When it comes to dangerous mountains to climb, most people immediately think of Mount Everest and its “Rainbow Valley.” What they don’t realize is that almost every other mountain has its own tales of death—including Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa.
Have there been deaths on Mount Kilimanjaro?Approximately 30,000 people attempt to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro every year and on average the reported number of deaths is about 10 fatalities per year. While there are multiple climber deaths every year, the number of people that die on Kilimanjaro is nowhere as high as one would expect it to be. Many deaths are preventable with proper climbing techniques and Equipment.
When the people accidentally die on Kilimanjaro their dead bodies are evacuated from the mountain by the Guides their crew with the help of the National Park ranger.
It’s a very easy to do evacuation by use of a Helicopter or a stretcher that’s why there are no dead bodies on Kilimanjaro. Unlike Mount Everest when people die, it can be difficult to remove their bodies. Final repatriation costs tens of thousands of dollars.
Have There Been Deaths on Mt. Kilimanjaro?
Almost every major mountain holds a certain risk of death associated with climbing it, and Mount Kilimanjaro is no different. According to recent statistics, the mountain is the site of approximately ten climber deaths every year.
This estimate is rounded up since the current data only shows the documented number of climbers who were pronounced dead on site. Since Kilimanjaro is a massive mountain, there is no way to tell if locals may have died in the area without anyone knowing. Each year, one can expect six to seven climbers to die on the mountain.
Is Mt. Kilimanjaro Safe to Climb?
Don’t let the documented deaths fool you into thinking this mountain is a death trap. Compared to other major mountain chains, Mt. Kilimanjaro is remarkably safe. Statistics show that there is only a 0.03% chance of dying on the mountain—a far cry from mountains like Everest.
Around 30,000 people climb Mount Kilimanjaro every year. Considering that only a handful of people die every year, that’s not bad.
Kilimanjaro summit is roughly the same elevation as Mount Everest Base Camp. Climbers on Everest use oxygen in the so-called “death zone”, above 26,000 ft. It’s impossible to acclimatize in the death zone. If you were to use it to help you summit Mount Kilimanjaro then you risk masking the symptoms of altitude sickness, as well as interrupting the natural adaptation process.
Is Mount Kilimanjaro Easy to Climb?
Compared to other mountains (or volcanoes) of its size, yes. This is one of the only mountains of its size that does not require full climbing skills to get to its highest levels. It’s a long, gradual slope that takes several days to reach through brisk walking.
Most climbing experts agree that almost anyone in reasonably good health can climb this mountain, even if they have not been trained in rock climbing. That is not something people can say about other peaks of its height.
Why Do People Die on Mount Kilimanjaro?
With most other mountains, people usually die because of falling from the cliffs. Mount Kilimanjaro is different than other mountains of similar sizes since you do not need to climb to reach the top of the mountain. However, there still is a significant health risk with Kilimanjaro—the altitude.
Scaling a mountain of Kili’s altitude can lead to serious issues. The most common problems people experience while climbing include:
- Dehydration. Kilimanjaro is deceptive when it comes to the rate of water loss people get. As a result, you need to drink extra water when you are climbing. Otherwise, you may get sick from dehydration.
- AMS. AMS, also known as Acute Mountain Sickness, occurs when exposure to high altitudes begins to affect your body functions. Fifty percent of climbers will suffer some level of AMS. This isn’t fatal, but it can bring about rarer issues, such as pulmonary embolisms or pulmonary edema. Those can be fatal and are often a cause of death on Kilimanjaro.
- Oxygen Decrease. As you ascend the mountain, oxygen levels will run lower. This results in lightheadedness. Though rare, you can technically die from reduced oxygen combined with other complications of AMS.
- Hypothermia. Even during summer months, the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro can be home to icy winds, snow, and storms. If you do not dress appropriately for cold temperatures, you can quickly come down with lethal hypothermia–or just a bad case of frostbite.
- Lack of Supplies. People who have medical conditions such as diabetes can die if they leave their medical supplies at the base of the mountain.
How to Prevent Dying on Mount Kilimanjaro
If you are going to climb, it’s essential to climb the right way. This includes finding a guide who understands how to avoid AMS and treat it if symptoms start to occur. Doing your research can help with finding a qualified guide. Aside from picking an excellent guide, there are other preventative measures you can take, including:
- Drinking a lot of water. Dehydration has been linked to several mountain climbing deaths. Experts agree that drinking at least four liters of water (or approximately a gallon) is sufficient for scaling a mountain the size of Kilimanjaro. Most climbing crews will provide this for free and will do the carrying for you.
