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Ki

li
manj
aro

HowMuchDoesi
tCostt
oCl
imbKi
li
manj
aro?

TheTr
uthAboutKi
li
manj
aroPr
icesandCost
s

Manypeopl elookforacheapKi li
manjar
ocl i
mb.Buti
fyouhavedonesomer esearch,t
henyou
haveal r
eadyfoundt hatthisisnotpossible.Andyouprobablyhaveal sodiscover edthatther
e
areawi derangeofpr i
ceschar gedforcl
imbingMountKi l
imanjarobydi f
ferentout f
it
ters.
Ther earemorethan200l icensedoperatorsonMountKilimanjar
o.Thechoi cesmaybe
overwhelming.Thebadnewsi sthatt
herearenotmanyr eputabl
eoper ator
s, andwhoyou
chooset ocli
mbwi thiscr ucialtoyoursuccessandoverallexper
ience.However ,i
fyou
disregar
dedthequest ionablecompani es,you'
dbelef
twi thonlyacoupl edozenorsoqual it
y
Kili
manjarooperators.

Firstandforemost,donotmakeyourdeci si
onbasedonpri
cealone.Pri
ceshoul
dbeonl yone
componentofyourover al
ldeci
sion.Hi
ghalti
tudet
rekki
ngi
snottheplacetoshopforacheap
"deal",
norisittheplacetoover
payneedlessl
y.Whatyouar
elookingfori
shighquali
tyser
vice
atar easonablepri
ce.

Weof
tenar
easkedhowwecanbepr
icedt
housandsofdol
lar
slesst
hant
hel
uxur
yoper
ator
s.

Therear emi ni
mum expensesever yKi l
imanj arooper atorfaces,suchaspar kfees,staffwages,
food,equi pment,tr
anspor tat
ionandot herlogisticalcosts.Kil
imanj aroNat i
onalParkent rance
fees,campi ng/hutfeesandTanzani ant axesbyf armakeupt hebiggestexpense, cost ing
about$200percl imberperday.Theot hersignif i
cantexpensesar estaffwages, food, and
transportati
oncost s.Localwagesamountt oar ound$80- $150percl i
mberperday( dependi ng
ongr oupsi ze)
.Foodcost scomeoutt oabout$10- $20percl i
mberperday( i
ncludesf oodf or
staff)
.Transpor t
ati
oncost sar eabout$100pert ri
pdependi ngont heroute.Thereareal so
costsassoci at
edwi t
hwearandt earoncampi ngequi pmentandadmi ni
strat
ivecostsf or
arrangingyourcl i
mb.Byaddi ngupal lthedai l
ycost sli
stedher e,youcanest i
mat ewhati tmay
costtof undaKi li
manj arocli
mbonyourown.Soi nsteadofaski nghowwecanbepr i
cedso
l
ow, youshoul dbeaski nghowt hoseot hercompani escanbepr icedsohi gh?

SEEDATES&PRI
CES
Luxur
yKi
li
manj
aroOper
ator
s

Donotassumet
hatahi
ghcostoper
atori
spr
ovi
dingasuper
iorcl
imbf
ort
hemoney.

Donotassumehi ghpricedoper at orsarebettersimplybecausetheychargemor e.These


operatorspit
chextr
aordinar i
lyhighsuccessr ates,gr
eatersafet
ystandardsandaddedl uxur
y..
.
andthent heytakeadvant ageofyoubychar gi ngexorbi
tantfees.Donotbemi sled.I
tismind
bogglingthatsomeoper atorswi l
lchar ge$4,000, $5,
000,evenmor ethan$6,000perpersonfor
l
argepar ti
esonstandardi ti
neraries.Itdoesnotcostt hatmucht ocli
mbKi l
imanjaro!Therei
s
absolutel
yzerojust
ifi
cationf ortheseki ndsofpr i
cesandt hepremium youpaydoesnot
tr
anslateintoabett
erexper ience.I tgoesdir
ect l
yt ot
heluxuryoperat
or'sbankaccount.

