Choose an operator

SELECT THE BEST AND MOST TRUSTED KILIMANJARO OPERATORS

How to choose the best operator for your Kilimanjaro climb

Choosing the best operator company to climb Kilimanjaro with is the single most important decision you will make when planning your climb. 

We recommend you check 7 key issues

 

The best company to climb Kilimanjaro with will be a dedicated operator not a travel agent

The best company to climb Kilimanjaro with will be a dedicated operator not a travel agent

Agents simply take your reservations; all of the major adventure travel companies that offer treks all over the world are simply agents. They take your reservation and then subcontract your climb to someone you have never met.

If you’re lucky, this could work out fine, but the agent has no control over what happens on the mountain, so you’ll have to hope. Furthermore, agents receive commission from the operator, which raises the price you pay. So, when choosing a company for your Kilimanjaro climb, go with one of the best operators: they can offer you a good price and have direct control over the quality of your climb.

Make sure your Kilimanjaro climb operator meets the minimum legal requirements.

Make sure your Kilimanjaro climb operator meets the minimum legal requirements.

Financial bonding should be in place to protect your money if they go bankrupt. They must have adequate public liability insurance as well as a Tanzanian Tourist Board license, both of which are required: These basic legal requirements are met by all of the best Kilimanjaro operators.

Examine the details of your preferred Kilimanjaro operator's quote.

Examine the details of your preferred Kilimanjaro operator's quote.

The fact that airport transfers are included both coming and going, that you have a good-quality hotel before and after the climb, and that all park fees are included are all important factors. Even some of the best Kilimanjaro operators list these as a local cost, which, at around $700, is a significant expense to overlook.

Inquire about the operator's guide-to-client ratio, food, and equipment.

Inquire about the operator's guide-to-client ratio, food, and equipment.

This is extremely important for your safety. We always have at least one guide for every two clients. And good tents are essential; nothing is worse than a leaky tent, and you’ll need good food and plenty of it to summit.

Make sure they are acting responsibly.

Make sure they are acting responsibly.

This may appear to be a nice to-have, but the best Kilimanjaro guide will be concerned about his guides and porters, as well as Kilimanjaro and Tanzania. A minimum of membership in the Tanzania Porters Organization (TPO) and the Kilimanjaro Guides Association (KGA) is required—TPO ensures that its members treat their porters well. The best Kilimanjaro operators follow TPOs and KGA rules. 

Also, take note of what they say about the environment: we adhere to the Leave No Trace principles, ensuring that Kilimanjaro is preserved for future climbers. The best Kilimanjaro tour companies also donate to local charities. We help a local children’s home and the porters’ association with the money that each climber gives.

See what they'll do if something goes wrong.

See what they'll do if something goes wrong.

Flights are delayed – the best Kilimanjaro operators will reschedule your climb right up until the last minute at no extra charge; luggage is lost or arrives late – a good operator should be prepared to deal with this; and some members of a group become ill – the best Kilimanjaro companies will always be able to split a group so that not everyone has to descend.

Obtain the appropriate references.

Obtain the appropriate references.

Don’t rely solely on testimonials; they’re far too easy to fabricate. Get real emails and contact people yourself, and check out an operator’s page on Facebook or Tripadvisor to see what other climbers have said. This is a fantastic way to find the best and most reputable Kilimanjaro operators to climb the mountain with.
 
So there you have it: seven tips for finding the best climber for Mount Kilimanjaro. Book with an operator instead of an agent, make sure they are operating legally, double-check what they include, ask about their social responsibility, and last but not least, get some references.