Depending on the route, hiking duration and the agency running the expedition, the average cost to climb Kilimanjaro ranges anywhere between $1,700 to $6,000. (1) That’ll cover park fees, transits, food, accommodations, staff wages and taxes. Foreign agencies tend lean toward the tail-end of this price point, while risky outfitters and fraudsters are found to be priced below this amount. You should note that Kilimanjaro programs are often non-exclusive and you’ll probably need to budget, into your overall Kilimanjaro expenses, cost of travel, vaccinations, hiking gear, tips, and other miscellaneous expenses. If you’re seeking an all-inclusive Kilimanjaro group package, your trip cost will vary widely according to your location, nationality and of course your Kilimanjaro hiking program.
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How Much Does It Cost To Hike Kilimanjaro?
- The average cost of climbing Kilimanjaro from USA, on an 8 day Lemosho program, will range anywhere between $5,000 to $6,000. American nationals are subject to pay more in visa fees and their flights tend to cost more because of the extra distance. (2)
- Climbing Kilimanjaro from the UK, on the other hand, costs £3,000 to £3,500 on an 8 day Lemosho program. This all-inclusive Kilimanjaro package is slightly cheaper due to logistical options open to Tanzania from the UK. (3)
- Climbing Kilimanjaro from South Africa, on an 8 day Lemosho program, should cost no more than R50,000. South Africans have much easier logistical access to Tanzania and do not require a visa upon entry. (4)
- Climbing Kilimanjaro from India costs ₹295,000 to ₹315,000. This is often the standard all-inclusive Kilimanjaro hiking price for many non-African nationals flying from their countries to Tanzania. (5)
Keep in mind these rates are subject to fluctuate according foreign exchange markets, time of year and Tanzanian Government levies. Although Kilimanjaro hikes are very expensive, you should know that there are ways to lower the expense of your entire vacation without compromising on either ethics or service. In this article, you’ll learn how to climb Kilimanjaro on a budget and get an overview of the costs you should be considering before booking your trip. Now without further ado, let’s have a look at Mount Kilimanjaro tour prices.
1. Mount Kilimanjaro Tour Prices ($1,775-$2,970)
|Mount Kilimanjaro Hiking Programs||Group Hiking Rates||Private Hiking Rates|
|5 Day Marangu Program||$1,775||$2,300|
|6 Day Marangu Program||$1,886||$2,460|
|6 Day Umbwe Program||$1,928||$2,460|
|7 Day Machame Program||$2,137||$2,550|
|7 Day Rongai Program||$2,340||$2,550|
|7 Day Lemosho Program||$2,198||$2,550|
|8 Day Lemosho Program||$2,382||$2,680|
|9 Day Northern Circuit Program||$2,593||$2,970|
If this is your first time hiking at high altitudes (above 3,000m/10,000ft), it’s best you compare the Lemosho vs Machane routes because they’ll leave you plenty of room for your body to adjust to higher elevations. The routes have great acclimatization opportunities, low climbing difficulty and success rates ranging from 85-92%. However unlike the Marangu route on Kilimanjaro, both these trails are camping routes where you sleep in tents instead of hut accommodations. More importantly, the Western Breach route on Kilimanjaro, which connects to both routes, should be avoided due to safety concerns. Rockfalls release at random, reportedly killing unsuspecting hikers, on this ascent path to the summit. It’s what sets the mountain apart, when you compare Kilimanjaro vs Everest Base Camp, and hikers considering this trail to the summit will require technical climbing skills plus extensive knowledge of how to prepare for Kilimanjaro. It would be be wise to assess Kilimanjaro climbing reviews before committing to a particular route.
Mount Kilimanjaro tour prices include the following expenses in your program:
- Kilimanjaro National Park fees which account for 60-70% of all hiking costs. (6)
- Crew wages for at least 8 mountain crew
- General equipment and supplies used during hikes
- Kilimanjaro safety equipment and training
- Accommodation before and after the climb
- Tourism & retail taxes (7)
- Tour operator’s commission
2. Cost Of Travel To Tanzania ($700-$2,300)
The cost of your airfare to Tanzania should range between $400 to $1,300, although flights will vary according to your location of departure and the amount of layover hours you’re willing to endure.
Climbers from America and Canada will fly to Amsterdam first and then catch a connecting flight on KLM directly to Kilimanjaro International Airport from Schiphol. These return flights often cost $1,300 for economy seats and have short layover hours in the Netherlands.
If you’re flying from the UK or Europe, you’ll find yourself catching a connecting flight from Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro however, at a slightly cheaper cost. Economy seats from the UK cost £600, if booked in advance, or £900 when reserved a little closer to the departure date. The same can be said about economy flights from Europe to Kilimanjaro as they start at €700, if booked in advance, or €1,000 if you reserved near the date of travel.