Thehi ghpricedoperatorsar etypicallyinternat i


onal companiesthatdonotf ocuson
Kil
imanj ar
o.Someoft hem usef oreigngui des.Butaskyour sel
f,whoknowst hemount ai
n
better?Acompanyt hatrunsonl yahandf ul ofclimbsperyearoraspeci al
istlikeUl t
imate
Kil
imanj ar
o®t hatoperatesmor ethan150cl i
mbsperyear ?Doyouwantt ocl imbwi t
ha
foreignguidewhowasf l
owni nf oracoupl ecl imbsperyear ,oralocalguidewhohas
encount er
edandhandl edvar i
oussi tuations, withhundr edsofcli
ents,duri
nghi smanyyear s
ofser vi
ce?Whocanbet t
erassesst het r
ail conditions,theweather,
theircli
ent s'capabili
ti
es?
Whoi smorei ntunedwi t
hthewi l
dli
f e,t
hegeogr aphy, t
hefauna,andthecul ture?Thel uxuries
providedbyt heseoperatorscanbesi ll
y.Af ullsi
zesl eepi
ngcot-onamount ai nexpediti
on?A
portableshower-att heselowt emper atures?Bot tl
edwat erontheentiretrek-i nsteadof
collecti
ngandpur if
yingwat erfrom near byst reams?

Thehi ghpr i
cedoper atorsheavi l
ymar kettheaddedsaf etyofusi ngpul seoxi met er
s,bot tl
ed
oxygenandGamowbags.Al t
houghpul seoxi met ersar eagoodi ndicatorofal ti
tude
acclimat izaztion,t
est sshowt hattheyar enotcompl etelyr el
iabl
ei nthedet ecti
onofal titude
sicknessandt heref oreshoul dnotbesol el
yr eli
edupon( Ulti
mateKi li
manj aro®usespul se
oximet ersasasecondar ymeasur et omoni torcl i
mber s).Some" safe"oper atorssupply
"personaloxygensyst ems"t oboostcl imber s,sot heycancl imbhi gher-at rulydanger ous
practice.Nobodyact uallybelievest hisisagoodi deayeti tdoesnotst opsomecompani es
from pitchi ngt hi
s" exclusivef eature"tot heircli
ent s(wecar rybottl
edoxygenonever ycl imb
andusei tr esponsi bly-f orrescuesi tuationsasacompl ementt odescent ).Andt heactualuse
ofGamowbagsont hemount ainisunhear dof, becausedescenti st hebest ,andalways
available, remedy.Nonet heless,therear ethosewhoar emor ecomf ort
ablepayi ngi nf
lated
pricest ocl imbKi l
imanj aro.Fort hemostpar t
,luxur yoper atorsdopr ovideexcel l
entser vice.
However , wepr ovidet hesamest andar ds,includingt hesamesaf etymeasur esorbet ter ,and
youdon' thavet opayt housandsmor et ohavet hem!

^backt
otop

Gener
alTourOper
ator
s
Gener
alt
ouroper
ator
s,bydef
ini
ti
on,
arenotexper
tsonMountKi
li
manj
aro.

Gener altouroperat or
sar ecompani eswhobookvar i
oust ypesoft ri
psfort our
istdest
inat
ions
allovert hewor ld.Theset r
ipsmayi ncludeKil
imanj aroclimbsandsaf ar
is,buttheyalso
i
ncl udeMedi tarr
eneancr uises,Europeanwi netastingt ours,t
ropicalget
aways, bi
keri
des
throughcount rysides, scubadi vi
ngt r
ips,cul
turalcitytours,etc.Yougett heidea.Theysell
ever ything.Then, theycont ractlocalpartner
sineachdest inationtohandl ethecustomers.
Smal lgeneraltourcompani escanhaveahandf ulofpar t
ners,whi l
ethelargestonescanhave
sever aldozenpar tners.

