Kilimanjaro Travel/Medical Insurance - North America
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Jan 25, 2013 4:17 AM Last Post By: orion_mike
Jan 24, 2013 12:38 PM
Kilimanjaro Travel/Medical Insurance - North AmericaHello,
Any recommendations for / experience with travel insurance companies that cover hiking up to 6,000 m and offer coverage to US/CAN residents? I'll be climbing Kilimanjaro in Feb and this is the last and very important piece of planning I need to tick off!
I've looked into Travelex, World Nomads and Travel Guard, so far.
Any tips and advice appreciated. Thanks!
Jan 25, 2013 1:36 AM
1almost any backpacker style travel insurance company worth its salt will cover up to 5,999m. I used insureandgo when i went to nepal last year and it was included in their backpacker's insurance. Its worth checking though if Tanzania has an air rescue service or mountain rescue etc. If they dont, then it not really worth the hassle of insuring if it is going to add a lot of cost to your trek, though most companies should offer it for free as part of the cover
Jan 25, 2013 2:18 AM
2There are no high altitude helicopters in Tanzania nor helipads on the mountain high up so don't get carried away with helicopter rescue at altitude! If you get injured you get brought back down on the infamous Kilimanjaro Express!
Jan 25, 2013 4:11 AM
3As you do not use any technical equipment (no ropes or crampons) Kilimanjaro does not constitute a technical mountain climb. Therefore you are able to get coverage from most of the major travel insurance houses. BTW Kili is only 5895 m (although some books are now saying its only 5891). Regardless of the coverage - it is still not possible to get a helicopter medical evacuation from anywhere on the mountain above 4000 m. If you get really sick you will be carried down on one the famous 1 wheel stretchers in the good care of 4 guides/national park officials. From the park gate if you are really sick it will be an ambulance direct to KCMC in Moshi. To supplement your insurance you can also become a member of the Tanzania/Kenya aero-medical fund and thus get flown back to Arusha or Nairobi rather than spend a day in an ambulance. (If I can find a link I will post it). One other small (but now costly) point is that in 2010 Africa was roped into the North/South America insurance destination pool - which increased the premium costs by around 25-33%. Whilst I have not used them World Nomad did received good recommendations on this site before the shut down. But any of the major houses should be ok - but just double check about medical evacuation back to your home city or major European City Hospital if you are seriously injured. (Switerzland used to be the first choice destination - but now getting you back home is considered more cost efficient - especially if home is in Australia or Japan). With due respect to the doctors in Kenya and Tanzania none of their hospitals have the proper ICU back-up facilities. Good luck with the climb.
Jan 25, 2013 4:17 AM
4I think this link should provide the necessary info. It only mentions Kenya but I understand it serves both countries.
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