Climbing Kilimanjaro is not the cheapest holiday in world, but when you consider what is involved in your trek to the Roof of Africa, it is easy to understand where all your hard-earned cash goes. There are mountain guides, chefs and porters to pay, there are tents and cooking equipment to rent, there’s food supplies for 7 or 8 days, and then there are the National Park Entry Fees that all add up to a princely sum.
However, as I am sure anyone who has successfully climbed Kilimanjaro will agree, the price you pay for your expedition is worth every penny, and when you stand at Uhuru Peak, some 5,895 meters above sea level overlooking the beauty that is Africa below, you begin to realise what a great investment your expedition was!
Serengeti Safaris are much the same. They are not cheap, especially when compared to the larger Game Reserves of South Africa such as Kruger National Park, but you are paying for exclusivity, logistics (remember that when you enjoy a G&T in the middle of the bush before heading back to your four-poster bed!!), the most pristine landscapes, and an abundance of wildlife that you simply will not find anywhere else in the world.
These Bucket List dreams may not come cheap, but I have yet to meet anyone who was unsatisfied with their Tanzanian adventure, and so I guess the saying “you get what you pay for” really is true when it comes to once in a lifetime trips.
But sadly, Kilimanjaro Expeditions and Serengeti Safaris are about to become a whole lot more expensive, thanks to the Tanzanian governments rather impromptu decision to add 18% VAT to all travel services, even those that were previously exempt such as National Park fees, ground transportation and camping fees.
In true African style, the Tanzanian government did not forward date their new policy, but rather implemented it on the day it was introduced (1st July), which has left thousands of travel agents with hefty bills that they have no choice but to pass on to those who have already booked and paid for their holidays.
While Kilimanjaro Climbers should not see an increase of more than $150 US dollars per person, those who have booked a high-end safari could receive a bill for hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and so if you’ve booked an expedition or safari to Tanzania, it might be a good idea to speak to your travel agent!
Nothing will stop us from visiting Tanzania, after all, it is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, but forearmed is forewarned, as they say, and so you better calculate that little bit extra!