Understanding Kilimanjaro Park Rules: A Guide for Responsible Climbing

Ensuring a harmonious trek up Kilimanjaro isn't just about physical preparation. Being well-versed in Kilimanjaro park rules and guidelines is paramount. As you ascend this majestic peak, you'll witness varying ecosystems. But with these wonders comes the responsibility to protect and preserve.

This guide highlights the regulations set by the Kilimanjaro National Park to ensure both climber safety and environmental conservation.

Kilimanjaro Park Rules on Soft Plastics:

Kilimanjaro park rule - no disposable plastic

Disposable water bottles: 2013 marked a pivotal year for environmental conservation with the introduction of the 'no soft plastics' rule. Soft plastic water bottles and bags are prohibited. However, personal sanitizer bottles are still allowed, but they must be taken off the mountain upon descent.

Plastic bags: As of 01 June 2019, the sale, production, importation or use of plastic bags (regardless of thickness), is banned in Tanzania. You should ensure that you do not have any of these bags on your person or in your luggage before you arrive in Tanzania as fines may be incurred if discovered. Zip-loc bags will be allowed (e.g., those used for liquids in flights, however the expectation is that these will be kept on your person and taken back to your country of origin once you leave Tanzania and they should not be disposed of whilst inside of the country.

You must bring your own reusable hard plastic or metal drinking water bottle for your hike. It is best to bring reusable non plastic bags for separating your dirty / clean clothes in your duffel bag.

Principal Prohibitions of Kilimanjaro Park

Kilimanjaro Park Rules Board

According to the National Parks Cap 412 of 1959, some of the key Kilimanjaro Park rules are:

  1. Valid Permit: Entry without one is forbidden.
  2. Guided Treks: Venturing without licensed mountain guides is not allowed.
  3. Complete Team Requirement: Those trekking for longer than a day must be accompanied by a full team, including licensed mountain guides, porters, and a cook.
  4. Preserve the Environment: Actions like cutting, damaging, or introducing any object, whether living or inanimate, are prohibited.
  5. Waste Management: Discarding refuse or litter is restricted to designated areas. Throwing burning objects is strictly banned.
  6. Designated Entry & Exit: One must only use approved entrances or exits.
  7. Signage Restrictions: Unauthorized signboards are not allowed.
  8. Designated Sleeping Areas: Use of caves or other non-designated areas for sleeping is forbidden. Tents or huts should only be used at specified campsites.

To sustain Kilimanjaro's beauty for future generations, it's crucial to tread lightly. Please refrain from littering the trail, pack all trash, and strive to leave the park as pristine as when you arrived.

Kilimanjaro Climbing Advisories

Kilimanjaro safety briefing

In addition to the Kilimanjaro park rules it is essential to consider:

  1. Physical Fitness: Those aiming for the summit should be in prime health.
  2. Health Concerns: Avoid ascending beyond 3000m if you exhibit symptoms like a sore throat or cold. Children below 10 years should not cross the 3700m mark.
  3. Medical Advisory: Individuals with heart or lung concerns must consult their doctor before the climb.
  4. Acclimatization: Allow ample time for your body to adjust; ascend slowly.
  5. Listen to Your Body: If you're exhausted or suffering from severe altitude sickness, do not push forward.
  6. Stay Hydrated: Consume 4-5 litres of fluids daily, prioritizing water but complementing with fruit juices.
    In Case of Persistent Symptoms: If mountain sickness or high altitude diseases persist, descend immediately and seek medical help. A dedicated rescue team is always ready to assist.

Children below 10 years old are not permitted above 3700m without special permission from the National Park.