What is Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, located in Tanzania, standing tall at an impressive 5,895 metres. It’s also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, and is incredibly popular with climbers all over the world. However, despite its extreme popularity, Kilimanjaro has claimed several lives and continues to be a challenging climb for those who attempt it.
How Many People Have Died on Kilimanjaro
The exact number of people who have died on Kilimanjaro is unknown, however, it’s estimated that at least 100 people have perished on the mountain since 1910. It’s believed that most of the deaths that occur on Kilimanjaro are due to medical problems or altitude sickness, with many of the deaths occurring above 4,000 metres.
The most recent tragedy occurred in 2014, when a group of Japanese hikers were swept up in an avalanche that killed five of them. Local police believe that the avalanche was caused by a rockfall, which is probably why the majority of deaths on Kilimanjaro over the last century have been due to environmental and altitude-related hazards.
Why Do People Die on Kilimanjaro
One of the most common causes of death on Kilimanjaro is altitude sickness. This is a medical condition which is caused by the lack of oxygen in the air, at higher altitudes. As you climb higher and higher, the oxygen levels drop and the pressure from the atmosphere increases, which can cause health problems for climbers.
Altitude sickness can range from headaches and fatigue to more serious conditions such as pulmonary edema and cerebral edema. These two conditions can lead to vomiting, confusion, hallucinations, and ultimately death if left untreated.
In addition to altitude sickness, other causes of death on Kilimanjaro can include hypothermia, dehydration, falls, and even getting lost on the mountain. Hypothermia is especially dangerous on Kilimanjaro due to its high altitude and cold temperatures.
What Can You Do to Minimise the Risk of Death on Kilimanjaro
If you’re planning on climbing Kilimanjaro, you should be aware of the risks associated with the mountain and take steps to minimise the risk of death. First and foremost, it’s important to ensure that you’re physically fit and well prepared for the trek. Make sure that you get plenty of rest the night before your ascent, as exhaustion is one of the key contributors to altitude sickness.
You should also make sure that you are well-equipped for the climb. Make sure that you have all the necessary gear, such as warm clothes, waterproofs, a first aid kit, a torch and an emergency blanket. You should also ensure that you are well fed and hydrated, as dehydration is another major risk factor.
Finally, it’s important to use the services of a reputable guide. A good guide will help you to minimise the danger and make sure that you keep up to date with weather forecasts and conditions on the mountain. It’s also a good idea to inform your family and friends about your plans, as people have gone missing on Kilimanjaro in the past.
Accessing Medical Assistance on Kilimanjaro
In the event that you become ill or injured on Kilimanjaro, you should look to access medical assistance as soon as possible. You should make sure that you are well-insured, as the cost of medical treatment on the mountain can be expensive. You should also consider carrying a satellite phone, as it will allow you to call for help in the event of an emergency.
If you do access medical assistance whilst on the mountain, your guide will be able to help you to find it. There are a number of medical centres, clinics and hospitals nearby, however, it’s important to note that they may not be suitably equipped to treat altitude related injuries or illnesses.
Prevention is Better Than a Cure
It’s important to remember that prevention is better than a cure, and this is especially true for climbing Kilimanjaro. Make sure that you take the necessary steps to minimise the risk of death by being well prepared, well equipped and well aware of the dangers that the mountain poses. If you do these things, you’ll be able to enjoy the climb without having to worry about the risks.
The most important factor when it comes to climbing Kilimanjaro is experience. The more you climb, the more comfortable you’ll be with the risks associated with the mountain and the better you’ll be able to make decisions in hazardous situations. Experienced climbers will have a much better knowledge of the mountain and its terrain, so if you’re a beginner, it’s a good idea to find a guide who has climbed the mountain before.
Kilimanjaro is an incredible feat for climbers, but it’s important to remember that it can be dangerous if you don’t take the necessary precautions. The number of deaths on the mountain is unknown, but it is estimated to be 100 since 1910, so it’s crucial that you follow the advice of experienced climbers and guides, and seek medical assistance if required.