Climbing Kilimanjaro is a once in a lifetime experience. But because Kili’s summit sits at 5,895 meters, risks associated with trekking the mountain are pretty high. For this reason alone you should definitely consider getting Kilimanjaro travel insurance. In this short article I have outlined what thing you need to look for in an insurance providers. You can read a much more detailed article on travel insurance for Kilimanjaro here – Kilimanjaro Travel Insurance
The biggest risk you face is altitude sickness, or acute mountain sickness. This occurs when you go to altitude too fast, and can be fatal. The incidence of altitude sickness on Kilimanjaro is rather high as the ascent profile is rapid and doesn’t give much time for acclimatization.
The type of insurance coverage that you need for Kili needs to cover you for trekking or hiking up to 6,000 meters. If it doesn’t cover you up to this altitude you will need to shop around for other providers who can help with a policy that does.
Three key things on the policy to look out for, over and above cover for trekking up to 6,000 meters are:
1. Emergency evacuation and medical cover: Should anything thing go wrong whilst on the mountain or indeed abroad in Tanzania, you will want to ensure that you policy covers you for emergency evacuation and medical cover. There is usually an excess on this and you may need to keep hospital receipts to prove the costs of treatment / emergency services
2. Theft: Theft is an obvious concern. You will be carry lots of valuable items, including your trekking clothing, a sleeping bag and audio visual equipment. Tanzania is a developing country where theft is a high possibility. Make sure you policy covers theft, loss and damage to baggage. The latter is a possibility in terms of baggage getting lost or damaged on your flight to or from Tanzania
3. Delay, interruptions, cancellation and financial default: Flight delays and interruptions are a common problem when travelling. This can inadvertently set back your trekking tour and cost you money. Moreover, flight cancellation or indeed tour cancellation due to illness ect does sometimes occur. Make sure that you are financially covered for these issues under your travel insurance policy. Finally, tour operator default occasionally happens – ensure your policy includes cover for this.
But in terms of an authoritative resource on travel insurance for Kilimanjaro I suggest reading this guys in-depth article: www.climbkilimanjaroguide.com/kilimanjaro-travel-insurance/
As always be safe and have fun!