In the rare case when a climber get seriously ill on Mount Kilimanjaro, a helicopter rescue may need to be conducted. This only occurs when someone can’t descend under their own power and their safety is in serious jeopardy.
There are a number of experienced and talented helicopter pilots who can conduct rescue operations on Kilimanjaro, with aircraft that can reach just about anywhere on the mountain, including all the way to the summit. Not all area are conducive to landing a helicopter however, so climbers may need to hike or be carried down to a suitable landing zone before they can be picked up. Most helicopter rescues are conducted from the Horombo Huts or Barranco Huts. Alternatively, an ambulance rescue can be done at the Shira Huts as well.
The cost of a medical evacuation from the mountain can be be quite expensive, which is why travel insurance is required on all Kilimanjaro climbs. When purchasing your insurance for this trip, be sure that the policy not only covers emergency evacuations, but also high altitude trekking. This could end up saving you from paying the expenses out of pocket and could potentially save your life too. Having this type of coverage will also speed up the evacuation process, allowing a helicopter to get in the air sooner should a rescue be deemed necessary.
Each year, dozens of helicopter rescues are conducted on Mount Kilimanjaro and our staff is well trained in how to work with the pilots to ensure that climbers are safely evacuated in a timely manner should the need arise. Your health and safety are our primary concern while on the mountain and we will do everything within our power to ensure that all clients get up and down Kilimanjaro in a safe and efficient manner.