Sowhyi st hisbad?Becausegener alt


ouroper atorsar ecompr isedofnoonebutsal esstaff.
Theydonothaveapr esencewi t
hint
hecount riest hattheirtr
ipsar erun.Of t
ent i
mest hest aff
doesnothaver ealknowledgeofthetr
ipst hemsel ves,ast hei
rpr i
mar yjobi stosellanyt r
ipt he
customerwant s,nomatterwhereitmightbe.Soyouar edeal ingwi t
hasi mpl esalesperson
whohasneverbeent oKili
manjaroorhasonl yr udiment ar
yknowl edgeofcl imbingKi l
imanjar o.
Thegener alt ourcompanyhasnoexper ti
seont hemount ain,andout sourcest oal ocalpartner,
whoseoper ationsmaybegoodi fyouarel ucky,orsubst andar di fyouar enot .Youmaybeput
i
ntoagr oupwi t
hclimbersbookedbymanydi f
ferentoper ators, oryourtripmaybe
unexpectedlycancel edifitbecomesunpr ofi
tablef orthegener altouroper atororthelocal
part
nertopr oceed.

WHYYOUSHOULDBOOKWI
THAREPUTABLEKI
LIMANJAROSPECI
ALI
ST.ACLI
ENT'
S
SI
TUATI
ON.


Makesur
eyourt
ri
psar
eguar
ant
eedt
orun.

"Iwantedtosayt hankyout oyourwonderfulst


affandtheUl t
imateKili
manjar
ocompanyf or
savingmyt r
ip.Asyoumayr ecall
,Ihadori
ginal
lybookedacl i
mbandsaf ar
iwit
h[ ageneral
tourcompany]l astOctober
.Ipaidover$5,
000f ormytripand$2,000f ormyfli
ghts.Notto
ment i
onthemoneyIspentr enewingmypasspor t,
gett
ingmyvi sa,andbuyingallt
he
equipment.Iwasi ngreatshapeandsoexci t
edt ogo.Butthenjusttwoweeksbef oret
het r
ip,
theycancell
edmycl i
mb!Theysai dnotenoughpeoplewer ebooked( Iwastheonlyone).OrI
couldpayanot her$600t ogobymysel f
.

Iwasdevast ed.Ispentallt
hatmoneyandt i
me,andtheylef
tmescr amblingtofindagroup
el
sewhere!Luckily,IfoundUlt
imateKil
imanjaroandIwasabl etogetont oaLemoshogr oup
cl
imbthatfitmydat es.Wit
houtyourhel
pIwoul dhavebeenst uck.Butitallhappenedf
ort he
bestIt
hink.Yourcr ewwasj ustfabul
ousf r
om begi
nningtoend.Al mostcer t
ainl
yIhadabet t
er
tr
ipwit
hyout hanifI'dgonewiththeori
ginalcompany."

CandaceW.
Jol
iet
,IL

Ulti
mat eKi l
imanjaro®isaspeciali
stoutf
it
terdedicatedtol
eadingclient
sonMount
Kili
manj aro.Thi
si sourpassionandhasbeenouronl ybusinessfornearl
yadecade.Al lour
staffhavef i
rsthandknowl edgehavingcl
imbedKi li
manjarothemselves.Allourtr
ipsare
guarant eedtorunr egardl
essofthenumberofclimber sbooked.Weknowcl imbi
ngKi l
imanjar
o
i
sabi ginvestmentf orourcl
ient
s,sowewantt omakeyourpl anningandpr epar
ationaseasy
andst ressfreeaspossi bl
e.Wewi l
lnevercancelyourtri
p,oraskyout opaymor emoneydown
theline.

^backt
otop

BudgetKi
li
manj
aroOper
ator
s

Avoi
dthecheap,
lowbudgetoper
ator
s;t
heyar
edownr
ightdanger
ous.

