Kilimanjaro


  • Situated in Tanzania, east Africa, it is Africa’s highest peak at 5895m. It is the worlds’ highest free standing mountain. Loosely translated from Swahili and KiChagga languages it means “White Mountain”. “Uhuru”, the highest point, means “freedom”.

National park was established in 1910, and became a world heritage site in 1987.

  • It’s a strato-volcano with three volcanic cones: Mawenzi, Shira (oldest) and Kibo (youngest). The latter is dormant and last recorded activity was over 200 years ago. The former two craters are extinct. The highest point of Kilimanjaro is Uhuru peak on Kibo’s crater rim.
  • First recorded summit was in 1889, by a German geographer Hans Meyer. Today there are 25000 to 35000 climbers attempting to summit annually. 1000 evacuations occur annually, with 10-15 deaths per year. Only two thirds of climbers attempting to summit succeed
  • 4th highest of the 7 summits of the world.
  • Kilimanjaro Nat. Park contains 5 unique ecosystems: savannah bush land, sub montane agro-forest, montane forest, sub-alpine moorland and  alpine desert.
  • Youngest person to summit was 7yrs old, with the oldest being 85yrs.
  • Driest months are August to October thus the more favourable months to climb. Most rainfall occurs below 3000m.
  • 140 species of mammals and 179 bird species.
  • Ice cap is gradually melting and could be totally removed within the next 20 years according to most predictions.
  • There are 6 routes to choose from: Shira, Lemosho, Machame, Umbwe, Marangu and Rongai.


Summiting Kilimanjaro will require some expenditure for appropriate gear as a climber will encounter some extreme conditions either while summiting on summit night or getting to base camp. As the altitude increases so the temperature decreases and overnight temperatures do plummet to below zero degrees Celsius. As you progress up the mountain icy winds may develop esp. at Lava Tower which is at 4600m.

Bearing the above in mind the following was found to be very helpful. Your kit needs to be divided into two broad categories:

a)      Your day-pack ( this you carry: items that will you require whilst trekking)
b)      Your duffel bag ( this your porter carries: thus no access to it until you get to the following camp where it will be waiting for you in your tent)

 

 

A)     DAY-PACK: ( waterproof/cover, compartments, side-pockest,insulated water bladder and hose)

  • WATER: “medicine for the mountain”, at least 4 litres per day. 2-3l water bladder preferably insulated, with 2 water bottles (600-1000mls each)preferably insulated
  • Sunscreen UV 50+, skin moisturiser
  • Lip balm with UV protection 30+
  • Medications, chlorine drops
  • Snacks/rehydration solution/drinks/enrgy solutions
  • Woollen Beanie, inner gloves, buff
  • Waterproof trousers and rain jacket (poncho optional)
  • 100 fleece
  • 200 fleece
  • Trekking/hiking poles
  • toilet paper, hand sanitiser, wet wipes (in a zip-loc bag)
  • pocket knife, utility tool, camera, spare batteries (or solar- panel charger with cables optional)
  • pocket tissues
  • hikers first aid kit
  • gators
  • sunglasses, broad rim hat
  • Copies of passport and yellow fever certificates
  • Small amount of cash: USD or Tanzanian shillings

 

 

 

B)     DUFFEL BAG: (strong, durable, waterproof)

  • Thermal underwear: tops and bottoms (2-3 sets)
  • Spare fleeces: 100 and 200 and 300
  • Thick track suit pants
  • Spare hiking shirtsx3 and trousersx3,
  • Head lamp x2 with spare batteries
  • Hand warmers
  • Underwear, socks
  • Camp shoes: to change out of your hiking boots in camp
  • Additional snacks, supplementation, rehydration.
  • Additional medications, chronic prescription
  • Additional Toilet paper, wet wipes.
  • Toiletries, face cloths, insect repellent, skin glide
  • Thick outer gloves
  • Hard shell for chest, and hard shell beanie
  • Journal, pencil, pen
  • Tough outer plastic cover for duffel bag, cable ties
  • Sleeping bag (-8?C preferable, sleeping bag inners may allow for colder conditions but are uncomfortable), inflatable pillow, inflatable mattress.
  • Bulkier first aid kit
  • Utility bag: duck tape, spare laces, cable ties, nylon, hooks and needles etc.
  • Dri-bags: these are waterproof and help to compartmentalise your duffel bag, handy as a linen bag too.


