Price guide

Climbing Kilimanjaro is not cheap. Despite an increase in the number of climbers wanting to summit Kilimanjaro, and a corresponding growth in the number of climb operators trying to compete for their business, the cost of climbing has continued to go up year-by-year since we started operating at the beginning of the 1990s. This is largely due to regular increases in the cost of park fees.

This page provides a brief breakdown of the costs you can expect to incur when climbing Kilimanjaro, from flights and taxes to park fees and kit. Your choice of route and operator will of course have an impact on the cost. While it’s important to have a rough idea of the basic costs involved, it’s also important to know how much you should realistically expect to pay to enjoy a safe and comfortable climb to the summit.

Flights and taxes
There is no getting away from the fact that flight costs have risen enormously. From the UK as of January 2015 taxes and fuel surcharges amount to at least £300 (approx. USD500). To this cost you must add flight fares, which start around £250 and rise according to the season. But there is good news! The lower flight fares for European travellers to Kilimanjaro coincide with the best climbing season, January to early March.

If travelling from the UK, allow at least £500 per person for flight costs and around £300 more in high season.

Park fees
As much as half of the cost of your Kilimanjaro climb will go towards paying park fees. These are currently USD150 per day.

In the past KINAPA (the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority) has raised the fees at short notice, so it is always best to check the current charges before travelling. If travelling with a tour operator, ensure that they keep you updated with any changes in the cost of park fees, ideally before you arrive in country.

The last fee rise was implemented in July 2013.

Climb cost
Different operators charge varying climb costs, and generally, you pay for what you get. A very cheap product most likely means that local staff are poorly remunerated.

The biggest savings that climb operators make on Kilimanjaro is through staff costs. We therefore recommend that you select a climb operator that has been thoroughly checked out for good practice by an independent vetting organisation, such as the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project. Choosing to climb with a budget operator is often a false economy – climbers on such treks are increasingly being asked to subsidise staff salaries through excessive tips, which aren’t reflected in the climb costs.

Also be cautious of low prices in case you discover too late that all important equipment is not up to standard. Leaking tents and poor sleeping bags can end a climb early. Check on the quality and maintenance of the vehicles that are going to take you on busy tarmac roads and then on rutted and difficult tracks to the trail-head. These vehicles must be 4WD, well-maintained and safe.

The following cost guideline is an indication of the minimum prices we believe you should be asked to pay for a climb that is fair to local people, the environment and you!

Route Minimum cost (assuming a group size of 6-10 – to include park & rescue fees, full-board, all transfers, 2 nights hotel before and after climb)
Rongai (6 days) £1,300 / $2,000
Shira (8 days) £1,700 / $2,620
Lemosho (8 days) £1,750 / $2,700
Northern Circuit (9 days) £1,950 / $3,000

Chart last updated on Sep 2015.

Kilimanjaro’s routes and their varying costs
Machame and Marangu, the southern routes, allow for the cheapest climbs, as they are the easiest routes to access and, in the case of Marangu, offer basic accommodation in huts. Many budget operators will offer these routes exclusively, and as a result they are generally over-crowded. For this reason, we have long preferred the quieter Western routes and Northern routes—Shira, Rongai and Lemosho—though they are marginally more expensive.

If you book your climb on the ground with a local outfit, they will most likely use Machame or Marangu routes unless you specifically request an alternative route. International climb operators are more likely to recommend one of the quieter approach routes, though many still use the busy southern routes.

Open groups vs private
The cost of climbing Kilimanjaro decreases markedly if you climb with a group, whereas private climbs for one or two individuals can be prohibitively expensive. If you are unable to get a group together, it’s always worth considering joining an open group in order to bring your costs down.

It’s worth noting that very few companies offer open groups on the most remote Kilimanjaro routes. We are one of the few companies to offer a limited number of scheduled departures on the Northern Circuit route, and will be the first company to offer scheduled open groups on the soon-to-open North Face route in 2016.

Equipment and kit hire
The cost of equipment varies greatly with your choice of kit and whether you choose to buy your own equipment or to hire it. Our Kilimanjaro kit page should give you a rough indication of what you can expect to pay for kit, whether you choose to buy your own or hire.