LocalTanzani ancompani esar epr i


marilymadeupofl owbudgetoperators.Becauset heseare
oftenunest ablished,desperate,poorlyruncompani es,t
heyuselowpricesast hei
ronlywayt o
attractcl
ients.Theirpracticeofunder cuttingeachotherhasr
esult
edindanger oussituati
ons
ont hemount ain.Byreducingpr icestoof ar,t
herei
ssimplynowayf ortheseoperatorsto
providesatisfactoryserviceswi t
houtski mpingonnecessaryexpendit
ures.It
'sacer t
aintythat
theycannotmeett herequirement sforadecentcl i
mb.

Lowbudgetoper
ator
soft
endoever
ythi
ngpoor
ly.Her
ear
ethemai
nreasonswhyl
owbudget
oper
ator
sareabadidea:

Inf
eriorGui des.Themostimportantfactorinthesaf etyandsuccessofaKi l
imanj arocli
mbi s
theknowl edgeandski l
lofyourguide.However ,lowbudgetoper at
orsof tenhirefreelance
guideswi thlit
tl
eexperi
ence,poorEnglishlanguageabi lity,
andnomedi caltraini
ng.The
compet enceofagui deisnotalwaysobvi ousunt ilacrisisemer
ges,butbyt heni tistoolate.
Qualityguidesdonotwor kforthelowbudgetoper ators.Andifyouwer eaqual i
tyguide,you
wouldn'teither.Qual
it
yguidesdonotwai taroundf orclient
stowalkin,hopingf orsomewor k.
Qualityguidesar ehi
redful
lti
mebyt hetopoper atorsandar ebusyleadinggr oupson
scheduledcl imbs,weekaft
erweek.

LackofSaf etyMeasures.Inadditi
ontotheirguidesbeingunt rai
nedformedi calemer gencies,
thebudgetoper at
ordoesnothaveanysyst em inplaceforsaf ehi
ghal ti
tudetrekki
ng.Budget
operatorsdonothaveorknowhowt ouseequi pmentthatcanhel pdet ectalt
it
udesi ckness,
suchaspul seoximeters.Theydonoti mplementt heLakeLoui seScoringSyst em.Theydonot
carrybottl
edoxygent orevi
vesomeonewhoseoxygensat urati
onhasdr oppedt odanger ously
l
owl evels.Theydonothavepor tablestr
etcherstocarryinjuredcli
mber soffthemount ain.
Somecl imberswhobookedwi t
hbudgetoper atorsandt henbecamei llont hemount ainwer e
veryluckythatourteamswer enearbytoassi stwhentheirowngui descoul dnot .
ShoddyEqui pment .Lowbudgetoper at
orsusebarelyfuncti
onalequipment .Mostcommonl y,
thi
sisappar entint heconditi
onoft hetents.Theybuyof fbr
andt ent
st hatar enotwat er
pr oof,
notdurableandnotf orfourseasonuse.Theyusesl eepingbagsandpadst hatarewor nout
andnol ongercapabl eofpr ovi
dingadequat ewarmt h.Theyhaveanci entvehi cl
esthatbr eak
downorgetst uck.Theyusemi xedandmat chedequipmentinvar i
ousst agesofdi srepair,and
wil
ltr
yt o"getby"r atherthanreplacingthei
routdatedinvent
ory.Qualityoper ator
suse
campingequi pmentf r
om reputablemanuf actur
ers.Theyregul
arlyreplacethei rt
ents,sleeping
bags,andot hergear ,andhavewel lmai nt
ainedvehicl
es.

InconsistentService.Localbudgetoperator
sar enotor
iousforbeingunpredictabl
e.Alt
hough
yourfriendmayhavehadawonder fulexperi
encewiththem, youcanjustaseasi l
yhavea
nightmar e.Whydoest hi
shappen?Thesecompani esdonothaveanyoper atingproceduresin
place,sohowt heyhandl eyourcli
mbi sanyone'sguess.Theat t
it
udeandcul tureofthelow
budgetoper atoris,"We'l
lfi
gureitoutaswego. "Unfort
unately,t
hisi
snott hemodelf orsafe
mount ainexpeditions.Quali
tyoperator
shavegui del
inesinplaceforever
yf acetoftheclimb,
result
ingi nconsistencyintheservi
cet heyprovi
de.

Irr
esponsibl
eTr ekki
ng.Becausetheguidesandpor t
ersoflowpr i
cedoperat
orsareuntrai
ned,
theydonotpr acti
ceresponsiblet
rekki
ngthatconservestheenvir
onment.Often,
themount ai
n
crewsofl owbudgetoper ator
sareseenli
tter
ing.Quali
tyoperat
orseducat
et hei
rstaf
fonthe
i
mpor tanceofconser vat
ion.Qual
it
yoperator
spr act
iceLeaveNoTr aceet
hicssoeveryonecan
enjoythemount ainforyearstocome.

Unt r
ust worthy.Lowbudgetcompani esaremor elikelytober unbydishonestandi mmor al
peopl e.Wehaveseenourwebsi teplagi
arizedcount l
esstimes.Ourr outemaps, phot os,
cont entandevenourt est
imonialshaveappear edonwebsi t
esofl owbudgetoper ators.There
i
sahi gherriskoffallingvicti
mt oscamswhendeal ingwithbudgetoper ators.Byr equir
ing
payment sthroughbankwi reratherthancr editcar d,itisi
mpossi bl
etor ecoverfundspai dto
Tanzani ancompani es.Youcanr eadthehor rorst oriesont r
avelforumsofpeopl ewhol ost
theirmoneyt oaf r
audul entbudgetcompany.I tishear tbr
eaking.Everyyear,wehel pcli
ent sfi
x
theirbrokenpl ansthatt heymadewi thcheap, lowbudgetoper at
ors.Evenont hemount ain,
cli
ent saretargetedf ortheftbytheirownout f
itters,andsomegui desr ef
uset ocont i
nue
cli
mbi ngunl essaddi ti
onalpayment saremade.Qual i
tyoperator
sear nanhonestl iving
throughgr eatservice, notbycheat i
ngcust omer s.

WHYYOURMONEYMAYNOTBESAFEWI
THABUDGETOPERATOR.ANALLTOOFAMI
LIAR
OCCURENCE.


[Budgetoper
ator
]isascam.Whi
let
hewebsi
tel
ooksni
ce,
donotbedecei
ved!

"Dur
ingt
heweekofNov17th,Ibookeda6-dayhikeformyselfandt
wofri
endswi
th[budget
oper
ator
],communi
cat
ingwit
hJohn[ scam ar
ti
st]
.Communi cati
onwasgood,
hesharedinf
o
aboutthet
ripprofessi
onal
ly,andheulti
mat
elygaveusadiscount
,leadi
ngustochoosehi
s
agencyoveranother.HeaskedthatIsendadeposi
tof$1,
000USDvi aWester
nUnion.

Oncet
hedeposi
twassent
,communi
cat
ionsuddenl
ychanged.

Johnclai
medhedidnotrecei
vet
hemoney,
becamever
yangr
yovert
hephone,
andul
ti
mat
ely
cutof
fcommunicat
ion.

Ul
ti
matel
y,webookedatt
hel
ast
-mi
nut
ewi
thanot
heragencywhi
chwasver
yreput
abl
e,sot
hat
wecoul
dstil
lcompl
etet
hehi
ke.

DON'
Tbedecei
ved.DON'
Tbookwi
th[
budgetoper
ator
].
"

Postf
rom JessePonTr
ipAdvi
sor

PorterMistreatment.Whenyoucl imbwi t
habudgetoper ator
,youar edir
ectlycontr
ibut
ingto
theexploit
ationofthepoorestpeopleont hemount ain-thepor t
ers.ThereareNOl owbudget
compani esthatabidebythewager ecommendat ionssetbyt heTanzaniaPar kAuthori
ty.
Budgetcompani esareabl
etoof ferlowpr icedcli
mbsbecauset heydonotpayt hei
rmount ai
n
crewsanhonestwage.Qual it
yoper atorsdonotcompr omisethewel f
areoftheirst
affi
nor der
tosellacli
mb.ThebestKi li
manj arocompani espayt hehighestwagesandar emember sof
theKili
manj aroPorter
sAssistancePr oject(KPAP) ,anindependentorganizati
onwhose
missionitistopr ot
ectpor
tersfrom mi str
eat mentont hemount ai
n,

Nobodyl ikest
opaymorethannecessar
ytocli
mbKil
imanj
aro.Butwei mplor
eyoutodosome
resear
chi ntot
heworki
ngcondit
ionsofpor
ter
sbef
oreyoudecidetocli
mbwi thabudget
operat
or .Youmayunknowingl
yberewardi
ngacompany'
sunet hi
calbehavi
orandexpl
oit
ati
on
ofothers.

Therei
saf ai
rshar
eofbudgetoper
ator
swhooffercheapcli
mbs.Buti
nret
urnf
orthatl
ow
pri
ce,t
heseoperat
orsengagei
nappall
ingpr
act
icesthatar
eoft
enoutofsi
ghtt
othetour
ist
.
Theseincl
ude:

*Payi
ngpor
ter
slesst
hanmi
nimum wageornotatal
l

*Al
l
owi
nggui
dest
otaket
ipsandwagesmeantf
orpor
ter
s
*Feedi
ngpor
ter
sonl
yonceort
wiceaday

*Requi
ri
ngpor
ter
stopayt
heoper
atoraf
eef
orf
oodorcampi
ngont
hemount
ain

*For
cingpor
ter
stocar
ryl
oadsgr
eat
ert
hant
hewei
ghtl
imi
t

*Al
l
owi
ngpor
ter
stocl
imbwi
thi
nsuf
fi
cientcl
othi
ng

*Pr
ovi
dingpoorshel
ter
s(suchasmesst
ent
s)f
orpor
ter
stosl
eepi
n

Pl
easewatcht
hisni
nemi
nut
evi
deo(
madei
n2008)t
hatdescr
ibest
hepl
ightofpor
ter
son
Ki
li
manjar
o.

Wehopethatonceyouareawareofthei
ssuessur
roundingpor
termist
reatment
,youwi
l
lonl
y
suppor
tKi
li
manjarooper
ator
sthatdemonstr
atet
heircommitmentt
opor t
erwelf
are.

KPAPpart
nercompani
es,li
keUlti
mat
eKil
imanj
aro®,arel
eadi
ngt
hei
ndust
ryt
oimpr
ove
worki
ngcondi
ti
onsf
orallport
ersonMountKi
li
manjar
o.

Fight
ingforthef
airt
reatmentofportersisanupbi
llbat
tl
e.Ther
eisstrongresi
stancet
o
changefrom cer
tai
nlocaloperat
orswhohaveconsi der
ablepowerandinfl
uenceover
governmentandparkregulat
ions.I
nor dertost
optheabuse,t
ouri
stsneedtostopsuppor
ti
ng
thebehavior
,andboycottbudgetoperatorsasawhole.

Ult
imateKi l
imanjaro®of fer
shi ghquali
tyclimbsatar easonablecost.Atourpricelevel
s,we
cansatisfyallparkfees,payr eal wagestost af
f,suppl
yadequat efoodandpr operequipment
,
whilesti
llpr
ovidinggreatser vicetoourcl i
ents.Wear eadventurersathear
t,andtherefor
ewe
str
ivetomakecl i
mbingKi li
manj ar
oaffordable.Wedon'tbeli
evet hatdoi
ngsomet hing
extraor
dinaryshouldbr eakthebank.