  • LOTS OF WATER TO BE CONSUMED WHILST TREKKING. 4-5 litres per day.
  • SLOW ASCENT- POLE……..POLE……… like a chameleon.
  • CLIMB WITH SOMEONE YOU KNOW. Should you encounter problems or difficulty they would be able to assist you or determine the seriousness of your condition and aid in decision making.
  • Be prepared for weather conditions to change within the hour on the hour.
  • Gators only needed if hiking in the rain and for descent from summit (sand and loose stones).
  • Sunscreen is crucial especially to apply on summit night.
  • Its cold up there and water will freeze on summit night. A thermos of hot water will go a long way on summit night should your water freeze.
  • Keep well hydrated and well fed especially on summit day/night. This will be a long gruelling day with exposure to the elements and effect of altitude all at once.
  • Keep comfortable: STOP and strip if you are over-heating and dress-up if you are cold.
  • Test all your gear BEFORE attempting to climb the mountain, before-hand.
  • Soft shoes/trainers are very welcome in camp to give your feet a break from your boots
  • BOOTS MUST BE COMFORTABLE, test different sock combinations and break your boots in.
  • Trekking poles are a must: takes up to 20% of your weight off your legs, crucial for the long descent.
  • It’s a physical AND a mental climb
  • It’s 1.2kms form Stellar point to Uhuru peak ( not 400m, as I was told).
  • It’s not a race, take it easy and enjoy the experience.
  • Apply external ID tags to your duffel bag to differentiate yours from other similar duffel bags.
  • Invest in a portable toilet- well worth the cost


Outbreaks


June 2013: Polio, Somalia and Kenya, whole of East Africa at risk

Dengue, Angola

Measles, Europe 95% of cases occuring on Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Romania

May 2013: Typhoid, Malawi

Dengus, Thailand

Rubella, Japan

April 2013: Avian influenza, China

Mumps, western Australia

March 2013: Lassa Fever, Nigeria

Hepatitis A, Colombia

Novel corona virus, Saudi Arabia

Yellow Fever, Darfur-Sudan

January 2013: Polio, Egypt

Hepatits B, Uganda

December 2012: Japanese encephalits, India ( W.Bengal)

Typhoid, Harare

Dengue, Portugal

Ebola, DRC

November 2012: Pneumonic Plague, Madagascar

Dengue, Madeira, Portugal

Hepatitis E, South Sudan

Yellow Fever, Darfur

Marburg virus, Western Uganda

October 2012: Ebola , DRC

October 2012: Cholera, Haiti

October 2012: Cholera, Sierra Leone

September 2012: West nile virus and malaria vivax, Greece

September 2012: Chikungunya and Dengue, Cambodia

August 2012: Ebola outbreak in DRC, Orientale province.

August 2012: West Nile virus in Texas, USA .

July/August 2012: Ehola virus  outbreak Uganda.

Northern  Tanzania suspected outbreak of Ebola virus (in regions bordering Uganda)

May 2012: Pertussis in USA

Cholera in Somalia, Ghana, India (Maharashta province), Zimbabwe (Masvingo province)

Crimean Congo Haemorhagig Fever in Turkey – Black Sea region

Hand foot and mouth disease in Singapore

Chikungunya and Dengue  in Cambodia

April 2012: Measles in Ukraine

March 2012: Meningitis cases W135 in African meningitis belt

Babesiosis in Australia (NSW-Canberra)

African trypanosomiasis in Kenya

Jan 2012: Sarcocystosis in Malaysia

30 June 2011: Wild polio in Chad.

30 June 2011: Chikungunya virus in DRC.


Regions & Risks


For ease of counselling and decision making destinations are divided into either first or third world. This helps to quantify potential risk as well as the source of the expected risk. For example third world countries or developing countries have poor sanitation and water purification practices and the use of tap water is not recommended. The risk of exposure thus from food and water borne diseases like  hepatitis A, shigella, typhoid, polio are thus far greater in these regions. Not to say that one cannot contract hepatitis A form a trip to New York. For Hepatitis A is strongly associated with travel and thus not a destination specific (in this case first world) problem but an activity related issue (travel).

Generally speaking first world travellers should consider hepatitis A vaccination and those travelling to third world countries need hepatitis A vaccination plus any other vaccine deemed necessary for their trip. These travellers also require advice with regard to certain lifestyle adjustments to try to minimise their risk of illness eg. mosquitoes transmit Dengue and there is some concern in the SE- Asian region including port cities of India. The tropics are the battle ground for most diseases and the abundance of insects (vectors) which transmit these diseases do very well in these regions. Thought must be given to avoid these vectors eg.mosquitoes, tse-tse fly.