- Get regular checkups while you climb. The onset of AMS can be hard to notice without proper equipment. Many climbing guides will go so far as to give climbers a checkup twice a day to ensure that they are healthy enough to continue.
- Taking it slow. Though there’s no foolproof way to determine who is at risk for AMS, there have been multiple studies linking climbing at a fast pace with AMS. Even if you don’t think you are going too fast, it’s better to take your time. If your guide tells you to slow down, listen to them.
- Breathe deep. In many mountain ranges, stepping and breathing are an excellent way to make sure that you keep yourself aerated. After a certain point, you will be given oxygen masks to ensure you get enough air.
- Wear clothes that are warmer than you think you will need. It gets cold at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, even during the summer! There’s evidence to suggest that some climbers die from hypothermia as a result of “dressing lightly.” Don’t make this easy-to-avoid mistake!
- Get a checkup before you even go there. Certain preexisting conditions can worsen the risk of severe AMS. Knowing if you are at risk can save your life, so make sure to tell your doctor about your plans to get the full checkup.
How Do You Find A Good Mountain Guide for Kilimanjaro?
The best way to find a guide you can trust is through research. A good guide company will have years of experience, rave reviews from fellow travelers, and will be happy to bring medical equipment along for the trip. When interviewing crews, it’s best to ask the following to get a good idea of their capabilities:
- Are your staffers trained for medical emergencies?
- Do you bring water, medical gear, and oxygen tanks along for the ride?
- How long have you been in business?
- How many people are in a typical guided climbing trip?
- Are you insured?
- What equipment do you use to ensure safe travel when scaling Kilimanjaro?
- Do climbers get checkups while they are climbing?
- What is your medical policy?
References and reputation matter more than a price tag. If you are not referred to a guide by a travel agency or through a government-approved tourist board, it’s best to avoid using them. Even if they are cheap, it’s not worth risking your life over a few extra bucks. It is better to be safe than to be sorry.
Has anyone died climbing Kilimanjaro?
1. Gugu Zulu – South African rally driver
2. Scott Dinsmore and his wife -Entrepreneur
3. Ian McKeever – Irish mountaineer, broadcaster, and motivational speaker
4. Kristian Ferguson – Physicists
5. Mary Lou Sammis – Physicists
6. Jack Delleport
7. Zhu Yush
Below We have the article reference for people who have died climbing Mount Kilimanjaro:
- Irish climber dies on Mount Kilimanjaro – https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-20895327
- When death rained down the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro – https://tucson.com/news/when-death-rained-down-the-slopes-of-mount-kilimanjaro/article_64dd3557-6f80-55a5-8997-0f5851bab975.html
- Irish woman (35) dies while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro – https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/irish-woman-35-dies-while-climbing-mount-kilimanjaro-1.3156491
- South African rally driver Gugu Zulu dies on Kilimanjaro – https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-36823937American climber dies on Mount Kilimanjaro- https://apnews.com/aec8a84bc0e872ae27f234baf11d3417
- Dutch climber dies after reaching Mt. Kilimanjaro summit- https://nltimes.nl/2017/10/09/dutch-climber-dies-reaching-mt-kilimanjaro-summit
- Entrepreneur killed by falling boulder while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with his wife during year-long trip around the world – https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3237080/Entrepreneur-TED-speaker-33-killed-falling-boulder-climbing-Mount-Kilimanjaro-wife-year-long-trip-world.html
While Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the least dangerous mountains of its size on Earth, we can’t ignore the fact that there is still a risk in climbing it. Approximately ten people who attempt to climb Kilimanjaro die every year due to AMS, hypothermia, dehydration, or a mixture of these factors.
The typical season sees more than 30,000 climbers, but in some exceptional years that number swells to 50,000. On any given year, the number of reported tourist deaths on Kilimanjaro is approximately 10.
Late Monday morning (Feb. 22) on the 19,341-foot summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, 74-year-old Polish adventurer Aleksander 'Olek' Doba broke into a wide grin and hollered “Wild Africa!” into the wind. Moments later he sat down and died. The cause of death was not determined.
According to research published by the Climb Kilimanjaro Guide, the average summit success rate across all climbers and routes is 65%.
