I wrote this article for Walk in Wild Places, but thought it may be useful here too. So, here’s a list of mandatory and recommended vaccinations if you intend climbing Kilimanjaro, or travelling in East Africa and Africa in general.
Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B – Even if you skip all the other vaccinations, and are happy take the risk, get these two vaccinations. You contract Hepatitis A and Typhoid via contaminated food and water. Sexual intercourse is the most common way to contract Hepatitis B. Blood contact can also pass Hepatitis B on from one person to another; this is similar to HIV/AIDS, but Hep B is many times more infectuous.
If you intend travelling between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, you’ll need a Yellow fever certificate to prove that you have been vaccinated. (Note! Customs officials check your certificates at border controls for this one!)
If you’re an adventure traveller, always keep your Tetanus and Rabies vaccinations up to date. Stepping on old rusty nails, or dirty pieces of broken glass, are the main causes of Tetanus. Rabies, passed on via the saliva of infected animals, can be fatal if not treated. And many African countries have limited or no available treatment for Rabies. So get those shots up to date!
Other routine vaccinations (you should already have these – make sure yours are up to date), include Chickenpox (Varicella), Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR), Polio, and Tuberculosis (TB).
Tick bites may result in African tick-bite fever. Check for tick bites, especially when you have been walking in long grass.
Travellers are at low risk of contracting HIV. Travellers engaging in unprotected sex acts may be at risk of contracting HIV.
Many areas in Africa below 1800m are Malaria infected. See the recommendations for Malaria prophylaxis from the CDC (Centre for Disease Control).
See full recommendations for suggested and mandatary vaccinations from the CDC (Centre for Disease Control).
How to climb Kilimanjaro?
Find out more about climbing Kilimanjaro, and other African mountains.