Should I take Malaria Pills for Kilimanjaro?

As a responsible hiker, it is important to take all necessary precautions when embarking on a trek to Kilimanjaro. One of the biggest concerns for travelers to this region is the risk of malaria. Malaria is a potentially life-threatening disease transmitted by the bites of infected mosquitoes and is prevalent in many African countries, including Tanzania where Kilimanjaro is situated.

MALARIA KILIMANJARO

While taking malaria pills is not a mandatory requirement for climbing Kilimanjaro, it is highly recommended by health professionals and seasoned trekking companies. The decision to take malaria pills should not be taken lightly, and we urge all travelers to fully research and understand the potential risks and benefits before making a decision.

One of the main factors to consider when deciding whether or not to take malaria pills for Kilimanjaro is the route you will be taking. The risk of contracting malaria varies depending on the altitude and the areas you will be visiting. For example, if you are taking the popular Marangu or Machame route, you will be passing through areas that have a lower risk of malaria due to the higher elevations.

However, if you are taking a more remote or longer route, such as the Northern Circuit or Lemosho route, the chances of encountering mosquitoes and contracting malaria may be higher.

 

Malaria Kilimanjaro Climbing Season

Furthermore, the season in which you plan to climb Kilimanjaro also plays a significant role in determining the risk of malaria. The rainy season, which runs from March to May and November to December, is when mosquitoes breed in abundance due to the increased humidity. This makes it the peak season for malaria transmission. If you are planning your hike during this time, taking malaria pills is strongly recommended as a precautionary measure.

It is also essential to understand that even though Kilimanjaro is a relatively low-risk area for malaria, there is still a chance of contracting the disease. Malaria is a preventable disease, and taking the necessary precautions, such as taking malaria pills, can significantly reduce your risk of getting sick.

In the unlikely event that you do contract malaria, it can have serious consequences without proper treatment, which may not be readily available on the mountain.

If you have decided to take malaria pills for your Kilimanjaro climb, it is crucial to speak with your healthcare provider to determine which medication is suitable for you. There are various types of malaria pills available, and your doctor can help you choose the right one based on your medical history and any potential side effects.

In addition to taking malaria pills, it is also essential to follow other preventive measures, such as applying insect repellents, wearing long-sleeved clothing, and sleeping in mosquito nets. It is also advisable to stay in reputable accommodations that have proper pest control measures in place.

 

SYMPTOMS OF MALARIA:

Headache
Fever and chills
Muscle and joint pain
Nausea and vomiting
Diarrhea
Fatigue
If you experience any of these symptoms during or after your Kilimanjaro trek, seek medical attention immediately and inform your healthcare provider that you were in a malaria-prone area.

 

ANTI-MALARIAL DRUGS AVAILABLE and side effects:

The most commonly prescribed malaria pills for Kilimanjaro are Malarone, Doxycycline, and Lariam. Each of these medications has its own set of potential side effects, and it is crucial to discuss them with your doctor before making a decision.

Malarone : is considered to be the most effective and well-tolerated anti-malarial drug. It is taken once a day, starting two days before entering a malaria zone and continuing for seven days after leaving. However, some people may experience side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and headache while taking Malarone.

Doxycycline : is an antibiotic that is also effective against malaria. It is taken once a day, starting two days before entering a malaria zone and continuing for four weeks after leaving. However, this medication can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, causing sunburns or rashes. It can also cause stomach upset, so it is recommended to take it with food.

Lariam :, also known as Mefloquine, is taken once a week, starting three weeks before entering a malaria zone and continuing for four weeks after leaving. It can cause side effects such as dizziness, nausea, and vivid dreams. Some people may also experience more severe side effects such as anxiety, depression, and hallucinations.

When it comes to malaria prevention, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Therefore, it is vital to consult with your healthcare provider and do your own research to determine which option is best for you. In conclusion, the decision to take malaria pills for Kilimanjaro is a personal one that should not be taken lightly.

However, as a responsible Kilimanjaro trekking company, we strongly recommend taking all necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable climb. We want our travelers to have a memorable and healthy experience on the mountain, and taking malaria pills is an essential step in achieving that. So, before embarking on your Kilimanjaro adventure, make sure to prioritize your health and consult with your healthcare provider about taking malaria pills. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.