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Can you climb Kilimanjaro as a solo climber?

Many people typically tend to tackle Kilimanjaro in groups or as a couple, but there are some people who prefer to climb Kilimanjaro alone.

In this article we are going to look at what things you need to keep in mind when planning a solo climb and the options you need to consider.

However, you should be aware that you can never really be alone when climbing the rooftop of Africa.

At the very least, you will need a guide and a porter and it is illegal to attempt to climb Kilimanjaro without guides and permits.

However, if you would prefer not to have anyone else in your tour group, you may want to consider a private tour. On the other hand, if you are planning a solo climb because you don’t have anyone to climb with and you would prefer the company of others, a group tour is your best option.

We will look at this in further detail below.

You can also find additional information about Kilimanjaro by visiting our Climb Kilimanjaro Experience page.

Should I join a group tour to climb Kilimanjaro?

climb kilimanjaro solo, Can you climb Kilimanjaro as a solo climber?

Group tours have their advantages and disadvantages. If you can find a Kilimanjaro group tour that runs on a date that is convenient for you, we would certainly recommend this option if you have nobody to travel with.

Kilimanjaro group tours can reduce the cost per climber significantly, because tour operators are able to spread some fixed costs per climb amongst the number of participants. Joining a group tour also makes it easier to meet people and form close bonds and friendships with other climbers. Indeed, some climbers describe the bonds they form with others on the tour as one of the most rewarding aspects of their Kilimanjaro experience. Other people in the group may also offer much needed mutual support and inspiration during that last summit push.

Is it possible to customize a Kilimanjaro group climb to make it cheaper?

A question we often get from solo climbers is whether group tours can be customized.

Unfortunately, when joining an open group trek to climb Kilimanjaro, it is not possible to downgrade the package to make it cheaper. For example, you might not require emergency oxygen or a dining tent that are included in the climb package. However, the cost of these items is already factored into the price paid by other climbers.

It wouldn't be fair to them if they would be required to pay more, and it could lead to friction in your climbing group.

In case of emergency, of course your guide would use the emergency oxygen paid for by other climbers for your safety benefit. Other climbers may be annoyed about you getting a free ride at their cost.

However, to the extent allowed by Kilimanjaro National Park regulations, it is always possible to downgrade and fully customize a private group climb.

This may help you save a lot of money if you are a group of at least 5 climbers booking together. If you are a solo traveller, or you are travelling as a couple, please note it would almost always be cheaper to join a higher-quality group climb, then organize your own lower-quality budget climb.

Disadvantages of Kilimanjaro Group Tours

climb kilimanjaro solo, Can you climb Kilimanjaro as a solo climber?However, Kilimanjaro group tours also have their disadvantages.

One of the disadvantages of joining a Kilimanjaro group tour is that you may have to adjust your walking speed to that of others. If you're a faster climber, you may have to adjust your walking pace to that of the slowest. Conversely, the slowest person may feel pressured to walk faster. Tour operators will handle this differently. Some keep the group together at all times, while others allow faster climbers to go ahead with a guide and slower hikers to stay behind with another guide.

Another disadvantage is that pre-scheduled group tours run on a fixed schedule – which may not always be convenient for you.

As a solo traveller, do I have to pay the single traveller supplement?

climb kilimanjaro solo, Can you climb Kilimanjaro as a solo climber?

Please note that the single traveller supplement is mandatory for single travellers joining a group tour. This is because your tent on the mountain is a very small and intimate space, and most travellers would not want to share a tent with a stranger.

The single traveller supplement covers your pre/post climb accommodation in a single room as well as a single tent on the mountain.

Should I organize a private tour to climb Kilimanjaro?

If you are traveling solo, and a group tour does not appeal to you then another option is to take a private tour. If you are planning to climb Kilimanjaro solo, then you should weigh up the pros and cons of taking a private tour.

The decision to organize a private tour to climb Kilimanjaro depends upon your priorities, budget and requirements. If having full flexibility over your schedule is important to you, then a private tour may be your best option.

Similarly, if you prefer to go at your own pace and you are concerned about having to adjust your walking pace to match other people, you may also benefit from a private tour.

However, if it is important for you to be able to save money or socialize with other climbers, then you may instead want to join a group tour. Ultimately, the decision to book a private tour will depend upon your preferences.

What are the advantages of private tours to climb Kilimanjaro?

climb kilimanjaro solo, Can you climb Kilimanjaro as a solo climber?

There are many advantages of taking a private Kilimanjaro tour. The main advantage is that you can set your own schedule and it means that you have the full flexibility to go where you like. If there is something on the itinerary that you don’t like or you need to change the schedule for any reason, you have more freedom to do so. All the items included in the tour will be set according to your individual requirements. You can also take the tour at a time that suits you and climb the mountain at your own pace.

What are the disadvantages of private tours to climb Kilimanjaro?

The main disadvantage associated with a private tour is that it works out to be more expensive for solo climbers or couples.

For single people it is a particularly expensive option as it means they will have to pay a single person supplement.

On a private tour it is also unlikely that you will get the same group bonding experience that you would on a group tour.

This can be a rather lonely experience if you are by yourself. However, you will still meet other hikers along the way and at campsites, so there is some opportunity to socialize with others.

Conclusion

climb kilimanjaro solo, Can you climb Kilimanjaro as a solo climber?

There are many reasons why a person may choose to climb Kilimanjaro solo. Sometimes it is just a case of having nobody to travel with, while others may prefer to enjoy the landscapes on Kilimanjaro without the company of other people.

If your reason for wanting to climb Kilimanjaro alone is to avoid the company of others, then it is worth noting that unfortunately, a solo climb in the truest sense is not possible. Regardless of who you choose to climb with, at the very least you will be assisted by guides and porters.

Having experienced guides is necessary to ensure you have a safe and successful climb.

Moreover, it would be almost impossible to climb Kilimanjaro if you had to drag heavy equipment, cooking utensils and backpacks yourself, without the assistance of porters.

However, if you take a private tour, then you will have much more control over who gets to join the tour,  and the inclusions within it.

On the other hand, if you simply have nobody to travel with, then joining a group tour may be your best option. Just be aware that you will have to pay a single person’s supplement if you go alone.

Regardless of which type of tour you take to climb Kilimanjaro, the fact remains that your trip is likely to be a powerful and spectacular one, that you can be proud of for many years to come.

For more information about planning a tour, visit our Climb Kilimanjaro Experience Page.

About the author

Janine is a travel content writer and blogger, with a background in marketing and journalism. She loves travelling and uses her writing to share her passion for responsible travel with others.

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