If you happen to be traveling from Asia or the Middle East, you may want to have a look at KLM or Turkish Airlines, which fly directly to Kilimanjaro International Airport from Istanbul. Economy flights from these areas tend not to cost more that $800.
For those flying within Africa or from Australia, it is easier to fly with Kenya Airways to Nairobi or Ethiopian Airlines to Addis Ababa in order to catch a connecting flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport. Flying within Africa should not cost more than $400 however, if you’re flying from Australia, you’ll have to pay a heft $1,500 to $2,000 price tag for living on the other side of the ocean.
In case you’re not sure where to start looking for affordable airfares, it’s best you visit m.justfly.com where you’ll find some of the best and most affordable international flights on the market. (8)
Most Kilimanjaro offers include airport transfers from Kilimanjaro International Airport to either Arusha town or Moshi town however, if your package does not include a transfer from the airport, budget $10 to $23 for the trip. Many taxi drivers at the airport are going to try and charge you $50 but you should insist on paying $23 (TZS60,000) maximum for the taxi ride. As a foreigner in a third-world country, many locals are going to see you as their come-up and you should always be vigilant.
Shuttles are $10 to Arusha town or Moshi town although Taxis are often more convenient as they’ll drop you off at your lodging. If you need to make transfer reservations, at no cost or commitment, reach out to our support team and they’ll setup a taxi ride for you upon arrival.
Local Train Fare
Trains rides from Dar es Salaam to Arusha cost $8 and only run on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Although affordable, expect an 18 hour train ride altogether. This may interfere with the start of your Kilimanjaro hike, if you don’t get much sleep.
A 90-day single-entry travel visa to Tanzania costs $50. This visa allows you travel between mainland and Zanzibar, in case you’re considering adding a beach holiday to your travel itinerary. The single-entry visa can either be obtained upon arrival or through the immigration visa portal. Unfortunately, the single-entry travel visa is not accessible to American nationals. (9)
US citizens visiting Tanzania will need to obtain a multi-entry travel visa that costs $100, not $50. This price difference is the result of a special Tanzania-USA travel agreement that buys Americans a 1-year validity visa stay at only 3 months at a time. Of course just as the single-entry travel visa, this visa allows you travel between mainland and Zanzibar and can either be obtained upon arrival or through the immigration visa portal.
Remember that to get a visa, your passport will need to be valid for six months from your date of travel to Tanzania, as is standard practice in most countries. So if your passport is past this threshold, it’s best you get onto renewing it quickly.
Not all nationals have easy access to Tanzania. That said, you will need to gloss over the visa application guidelines to dertime whether you’ll be subject to additional entry measures at customs.
A traveller’s insurance should cost $200, although it is not a requirement for Kilimanjaro hikes or entry into Tanzania. That said, a traveller’s insurance is still advised for anyone undertaking a hike up Mount Kilimanjaro. Specifically a traveller’s insurance that covers an altitude of up to 6,000m.
Eventhough Kilimanjaro is not a technical climb, accidents are reported on a daily basis. With that in mind, when taking out a travel insurance policy, you should consider choosing one that covers the following categories:
- Medical insurance
- Delayed, cancelled or interrupted travel
- Lost or damaged luggage
Except for lost or damaged luggage, you should cover yourself to the tune of at least $200,000 for each of the above insurance categories. World Nomads offers a comprehensive yet affordable insurance policy that will cover you up to 6,000m in elevation. (10)
It’s worth noting that Tanzania is a pay-play cultural environment and you’d be required to have your insurance policy registered at a hospital, prior to your arrival in the country. This will require you forward your operator a copy of your policy details 1-month ahead of your departure, that way there’s a smooth transition for any medical assistance, in case your hike goes south — knock on wood.
3. Cost Of Medication & Vaccinations For Tanzania ($200)
Speaking of medical attention, vaccinations required upon entry into Tanzania should not cost you more than $200. If you’re flying from a country subject to yellow fever, you’ll need to present proof of vaccination at customs along with necessary identification documents.
Ideally you should visit your General Practitioner one or two months prior to your Kilimanjaro trip in order to get vaccinated and/or get your hands on any necessary medication for altitude sickness, malaria, diarrhea etc. (11)
4. Cost Of Trekking Gear For Kilimanjaro ($400-$800)
Since Kilimanjaro is a non-technical mountain and does not require technical equipment, you’re probably looking at a budget range between $400 and $800 for your hiking gear. (12) Depending on what you’ve already got in your wardrobe, you can lower this cost by renting additional gear and clothing at a rental store either in Moshi town or Arusha town. Doing so will lower your gear costs by 1/3 and also save you a lot of luggage space when travelling to Tanzania.
