Choosing a Kilimanjaro Guide – A Step By Step Guide
When planning for your Kilimanjaro climb, choosing a reputable and experienced guide company is paramount. With so many options out there, it can be difficult to know where to start. I have compiled a comprehensive step by step guide for fellow travellers to help them make the right call.
Step 1: Identify the Kilimanjaro Route you want to Use
The first step is to identify the route you want to take and consider the associated length, difficulty, crowds, and cost. Most reputable climbing companies offer climbs on all routes, although the cost may vary. Think about your comfort levels too: whilst high levels of comfort come with a higher price tag, you want to be accommodated in a safe and comfortable hotel both before and after your climb.
Step 2: Get a Shortlist of Kilimanjaro Companies from KPAP
Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) provides a list of highly recommended climbing companies that treat their staff fairly and provide them with the necessary equipment and compensation. As the list is quite long, narrow down your potential choices to, for example.
Step 3: Do a Background Check Of the Kilimanjaro Companies
It’s time to do a thorough background check on the companies you intend to use. Consider how long they’ve been in business, the quality of their online presence, the reviews posted on their website, and the reviews from unbiased sources such as Google Reviews, TripAdvisor, and Trust Pilot. Make sure to take a look at both the 5 and 1-star long winded reviews and evaluate the company's responses.
Step 4: Contact the Kilimanjaro Companies for a Quote
When you have narrowed down your choices to a few potential companies, contact them for a quote and ask your prepared questions. Make sure to include dates, the number of people in your party, whether you prefer a night or day summit attempt, and any special meal requirements when sending your request. Additionally, find out what payment methods they accept and what percentage of payment is required to book, whether the provides date is guaranteed, and how many climbers they need in a party in order to guarantee the climb. Don’t forget to inquire about exclusions and fallen outside the scope of the package.
Step 5: Pay the Deposit
When you have chosen the company that best suits your needs and budget, it’s time to make a deposit. Most companies usually require a 30% deposit and full payment sixty days before the climb begins.
When choosing a company for your Kilimanjaro climb, there are some additional aspects that you should consider: route, treatment of porters and staff, budget, extras like accommodation, what others say about the company, how long the company has been climbing, the company’s success rate, and their experience with the chosen route.
By following these 5 easy steps, you can make sure that selecting the right company for your Kilimanjaro climb will be a breeze. Keep in mind that the safety and trustworthiness of your climbing experience are worth investing in. With thoughtful research and preparation, you will surely have a successful and unforgettable Kilimanjaro journey.