Cost of Climbing Kilimanjaro

The price quoted for a package may often serve as to what your future climbing experience will be like. Yet, basing your decision only on cost would be a mistake.

With personal safety and a lifetime of memories at stake, choosing the cheapest is never a good idea. As a rule, it is impossible to organize a safe and comfortable Kilimanjaro hike for less than $1,400.

PRICE COMPONENTS FOR CLIMBING KILIMANJARO:
The price of a Kilimanjaro climb is made up of two kinds of costs: fixed, i.e. park fees per person, and variable, i.e. transfers and equipment, which are shared between all members of the group and, up to a certain point, lower as the number of climbers grows.

There are minimum expenses every Kilimanjaro operator faces, such as:

  • Kilimanjaro National park fees
  • Kilimanjaro climbing crew wages
  • Logistical and supplies costs
  • Camping equipment
  • Hotel Before and After Kilimanjaro Climb
  • Food cost
  • Transportation cost

Kilimanjaro National Park entrance fees, camping/hut fees and Tanzanian taxes by far make up the biggest expense, costing about $200 per climber per day. The other significant expenses are staff wages, food, and transportation costs. Local wages amount to around $80-$150 per climber per day (depending on group size). Food costs come out to about $10-$20 per climber per day (includes food for staff). Transportation costs are about $90 per trip depending on the route. There are also costs associated with wear and tear on camping equipment and administrative costs for arranging your climb. By adding up all the daily costs listed here, you can estimate what it may cost to fund a Kilimanjaro climb on your own. So instead of asking how we can be priced so low, you should be asking how those other companies can be priced so high?

Unless you take the risk of opting for the lowest of offers, slighting most if not all of safety and comfort features that are normally available, the final price of your trek shall include different costs as we explain below, not all but few of them as following:-

Kilimanjaro National Park Fees
Every Mount Kilimanjaro climber is required to pay park fees, which inholds conservation, camping, rescue and crew fees. On Lemosho and Rongai routes special forest fees are also applicable. It is another key element of Mt Kilimanjaro climb cost.

Total Park Fees, depending on route and number of days, will amount to between US$800 and 1,100 (all calculations and prices henceforth are given in USD).

Never trust claims that it is possible to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and avoid fees by bypassing ranger posts. It is simply impossible to reach Uhuru Peak avoiding any encounters with park rangers. Dozens of those who attempt this are caught every year

Kilimanjaro Climbing Crew Wages
The next important component of Kilimanjaro climb cost is the crew wages. While the rates paid (and charged to the client) may vary, all reputable Tanzanian trekking outfitters have wage systems for their climbing crews. A guide usually receives USD 20-40 per day, a cook – USD 10-15, a porter – USD 7-10, adding to the total cost to climb Mt Kilimanjaro. The final total payroll will therefore hinge upon the size of the crew necessary to provide the level of comfort expected on the climb. Tips, determined by the client’s experience while trekking, are also appreciated.

On the other hand, many budget operators keep their rates low by relying on high unemployment rates which allow them to staff their crews with those willing to work with no pay guaranteed aside from tips left by the client. These crews will more often than not have a high rate of unqualified personnel

Logistical and supplies costs
Within climbing packages that are inclusive of supplies and logistics, such as transfers and re-supplies, a minimum of three meals and water and many other small but essential items, which add to the overall cost of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Camping equipment
A typical climbing package will also include such equipment as sleeping bags and mess tents; cookers and kitchenware; tables and other essential items. As reliable gear means not only comfort but also safety, stocks have to be renewed on a regular basis. Thus, amortization costs for the equipment will be included in the total Kilimanjaro climb cost.

HOTEL BEFORE AND AFTER KILIMANJARO CLIMB
Most Kilimanjaro hiking packages on offer include accommodation before and after the climb. Tanzania being a developing country, local hotel rates are among the highest. A night in a reasonable 3-star hotel in Moshi will cost $100-120 if booked directly or $80-90 if it is included in your climbing package. Therefore, accommodation will heighten the cost of your Kilimanjaro trip.

Few Kilimanjaro climbing cost listed above are among different cost take place during climbing period and support high rate of summit success.

LOW BUDGET (BOOKING CHEAP BELOW $1,400) OPERATORS OFTEN DO EVERYTHING POORLY
UNPROFESSIONAL GUIDES
The most important factor in the safety and success of a Kilimanjaro climb is the knowledge and skill of your guide.

