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Here’s some valuable information for anyone seeking to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, beginning with some great organizations dedicated to the welfare of the porters, people and environment. In particular, I recommend checking out the website of the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project for their list of partner companies which adhere to their standards for the fair and ethical treatment of porters.
I also urge those interested in climbing Kilimanjaro to read the Medical Commission of the UIAA brochure on travel at high altitude – the bold reference below, which has crucial information on AMS. I can’t express strongly enough how important it is to familiarize yourself well with the dangers of altitude sickness before climbing Kilimanjaro, and in selecting a company that you have confidence can handle an emergency. As Bastian said many times, people die, every year, climbing Kilimanjaro. The odds are remote, but they are real. Josh and I were fortunate. I was nowhere near as knowledgeable about AMS as I should have been, and I have heard a few very sad stories since our climb.
“Those who have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro know that the porters are the heart and soul of the trek. Without their hard work and strength climbers would not be able to fully experience the magnificence of Kilimanjaro. Porters are often impoverished Tanzanians who depend on this labor-intensive employment in order to feed themselves and their families. Porters can be underpaid and many climb without adequate clothing, footwear, or equipment. Porters are susceptible to altitude sickness, hypothermia and even death.
The Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) recognizes the value of the demanding labor these porters perform. Registered in January 2003, KPAP has been helping to improve the working conditions of the porters. Whether you are a climber, porter, guide, or managing a tour company, the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project needs your help in ensuring fair treatment of all porters.” For information: http://www.kiliporters.org
“The International Mountain Explorers Connection (IMEC) is a U.S. 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1996 to promote responsible and sustainable connections between travelers and the people of developing mountain regions of the world. IMEC has a dual approach: working to benefit the local populations, primarily focusing on porters, while also working to educate visitors and link them to ways they can assist the local populations, particularly in demanding fair treatment for porters.
The International Mountain Explorers Connection created the Partnership for Responsible Travel Program to recognize those tour operators committed to fair treatment of the mountain crew. Acceptance as a Partner is based upon the climbing company’s meeting IMEC’s Guidelines for Proper Porter Treatment on Kilimanjaro through the monitoring activities performed by IMEC’s local initiative, the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project.” For more information please visit: http://www.mountainexplorers.org/club/partnerprogram.htm
“The UIAA’s medical commission provides a medical information service for mountaineers, including a page on medical risks associated with climbing Kilimanjaro and visiting Tanzania. Their purpose is to give mountaineers reliable, practical advice and the most up to date recommendations on medical issues in the mountains. They function as a world-wide forum of doctors who are specialized in the different fields of mountain medicine. They collect, evaluate and discuss medical data from experts around the world and try to reach an international consensus on difficult issues of prevention and treatment of illness and injuries. They regularly publish recommendation papers which are available to everybody on the UIAA webpage. The UIAA’s research includes issues of mountain equipment safety, diseases and altitude sickness, as well as Climate Change, sustainable development , and supporting mountain cultures around the world.”
NIH has a valuable page on Diamox. Please research your options well for preparing for altitude sickness. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000766
http://www.tanzaniaparks.com/kili – The Kilimanjaro page on the Government of Tanzania’s Parks website has good basic infor- mation, maps, and lots of useful links about the country.
http://kilitrekker.com – Blog that invites anyone to post their experiences and recommendations on Kilimanjaro.
http://www.Kilimanjaroclimbs.com – Information on climbing Kilimanjaro (sponsored by a company, but with great general information).
http://www.mtkilimanjarologue.com – Information website for climbing Kilimanjaro
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g293750-Kilimanjaro_National_Park-Vacations – Reviews and recommendations from trekkers who have climbed Kilimanjaro.
You can only climb Kilimanjaro with a Tanzanian-based and registered trekking company. International outfitters must all subcontract through them. While booking directly through local companies may be cheaper, some of these have reputations for cutting corners and poor worker practices. Booking through a reputable international outfitter can help ensure you get an honest and ethical local company, as the international outfitters depend on high standards and customer satisfaction to keep their reputation. But there’s no automatic guarantee of quality just because the company is international. You have to be diligent in your research to find an ethical, competent company. Take your time to compare several companies to find the one that best matches your own values, budget, and criteria for safety. (Consulting the KPAP website, above, can help you find outfits that have pledged to treat their porters fairly).
Here’s a list of some Kilimanjaro outfitters to give you an idea of what’s available. There are many other companies out there that did not respond to my invitation that you can also find online. Each of these companies provided their own description of their services (many of them offer African safaris as well). Please note that I am neither endorsing nor recommending any specific company, nor can I verify any of the information provided below. My intention in this section is simply to give you a good place to start your own search. (For phone numbers, below: in Tanzania, start with 255, with 44 in the UK and 1 in the US).
Adventures Within Reach offers all the routes on Kilimanjaro starting on any day. The 7-day Machame Route and the 6-day Rongai Route are our most popular routes, and about 25% of our climbers opt for the luxury trek upgrade. In 2011, we guided the oldest man to summit at 84 years old, and we had a woman climb the entire way barefooted! Add a safari and Zanzibar to your Kilimanjaro trek for the ultimate Tanzania experience.
African Environments is owned and managed by outdoor enthusiasts with over 70 years of combined experience. We ensure the equipment is top grade, the guides are trained to the highest of level and the food is designed to be nutritious and balanced. We also ensure that our climbs are ethical: fair terms and conditions of our porters and making as little environmental impact as possible. Taking good care of people and the planet is the cornerstone of our ethos. We specialize in the wilderness routes of ‘Kili’ which offer a powerful experience, and which we helped develop. With a proven track record of outfitting thousands of climbs, we will get you to the top in style, making the climb a once in a lifetime experience on a physical, emotional and cultural level. We also have seasonal camps in the game parks of Northern Tanzania and offer incredible multi day walking safaris within the Serengeti National Park.
Africa Odyssey specializes in tailor-made safaris to Tanzania and Zanzibar and include luxury climbs of Kilimanjaro.
Since starting operations in 1999, Africa Travel Resource has provided Kilimanjaro treks to over 8,000 guests. Our company offers regular small group treks on Rongai (5 nights) and Shira (7 nights), and a 10 night North route that involves an almost complete circumnavigation of the mountain, taking in the virtually untrodden north side trails. We are very proud of our exemplary safety record. ATR is the only company able to offer the ALTOX Personal Oxygen System on Kilimanjaro which is proven to reduce the symptoms of altoxia (fast ascent altitude sickness). We are also great proponents of porter welfare, being one of very few operations which provides permanent employment, claiming that this is the only way to properly ensure quality of service and staff welfare. Our company has operational offices in Arusha, with bookings being handled by our offices in London, England and Grosse Pointe, USA.
+44 1306 880770
AWA is a full-service Tanzanian trekking company, based in Arusha, near Kilimanjaro. We will assist you with everything from planning the route to the right season of the year to getting the right gear to training for the challenge and ultimately to handle all the bookings and support for the climb itself. As a mountain, it is not be underestimated and our guides are extremely well qualified to cope with the extreme conditions and any emergencies that might occur. Where needed we provide oxygen bottles as well as a decompression chamber for the climb.
Alpine Ascents International has been leading Kilimanjaro climbs for over twenty years renowned for our summit success and safety record. Each one of our climbs is led by an Alpine Ascents guide along with our hand-picked African staff.
Charity Challenge was formed over ten years ago by Jeremy Gane and Simon Albert to provide fund-raising treks for UK charities. The company brings great expertise in helping you plan your fund-raising climb of Kilimanjaro. You can join an open group and meet lots of other like-minded adventurers; or you can set up an exclusive group for your charity. We offer Rongai, 7-day and Lemosho, 8-day as a standard but we also operate other routes on request for charity groups. Our web site is packed with information to help you plan you climb to the roof of Africa.
We offer all routes to Kilimanjaro and offer all inclusive service. Clients can also book Safaris and beach holidays in Tanzania with us. We aim mostly at the German speaking market.
Tel +49 611 1824913
Stunning treks, less traveled routes. East African travel specialists Deeper Africa offers two treks up Kilimanjaro: Lemosho Route, an 8-day trek (10 days in country), and Machame Route, a 7-day trek (9 days in country). Trekkers can plan custom dates on either itinerary or choose from several group departure dates for Lemosho. Lemosho is a highly scenic, lesser-traveled route that offers additional time for acclimatization compared to other popular routes. Safety and quality are paramount along with ethical tourism, and Deeper Africa holds deep respect for the land and people of Tanzania. Guests are escorted by highly skilled and trained guides (including Wilderness First Responder certification and more than 100 summits) and porters using top equipment and safety gear. The climb is paced properly, and all meals are provided. Deeper Africa practices Leave No Trace camping techniques and is a Partner for Responsible Travel with Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project.
Embark Adventures was founded on the slopes of Africa’s highest peak. We take the road less traveled, the Lemosho to the Western Breach Route, which fewer than 10 percent of climbers follow. Embark boasts a climber’s dream combination: very low foot traffic and a real focus on making the summit, not going fast. We also specialize in camping at the highest camp on Kilimanjaro, Crater Camp. We offer a high ratio of guides to clients with expert climbing expedition gear (mess tents, toilets, oxygen, gamo). And we believe in the places we travel, and invest money back into these communities by supporting local nongovernmental organizations such as the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project in Tanzania.
Exodus specializes in numerous itineraries from 6-8 days including the Rongai, Lemosho and Northern Circuit routes, with extra days added to the standard itineraries to help aid acclimatisation.
Explore offers three specialist treks to the summit of Kilimanjaro, using the two most beautiful and least busy routes – Lemosho and Rongai. All of Explore’s treks include a generous amount of acclimatisation time, providing the best possible chance of reaching the summit at Uhuru Peak. Explore’s Kilimanjaro treks are fully supported by a team of highly experienced porters, guides and cooks, whose welfare is imperative. Following the guidelines of both the International Porters Protection Group and the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project, they are all paid a fair wage and have access to health care. All are given the correct equipment to work with and do not carry excessive loads.
Marit and Vidar, the owners of Explore Travel AS have been organising active trips since 1996. Kilimanjaro has been and will be one of the favourite trips for Norwegians! Most of our clients choose to hike Rongai, Marangu and Machame routes. Mainly we are doing tours for groups, Norwegian tour leaders always follow the groups. As a give-back to Tanzania we support schools and children home in Marangu area.
Gane and Marshall have operated Kilimanjaro climbs for over 20 years. They can offer you the chance to try any route on the mountain and you can also join open groups to keep your costs down. When you choose a climb operator you will hopefully want to consider the advice you will receive about routes best suited to you, you will want to know about the climate, the clothing and equipment, the conditions on the mountain. Gane and Marshall climbs are comprehensively documented and each climber receives a very full and useful Confirmation Pack at the time of booking and Travel Pack just before setting out to Tanzania. The climbs are managed by Jeremy Gane, who has climbed the mountain 21 times. He was appointed to look after the very famous March 2009 Red Nose Day celebrity climb for Comic Relief. Jeremy will look after you from the moment you begin your enquiry to the time of your climb.
+44 (0)1822-600-600, Mobile:07815-033-868
Since 1995, Good Earth Tours offers a wide range of outdoor and wildlife adventures in the world famous Serengeti, Masai Mara and Kilimanjaro Parks as well as several other less traveled parks throughout East Africa. For Kilimanjaro treks, the company offers 6 different routes to suit your level of fitness and travel preferences. Our professionally certified guides undergo rigorous training through Trailmed – an internationally recognized wilderness safety training organization. Rates are competitive and clients can include medical equipment such as hyperbaric chamber, emergency oxygen and pulse oximeter as needed. Good Earth Tours is committed to ethical treatment of porters (proud member of KPAP) and a portion of our proceeds is donated to local Tanzania communities including non profits, orphanages and primary/secondary schools.
We specialize in private climbs. Each climb is customized to our clients’ needs. We offer different level of services on Lemosho, Machame and Rongai route, from standard to luxury specifications.
The Heritage Safari Company is member of “Kilimanjaro porters assistance project”.
