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Home > Kilimanjaro Hiking Routes > Grand Traverse > 8-day Grand Traverse With Crater Camp & Lava Tower

8-day Grand Traverse With Crater Camp & Lava Tower

ALTITUDE PROFILE (HIKE HIGH, SLEEP LOW)Very good
DIFFICULTY (GRADIENT, DAILY DISTANCE)Strenuous
SCENERYVery good
WILDERNESSExcellent
360° VIEWSExcellent
ACCESSIBILITYGood
AFFORDABILITYExpensive

This 8-day Grand Traverse With Crater Cramp itinerary is a strenuous climb with very long hiking days. It includes a detour to Lava Tower for better acclimatization to the high altitude in preparation for staying overnight at Crater Camp. This detour, however, also makes this itinerary physically more challenging than its 8-day Grand Traverse With Crater Camp alternative without the acclimatization hike to Lava Tower.

Both itineraries have been designed to be combined with a pre-acclimatization climb of Mount Meru. They should not be attempted by climbers who have not pre-acclimatized to the high altitude.

To make this itinerary less strenuous, please consider extending your Kilimanjaro climb by an additional day or two as per the more manageable 9-day Grand Traverse With Crater Camp or 10-day Northern Circuit With Crater Camp itineraries.

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Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1
    2h
  • Transfer to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate
  • Moshi (831m)  →  Londorosi Gate (2,250m)
  • 1,419m
  • 82km

The start of your exciting Mount Kilimanjaro journey begins from your hotel pick-up in Moshi (or Arusha). You will depart early to arrive by Londorosi Gate on the western side of the Kilimanjaro National Park by mid-day.

During the drive, enjoy the green scenery of coffee and banana plantations. Nearer to Londorosi Gate, you’ll find yourself surrounded by pine plantations – sad evidence of the past destruction of the indigenous rainforest which used to engulf the gate until few decades ago.

At the gate, you will be registering with the Kilimanjaro National Park authorities. Expect to linger around for approximately an hour to two while all equipment and supplies get distributed amongst your porters and weighed to ensure fair porter treatment practices.

Once formalities are taken care of, it’s time to head back into the car to drive to the start of your exciting journey at Lemosho Gate.

    1h
  • Transfer through the forest to the edge of the tree-line
  • Londorosi Gate (2,250m)  →  Morum Barrier Gate (3,410m)
  • 1,160m
  • 20km

After formalities and registration are taken care of at Londorosi Gate, you are driven up through a dense rainforest to an altitude of 3,400 meters (11,000 feet) where Morum Barrier Gate awaits you.

While climbers on other routes spend two days hiking up to the Shira Plateau, your exciting adventure on the Grand Traverse starts at the edge of the tree-line. The views of the wilderness will be breathtaking and you’ll begin to feel immersed into the Kilimanjaro mountainside as soon as you begin your once-in-a-lifetime excursion.

    4-6h
  • Panoramic Kibo views
  • Morum Barrier Gate (3,410m)  →  Shira 2 Camp (3,850m)
  • 440m
  • 14km

Your first day of hiking will take you up and across the Shira Plateau. The rainforest you drove through begins to become sparse as you enter into the heather and moorland vegetation zone. Not long into your hike, breathtaking views of Kibo open in the distance.

The path maintains a very manageable incline as you cross the the vast Shira Plateau, steadily narrowing the distance between you and the free-standing mountain glistening in the afternoon sun.

After you’ve crossed the Shira Plateau, watch out for a few specimen of the curious Dendrosenecio trees, also known as Giant Groundsels.

As you approach camp, it’s time to rest after your exciting first day and enjoy the panoramic views before the sun sets. Be aware that the Shira Plateau can be below freezing at night, so make sure you have your hats, gloves and flashlights ready.

Day 2
    4h
  • Acclimatizing to the thin air at Lava Tower
  • Shira 2 Camp (3,850m)  →  Lava Tower (4,600m)
  • 750m
  • 7km

The morning climb brings you to the majestic Lava Tower, an ancient plug that was left by the active-volcanic days. Although the walk is not too steep, it is nonetheless a long and strenuous one due to the high altitude. Your body will begin to notice the decrease in oxygen.

