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Guiding Companies for Kilimanjaro

May 14 2007 at 4:58 PM
Nikki VT  (Login Nikkivt)

I am planning a trip to Africa for February 2009 and was wondering what guiding companies people here have used and/or what guiding companies you would recommend I use for climbing Kilimanjaro. Any feedback would be appreciated.


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Alan Ritter
(Login jaritter)

Kili References

May 15 2007, 8:33 AM 

Nikki, I haven't yet tried Kili myself but a good source of trip reports and experiences with various guide services is They have an extensive database of trip reports (indexed alphabetically by peak) and a bulletin board with a specific section dedicated to high-altitude (over 15k') peaks, and this would be the spot to look for current info on Kili or to post a request for beta on guides, routes, etc.

Hope you find the info you're seeking and good luck on Kili!

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John M.
(Login JohnMx)

Zara is great

May 15 2007, 10:52 AM 

For our successful trip in February 2007, our expedition leader Kevin Baker did much research and selected Zara Tanzanian Adventures.

This turned out to be an excellent decision. This outfit is professional, clean, safe, and summit-oriented. The food was plentiful and delicious. The porters were friendly and the guides were exceptional. Zara takes care of the porters and even sends them to school.

While in Moshi, Tanzania, we observed the facilities of another guide service (not even the cheaper one) and we were glad to have selected Zara.

Besides guides, I can also provide advice about visas, vaccinations, flights, tipping, and gear. Be sure to avoid the wet seasons (the guides I befriended have emailed me when they are grounded due to rain).

- John Mitchler
Golden, Colorado

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John M
(Login JohnMx)

report, photo, videos

May 20 2007, 10:55 PM 

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(Login yorkbruce)

Re: Guiding Companies for Kilimanjaro

May 18 2007, 11:54 AM 

I used REI adventures in Dec 97. It was reasonably priced and very well organized. The head guide was Peter Mato and he was fantastic -- be sure he is scheduled for your trip. REI had a nice add-on safari which everyone enjoyed. They used the Marambu CocaCola route, but they did it in 6 days which allows one extra acclimatization day at 12000'. Take your trekking poles and lots of $1s and $5s for tips and drinks on the trail. Good Luck. Bruce York

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Rich Allen
(Login lobodelnoche)

Thomson Safaris

May 18 2007, 1:33 PM 

Hey Nikki,

You already know that I highly recommend Thomson, but something else to think about are what routes different companies offer. I liked taking a longer route and really seeing the mountain, not just racing up and down it. Also, our route (Western Approach, or sometimes called Lemosho/Barafu route)was much less crowded than some others.

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(Login lbrieda)

Second for ZARA

May 20 2007, 11:13 AM 

I also went with ZARA and it was a great experience. The Springlands Hotel is really nice, and is a great refuge from the constant buzz of Moshi. My only comment was the food variety (or the lack of) on the safari. This could depend on the cook, since the food on the mountain was spectacular. You can see my photos here:

We ended up going with ZARA due to both good reviews and the low price compared to U.S. based outfitters. The climb cost around 800 dollars, and the safari was about 400, which was a fraction of the typical 3000 dollar fee other companies charge for climb alone. On top of it, I would recommend flying to Nairobi and taking the Dawanu shuttle to Moshi. This is both a much cheaper option (1200 dollars for the flight, 20-50 for a hotel, around 50 for the shuttle) and you get to explore more of the African country side. And then, after the safari, you can visit the Carnivore in Nairobi to find out just how those cute animals taste when barbecued...

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(Login laflores01)

guiding companies

May 22 2007, 1:57 AM 

hi, i highly recommend using peter mato as your guide, you can schedule direct with him,
i just scheduled another hike up kilimanjaro booking direct.
you get the same high quality attention/service whether you book thru REI requesting him, or book direct with him.

if you are up for a challenge the marangu route (rei) will be too easy, i found it to be a walk in the park, when i return this october I will hike the lemosho route, less people and more days to acclimitize.

the internet has alot of positive testimonials about peter. just search.. peter mato kilimanjaro

hope i was helpful

feel free to holler back if you want more info.

lori flores

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Chris Nute
(Login CCNute)

Please consider ethical employment practices of Porters

May 24 2007, 11:53 AM 

I led a trip to Elbrus and Kilimanjaro last summer. A major concern of our group was Porter treatment. After several months of in-depth research, I would encourage you to consult this website:

and to read more on the subject of porter treatment around the world you could visit these sites and pages:

Yes, you will pay more to insure that porters are paid properly and practicing ethical work standards. Ahhh, scrupples. We probably paid about $100-$200 more for our 6-day climb than what we could have gone for with other, cheaper companies. Well worth the conscience and in the big picture of the US economy vs. the Tanzanian economy...the price difference is nothing.

After all of our research, we used the Marangu Hotel. A very dialed outfit and beautiful location.

Their web site is not the greatest, but they are prompt in replying to e-mails.

One note of caution, park fees are increasing rapidly and almoist annually. Do not attempt to compare prices that friends/acquaitences paid as recently as last year and make sure to inquire if you are being quoted current National Park Fees and if they are changing again on July 1.

There's my 2 cents...have fun.


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John M
(Login JohnMx)

Chris Nute - please contact John M

May 24 2007, 3:24 PM 

Please use

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