Travellers need to know exactly where they are going to in order to try and quantify their risk and offer appropriate advice with regard to behaviour and provide an appropriate vaccination schedule.


These are based on the following:

  • Destination.
  • Number of trips per year.
  • Length of stay.
  • Visa requirements as is the case with Yellow Fever endemic areas.
  • Urban or rural stay.
  • Medical history and patient profile.


We offer the following as appropriate for your trip/requirements:

  • Yellow fever
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Typhoid
  • Meningitis ACWY strains
  • Polio, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis as one vaccine
  • Cholera
  • Rabies pre and post exposure prophylaxis offered as necessary


Travel Ready


  • Consult a travel clinic; visiting this site is the first step.
  • Consider appropriate vaccinations as per your itinerary/requirements.
  • Consider anti-malarials as per your risk profile. Children under the age of 6 should ideally not enter these areas. The same applies to pregnant females.
  • Update your childhood vaccinations.
  • Allow for enough chronic medication for your trip, remember  to have prescriptions with you as necessary.
  • Have a general check- up especially if you suffer from chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease.
  • Remember to have your teeth checked especially if you are going to be relocating abroad for a protracted time.
  • Travel insurance as a must.
  • Consider using a first aid kit for common ailments while abroad.
  • Ensure that all your travel and diplomatic requirements are up to date and correct eg. Visas, Medicals , Xrays etc.
  • Please consider the use of face masks, face shields and hand sanitisers as appropriate for air travel and for your destination requirements. Keep these items on you as well as having spare ones in your luggage


  • Avoid tap water. Water must be bottled or pre-boiled or pre-chlorinated ( cholera is very sensitive to chlorine).
  • Avoid salads, ice-creams, ice cubes, unpasteurised milk.
  • Food must be thoroughly cooked. Avoid uncooked fish ,meat etc.
  • Rinsing of mouth after brushing of teeth with bottled water only.
  • Avoid eating at informal venders.
  • Most developing countries have poor water purification and sanitation management thus diseases like Hepatitis A, typhoid, polio, shigella remain a constant threat and challenge.
  • Use mosquitoe repellants and always sleep under a bed net ( preferably  insecticide treated) when travelling into  malaria areas.
  • Be aware of any bites as it is not only mosquitoes that transmit disease.
  • Do not approach animals, domestic or wild as rabies is always a potential threat (this includes bats).
  • Personal security and responsible behaviour helps to minimise health risk. Always enquire about the civil safety of the area you are about to visit  and the quality of the county’s infrastructure (motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death and serious injury amongst travellers). Monitor areas of unrest before you depart especially if you are travelling to multiple destinations ( this should include countries in transit).
  • Practise safe sex at all times.
  • Please consider the use of face masks, face shields and hand sanitisers as appropriate for air travel and for your destination requirements. Keep these items on you as well as having spare ones in your luggage


Be watchful of any symptoms like fever, flu-like illness, rashes , unexplained bruising, unexplained bleeding,  diarrhoea.

  • Continue with your anti-malarials as per prescription where  applicable.
  • Consider booster vaccinations  as per your previous pre-travel consultation and remember to take your vaccination card with you.


Malaria


Those travelling to malaria endemic areas (refer to maps) need to consider the use of mosquito-repellants and appropriate anti-malarials. Preventing the mosquito bite is of cardinal importance. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long trousers between dusk and dawn does help to minimize the exposure to bites. Avoiding the malaria zones at times of high rainfall (wet seasons) also helps minimize contact with mosquitoes and it is during this season that anti-malarials  must be strongly considered.

Always ensure that those individuals at highest risk of developing serious/complicated malaria need to be discouraged from entering these areas. This includes pregnant women, children under the age of 6, the elderly, splenectomised travellers and those who are immune-compromised (HIV, long-term steroid use and chemotherapy use within past 3 months). It is these individuals that should consider anti-malarials throughout the year ( all seasons) if they have unavoidable travel to malaria endemic areas.

Remember that no anti-malarial is 100% effective and should a traveller feel unwell a malaria test must done. Malaria symptoms include but not limited to high fevers, muscle aches, headaches, diarrhea and vomiting. In children the symptoms are more obscure and non-specific and may also include abdominal pain, lethargy, and a cough.

Anti-malarial use must be appropriate considering patient profile, length of stay and area to be visited.

