The first question people ask when we tell them we climbed Kilimanjaro is, “was it hard”, and the second question is always, “how much did it cost”.
We think we have answered our first question in our previous posts about Kili (in case you missed it, the answer is “yes, but do-able”), but we haven’t quite covered the budget side of things, and so I thought we would let you know what our trip cost, to give you some idea.
Climbing Kilimanjaro – The Climb Itself
As Mount Kilimanjaro sits within the Kilimanjaro National Park, there are certain rules in place and you cannot simply arrive in Tanzania and climb the mountain alone. There is an endless supply of Kilimanjaro climbing companies both abroad and in Tanzania, and the prices vary greatly from the company you choose and the route you take.
We chose the 7-day Machame Route Tour, and while you will find some companies offering it for less, if you want to make sure your Mountain guide and porters are being a fair salary, have good food, and decent camping equipment, you need to calculate in the region of £1400.00 per person for a private trek.
Flight Costs to Kilimanjaro
International flight prices change with the seasons, and you may find it cheaper to book a flight and hotel inclusive Kilimanjaro package. Average flight prices from the UK to Kilimanjaro International airport with a reputable airline cost between £700 and £900 per person, this can drop slightly when airlines have sales, and can rise to over £1000 during peak seasons.
Hotel Accommodation – Arusha or Moshi
To help you prepare and make the most out of your Kilimanjaro experience, most companies recommend that you stay in a hotel one night before, and one night after your climb. There are hotels in both Arusha and Moshi to suit every budget, but you need to bear in mind that Tanzania is a developing country, and you need to pay a little more if you want hot running water and a nice clean room. For 2-nights’ accommodation you need to calculate around £50 per person.
Some hotels include airport transfers in the cost of room, those that do not charge $20 per person, each way.
Kilimanjaro Clothing and Equipment
It is your responsibility to have all the right clothing and climbing equipment when climbing Kilimanjaro, and unless you use trekking/hiking clothes at home, you may have to invest in a good Gore-Tex jacket, trousers, wicking t-shirts, hiking boots, socks, hats, gloves, and walking poles.
This can all add up, and we spent around £600 each just on clothing and hiking equipment (water bottles, headlamps, etc. etc.). However, if you only intend to climb Kili once and are never going to use the clothing or equipment again, you can hire just about everything from your climbing company for a low one-off fee.
All said and done, I would say you need to calculate between £2500 and £3000 per person to climb Kilimanjaro, but believe me, it is an experience of a lifetime and it is worth every single penny!