CLIMBING KILIMANJARO – How much is too much and is too cheap to plan Mt. Kilimanjaro expedition;
Climbing Kilimanjaro can cost you anything from $1,600 to more than $10,000. Some tour operators will charge you even less than $1,600, but the reason for this will become clear halfway up the mountain, and this is not the kind of pain you want to remember this journey by! Everybody of course wants to get the best bang for their buck, but being too cheap on a trip like this is not a good idea either.
Being a Tanzanian myself, I want people to have the best quality experience that will last with them for years to come.
So where does your money go? Kilimanjaro National Park fees are set by KINAPA (the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority), and not the tour operator or guides. A six day trip costs $800, and it goes to KINAPA, (Kilimanjaro National Park)
- $70-Park fees- per day per person
- $60-Camping/hut fees-Per day Per person
- $20-Rescue fees-Per person Per trip
Additional to that there are smaller side-fees: It does not yet cover accommodation, equipment, food and refreshments, vaccinations, visas, transportation, flights, guide salaries and tips for the team as you see fit. Tour operators often cut guide and porter expenses, and employ cheaper staff, which results in “Wagumu” which is Swahili for “less paid, less respect”. There are dangers along the way up the highest mountain in Africa, and losing porters and clients on the ascent often happens for needless reasons. It is therefore understandable that your chances of reaching the summit and descending successfully increases and decreases together with the price you pay for the climb.
Booking your climb that is run by mountaineers and people who understand the mountain’s language and risks will ensure your chances for success. Experienced guides know the risks and how to manage them, people who care about your safety and wish to give you the best and enjoyable trek.
Something else to consider is the size of your group. The costs for smaller groups of 4-6 people are more expensive, but costs for a group of 10 or more people is more affordable. You have your choice of cheap operators, and you might get a halfway decent climb up the Marangu route, but for the Lemosho route you should be very wary of cheap operators. We pride ourselves on our service, and giving you a true African experience.
A private climb with 2-4 people is a bit expensive, but a group of 5+ people is bearable and affordable. That’s just our recomendation
So $1700 is probably a half decent climb up the Marangu route, but you won’t be finding that on the Lemosho, Machame, and Umbwe route.
Good luck and we hope you find some cheap tour company with better service, if not don’t hesitate to contact us.