On this part of the journey, the landscape becomes more barren and even the heather disappears, only to be replaced by rocks and lava ridges. At the peak of your journey, you will have climbed 4,600 metres to the Lava Tower, also known as the Shark’s tooth. This covers an altitude distance of approximately 750 metres from Shira 2 Camp.

Your new surroundings at Lava Tower will consist of a high altitude desert, with no vegetation and pools of rocks, scree and dust as far as the eye can see.  You’ll need a few warm layers on this part of the journey as it can be prone to cold winds, ice and mist.

Symptoms of altitude sickness are common here, but don’t worry because this is one of the reasons why you have come here: to allow for proper altitude acclimatization.

    2-3h
  • A euphoric descent after your big morning climb
  • Lava Tower (4,600m)  →  Moir Hut Camp (4,200m)
  • -400m
  • 7km

After spending time at the stunning Lava Tower, you will descend today into the Moir Hut Camp. Hiking high and sleeping low is an important tactic in acclimating your body to the higher altitudes. While it seems backwards to descend after working so hard to climb up, you are preparing your body to succeed when you finally summit.

You’ll surely feel your legs today by the time you reach Moira Hut. The camp is situated at the base of Lent Hills – a scenic and quiet camp that is only used for the Shira and Northern routes.

If you’ve skipped Lava Tower and made your way to Moir Hut Camp directly, and still have some energy left, you may want to take a short walk around the camp in the afternoon. This acclimatization opportunity is a quaint getaway from the other busier camps, and should be taken full advantage of!

Day 3
    5-6h
  • Off into authentic wilderness on the northern slopes
  • Moir Hut Camp (4,200m)  →  Buffalo Camp (4,026m)
  • -174m
  • 9km

Today you will head north onto the Northern Circuit, away from all other routes that approach the summit on the southern slopes.

The day will begin with a fairly steep climb, as you hike to the summit of Lent Hills. You will be rewarded with breathtaking scenery of the vast moon-like terrain and the snow-covered mountains. After you’ve accomplished the most challenging part of the day, and admired the views, it’s time to head east across the rock fields and back onto a trodden trail.

For the remainder of your hiking day, the path gently undulates and you cross a series of inclines and declines through the slopes of Kibo. As you approach Buffalo Camp, and weather permitting, you are met with a scenery of plains that stretch out all the way to the Kenyan/Tanzanian border.

The day will leave you with some time to rest, and an opportunity to explore the surrounding area. The infinite amount of plains and the snow-capped Kibo will be a welcoming place to relax.

Buffalo Camp has no cabins or built structures, not even toilet latrines, completely immersing yourself into the Kilimanjaro wilderness. There is good chance that you get to enjoy the campsite to yourself, a real treat on the busy mountain!

Day 4
    4-5h
  • Closeup views of Kibo and afar to Kenya
  • Buffalo Camp (4,026m)  →  Third Cave (3,800m)
  • -226m
  • 7km

Today will be a fairly short and easy day as you head up the Buffalo Ridge onto your next camp. Crossing numerous ribs and gullies, you’ll find that this part of the mountain is quieter, since the route isn’t traveled as much. The mountain wilderness surrounds you as you continue to trek east through the remote valleys on the slopes of Kibo.

Enjoy the meditative silence and be prepared that your initial excitement of being on the mountain may be fading away and you may find the scenery a little repetitive. This was precisely the reason why you have chosen this longer hiking route – to get away from civilization and allow enough time to acclimatize to the thin air. Surely, your body will be feeling these benefits by now.

The Third Cave campsite is named after a cave that sits nearby the camp, as was once used as accommodation for hikers back in the day. Once you arrive after a short hiking day, you may be met with an out of body experience as the clouds tend to hang around the camp. Weather permitting, Kibo’s majestic backdrop sits in your view as you take in the wonders of the mountain in this pristine area.

Other than your Northern Circuit route, Third Cave is only used by some variations of the Rongai Route. Therefore, you might have the campsite again to yourself. Enjoy!

Day 5
    5h
  • Into thin air and alpine desert
  • Third Cave (3,800m)  →  School Hut (4,800m)
  • 1,000m
  • 10km

Today you will be climbing from Third Cave to School Hut, your base camp for the final summit push. You may start to be feeling butterflies in anticipation of your big summit night. Within less than 24 hours, you’ll be standing on the top of Africa!

