Kilimanjaro is one of the most attractive places for ordinary tourists and climbers from all over the world. Climbing Kilimanjaro, the highest African peak can be the most memorable adventure of your life. To make your Kilimanjaro dream come true for real, you must carefully approach choosing the right tour operator. This is the most important step because you trust them not only your journey but also your health.When choosing a tour operator, we advise you to pay attention to reviews by tourists on the popular resources for travelers, like Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet, or Tour Radar. Always notice the public reputation of the company.
Notice travel operators who organize celebrity tours and provide various Kilimanjaro activities. Photo tours, charity hikings, and incentive journeys for children or even elderly people: always notice if the company is providing some interesting events besides making climbing journeys only. You can always find some relevant information on the topic on their social media pages.
Key Factors in Evaluating a Climbing Tour Operator
As you can see, the most comfortable way to step on the top of Kilimanjaro is provided by the climb operators. You need a company that specializes in extreme recreation. When you make your choice, you should be guided by these criteria:
Focus on Safety
You should remember that climbing Kilimanjaro is a dangerous process when it comes to altitude sickness. Make sure that your chosen tour operator provides professional guides with mountain rescue qualification and at least two years of experience.
Clients’ Success Rate
Explore the client’s success rate of your tour company. Remember not only to check Kilimanjaro trekking companies’ websites, but also use web resources popular with tourists from all over the world, like TripAdvisor. There you can not only find some useful reviews but also ask questions about the company you’ve chosen.
Quality equipment is one of key parts of the climbing process. It must always be provided by responsible hiking operators. The most important camping and climbing equipment includes tents, oximeters, and oxygen systems (at that height in the air there is little oxygen, but it will be stored in the cylinders).
Private and Group Climbs
Remember that the best Kilimanjaro operators provide different privacy options for climbing trips. You can always choose a private climb only to share this experience with your friends.
Budget tour operators typically only provide simple carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, and porridge, because at higher altitudes, these are assumed to be easier to digest. For most meals, operators should aim to include a variety of foods and a decent ration of fruit and vegetables as well as protein.
Overall Quality Services
Don’t forget to check if there is a special porter in the climbing crew provided by your tour operator. A porter helps to carry your things during the climb and provides camping equipment. When climbing Kilimanjaro, you will cross several climate zones, traveling from summer to winter and back again.
Tour Operator Experience
Regarding many of these circumstances, we advise you to choose the most experienced tour operator. The oldest and most well-experienced ones will provide more sophisticated help and a professional climbing crew.
Tour Operators Popular with Celebrities
Don’t forget to check some popular bloggers and celebrity Instagram pages to check out photos and videos of their Kilimanjaro climb programs.
Besides the inspiration, you also can learn some useful and relevant information on interesting Kilimanjaro trips provided by the responsible tour operators.
Top 7 Best Kilimanjaro Tour Companies
Here’s our top of companies that organize best trips to the mount Kilimanjaro:
1. Climbing Kilimanjaro
Climbing Kilimanjaro, The Premier Kilimanjaro Outfitter was formed upon the following motto: Focus on safety, be flexible, treat everyone fairly, and have fun!
Climbing Kilimanjaro was created out of decades of hands-on experience on Mt. Kilimanjaro. The founder, started this company after working on the mountain as a porter and guide for more than 10 years.
After gaining ample experience as a mountain guide and witnessing the injustices porters and guides faced, Justin decided to create his own tour company that focused on customer and staff satisfaction. Over the years, Justin has watched his company grow and gain the attention of many travelers. Climbing Kilimanjaro hold 5/5 rating on TripAdvisor.
2. G Adventures
The G Adventures reviews show high (4.6/5) ratings for all aspects of the trip from customers on TripAdvisor, so you can be sure you’re in good hands. The company provides 24/7 customer support and has different kinds of Kilimanjaro climbing activities. The company collaborates with high-qualified guides and can get you to beautiful, unique destinations.