5. Tipping Support Crew ($200-$400)
What I wish I knew before climbing Kilimanjaro is that there’s a customary tipping practice on Kilimanjaro that could set you back $200 to $400, depending on the duration of your hike. (13) These tips are to be paid directly to the support staff and not to an outfitter. There are a number of trekking companies on Kilimanjaro that withhold tips from crew members or outright use them as a tax write off. Paying crew members at hand will make sure your money goes directly to the people intended. If you’re not sure about the customary tipping guidelines per route, below is a table showcasing the various tipping rates according to Kilimanjaro climbing durations.
|Mount Kilimanjaro Tipping Guidelines||Tips Per Hiker||Number Of Hiking Days|
|Marangu Tipping Guidelines||$200||5 Days|
|Marangu Tipping Guidelines||$250||6 Days|
|Umbwe Tipping Guidelines||$250||6 Days|
|Rongai Tipping Guidelines||$300||7 Days|
|Machame Tipping Guidelines||$300||7 Days|
|Lemosho Tipping Guidelines||$300||7 Days|
|Lemosho Tipping Guidelines||$350||8 Days|
|Northern Circuit Tipping Guidelines||$400||9 Days|
6. Miscellaneous Expenses ($200)
Inevitably you will end up spending money during your hotel stay before and after your climb, so you should probably budget an extra $200 for miscellaneous expenses. This could go toward meals, laundry, souvenirs or even a night out in town.
What Is The Cheapest Way To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro?
The cheapest way to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is to raise money for a charitable cause and then subsidize the funds in order to cover your Kilimanjaro hike. That’s because you cannot climb Kilimanjaro without paying a registered company, a licensed guide or Kilimanjaro’s park entry fees that could amount up to $1,529. Although this is the case, there are a number of ways you can climb Kilimanjaro on a budget without compromising your overall hike. That includes but is not limited to writing off your trip as a business expense, organizing the hike as a corporate retreat, or joining a large open group within a local agency. To get a better insight of how to climb Kilimanjaro affordably, we’ve put together a list of techniques below that you could implement in order to reduce your total hiking costs.
1. Climb Kilimanjaro For Charity (100% Off)
One of the best ways of climbing Kilimanjaro for free is by raising awareness for a special charitable cause. This can be accomplished by either setting up an online GoFund Me campaign, which you’ll promote on social media to your friends and family, or by simply passing out flyers within your community at church, neighborhood, etc. (14) This of course takes creativity but, if properly executed, 10-20% of the overall funds raised could cover the cost of your Kilimanjaro trip.
2. Write-Off Your Trip As A Business Expense (50-100% Off)
A good way of reducing your Kilimanjaro trip cost is by writing it off as business expense. This will of course depend on your jurisdiction, qualifiers and the way your business is structured. Sometimes just having your flights written off as a business expense could save a good chunk of your overall trip cost. I would advise you consult an accountant and/or lawyer before making any necessary arrangements.
3. Suggest A Corporate Retreat (100% Off)
Another way of climbing Kilimanjaro for free is to suggest the expedition as a fun and social-building exercise for your colleagues at your workplace. There are a good number of groups that show up to hike Kilimanjaro, every year, as part of a social retreat. The hiking hardship will not only build trust amongst your peers, but it’ll also establish a bond within your team.
4. Book through A Local Travel Agency ($600-$1,000 Off)
The leading contributors to high Kilimanjaro climb costs are foreign agencies with no presence in Tanzania. By simply cutting out the middleman, you could cut your Kilimanjaro hike costs in half. With that said, there are a few companies that offer affordable Mount Kilimanjaro climbs; however, finding them in such a crowded market can be difficult. Instead, seek help from local agencies. Expeditions led by local companies are usually fair and reasonable. You’ll also be contributing to the local economy.
5. Join An Open Group ($300 Off)
Joining an open Kilimanjaro group climb rather than a structured group hike is the second best way to save money on your Kilimanjaro climb costs. Because their business model relies on as many hikers as possible joining the expedition, open groups charge a low flat fee. At any given time, these groups can number anywhere from 7 to 12 trekkers. It’s worth noting that most businesses avoid forming open groups because they’d rather avoid the hassle and charge hikers a premium for their services. The best time of year to climb Kilimanjaro with an open is between June to October and December to February because the weather’s warm and trails are dry during this period. It makes navigating much easier as a unit.
6. Rent Your Hiking Gear ($600 Off)
Renting your trekking gear on the ground is the simplest way of reducing your gear costs down to $200. (15) You could either rent gear from your Kilimanjaro operator or from a rental store that can be found in Arusha town. It’s worth noting that you may not always be able to find the right gear required in Tanzania, so it’ll be better if you came prepared with essential hiking equipment needed for the hike.