I’ve had loads of response from people wanting to add Kili to their bucket lists, or those that are planning the climb in the next 18 months, however it seems like cost is the only thing holding a lot of people back. I thought I’d put together a comprehensive list of the cost of climbing Kili – although as with anything, it will vary depending on your tastes and preferences.
Tour – I went on the 8 day G Adventures tour, which costs £2079 although there are often major discounts on these trips – for example you can climb it this September for £1529, or the Marangu route is on sale for £1335.
Flights – There are a couple of options of flights to get you in to Kilimanjaro International Airport – Qatar, KLM, Kenya Airlines, Turkish Airlines and Emirates will get you there with 1/2 stops. I highly recommend KLM through Amsterdam airport, the flight was comfortable with a minimal layover. I flew Kenya Airlines on the way home and my bag got stuck in Nairobi for 2 days! Flights start around £450 return.
Transfers– taxis were about $20 from the airport to our hotel, or you could prearrange a transfer with the tour company.
Medication – I was recommended to take Malarone (malaria pills) for this trip, and as the ones with least side effects, they are a little pricey. I paid just under £50 for a 2 week supply. There aren’t mosquitos on the mountain however they are fairly abundant in Moshi where you start and end your trip – a good repellant is also a good idea.
Additionally I took Diamox which can be prescribed to avoid altitude sickness – I’m not sure if this worked or not, but only being sick for a couple of hour vs not making it up the summit was definitely worth it for me, even if it was just pyschosematic. I did get some tingling in my hands and feet (a side effect of the medicine) but nothing too unpleasant, just a little odd. I paid the £8+ for my prescription for this, although some doctors will make you get it on a private prescription.
You’ll need to make sure you’re up to date with your injections for this trip, luckily I only needed an Typhoid booster, but you’ll need to ensure you have Yellow Fever, Hepatitis and Tetanus too. These can be done at your doctors surgery for free/minor costs, or at a private clinic for more. I paid £42 for my Typhoid as I left it to the last minute (typical).
Kit – If you’re into fitness you’ll probably have a lot of kit already so don’t need to go mad at Millets beforehand, although it’s totally subjective. If you want full Merino and can afford a new hiking wardrobe then go for it. I used a lot of the running/yoga/skiing kit I already have, borrowed my sleeping bag, rucksack and poles from my Mum, rented some ridiculously oversized trousers and a duffel bag in Moshi, and got a few pairs of trousers/fleece/socks specifically for the trek. I’ll do a full post on what I brought and wore, however I would recommend investing in a few key items;
Warm sleeping bag – I also took my silk sleeping bag liner from my gap year and was toasty warm even at -15.
A bag with a waist belt to take some of the load – in hindsight my day pack was too big and heavy, I even have the cuts on my shoulders to prove this.
A water bladder- I used an old running Nathan Hydration 2L which was perfect (those without one really struggled to drink enough on our hikes)
Hiking boots that you’ve broken in sufficiently – I had no blisters
Tipping – I spent around $300 on tips for our guides and porters, we each put $200 in a kitty for the group tip and then gave some individuals extra – this was 100% worth it and if I’d had more money with me on the mountain, I probably would have given more. I could not thank the whole team enough for the incredible kindness, thoughtfulness and support they gave me during our trek.
Total cost = around £2500
I know that’s a lot when compared with other holidays, however I would say it is so worth it for the incredible experience. The friends I made, the memories I have and the experience was priceless.