Can I Climb Kilimanjaro During the Coronavirus Pandemic? COVID-19 in Tanzania (Updated May 18, 2020)
On May 17, 2020, Tanzania’s President John Magufuli announced that there would be no more restrictions against travelers coming to the country. He called for the airlines to resume flights into Tanzania immediately.
Previously, the government subjected foreigners to a mandatory 14 day quarantine, effectively eliminating tourism for the East African destination for mountain climbing and safaris. This measure has now been lifted.
The high season for tourists normally begins in July and lasts until October. However, it is estimated that the country will experience a 76% drop in visitors this year due to the novel coronavirus. Employment in the tourism industry is expected to fall from 623,000 jobs to 146,000 jobs.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism released National Standard Operating Procedures for management of the COVID-19 threat. The comprehensive seven page document detailed the rules put in place to continue operations while at the same time protecting visitors.
Some of the items included in the procedures include:
- thermal screening for arriving passengers
- all contact surfaces are cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis
- staff members must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when attending to guests and servicing guest areas
- hand washing and sanitizing facilities must be provided to guests and staff
- staff members should maintain a distance from one another and from guests
Our staff on Mount Kilimanjaro are required to take extra precautions when packing, transporting, and preparing food and equipment for climbers. PPE will be worn by staff when interacting with guests. The number of staff who interact with guests and the frequency of those interactions will also be limited accordingly.
As long as our clients feel comfortable to travel here, we are prepared to serve them. We believe that the new standard operating procedures will be effective in minimizing the risk of infections on the mountain and during safari.
For clients who would like to follow social distancing with other climbers, we offer single tents on the mountain and single rooms on safari or in town. Meals can also be eaten in the sleeping tent versus the community mess tent if desired.