The hike will be shorter today, but significant altitude height will be gained to acclimate you for the summit. Soon after leaving Third Cave, the landscape will become barren, and you may feel like you’re on another planet with the clouds sitting below you.

You’ll notice that the altitude can be difficult. While the trek doesn’t seem very steep, the lack of oxygen will make it feel otherwise. Do not be discouraged, and take as much time as you need! The views of the towering  will motivate you as you take each step. Weather and cloud cover permitting, you have Kibo in your view the entire time.

It’s still fairly early as you approach the campsite, so that you can get as much rest as possible before the exciting night ahead. Even though you may not be feeling hungry due to the altitude, try to eat as much as possible to gain strength for your summit push. After an early dinner, it’s time to get your gear ready for your early wake up, and to catch as much sleep as you can.

Day 6
    6-7h
  • All the way the top (almost)
  • School Hut (4,800m)  →  Stella Point (5,756m)
  • 956m
  • 3km

Today is an early start for the moment you’ve been waiting for – your final push to the top of Kibo. One of the benefits of staying overnight at Crater Camp is that you can conquer the top of Kilimanjaro in daylight rather than overnight. However, it will still be an early start just after sunrise, to leave enough time to explore the crater in the afternoon.

Even though summiting in daylight will feel a lot less frigid than overnight, be sure to pack thick gloves and extra warm gear as the wind will still feel icy even during the day. And make sure to apply extra thick sunscreen and bring your sunglasses as the sun is getting ever more intense the higher you climb. Snacks are encouraged as well to maintain energy throughout the long day.

After a relatively moderate start, the trail becomes steep and challenging as it joins with the Marangu Route. The air will become so thin that you may need to pause for a second or more after each step, and altitude sickness may begin to hit you. Your final push to the top may seem endless and will test all your patience as climbers on the Marangu Route who summited overnight are making their way down while you're slowly making your way up. Knowing that you'll be able to enjoy the roof of Africa without the crowds will be your reward for all the hard work.

After approximately an hour and a half slowly making your way up via a series of switchbacks that make the steep scree slopes easier to tackle, you will hit rockier terrain. As you scramble over up to hip-high boulders, be mindful of your steps as these so-called Jamaican Rocks can be slippery at times. After a while, the rocks become more moderate and easier to manage – a sign that the end is near.

What satisfaction as you reach Gilman's Point at the top of Kibo and a vast open crater expands in front of your eyes! From here, the path becomes very manageable as you continue along the crater rim to Stella Point – your highest point today before you'll descend to Crater Camp.

Congratulations! You’ve already conquered an impressive feat and will receive your climbing certificate for making to the top of Kibo. Even though Gilman's and Stella Point are not yet the summit, and the excitement of Uhuru Peak is still waiting for you the next morning, you can already be proud that you’ve climbed Mount Kilimanjaro!

    1h
  • Lunar landscape, glacier and ash pit
  • Stella Point (5,756m)  →  Crater Camp (5,739m)
  • -17m
  • 2km

After the euphoric moments at Stella Point, the fun continues as you get to walk to Crater Camp. The morning was hard on your body, and luckily Crater Camp isn't far, situated only 150 meters (510 feet) of descent away. Set in soft sands, the camp is located near the impressive ice walls of the Furtwangler Glacier. The campsite is the highest on Kilimanjaro, located at 5,740 meters (18,800 ft). After replenishing your energy levels over a well-deserved break in the mess tent, the lunar landscape is yours to explore with the Reusch Crater and ash pit located only an hour away. After your accomplished day, what a treat to be able to experience the majestic offerings on the top of Kilimanjaro that so few climbers ever get to see!

Day 7
    1-2h
  • Sunrise at the summit
  • Crater Camp (5,739m)  →  Uhuru Peak (5,895m)
  • 156m
  • 1km

If climbing all the way to Stella Point wasn’t enough, it's time to scale the very top of Mount Kilimanjaro – Uhuru Peak. You will rise early to reach the summit by sunrise. However, while your body may be aching from the day before, it will be nowhere as challenging because the peak is only 150 meters (510 feet) of ascent away, and won't take more than one or two hours at most.

