5 great ways of climbing Kilimanjaro on a budget
climbing Kilimanjaro on a budget

So you are on a tight budget but do not want to miss out on the fun of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, how do you do it? To be honest, your main concern should not be the price or anything, but your safety should come first. At the end of this article, we will list the most affordable and cost-friendly packages on Mount Kilimanjaro.

Every year, people lose their lives climbing that mountain, so choosing a company that is more focused on getting you to the top than on your personal safety is not a sensible decision. The ability to descend to the mountain’s base will be your priority when climbing. Many people don’t give much thought to your personal safety, but you will need to.

Related: What is the cost of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

What is the cheapest way to climb Kilimanjaro?

There are no cheap ways to climb Mount Kilimanjaro due to high park fees attributed to government taxes and logistical challenges. Remember, cheap is expensive, you don’t want to save for a long time, just to get your climb of a lifetime ruined just because you prioritized a few bucks for safety.

Which is the cheapest and most affordable route?

The Marangu Route, a more affordable option that is more popular and congested than the other routes but also less logistically challenging, is the ideal choice if you want to keep costs down. To do this, establish or join a group of four or more like-minded hikers. Even yet, compared to my standards, climbing Kilimanjaro will probably look quite pricey. Read why Mount Kilimanjaro is so expensive.

5 Great ways to save on your Kilimanjaro climbing Budget

If you are on a tight budget, there are a number of ways you can get a bargain on your climb to Kilimanjaro without gambling about your safety on the mountain. There are some sacrifices you must make to lower the price of your Kilimanjaro package. Among the things that make Kilimanjaro expensive are things like accommodation, group size climbing the mountain, and other extras like airport pickup costs.

  1. Join a group

    The cost of the trek will be less expensive if you join a group to climb Mount Kilimanjaro because you will likely split the cost of food, lodging, transportation, a guide, and support staff for the entire expedition. Also on group joining climbs, hikers share their cultural traditions, languages, perspectives, ideologies, personalities, etc. It is a nice way to make new friends and bonds along the trek as well.
    Click here to join a group climb

  2. Choose a shorter route

    There are shorter routes that are cheaper and can still take you to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. A good example is the 6 days Marangu Route which offers dormitory-style, hut accommodation instead of camping in tents has a gradual slope profile, and is very popular among hikers. Alternatively, you can choose the shorter variants of the other Kilimanjaro itineraries like the 6 days Machame route instead of the 7 days itinerary, the 5 days Marangu route itinerary instead of the 6 days one or the 6 days Rongai route in place of the 7 days Rongai Route itinerary, and save some bucks. If you believe in your climbing experience and have some expertise in acclimatizing quickly, the Umbwe route which is the shortest route on the mountain is also up for grabs, but these options are not recommended for those who climb the mountain for the first time. Remember, the longer the route, the higher the summit success rate.
    How to choose a route for climbing Kilimanjaro

  3. Choose budget-friendly accommodation

    The major towns near Kilimanjaro like Moshi and Arusha offer a wide array of accommodation options to suit all kinds of budgets. On the day before your climb or after your climb, you can opt for cheaper accommodation hotels/lodges and even guest houses that will cater to your budget without even compromising on your budget. Among the cheap accommodation options around Moshi and Arusha include, Kilimanjaro Backpackers Hostel, Rafiki backpackers Hostel & Guesthouse, Arusha Backpackers Hostel, and Hostel Hoff among many others.

    Check out all the accommodation options in Moshi

  4. Skip the extra charges

    Instead of getting yourself a private transfer, you can opt for public transport from the airport like a shuttle, or bargain on taxi charges from the airport especially if you decide to split the costs among other passengers in your group.
    Learn about Kilimanjaro airport transfers

  5. Go on a Kilimanjaro day hike

    So maybe climbing Mount Kilimanjaro all the way to the summit is not your ultimate goal right? The best way to experience the mountain if by doing a day trip and hiking Mount Kilimanjaro for a few hours of the day. Yes, it is possible, fun, and even cheaper than organizing all the climbing gear, mountain crew, and resources to make your journey to the summit.
    Here are the available day trips to Kilimanjaro.

You can also borrow gear from friends to cut down the costs

If you want to keep your costs down, a great way to do so is by borrowing gear from friends before you go. If a friend has done a similar climb, they may have the more expensive items you need, like sleeping bags or jackets. However, the one thing you don’t want to borrow is hiking boots. Your hiking boots need to be like your second skin! They need to be tried out and broken in before a trip.

See: The best boots for hiking Kilimanjaro

How to get the most budget-friendly deal for Kilimanjaro treks

Here are some suggestions for locating the best offers without sacrificing the caliber of the tour operators. Kilimanjaro can be expensive, but it’s also something that the majority of us “must do.”

