Climbing Kilimanjaro Cost: What Are the Real Expenses Of Your Adventure?

The average cost of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro can range anywhere from US$1,800 to US$6,000. But that's just the tip of the iceberg - or should we say mountain?
This is the cost of an extraordinary adventure that promises to be as enriching as it is exhilarating. It is just one part of a larger narrative that includes the thrill of the climb, the camaraderie with fellow trekkers, and the indescribable feeling of standing on the roof of Africa.
Let’s unpack all the expenses involved in this trip so you understand where the above figures come from.
Depending on the tour operator you trek with (by law, you have to climb Kilimanjaro with a licensed guide), some of the costs may or may not be built into the trip price.
Skyhook works with local Tanzanian tour operators who have designed all-inclusive packages for hiking Africa’s tallest mountain. All in all, it helps to know what to look out for.

How Much Does it Cost to Climb Kilimanjaro?

how much does it cost to climb kilimanjaro
A group of hikers starting their Kili climb.
The typical cost of climbing Kilimanjaro ranges between US$1,800 and US$6,000. That’s the rough figure when you put together all of the various expenses involved.
From the route you choose to the gear you'll need, each decision you make will affect the Kilimanjaro hike cost. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the climbing Kilimanjaro cost to keep in mind:

International Flights

The journey to Kilimanjaro starts with the flight to Tanzania. Depending on your departure city, flight costs can vary significantly.
Flights from the UK, Europe, America, Asia, and the Middle East can cost anywhere from US$850 to US$1,800 return, while African flights can cost less.
Some of the more popular flights from the UK run with KLM, Qatar, and Ethiopian Airways. However, tonnes of airlines fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport. Check with your local travel agent or Google Flights for more information.

Entry Visas

You might need a visa to enter Tanzania, which varies in cost depending on your nationality. There’s more information on Tanzania visa fees in this link. But,as a quick overview, visa fees are as follows:
  • British and European passport holders: US$50

  • American passport holders: US$100

  • East African citizens can enter Tanzania without a visa but must have valid identification.

  • Exempt countries: Some countries are exempt from visa requirements. You can find the list of these countries on the Tanzania Immigration Department website.

view on the mountain
View on the mountain.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations can also add to the cost of your Kilimanjaro climb. Here are some you can vaccinations you might consider getting before travel. Depending on what you need, a budget for these could be around US$150.
  • Yellow fever: You may be required to present proof of yellow fever vaccination, especially if travelling from a country where yellow fever is present.

  • Hepatitis A and B: Recommended for most travellers.

  • Typhoid, Meningitis, and Tetanus: Should be confirmed before setting off.

  • COVID-19: Not mandatory.

We recommend checking in with your healthcare provider or travel clinic to get professional medical advice about vaccinations.

Number of Days on The Mountain

The duration of your climb is directly related to the route you choose.
Longer routes generally cost more because they require additional days of guiding, food, and accommodation. Shorter routes are less expensive in this regard.

Group Size

Some routes have a minimum or maximum group size requirement. If you're travelling alone or with a small group, you may need to pay more for a private climb or for joining a smaller group on certain routes.

Did you know: If you don't see your ideal Kilimanjaro trip date listed on Skyhook, we may be able to open a new group or setup a private trip for 2 or more people in your party. Contact us.

Kilimanjaro National Park Fees

Start of the hike
Walking in the National Park.
In general, National Park fees can account for between 50 and 70% of the total climb cost.. Here's a breakdown of where this money goes to:
  • Conservation fees: This fee is for the National Park's protection, upkeep, and maintenance. It's US$70 per day per trekker. So, if you're on a 7-day Machame route, that's US$490 for conservation.

  • Camping fees: You'll be camping if you're not on the Marangu route, which has huts. Costs for this is US$50 per trekker per night. For a 7-day Machame trek, you'd spend six nights camping, adding up to US$300.

  • Hut fees: Exclusive to the Marangu route, these are US$60 per night per trekker. So, a 6-day Marangu trek would cost you US$300 in accommodation.

  • Rescue fees: Whether you need rescuing or not, this service costs a US$20 fee per trekker per trip.

  • Crater camping: If you plan to camp inside Kilimanjaro’s crater, it’s an extra US$100 per trekker per night.

  • Guide and porter entrance fees: The park also charges an entrance fee for guides and porters, usually US$2 per support crew member per trip.

  • Sales VAT: The Tanzanian government charges 18% Value Added Tax, which should be added to your total park fees.

For reference, here is the latest park fees publication by Tanzania National Parks. Note that only registered guides can pay the park fees. You won’t be able to pay this directly to national parks on your own.

Hiking Crew Wages

Hiking crew
Hello crew!
A portion of your total hiking Kilimanjaro cost goes to your hiking crews’ wages. These hardworking and committed people are crucial to ensuring that your trek is safe, enjoyable, and successful.
Here's a breakdown of how the team is typically compensated:
  • Guides: A guide usually receives between US$20 - US$40 per day. These experts lead you up the mountain, ensuring your safety and offering invaluable insights into the trek.