Dawn is approaching as you push yourself to the highest point of Mt. Kilimanjaro and of Africa – Uhuru Peak. The opportunity to see the new day’s climbers and the sunrise from the summit is a privilege that you won’t soon forget. Take some pictures, pat yourself on the back, hug your companions and enjoy the glistening pink and orange sunrise hues overlooking the ice fields and glaciers. The rolling clouds splash against the noble beauty of Kibo – it’s a sight you won’t soon forget.

    5-7h
  • Half way down into thicker air
  • Uhuru Peak (5,895m)  →  Mweka Camp (3,100m)
  • -2,795m
  • 13km

Make sure to take lots of photos and soak in the views as you won’t be staying up long at Uhuru Peak. Your guide will make sure to bring you back down to thicker air soon after you’ve reached the peak of your journey. While climbing thus far may have seemed to be the hardest part, you’re day has only just begun.

After making it all the way up to the summit of Uhuru Peak, you will still feel that lingering sense of euphoria that comes with such a magnificent achievement. Now the challenge is to make your way down to Mweka Camp, which sits at 3,100 metres – an an altitude drop of almost 2,800 metres. As you make your way down, you will find that the descent is tough on your knees, which will by now be feeling the impact of your climb up this formidable mountain. To ease the strain on your knees, make good use of your walking poles.

For the initial part of your journey down from Stella Point, you will encounter fields of sand and scree, which can be particularly challenging to navigate your way through. Gaiters are once again essential here, to prevent some of the glacial scree making its way into your boots! There are different ways you can tackle the scree. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can simply slide or ski down the scree slopes, which is a fun and quick way of conquering it! If you’re not comfortable with that, simply walk slowly down the scree, although this will add additional time onto your journey.

Your slope then turns into rocks before you reach Barafu Camp. Rest and eat to regain some energy. However, don’t rest too long. You still have over 3 hours to go. As you descend, you’ll notice that some of the plants and greenery starts to reappear and the surroundings are not as barren as it has been in recent days. You’ll pass by Millennium Camp which is located just above the tree line. Sometimes, you may camp here if the descent further down is just too challenging to handle – discuss this with your guide beforehand to see if it’s possible.

But Mweka Camp is only two hours further, located in the upper part of the rainforest zone, which brings with it a very welcome increase in oxygen and moisture in the air. You will be feeling tired and worn from the journey by the time you reach your camp for the night, but this is normal. Conquering Kilimanjaro is far from easy and you can take solace from the fact that you have completed a challenge that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Finally, you’ll be able to get some well earned rest and relaxation, and celebrate the completion of this important milestone of your journey.

Day 8
    3-4h
  • All the way back down through the forest
  • Mweka Camp (3,100m)  →  Mweka Gate (1,640m)
  • -1,460m
  • 10km

The euphoria from yesterday’s achievement will linger today and give you a high that will last for some time to come. Conquering Mount Kilimanjaro is not easy and the challenge associated with climbing it is legendary. Today’s walk is a pleasant one and it will take you through the beautiful greenery of the rainforest as you steadily continue your downward descent. The atmosphere will resemble prehistoric times as you make your way through the 20 foot fern trees in the rainforest. You will venture through the moorlands and the montane rainforest, which bears similarities to the first stop on Kilimanjaro and you will once again greet the different bird species and monkeys that you encountered on your way up. At this point tiredness and bruised knees may drain your enthusiasm little, but you will still feel the pride in your accomplishments. The temperature will be a little warmer and more humid by this point, in contrast to the ice caps and the glaciers experienced over the last few days.

Soon even the jungle will gradually start to fade in favour of dirt tracks and the return of civilisation, which signals your arrival at Mweka Gate – the exit of Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. Once you have reached this point, your journey across Kilimanjaro will have concluded and you will be satisfied in the knowledge that you have reached the summit and finally conquered this tough but beautiful mountain.

Once you arrive at Mweka Gate and you have completed your walk, it will be time to bid farewell to your crew. It is customary to tip your guides, cook and porters for their assistance during your trip before you are transported back to your hotel. Please check the tipping procedure and tipping ranges recommended by your tour company before the start of your climb.

