Kilimanjaro and COVID: all the latest updates for travellers to Tanzania
* LATEST NEWS
On this page you’ll find all the latest updates regarding COVID and Kilimanjaro. In other words, how the global pandemic may affect your plans to climb Africa’s Highest Mountain.
In summary, at the moment it is possible to climb the mountain. It’s relatively straightforward too. So as long as you want to climb Kilimanjaro and COVID rules and restrictions are something you are happy to comply with, then it’s possible. Depending, of course, on the rules in your home country and whether overseas travel to Tanzania is possible for you.
Anyway, here are the latest bulletins on the pandemic and how it affects Kilimanjaro climbs.
16 March 2022
At last: COVID tests to enter Tanzania no longer necessary for those who are fully vaccinated!
It’s the news we’ve all been expecting – and waiting for! At last the Tanzanian government have amended their rules and, from today, there is no longer any mandatory testing for those who are already fully vaccinated.
Just to be clear – if you aren’t vaccinated, then the existing testing rules still apply.
Do remember that while this is good news for many people, you do still need to obey any restrictions imposed by your home country (or the country you’re heading to next after Tanzania). So do your research, and don’t assume that you are free from any COVID restrictions just because you’re fully vaccinated.
13 December 2021
Important news for US Citizens
The US government has introduced fresh restrictions in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant. In brief, US citizens, regardless of their vaccination status, must both have a test and a negative test result within 24 hours of travelling by air to the US.
The only alternative to this is if you have recently had COVID, and have documentation to prove that you have recovered, then you may be able to travel to the US.
You can read the official wording of this new policy here:
As the official test centre in Arusha (and many other Tanzanian cities) are currently promising to turn around the test only within 48-72 hours, this means that climbers will have to take their test with a private doctor/healthcare specialist in order to comply with US rules. This will be more expensive than the regular test centre fee. They may also not work as long hours as the test centre – so your itinerary in Tanzania may have to be altered so that you can visit the doctor when his practice is open.
Changes for other passport holders too
Other governments have also brought in tighter measures to try to combat the spread of Omicron in their countries. Rather than listing these restrictions here, we just need to emphasise the importance of reading the rules that apply in the country you are flying to from Tanzania. This will probably be your home country, of course, but may not be. You should also check the rules of any countries that you are flying via (eg Qatar, Netherlands etc). Again, this is because they may have imposed their own restrictions that will impact your travel plans.
1 November 2021
Good news for vaccinated travellers! If you are fully vaccinated, and can prove this, then certain airlines will allow you to depart from Tanzania without having to have the negative PCR test. This means that fully vaccinated travellers who are on one of those airlines no longer need to hang around after their trek to get a PCR test and wait for the (negative) result.
Of course, you do need to check with the airline that you are planning to fly with. If they are not one of those that are making allowances for fully vaccinated people, then you need a negative COVID test to leave the country. KLM are one airline that is allowing fully vaccinated people on their flights without a PCR test result. But it’s vital you check with the other airlines.
Note that you will still need to comply with the entry requirements when arriving in Tanzania. These include a mandatory ‘rapid’ COVID test on arrival for which you must pay US$10 (see below).
8 October 2021
From 4am on Monday, 11 October, Tanzania is no longer on the UK’s so-called ‘red list’ of countries. This means that you no longer need to quarantine at your own expense on returning from Tanzania. Please visit the relevant Tanzania page on the Foreign office website for details of the current restrictions in place for travellers returning to the UK from Tanzania.
WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR TRAVELLERS TO TANZANIA
The current COVID rules for travellers to Tanzania is as follows: