Do You Need Bug Spray for Kilimanjaro?

If you’re preparing to come to Tanzania and climb Kilimanjaro, you might have heard that you need to be concerned about malaria and other diseases that can be spread by bugs and mosquitoes.

Mosquitos and other biting critters are not as common on Kilimanjaro as people may think. This is because mosquitos cannot survive at high altitudes and in cold temperatures.


Before and after your climb though, you need to make sure you’re taking preventative measures while you stay in Arusha. This is the city where you will be before and after your summit.

If you’re planning to travel around Tanzania or go on a safari, you also need to make sure you’re taking the proper measures to ensure you will not be bit by mosquitoes and other insects.

Are There Bugs and Mosquitos on Kilimanjaro?

Insects are generally only found in the lower regions of the mountain. Mosquitos cannot survive over 6000 feet.

Most climbers pack bug spray to wear during the first day or two. You will also need to wear bug spray when you are not on the mountain and traveling around Tanzania.

Staying Healthy on Kilimanjaro and Tanzania

Many travelers are scared about the prospect of contracting diseases like malaria. Malaria can be a serious disease if not treated early, so you want to make sure you are taking all preventative measures including:

  • Wearing a bug spray with DEET
  • Sleeping under a mosquito net at the hotel before/after the climb
  • Treating your clothes with insect-repellant
  • Trying to cover as much of your body as possible by wearing long sleeves, trousers, and socks
  • Heading indoors at dusk as this is when mosquitos are most active
  • Closing all windows and doors as the sun goes down

You can also talk to your doctor about taking antimalarials. However, make sure they know you are coming to climb Kilimanjaro so they can give you a medication that does not have many side effects at high altitudes.

If you get any symptoms of malaria or other mosquito-borne illnesses, you want to make sure you see a doctor right away.

Some symptoms of malaria include:

  • Aches and pains in the joints
  • Abdominal pain
  • High fever and sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • General malaise

All our Kilimanjaro guides are highly trained and Wilderness First Responders. So, if you happen to fall ill on the mountain, they are there to help you and get you the care you need.

Do I Need to Wear Bug Spray in Tanzania?

Many travelers choose to wear a DEET-containing bug spray while in Tanzania because it helps them avoid mosquito bites as well as bites from Tsetse flies which are common in the national parks during safaris.

Some people also choose to treat their clothes and climbing gear which can help keep bugs out of your personal belongings.

Wearing bug spray can help to prevent illnesses and keep you feeling well while traveling around Tanzania.

Bug spray is most commonly worn in the evening and early mornings as this is when mosquitos are most active.

What Illnesses Can Bug Spray Prevent?

Some people underestimate how helpful bug spray can be when it comes to preventing illnesses.

In Tanzania, bug spray can help you from contracting malaria as well as African trypanosomiasis.

If you’re traveling to other countries around the world, it will also keep you from contracting mosquito-borne illnesses like Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever, and Chikungunya.

Bringing Your Bug Spray to Tanzania

Bug spray containing DEET can be found in large pharmacies in Tanzania, but it’s often overpriced because it’s imported. We recommend you buy it in your home country and put it in your checked luggage.

If you have any questions about malaria or keeping healthy in Kilimanjaro, contact us today!