Your guides’ (and that of support staff) experience and medical training are what you shall rely on for your safety during the climb. And their general knowledge about the local nature, customs, history as well as the team’s spirit could add and extra dimension to the way you will remember this time for the rest of your life. However, low budget operators often hire :-

  • Temporary guides with little experience,
  • Poor English language ability, and
  • No medical training.

The competence of a guide is not always obvious until a crisis emerges, but by then it is too late. Quality guides do not work for the low budget operators. Quality guides do not wait around for clients to walk in, hoping for some work. Quality guides are hired full time by the top operators and are busy leading groups on scheduled climbs, week after week.

LACK OF SAFETY MEASURES
To their guides being untrained for medical emergencies, the budget operator does not have any system in place for safe high altitude trekking. Budget operators do not have or know how to use equipment that can help

  • Detect altitude sickness,
  • They do not carry bottled oxygen to revive someone whose oxygen saturation has dropped to dangerously low levels.
  • Lack of constant monitoring of the clients’ physical state
  • They do not have portable stretchers to carry injured climbers off the mountain.

Insufficient guide experience have in many cases been responsible for failed summiting attempts when having the foresight to offer the client an extra day for acclimatization would have meant a successful climb.

We are proud to say that our crews have time and again been in the fortunate position to provide emergency assistance with supplies, equipment and medical care to other outfitters on Kilimanjaro.

POOR QUALITY EQUIPMENT
Low budget operators use barely functional equipment. In an attempt to cut climbing Mt Kilimanjaro cost, budget tour operators often disregard the importance of maintaining their equipment in a good state.

Most commonly, this is apparent in the condition of ;-

  • Tents they buy off brand tents that are not waterproof and not durable
  • They use sleeping bags and pads that fail to have adequate warmth.
  • They have quality vehicles that cause break down or get stuck.
  • Quality operators use camping equipment from reputable manufacturers.

They regularly replace their tents, sleeping bags, and other gear, and have well maintained vehicles.
In an attempt to cut climbing Mt Kilimanjaro cost, budget tour operators often disregard the importance of maintaining their equipment in a good state.

UNPREDICTABLE SERVICE
These companies do not have any operating procedures in place, so how they handle your climb is anyone’s guess. Unfortunately, this is not the model for safe mountain expeditions. Quality operators have guidelines in place for every facet of the climb, resulting in consistency in the service they provide.

IRRESPONSIBLE TREKKING
The guides and porters of low priced operators are untrained, they do not practice responsible trekking that conserves the environment. Often, the mountain crews of low budget operators are seen littering.

Quality operators educate their staff on the importance of conservation. Quality operators practice Leave No Trace ethics so everyone can enjoy the mountain for years to come.

NOT TO BE TRUSTED (RISK OF FRAUD)
There is a higher risk of falling victim to scams when dealing with budget operators due to unfaithful and dishonest.

As with any other business transaction one must beware of fraud when booking a cheap Kilimanjaro climb. The likelihood of being conned heightens as the price lowers. Neither last-minute cancellations with no refund of deposits made, nor simply discontinuing communication and disappearing are unheard of.

Another situation is being stranded on the mountain during the climb with no supplies unless “an immediate additional payment for services not explicitly included in the booked package” is made. Thus, it is better exerting some prudence when the cost to hike Kilimanjaro looks incredibly low and attractive.

Quality operators earn an honest living through great service, not by cheating customers.

POOR TREATMENT OF PORTERS
It is impossible to provide adequate service during a Kilimanjaro climb below a certain price. Unluckily, one of the ways budget operators still manage to do so is by short-changing their climbing crews.

Low or, no wages are all too common in such cases. The members of these crews undertake the climb in hopes of receiving tips (which, actually, are the expected norm in the industry). However, the tips paid by the client are often not distributed fairly among all staff.

Providing outright inadequate food supplies (as little as one meal per day) for the crew is yet another way some budget operators cut climbing Mt Kilimanjaro cost keep their rates low.

Being from disadvantaged backgrounds and receiving inadequate pay from their employers often means that many of the porters cannot afford adequate clothing for the climb. Socially responsible tour operators will invariably provide them assistance in order to ensure their safety. This, of course, is impossible to do when the climb budget is already constrained, leading to cases of exposure among porters.

Thus, choosing to book with a reputable and trustworthy climbing outfitter means that all the support staff, whose job it is to help you fulfill your dream of climbing to the roof of Africa, are fully compensated and treated fairly.

Goldfish Tours hope that we helped you to understand how much does it cost to climb Kilimanjaro. If you have any further questions on how climbing Mt Kilimanjaro cost is formed.

Feel free to ask any questions if you are still unsure about costs. We will respond within 24 hours.

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