The best mosquito repellant available is DEET (diethyltoluamide) for personal use. Some DEET preparations are also used to treat clothing. Citronella and the like do not have an adequate lasting effect  and thus cannot be recommended. Newer pyrethroid products (insecticides) available are useful for spraying bedding, sleeping quarters, clothing, window and door frames etc.  to further minimize risk of a bite.



Yellow Fever


Yellow fever vaccinations is destination specific and remains a compulsory vaccination for countries south of the Sahara and north of Zimbabwe (Africa) and all countries bordering onto the Amazon forest (South America).The incidence in South America is 1 per 100 000 and 10 per 100 000 in Africa.  Travellers require an official Yellow Fever certificate to be completed by a certified and approved travel clinic (these criteria are set by Dept. of Health and WHO).

Certain travellers MAY NOT receive this vaccine and thus require an exemption letter stipulating the reasons for this. The exemption must be stamped by the licensed clinic.

Valid 10 days after having received vaccination and for a period of 10 years.


Please note the following with regard to the Yellow Fever map for Africa:

  • This map is as specified by WHO and areas depicted are as recommended by WHO
  • South African authorities however DO require Yellow Fever vaccination for travellers returning from East Africa ad Zambia despite risk being low for Yellow fever as stipulated in the maps below


Vaccinations


These are based on the following:

  • Destination.
  • Number of trips per year.
  • Length of stay.
  • Visa requirements as is the case with Yellow Fever endemic areas.
  • Urban or rural stay.
  • Medical history and patient profile.


We offer the following as appropriate for your trip/requirements:

  • Yellow fever
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Typhoid
  • Meningitis ACWY strains
  • Polio, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis as one vaccine
  • Cholera
  • Rabies pre and post exposure prophylaxis offered as necessary


Home

Travellers whether  leisure or business are exposed to a certain amount of risk depending on destination, number of countries visited per year, length of stay etc. This risk can come in the form of a mosquitoe bite, milkshake or a motor vehicle accident. A certain amount of preparation is required to ensure that most risks have been addressed and steps taken to minimise these risks.

Destination specific knowledge is required to assess  these risks whether infectious or otherwise and it is here that a travel clinic is of value both for the individual traveller or the corporate and business traveller.

Randburg  Travel Clinic is licensed by the Dept. of Health to offer Yellow Fever vaccination and  a member of the South African Society of Travel Medicine ( SASTM). We offer advice on all travel related health issues and vaccinations.

What We Offer

  • Travel related health advice for business and recreational travellers regardless of destination.
  • Vaccinations for Yellow fever and certification as required by WHO and Dept.of Health.
  • Malaria advice and chemoprophylaxis as appropriate.
  • Meningitis vaccination as required by Saudi Arabia for purposes of Hajj and Umra.
  • Hepatitis A and B vaccination.
  • Typhoid vaccination.
  • Tetanus and Polio vaccination. These are administered together with pertussis and diphtheria as a quadrivalent vaccine.

  • Influenza vaccination.
  • Cholera vaccination as appropriate.
  • Rabies vaccination also offered as deemed appropriate.
  • Advice for special needs travellers eg.disabled, elderly, diabetics, frail.
  • Medicals, hearing tests, lung functions and on site-Xray facilities.
  • Laboratory services are also provided.

About Us

Our travel clinic has been operational since 1995 and is run personally by a medical practitioner with an interest in travel medicine and tropical diseases. Our clinic is licensed with the Dept. of Health and we are a member of the South African Society of Travel Medicine. Our travel clinic is operational from the Randburg Medicross which has the following services available: doctors (medicals, diving medicals, aviation medicals) pharmacy, radiology, pathology services, audiology, optometry and  physiotherapy.

 

Thanks to our society we are notified of disease outbreaks or unrest situations as and when they occur and thus kept up to date with international events.

Social Responsibility

For every traveller seen at our travel clinic , 5% of the consultation fee will be donated to a charity involved with vaccinating  the underprivileged or to a charitable organisation working with the underprivileged.

Helpful Tips

Vaccinations

Yellow Fever

Malaria

Travel Ready

Regions & Risks

Outbreaks

Kilimanjaro

Latest News

Office Hours

Monday-Friday: 08h00 till 17h00

Saturdays: by prior arrangement only

Visit Us

Medicross Randburg,
Cnr Rabie & Malibongwe Street,
Fontainebleau,
Randburg,
Johannesburg

Call our offices

Tel: 011 7961400
Fax: 011 7926495