The most crucial piece of advice is to wait to make any reservations until you get to Moshi or Arusha. Have a list of trustworthy companies on hand, and get in touch with them to find out when groups are climbing Kili. Make careful to specifically inquire HOW MANY PEOPLE are in the group and whether you are OK with the time and route they are taking. This is a tool you can use to haggle for a lower price.

The cost can be significantly reduced by skipping extras like airport transfers (you can buy one for 10,000 Tsh, but you’ll have to seek it in the Kilimanjaro airport parking lot) and pricey hotels (you can find excellent rooms on your own for $10–$20 per night).

What is the cheaper alternative to climbing Kilimanjaro?

The four or three-day hike to the 4,566m summit of nearby Mount Meru, which is protected within Arusha National Park, is not only far less expensive but also offers superior wildlife viewing, comes with a lower risk of altitude-related sickness, and includes spectacular views of snow-capped Kilimanjaro. It is therefore deserving of consideration as a more cost-effective alternative. Mount Meru is Africa’s fifth-highest massif.

Can you avoid paying the permits, guides, and porters?

You must include this in the cost of a climb because you cannot ascend Kilimanjaro without a guide. A permit is also required to climb Kilimanjaro. In addition, you will need to budget for the cost of hiring cooks and porters to help you ascend the mountain and set up camp each night.

What about finding a cheap company?

Not all journeys to Kilimanjaro are created equal, despite the fact that you must reserve with a qualified guide. Make sure the company you book with has a good reputation. This not only indicates that their workers and porters are treated fairly, but also that your safety is a top focus. Frequently, when you see a low price, you discover that a lot is left off. Before making a reservation, always confirm what is included precisely.

Top 10 affordable and cheapest Kilimanjaro packages

Discover a wide selection of low-cost Kilimanjaro treks that will take you to some of the most well-known locations, including Moshi and Uhuru Peak. Each inexpensive tour will give you priceless experiences for some of the lowest costs available. Below are the most affordable Mount Kilimanjaro itineraries based on price. The cost of these itineraries could also become lower if you were to join a group as compared to climbing on your own or with just a few people of 5 in number or below.

Marangu route day hike

One Day Kilimanjaro Trek to Mandara Hut- Marangu

The 1 day hike to Kilimanjaro's Mandara Hut, the first accommodation point along the Marangu route begins with an early
per person
Kilimanjaro day hike

One Day Hike on Kilimanjaro to Shira Plateau

Experience a one-day trip to Mount Kilimanjaro's Shira Plateau. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a challenge that many would love to
per person
5 Days marangu route

5 Days Marangu Route

The Marangu route, which is the mountain's oldest and most popular path, is used in the five-day Marangu route itinerary.
per person
6 days Marangu Route, Mount Kilimanjaro

6 Days Marangu Route

The more advantageous option for ascending Mount Kilimanjaro via the well-known Marangu route is the 6-day Marangu route plan. For
5.00 / 1 review
per person
Umbwe Route 6 Days

6 Days Umbwe Route

Many climbers, particularly first-timers, dislike the 6 day Umbwe Route Kilimanjaro itinerary for a variety of reasons. It is one
per person
7 days Machame Route

6 days Machame Route

For mountain climbers with prior climbing expertise and the capacity to acclimate more quickly, the 6-day Machame route is advised
per person
7 Days Rongai Route

6 Days Rongai Route

This 6-day route uses the Rongai Route to get you to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. Treks up the Rongai
per person
8 days Lemosho Route
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7 days Machame Route

The 7-day Machame Route gives you an advantage over the 6-day Machame Route since it gives you ample time to
per person
7 Days Rongai Route

7 Days Rongai Route

This is a 7-day Rongai route itinerary variation with an extra day for acclimatization. Gradually sloping towards the summit, Uhuru
per person
8 days Lemosho Route

7 days Lemosho Route

The shorter 7-day Lemosho route variant does not include the extra acclimatization day as the 8-day Lemosho route itinerary. The
per person

What is included in the costs?

You may have pondered how much it would cost to climb Kilimanjaro if you’ve always wanted to. Any significant trip will inevitably incur a variety of expenses along the route, including permits, park fees, equipment, and guides. While being thrifty can be advantageous in some circumstances, a climb like this is not one of them.

  • Local guides, porters and support staff
  • All accommodation
  • All meals (except in Arusha where accommodation is based on B&B)
  • A celebratory dinner at the end of the expedition
  • All transport throughout the expedition
  • National Park fees & local VAT
  • All group gear consisting of first aid kits, mountaineering equipment, cooking equipment etc.
  •  Tents and thermarests

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