There are many things to consider when you are thinking about climbing Kilimanjaro, such as which climbing company to choose, when to go, which route to take, and whether to take a private tour or a scheduled group tour, and they could all make a huge difference to the success of your climb.
The company you choose to climb Kilimanjaro will ultimately be responsible for your safety and well-being on the mountain, but they are also responsible for the Mountain Guides, Cooks and Porters that assist you during your climb, and so always look out for those who are members of KPAP (Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project), to ensure your mountain crew are well taken care of.
Climbing companies who support KPAP may charge you a few dollars more to climb Kilimanjaro than those who do not, but if you want to ensure your porters receive a fair wage, good food, and adequate clothing for your climb it is a small price to pay.
Then there is the choice between a Private Kilimanjaro Tour and a Scheduled Group Tour.
Private Kilimanjaro Climbs
Years ago, Private climbs were only for those with a large budget and deep pockets, but today, anyone can enjoy the freedom and flexibility of a private tour up Kilimanjaro, and they can even cost less than a scheduled group tour… You just need to know where to look.
Private Kilimanjaro Climbs can start on any day of the year and with any number of people (even singles), so if you are limited to certain travel dates, a private climb is definitely the best option.
If you climb Kilimanjaro on a private tour, your mountain guide can offer a more personalised service, this is not possible on a group climb when you guide has to cater for several different people with several different fitness levels.
With a private climb, especially if there is just a small group of close family and friends, you get to know your crew personally – and that will make a huge difference to your Kilimanjaro experience.
Kilimanjaro Group Tours
Climbing Kilimanjaro on a scheduled Group Tour is perfect for single travellers who can travel at any time of the year, and who would rather not climb on their own.
If you want to save money, one of the easiest ways to do so is by taking a larger group tour along Kilimanjaro’s Marangu Route, also known as the Coca-Cola Route. These tours are usually the cheapest when it comes to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, but they are also the shortest, and this can cause problems with altitude sickness.
Group tours work well if all climbers have a good level of physical fitness, and all maintain the same pace. If certain members of the group did not prepare for the climb, the mountain guide and assistant mountain guide(s) have to work exceptionally hard to keep everyone together (and everyone happy!).
Climbing Kilimanjaro is a life-changing experience – whichever way you decide to climb, but by choosing your climb carefully, you can make your path to the Roof of Africa even more enjoyable!