    1h
  • Transfer to your hotel
  • Mweka Gate (1,640m)  →  Moshi (831m)
  • -809m
  • 17km

After your exciting conclusion at Mweka Gate, you surely can’t wait to get back to your hotel for a well-deserved shower. The scenic drive back to Moshi (or Arusha) takes you through coffee and banana plantations, and is serene as you reflect on your adventure.

Arriving at your hotel, you’ve finished the magical journey, and it’s time to sift through photos, brag to your friends, and reminisce fondly on those life-long memories that you’ve just made.

More info about the 8-day Grand Traverse With Crater Camp & Lava Tower

Destination Information
Facilities
Where do I sleep on Mount Kilimanjaro?

Where you sleep on Mount Kilimanjaro depends on your hiking route and climbing package. On all but the Marangu route, you will sleep in tents at designated campsites. Your tour operator will typically organize your sleeping tent and mattress, whereby the quality of tents ranges from cheap locally produced via high-quality imported winter mountaineering tents (mid-range offers) to luxurious walk-in size tents with proper frame beds (VIP offers).

The Marangu Route offers shared hut accommodation with dormitory-style bunk beds. This means you'll have a firm roof, but it also reduces your level of privacy. High-quality tents may feel more luxurious and comfortable than the Marangu Huts.

Deciding Whether To Go
Comfort & Facilities
Where do I sleep on Mount Kilimanjaro?

Where you sleep on Mount Kilimanjaro depends on your hiking route and climbing package. On all but the Marangu route, you will sleep in tents at designated campsites. Your tour operator will typically organize your sleeping tent and mattress, whereby the quality of tents ranges from cheap locally produced via high-quality imported winter mountaineering tents (mid-range offers) to luxurious walk-in size tents with proper frame beds (VIP offers).

The Marangu Route offers shared hut accommodation with dormitory-style bunk beds. This means you'll have a firm roof, but it also reduces your level of privacy. High-quality tents may feel more luxurious and comfortable than the Marangu Huts.

What is a mess tent?

A mess tent simply is a tent where climbers gather to eat their meals together. After a long day of hiking, this is where your food will be served to you by your tour operator.

It’s also a place where climbers can relax and chill in the afternoon as often it may be too cold and windy to stay outdoors. Mess tents provide welcome shelter from the wind and increased warmth. They are stand-up size, big enough to fit a table and chairs, whereby the exact dimensions usually vary depending on group size.

You will always be able to sit comfortably in a mess tent, even though specific characteristics may vary. Higher-end operators will, for example, provide solar lighting and comfortable chairs with arm and backrests.

Mess tents usually don't include heating. But upon special request, a mess tent heater can be included in real luxury climbs.

Drinks & Meals
What beverages does my tour operator provide?

All tour operators typically provide drinking water. In addition to this, it is common that they also bring instant coffee, chocolate powder as well as tea bags.

They mix them with hot water to be able to serve hot drinks at the campsites.

 

Can I get bottled water on Kilimanjaro?

Bottled water is only sold at the Marangu Huts.

The reason that it typically isn't offered by operators on other routes is that porters would have to carry it.

On special request, it's possible to hire additional porters to carry bottled water. However, this is usually not recommended.

Moreover, drinking water provided by high-quality operators is safe to drink.

 

 

Can I get soft drinks on Mount Kilimanjaro?

Soft drinks are only sold at the Marangu Huts. Tour operators usually don't offer it on other routes because porters would have to carry the bottles up the mountain.

On special request, it's possible to hire additional porters to carry your soft drinks. However, this is actually not recommended.

Depending on your tour operator, it is possible that fruit juices are included.

Can I get alcoholic beverages on Mount Kilimanjaro?

Alcohol is forbidden within the boundaries of the Kilimanjaro National Park and is therefore not offered inside the park. Tour operators that partner with Fair Voyage will not let porters carry alcoholic beverages for you.

Consuming alcohol at a high altitude isn't a great combination anyways.

As it is allowed at park gates, people there will sell beer to climbers. These are most often sold warm, so you will probably not like it.

Therefore, in luxury offers, we can include a champagne celebration at the park gate.

Do I need to purify water before drinking on Mount Kilimanjaro?