We are unique in that very few companies, if any, actually operate their own climbs on Mt Kenya, Mt Meru and Kilimanjaro. We have been operating Kilimanjaro, Mt Kenya and Mt Meru climbs for well over a decade. Over time our specification has always been among the very highest. In terms of companies operating on Kilimanjaro we excel in a number of areas: Ethics, Porters Welfare, Guide and Staff Training, Equipment used for clients and staff, First Aid training to the highest levels, Flying Doctors Membership for all. We are members of the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPIP), the Africa Travel & Tourism Associations (ATTA), and The Tanzanian Association of Tour Operators (TATO). For further information about the high quality of our treks, please read Bradt Guides, the Lonely Planet Guide, or Trip Advisor.
IntoAfrica UK Ltd runs mountain treks and safaris in Tanzania and Kenya based on the principles of fair trade. We will not appeal to seekers of the “luxury-lodge colonial” experience, but rather those seeking a genuine appreciation of Africa and its peoples. We employ qualified mountain guides, wildlife experts and local guides who are effective communicators – not simply there to walk ahead of you up the track. They know about the plants, wildlife, history and folklore of the country, making your holiday experiences so much richer. Our direct support for schools, community projects and rights campaigns, over and above our employment of only local staff on a profit sharing scheme, contributes to the long term sustainability of communities managing their own natural resources.
Our specialty is custom and tailor-made mountain climbing and safaris in Tanzania. We assure you a friendly, knowledgeable and personalized service and attention to the smallest details. We treat each booking as a private departure regardless of how many persons are booked together, 1 or 10+. We may have several trekking departures on the same route on the same day and you can choose to trek together or separately. As you are all independent groups, with your own guide and cook you are independent of each other and your bid to get to the summit will not be influenced by the weakness of others. We specialize in: Mount climbing, wildlife safaris, cultural tours, Day trips, Zanzibar Beach tours and Volunteer placements.
Operating since 1984, KE Adventure Travel specialises in-group and private tours on all the main Kilimanjaro routes, including the Lemosho/Shira; Rongai and Machame routes. With a extra time allowed for acclimatisation, recognised by the Kilimanjaro Porter Assistance Group and fully bonded with ABTA, and holders of an ATOL license means you can book your climb with complete confidence.
At Kilimanjaro Expeditions we pride ourselves on a high quality climbing experience for our clients, as well as on our company’s ethics. First, we ensure that our porters are paid fairly and they have the appropriate gear and equipment to endure the environments of Kilimanjaro. We also do everything we can to reduce our environmental impact by practicing leave no trace standards while we are on the mountain, as well as operating a 100 percent green energy and paper-free office when we are not.
We offer Mid Range to High end treks on Kilimanjaro – committed to our fair-traded ethics for all.
Macs Adventure is a small, energetic company with a commitment to responsible travel and to the delivery of outstanding customer service. We specialise in private high quality Kilimanjaro climbs on the Machame, Lemosho & Rongai routes for couples and small pre-formed groups. Our specialists, who have all summited Kilimanjaro, will help you to choose the best route and tailor the trip to your requirements, giving you the highest chance of success on Kilimanjaro.
Mountain and River Activities Ltd have been organising trips to Kilimanjaro since 1995 specialising in the Machame and Rongai routes. We run bespoke treks for charities, and other groups, also individuals are more than welcome. To lessen the work load on porters we allocate three porters per client. We are a member of IMEC and committed to the ethical treatment of porters on Kilimanjaro.
Mountain Madness climbs the Western Breach via the Shira Plateau, a route pioneered by company founders Scott Fischer and Wesley Krause in the early 1980s. This seldom-traveled route is considered by many the best non-technical route on the mountain. Our summit day is only a 1-2 hour hike from our high camp. Participants enjoy our private camps in Arusha National Park before the climb and in the Ngorongoro and Serengeti while on safari. Mountain Madness has more than 25-year’s experience on the mountain and on safari.
1-800-328-5925 or 1-206-937-8389
Peak Planet is one of the few specialist companies organizing high quality group and private climbs on Mount Kilimanjaro’s most popular routes. We have an established reputation as a solid, safe, and dependable operator. We pledge a strict standard of service on all of our climbs, including: professional local guides; high guide to client ratio; team-oriented support staff; four-season mountain tents; dining tents with table and chairs; fresh, healthy, nutritious food; purified drinking water; sanitary toilet tents; crisis management and safety procedures; fair and ethical treatment of porters; environmentally responsible trekking.
