traveller Details Form for each person in your booking and send it back to us and your local Tour Operator as soon as possible prior to the start of your Tour. This allows your local Operator to prepare your Tour (including your arrival and departure arrangements; as well as any dietary, medical or other requirements they should be a aware of), and to ensure that we have all your details for emergencies.
7. Start to train
It is never too soon to start your training.
The best training you can do to prepare for your mount Kilimanjaro climb is hiking. Running, swimming and cycling are all very good exercises but what you will be doing on Kilimanjaro is hiking.
You will need to condition your body to walk in ascension, over uneven terrain for long periods.
If you live in an area with hiking trails and mountains, this is a great opportunity to practice. If you live in a city or somewhere flat, taking stairs instead of elevators and targeted muscle exercises are excellent practice.
8. Organize all required gear, documents, medications, etc.
Organizing your gear can be a very time-consuming process. It is best to review our recommended packing list and start thinking about how to organize any missing items as soon as you've booked your climb. Most gear can be rented locally, which is a cost-effective and environmentally friendlier alternative to buying new gear. Please check with us for a full list of items available locally.
9. Be aware of all risks, notably altitude sickness and malaria
It is important that you familiarize yourself with all risks involved with your tour and travels to Tanzania. The biggest risk for Kilimanjaro climbers is altitude sickness. Another risk when travelling to Tanzania is malaria. Please familiarize yourself thoroughly with all the risks involved so that you can take adequate precautions.
10. Carefully read your pre-climb briefing
Please carefully read our pre-climb briefing. Your local Tour Operator may also provide you with their own pre-climb briefing. Please carefully also read their documents. If in doubt about any information, please don't hesitate to contact us.