If you’re anything of an outdoor adventurer like me, reaching the Uhuru Peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro might have already crossed your mind. With that, you might have already wondered how much it would cost to climb Kilimanjaro.
The Tanzanian mountain is the tallest recorded summit in Africa. Climbing will cost around $1700-$4200, excluding travel and accommodation costs before and after the climb.
If you’re looking forward to trekking Kilimanjaro on your next vacation, look no further! I’ll guide you about the estimated costs of climbing the summit and learn some tips on finding a reputable tour operator.
Let’s get started!
Different Routes to Take When Climbing Kilimanjaro
- Marangu route: This route is one of the oldest and most established routes to Uhuru Peak
- Machame route: Taking on the Machame route involves climbing a steep trail, however, you’ll be drawn by scenic panoramic views during your climb.
- Lemosho route: If you’re looking forward to witnessing Tanzanian sunrises and sunsets, your best chance to see them is by taking this route.
- Umbwe: The Umbwe route is one of the hardest routes to trek, so it’s ideal for those physically adept at climbing.
- Rongai Route: Aside from the chance of encountering wildlife, this route is the only one that approaches from the northern side of Kilimanjaro.
- Northern Circuit Route: It’s the longest route to Uhuru Peak, allowing climbers to acclimate slowly.
- Shira Route: The dormant volcanic crater is known as one of the most scenic routes when climbing Kilimanjaro.
Costs Involved in Climbing Kilimanjaro
You’re only allowed entry to Kilimanjaro Park if you have a licensed guide with you. So, it’s essential to book a climb with a reputable operator. Tour operator costs will depend on the climb duration, the route, and the services the tour operator company offers.
The costs will also depend on the number of people in your group. You might ask me, what are the tour package inclusions? Let me break it down for you.
A huge chunk of tour operator fees includes park fees. We will discuss it further in a bit!
Aside from the park fees, the tour operator also charges you for mountain crew wages and equipment. Further, your food and drinks during the climb, and the tour operator’s commission are also included in the cost.
Other than these, the company may also include other services with added charges:
- Accommodation for one or two days before the climb
- Transportation to and from the airport
- Transportation to and from the summit
- Trekking gear
- Camping equipment like tents and sleeping bags
Kilimanjaro Park Daily Fees
Up until 2016, the park fees were paid directly to the park on the first day of the climb. Now, tour operators pay park fees.
The conservation fee is for the maintenance and upkeep of the park. It amounts to $70 per person per day. If you chose the Northern Circuit Route and you’re going to be on it for ten days, your conservation fees will be as follows:
Northern Circuit Route: $70 x 10 days = $700
Every night, you pay fees to sleep on campsites. This amounts to $50 per person per night regardless of the route, except for the Marangu route. There are huts along this route where you can sleep, and it costs $60 per night.
Let’s say you’re staying on the Marangu Route for five days, hut permit costs will be as follows:
Marangu Route: $60 x 4 nights = $240
You’re charged a one-time rescue fee of $20, and you’ll have to pay this fee whether you need rescuing or not.
Guide and Porter Entrance Fees
Aside from your entry fee, you’ll also have to cover the entry fees of your porter, guide, and crew for the climb. It only costs $2 per crew member per trip. Let’s say you have ten crew members, and there are five people in your climbing party. That means you will have to pay $4 each.
To give you a better perspective, here’s the calculation for a seven-day climb along Lemosho Route:
|Amount||Number of Days||Total|
|Conservation Fee||$70||7 days||$490|
|Campsite Permit||$50||6 nights||$300|
A seven-day trek along the Lemosho route totals $810. If we’re going to factor in the 18% tax mandated by Tanzania, the final total amounts to $955.80.
Let’s see another example of the Marangu route, for a six-day trip:
|Amount||Number of Days||Total|
|Conservation Fees||$70||6 days||$420|
|Hut Fees||$60||5 nights||$300|
The total amount for a six-day climb would be $740, and including taxes your final fees for the Marangu route would fall at around $873.20 per person.
How to Find a Reputable Tour Operator
As a famous attraction, there are a lot of tour operator companies that offer services to climb Kilimanjaro. How would you look for a reputable and trustworthy company? Let me give you some tips:
- A tour operator company should be licensed and accredited by the Tanzanian government and the Kilimanjaro National Park.
- Compare quotes and inclusions of tour packages from different companies.
- Inquire about the tour operator’s environmental practices, and how they handle crew members.
- Ensure that they’re paying their crew the proper wages mandated by the government and the park.
- Guarantee that they provide their crew with proper climbing equipment and that the porters are looked after properly.
- Read online reviews and ask for recommendations from enthusiasts.
|Route||Difficulty||Tour Operator Fees (Including Park Fees)||Park Fees|
|Moderate to challenging||$1700-$2700||$814.20–$955.80|
|Moderate to challenging||$1900-$3100||$955.80–$1097.40|
|Northern Circuit Route
|Moderate to challenging||$2600-$4200||$1239–$380.60|
Reaching Uhuru Peak in Mt. Kilimanjaro is an experience that can come only once. Just like any other adventure, it comes with a cost.
Researching the routes and knowing the difficulty is essential if you’re planning to trek Kilimanjaro. Aside from this, considering tour package costs and finding a reputable tour operator company can make a great deal of difference.
Ultimately, the cost of climbing Kilimanjaro is an investment, and taking in the views of Tanzania is worth every penny.