  • Assistant guides and cooks: The cooks usually earn between US$10 - US$15 per day. They're responsible for preparing all your meals during the trek, which is no small feat considering the challenging conditions.

  • Porters: Porters typically earn between US$8 - US$10 per day. They set up camp and carry the equipment, food, and your extra gear, making your trek more manageable.

Food and Water Supplies

When you're on the mountain, you need to eat, and you definitely need to stay hydrated. Most tour operators will build this cost into their tour package price, as there is nowhere to buy supplies once you are on the route.
Generally, you’re looking at paying:
  • Food: US$10 - US$20 per day

  • Water: US$1 - US$3 per litre

This covers three meals a day and purified drinking and cooking water.

Trekking Equipment and Maintenance

Camping on kilimanjaro
Camping on Kili.
When preparing for a Kilimanjaro trek, having the right equipment is non-negotiable. Each item is crucial to your safety and comfort, from the boots on your feet to the tent you'll sleep in. But how does this gear affect the overall cost of climbing Kilimanjaro?
  • Gear maintenance: The equipment on the mountain takes a battering. Quality operators ensure that all gear, from tents to cooking utensils, is well-maintained. This maintenance is a cost that's factored into your trek package.

  • Quality equipment: Well-maintained, good-quality equipment is essential for your safety and well-being. This includes tents and sleeping bags, cooking stoves, and medical kits.

  • Transportation costs: These are about US$100 per Kilimanjaro trip, depending on the route choice. This includes getting all the equipment to and from the mountain.

Some routes are considered more challenging, requiring specialised equipment or additional amenities like technical climbing equipment.
You might also have to pay extra for private toilet facilities.
If you don't have your own climbing gear, you may need to rent equipment. The cost of equipment rental can vary depending on the route and the tour operator.

Tips and Gratuities

Walking towards the summit
Crossing the Alpine desert on Kilimanjaro…
Tipping guides and porters is a customary practice that you should factor into your overall Kilimanjaro trek cost. This amazing team plays a significant part in making your trek successful, and tips are highly appreciated.
A good ballpark to go on for tipping is to base the tip amount on 10 to 20 per cent of your trek package cost. So, on a US$2,250 Kilimanjaro trip, you might pay US$225 in tips.
A general breakdown might be around US$20 - US$30 per day for the head guide, US$15 - US$20 per day for your cook/assistant guide, and $10-15 per day for your porters.
Of course, the amount you pay is ultimately up to you.

Personal Items and Extras

When calculating the cost of your Kilimanjaro adventure, remember the smaller, personal items that can add up. These are things like:
  • Personal gear: Think hiking boots, insulated jacket, moisture-wicking clothing, sleeping bag liner, and a quality camera to capture the experience. These items may cost anywhere from US$100 to US$500 in total.

  • Medical supplies: From altitude sickness medication to a basic first-aid kit, you'll need to purchase these essentials before your trek.

  • Snacks and hydration: While meals are usually included in your package, you can bring your favourite energy bars or electrolyte tablets.

  • Kilimanjaro travel insurance: Travel insurance is necessary and can range from US$50 to US$500.

  • Souvenirs and gifts: Whether it's a Kilimanjaro t-shirt or local crafts, allocate some funds for keepsakes.

  • Connectivity: If staying connected is essential, consider the cost of local SIM cards or satellite phones.

Climb Kilimanjaro with skyhook
Spirits are high!

Book Your Kilimanjaro Trek Through Skyhook and Get an All-Inclusive Package

This trek is a bucket list for many. There’s so much mental and physical preparation to do before you get to the foot of the mountain. So, we recommend booking an all-inclusive package through Skyhook and leave the admin to our professional guides on the ground.
All of Skyhook’s Kilimanjaro tours include:
  • Professional mountain guides, cooks, and porters.

  • Accommodation: Hotel stay before and after the trek, and tents during the trek.

  • All tour permits and camp fees.

  • -29°C Extreme Limit sleeping bags and mats.

  • Airport transfers.

  • All meals during the hike (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)

  • Dinner and breakfast at the hotel pre- and post-trip.

  • Filtered water throughout the trek.

All that’s really left for you to pay for is your international flights, lunch on the first and last day, tips for the mountain crew, personal items, travel/rescue insurance, and visa fees.
There are also two optional extras; a single supplement and private portable toilet, which aren’t included in the price.

Skyhook’s Guided Mount Kilimanjaro Trips

Final Thoughts on Climbing Kilimanjaro Cost

Hopefully, now you have a good idea of the costs that factor into this epic adventure and can budget accordingly.
With that out of the way, you can focus on what matters - the journey that will change your perspective on life and adventure.

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