Mark has trekked extensively in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. He founded Mountain IQ in 2014 with the sole aim to be the best online information portal to some of the most popular mountain destinations around the world. When not writing for Mountain IQ, Mark is out exploring the outdoors with his wife!
Summiting the Roof of Africa is not a cheap affair, but this is also one of the reasons why it’s one of the top adventures in the world today.
To break down the cost, we’ve put together a brief guide on how to budget for this epic once-in-a-lifetime challenge.
Your flight costs will vary depending on your departure location, date and time. Put aside approximately $1,500 for the flights and don’t be surprised if you have to make multiple changes to get to Kilimanjaro region.
Apart from the obvious flight costs to get to Tanzania, you might need a Tanzanian visa.
Check the official site whether you need a visa on arrival or a pre-arranged visa.
A single entry visa will cost you between $50 and $100, depending on your country’s relations with Tanzania.
Upon entry to Tanzania, you may need to prove you have been vaccinated for Yellow Fever. You may need other vaccinations as well. It is also recommended to get Polio Tetanus Diphtheria booster and a HEP-A shot, which will cost about $50.
Since there is risk of malaria at sea level in Tanzania, you might also need to bring malaria tablets and stock up on pills to help cope with high altitude.
Budget about $150 for this.
Some tours include trekking insurance, but you may need to top up your cover.
Because Kilimanjaro is 5,895 meters high, many regular travel insurance companies don’t cover this adventure. Look for those that cover your health needs at high altitude of up to 6,000 meters.
This is vital, because if you get altitude sickness and no cover you might end up with a hefty additional bill, as your tour porters will have to bring you down the mountain themselves.
Many trekkers don’t know this but: the must-have state permit to summit Kilimanjaro costs tour operators about $1,000 per person, depending on the number of days spent on the mountain.
Therefore, be very careful and triple check any cheap tours. Review the inclusions and exclusions of your climbing package cautiously.
In most cases, transfers from and to the airport, hotel accommodation before and after the hike, as well as most expenses related to being up the mountain, like food, sleeping gear, porter and chef support, guides, etc. are included in the price.
This is why an average group package today – depending on your trekking route and the number of days you will spend on the trek – is about $2,500 per person, but there are more expensive (private) and cheaper offers out there.
Ensure you have the correct gear for the conditions according to when you are planning to trek.
It’s easier to bring your own bags and daypacks, and to pack your own clothes (three layers), headgear, gloves, toiletries, medication, energy bars and drinks dissolving in water, as well as wet bags to keep things dry.
If you are not a regular high altitude hiker, you may need to purchase or rent some bigger items.
Keep this in mind, but there will be items available for rent if you need more gear, so check before you purchase too much stuff.
Set aside between $500 and $800 for your gear.
Tipping of support staff is considered standard and helps local communities thrive.
The minimum rate is around $250-$300 per climber for the support team, but do count how many people are working towards helping you on your journey to the summit and estimate accordingly.
Set aside some cash money for small purchases and activities before and after your climb. Usually around $200 should be enough.