Climbing Kilimanjaro is probably one of the most dangerous things you will ever do. Every year, approximately 1,000 people are evacuated from the mountain, and approximately 10 deaths are reported. The actual number of deaths might be higher. The main cause of death is altitude sickness.
Have there been deaths on Mount Kilimanjaro? Approximately 30,000 people attempt to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro every year and on average the reported number of deaths is about 10 fatalities per year.
Annapurna I (Nepal)
The deadliest mountain in the world is a specific ascent of Annapurna, another peak in the Himalayas. The route is so deadly because of an extremely steep face. Astonishingly, 58 people have died from just 158 attempts. It has the greatest fatality rate of any ascent in the world.
Most people agree that Kilimanjaro is harder than Everest Base Camp. While there are aspects of the Everest Base Camp trek that are harder than Kilimanjaro, the general feeling is that Kilimanjaro is the harder of the two treks. The main reason for this is summit night – it's a biggie.
Kilimanjaro's altitude is a significant challenge, but climbers do not need supplemental oxygen to climb Kilimanjaro or reach the summit. To reach to the summit you use the acclimatization method of walking slowly “pole pole” climb high, sleep low.
It takes between five and tens days to hike Mount Kilimanjaro depending on the route and the pace of the itinerary. A few brave record breakers have occasionally done it in just one day! Treks vary in length as well as duration.
Overall summit rates on Kilimanjaro (across all routes & climbers) are estimated to fall between 45% and 65%. Summit success rates by climbing duration - don't try to do Kilimanjaro on an itinerary that is shorter than a week or you'll set yourself up for failure.
By far, the reason people have to abandon their Kilimanjaro attempt is due to altitude sickness. At high elevations, nearly everyone will experience some symptoms of altitude sickness. Mild levels of altitude sickness include a headache, nausea, lack of appetite, dizziness, and lethargy.
Umbwe route is one of the shortest routes to the Southern Glaciers and the Western Breach and it's the most hardest and challenging route on Mount Kilimanjaro. The Umbwe Route is the trail for trekkers looking for a true climbing challenge.
It is impossible for an average person to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in a day. With the shortest route covering 37 Kilometers (23Miles) with an altitude gain of 4295M (14200ft), climbing this distance would take a huge toll on the average person and would make it impossible to cover in one day.
Can beginners climb Kilimanjaro? Yes and to have the best Mt. Kilimanjaro climbing experience as a beginner, you should be fully aware of the conditions, seasonal climates, costs, and requirements to prepare yourself for this challenge.
Yes, there are snakes in the cloud forest of Kilimanjaro. But do not fear. Sightings are extremely few and far between. Because snakes are highly sensitive to movement, groups of enthusiastic climbers hiking the trails scare them away.
The average cost to climb Kilimanjaro is $2000 to $6000, the price varies from cheap, budget operators to large Western travel agents selling outsourced climbs at an inflated price. There are various, unavoidable fixed costs to any tour operator and if a climb seems too cheap, you've got to ask yourself why.
Researchers from the University of Washington and the University of California, Davis, revealed that 1 percent of climbers die on the mountain, and that rate has stayed steady since 1990, although the success rate of those trying to reach the top has doubled.
The percentage of climbers who die attempting to climb K2 is reported by NASA to be around 25%. The mountain is such a difficult, and at times inhospitable, place that it has never been climbed during the winter, either.
“Since 1985, at least 150 people have died on the mountain,” Kenya Wildlife Service Warden Bongo Woodley told AFP, attributing many of the deaths to altitude sickness and some even to suicide by jumping off cliffs.
More than 300 people have died attempting to reach the summit of Mount Everest which, at 8,848.86 metres (29,031.7 ft), is Earth's highest mountain and a particularly desirable peak for mountaineers.
Mount Everest, the highest mountain on earth, attracts hundreds of climbers every year, and has a 14.1% fatality rate.
At 28,251 feet, K2, which straddles the Pakistan-China border, is about two and a half football fields shorter than Everest, but it's widely considered the planet's toughest and most dangerous mountain to climb, earning the nickname “Savage Mountain.” Unlike Everest, it is not possible to “walk” to the top; all sides ...
As of February 2021, only 377 people have completed the ascent to its summit. There have been 91 deaths during attempted climbs, according to the list maintained on the list of deaths on eight-thousanders.
Nanga Parbat is also unofficially referred to as “Killer Mountain,” in part because at least 31 people died trying to climb it before its incredible first ascent in 1953, completed solo and without oxygen, by the legendary Austrian alpinist Hermann Buhl.