You’ve got the will but have you got the pocket?
Everybody loves a bargain, but how much does it cost to climb Kilimanjaro?
But if you’re no newbie to adventure travel, you’ll already know that each and every trip, trek, dive, cycle, climb – or whatever other adrenaline-pumping activity you’ve got in mind – well, it’s always going to be an investment.
In other words, if you want to do it right, you need to broaden your cost expectations. You need to look beyond those of the all-inclusive, bottom-of-the-barrel holiday in Lanzarote. Your mental health, sense of achievement and all-round happiness levels mean so much more than that.
So just what sort of investment can you expect to need to make if you want to conquer Kilimanjaro?
As you’d expect, there’s a range of prices to contend with here, some better value than others. But, all guaranteed to get you well on your way to Uhuru Peak.
Essentially, your price is going to depend on a few different criteria. So to make things easy for you and give you a better idea of how much cash you’d be parting with on your trip to Kilimanjaro, we’ll break things down into each of those factors.
Cost factor #1: Group size
As you’d probably expect, the more people in your Kilimanjaro trekking party, the lower the cost per person. So if you’re a bit of a lone wolf and you’re thinking you’d want your guide to yourself, you can expect to pay a hefty price.
Climbs for twelve or so likeminded adventurers will come in much cheaper.
Take our Bucket List Company treks to Kilimanjaro for example. Depending on the route you go for, prices start from just £2,100 per person. This includes 10-12 days in Tanzania, meals, accommodation, UK guides and – of course – the trek to Uhuru Peak itself.
And you get to make new friends for life and share the journey with people who love the great outdoors and who think just like you.
Cost factor #2: The route
There are a number of different routes up Mount Kilimanjaro that’ll take you to Uhuru Peak, we favour the Marangu and Lemosho treks at The Bucket List Company (though you can find out about the others here).
Some are shorter than others and – unsurprisingly – it’s the longer ones that cost more. But that’s hardly surprising since each day on the mountain incurs all the usual costs you’d expect.
Think park fees, your guide’s time, food and equipment.
At 90km, the Northern Circuit route takes around 9 days so will be your most expensive option. The most expensive route we offer is the Lemosho route, which is only 56km long but takes around 8 days due to its nature. We also offer the Marangu route, it’s longer at 64km but only takes 6 days to trek, so costs around £500 less per person.
Work out exactly what you want from your trek. Then select the route that reflects that and fits into your budget.
Cost factor #3: Level of help
Generally speaking, there are three levels of service you can expect on Kili; budget, midrange and luxury.
Think of The Bucket List Co as a mid-range option. Better than budget but not claiming to be anything other than what you want and need. In other words, an incredible sense of achievement, an extraordinary journey and decent comfort along the way.
The truth is, among the 200+ trekking companies on Kilimanjaro, you’ll find some “luxury” operators. These are the ones who want you to pay for things that you just don’t need on your trek.
In reality, there’s zero justification for the £5,000+ options that luxury operators ask for. Do you really need a “full size sleeping cot”? Or a portable shower? Or even “personal oxygen systems”? The idea of these bottled oxygen systems is to allow climbers to reach higher altitudes quicker. Which is not actually a good idea at all.
Always far better to stick to the “trek high, sleep low” mantra and make your way up the mountain, safely, slowly and with the best chance of success.
Then at the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got the budget operators who’ll cut corners which could potentially compromise your safety (not what you want when you’re trekking at high altitudes).
Guides are often not trained for medical emergencies so they might fail to spot the first signs of altitude sickness. They frequently don’t have portable stretchers to carry injured or unwell trekkers from the mountain either. And you can expect flimsy, permeable tents, worn out sleeping bags and ancient vehicles and equipment and various stages of disrepair.
Go for the mid-range option
So while you have got lots of options and a wide range of prices you could expect to pay to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. That doesn’t mean you should simply go for the cheapest offering – or the most expensive either.
In our minds, you’re best off going for the highest quality climb you can while keeping your costs reasonable. For a once-in-a-lifetime, Bucket List adventure, would you really be happy paying less and getting an inferior experience, or overpaying and regretting it?
If you’d like to talk about what makes The Bucket List Company different, and find out more about what you’ll get for your money on a BLC Kilimanjaro trek, check out our Marangu and Lemosho route adventures, or give us a call on 01769 309007.
Hopefully this has answered your question on how much does it cost to climb Kilimanjaro?
If you don’t book it now, will you ever?