Private Kilimanjaro is a specialist operator dedicated to helping you climb Kilimanjaro safely, whether it is a group or private climb or a charity challenge. To give you the very best chance of a successful Kilimanjaro climb we directly control every aspect of your climb ourselves. We choose the best guides, buy the very best kit available and carefully plan all the food menus. We are experts in arranging custom made, bespoke Kilimanjaro climbs with the extras to make your trip really special. Champagne at the summit, a birthday cake carried to the summit, candlelit dinner- whatever you might like we can arrange. What allows us to do this, and what differentiates us from most companies offering Kilimanjaro climbs, is that we are operators not agents. We never sub-contract your safety and enjoyment to someone else. If you book with us you climb Kilimanjaro with us.
+44 115 714 1174 or +1-415-513-1174
Snowcap limited is a tour company based in Moshi – Kilimanjaro – Tanzania. The company was established in 1991 and we do organise all the mountain routes to Kilimanjaro but we are more specialised on the Nalemoru route – the Rongai route as other names. Snowcap is committed to treatment of porters and also adhere to its standards. We are partners for responsible travel with KPAP – Kilimanjaro porters assistance project and with IMEC – International mountain explorers connection. Snowcap also owns Snowcap Cottages, located 500 metres to the Rongai – Nalemoru starting point gate. Clients can stay for overnight at the cottages and acclimatise before ascent.
Summit Expeditions & Nomadic Experience (SENE), located in Moshi, Tanzania, offers Kilimanjaro treks, custom private safaris, exciting bicycle and running adventures, as well as Zanzibar trips. What makes SENE distinct is our Mbahe Farm, a unique cultural experience and SENE’s private cottages for adventurers located on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. Simon Mtuy, SENE owner and world-record holder for fastest unsupported ascent-descent of Kilimanjaro continues to carry out his vision of a sustainable, Tanzanian-owned and operated adventure outfitter that promotes the beauty of Tanzania while contributing to the wellbeing of its people and environment. Karibu!
Specialists in the Danish market, for all routes on Kili. Can be combined with safari or leisure on Zanzibar.
0045 61 70 16 10
Tusker Trail is one of the oldest Kilimanjaro climbing companies. The company founder and owner, Eddie Frank, ran Tusker’s first climb in 1977. As a result of Tusker’s unique world-class guide training program, and its attention to trip details, the quality of its climbs is used as a benchmark for most other climbing companies.
We are a US-based tour operator specializing in safe, high quality, fully supported, small party climbs on Mount Kilimanjaro at reasonable rates. We offer weekly group treks on Lemosho, Machame and Rongai during the dry season and private, custom climbs on all routes year round. Our local guides are professional and very experienced, with most having more than 100 successful summits. All guides are certified by the park, and have extensive training in first aid, altitude sickness prevention and treatment, and mountain rescue. Our porters are paid a fair wage, properly clothed and equipped, fed nutritious meals and carry limited loads. Over 500 people from all over the world climb with us annually. We have guided literally thousands of climbers to the top of Kilimanjaro.
Wild Frontiers has been at the forefront of trekking and mountaineering holidays since 1991. We offer a range of hiking trips to suit all levels of ability and fitness in Africa, Asia and South America. Our friendly staff members have first-hand knowledge of most of the hiking routes, and offer in-depth advice on all aspects of your trip. We are active members of the International Porters Protection Group. Our Responsible Tourism Ethic is highlighted in the fact that we are the only South African company complying with international guidelines in the care of our staff, porters and the environment. Wild Frontiers offer regular departures for individuals or groups. We will discuss, in detail with you, the different routes available, as well as the preparation required for such a trip. We are also the proud organizers of the annual Kilimanjaro Marathon event at the base of Kilimanjaro.
We’ve perfected the climb via the Shira-Western Breach Route, an incredibly beautiful trail on Kili’s remote southwest flank that showcases its magnificent glaciation and five ecological zones. We pioneered this route, and it’s the ultimate way to climb Kili. A full seven days on the ascent provide us with maximum acclimatization, shorter hiking days, and the greatest chance of summit success. Our Kili guides are legendary and they make the climb an unforgettable experience. We recommend our stunning safari in the Ngorongoro Crater and the great plains of the Serengeti as your post-climb reward.