Moreover, GAdventures offers various interesting tours in multiple places all over the planet: from National Geographic Journeys to extraordinary adventures in Polar regions.
3. Viva Africa Tours
Viva Africa Tours is a Tanzanian operator based on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. Its main advantage is providing special tours, which are flexible for each client’s demands. This is the best choice for tourists who are not afraid of a little disorganization and are eager to feel more freedom in the trekking process. Viva Africa’s rating on Trip Advisor and Tour Radar is 4/5.
4. Intrepid Travel
The company organizes Kilimanjaro trips with various durability. It is also an official partner of IMEC’s Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP). It is the largest “small group adventure” tour provider in the world.
Travellers like this company for paying attention to details and providing quality support on every question. Intrepid Travel holds 4.6/5 rating on Tour Radar.
5. Kandoo Adventures
Kandoo Adventures is a well-known Kilimanjaro climbing operator being on track for ten years already. The company is famous for precise attention to any aspects of the climbing trip.
Kangoo Adventures can provide you a special menu based on your individual meal plan, if you have any allergies, or even make a birthday cake while climbing to the top of the highest African peak. 5/5 on TripAdvisor.
What is a Reasonable Price for a 6-7 Day Hiking Tour to the Summit?
The cost of the trip depends completely on the level of service that the company offers. So, if the price is low, then you should always be worried. Why? The total budget is formed with the number of porters/guides and their experience, operator license, group size, route, additional days for acclimatization, equipment (such as oxygen tanks, portable toilets, pulse oximeters, etc.), insurance, as well as rescue service, food, and a warranty.
Some companies prefer to save money, especially on the rescue service, which is not often needed. Or they can offer a small number of trip days, without additional days for acclimatization. There must be room for acclimatization before the trek because Kilimanjaro climbing is not an easy trip in terms of endurance. All of these factors must be considered when you choose the climbing operator. We recommend that you start your price expectations from €216 per tour day in order to prevent any situations that can spoil your Kilimanjaro trip.
Luxury Kilimanjaro Trekking Companies
Luxury Kilimanjaro trekking companies, like Jacada, give you more acclimatization time during the expedition. In addition, they provide professional English-speaking guides and quality equipment of weatherproof, custom-made sleeping and dining tents; you will be taken through a thorough briefing before the trek begins in order to ensure your climb is both safe and inspiring. This luxury Kilimanjaro climbing trip will cost you about €350- €500 a day.
What Should Your Operator Organize Before the Climb?
Conquering Kilimanjaro is not a simple tourist trip, so your chosen operator is obliged to give you a list of recommendations before you go on the trip. First, the company should be concerned with your health and safety: what vaccinations to do before the trip, how to choose the right equipment and backpack, and what medications can help with acclimatization.
Your trek operator in Kilimanjaro will arrange nearly everything you need to climb Kilimanjaro locally. Together with guides, cooks, and porters, they will recruit your mountain crew, provide full meals and drinking water. They will also arrange your mountain accommodation, arrange transfers to the gates of the park, and work out fees and regulations for your park entry.
Your operator will arrange your airport transfers and book your accommodation before and after your trip, depending on your package. They can also help you organize equipment, such as sleeping bags or trekking poles, which you may prefer to rent rather than buy.
Tour operators are government-controlled and are required to maintain appropriate licenses to run tours up Kilimanjaro. Ask your company to provide copies of these documents for confirmation.
Things to Remember When Planning A Kilimanjaro Trip
Summing up, it is important to mention the basic rules of choosing the right guide company to conquer the Kilimanjaro summit.
- Do not try to save money: cheap tours can harm your health and mood
- Learn about the experience of the company you are interested in and be sure to check the reviews of tourists on different social networks
- Do not forget to prepare your body for Kilimanjaro climbing, then the experience will be truly magical, and you will get truly inspired.
Here are the Top 3 companies to climb Kilimanjaro we recommend in 2020:
- Climbing Kilimanjaro
- G Adventures
- Intrepid Travel