It is not required to purify water yourself if you are climbing with a higher-end operator.

It is not necessary for any of the offers promoted on Fair Voyage. Regardless of the method, drinking water provided by our high-quality providers is safe to drink.

 

What will I eat on Mount Kilimanjaro?

mess Generally speaking, the food that is provided on Kilimanjaro climbing routes will roughly be the same for all tour operators on all routes.

Depending on the tour operator, they will cater to vegetarians and vegans. They might also take any dietary restrictions into account. Inquire with your tour operator to find out what the possibilities are.

The food options listed below are meant to give a general overview. As a consequence, they might slightly vary from day-to-day and from tour operator to tour operator.

Breakfast typically includes toast, French toast, pancakes, eggs and meat like sausage or bacon. Hot or cold cereals can be offered in addition to fruits like oranges, mangos or bananas. It's also possible that cooked vegetables are served.

Lunch can either be packed or served hot if you take a longer lunch break. A packed lunch typically includes sandwiches with cold meat, tuna, chicken or grilled cheese. The same fruits like breakfast could be offered again. It is also possible that eggs and French fries or chips will be available too.

A hot lunch will be similar to the dinner menu.

Your afternoon snack will consist of an array of popcorn, biscuits, nuts and a hot tea or coffee.

Dinner options include soup, pasta, rice, a variety of prepared vegetables (f.e. in a stew, a curry, boiled or steamed) as well as a variety of meat like beef or chicken (that can f.e. be roasted or in a stew or curry). Usually, potatoes will be offered alongside meat and vegetables. It's also possible that you will get to taste the local dish Ugali which is a porridge made from corn meal. Dessert will consist of fruits like oranges, watermelons, apples, pineapples, mangos or bananas.

Organization
How do I organize a Kilimanjaro climb?

When organising a Kilimanjaro climb, your tour operator will do most of the work for you locally. However, you'll still need to decide what kind of climbing experience you prefer, make travel arrangements and organize your gear.

Start by deciding your personal preferences: When and how long? Which route? What level of quality & safety standards? Do you prefer a private tour or to join a group? Browse through our content to find out for yourself, or book a free personal consultation with us.

Once you know what you want, it's important to find a reputable and reliable tour operator who consistently receives high ratings from past climbers. Of course, you will also want to get your best value-for-money quotation for everything that you'd like included in your package. Search climb offers online, or request your custom quote for a climb quote from us.

Once you've booked your climb, you will also need to organize your flight, insurance, vaccinations and health checks, etc, so make sure you start planning well in advance. You will also need to organize your gear, though most items you need can also be rented locally when booking with a high-quality company.

Hiking Routes
Overview
What is Stella Point?

Stella Point is one of three summit points on Mount Kilimanjaro, next to Gilman's Point and the actual summit – Uhuru Peak.  Situated at the edge of the crater rim, at an altitude of 5,756 meters (18,885 feet), climbers who reach Stella Point will receive the official Kilimanjaro climbing certificate and can proudly claim that they have reached the top of the tallest mountain in Africa.

What is Gilman's Point?

Gilman's Point is one of three summit points on Mount Kilimanjaro, next to Stella Point and the actual summit – Uhuru Peak.  Situated at the edge of the crater rim, at an altitude of 5,756 meters (18,885 feet), climbers who reach Gilman's Point will receive the official Kilimanjaro climbing certificate and can proudly claim that they have reached the top of the tallest mountain in Africa.

What is the Dendrosenecio?

The Dendrosenecio, also known as Giant Senecio tree, is a plant endemic to high altitude mountains in East Africa.

A veritable forest of Dendrosenecio trees is found on the southern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro – one of the mountain's distinct scenic highlights for climbers on the Lemosho, Machame or Umbwe Routes.

You will also get to see a few rare specimens of the Dendrosenecio species when following the Northern Circuit on the Shira Plateau.

What are the key differences between the routes on Mount Kilimanjaro?

The routes on Kilimanjaro vary by length, duration, difficulty, scenery, altitude profile, accessibility, and (lack of) facilities. The better a route scores on all these criteria, the more popular it is.

Popularity is great if you like to share your experience with many other climbers and make lots of new friends. It's also great if you're looking for an affordable climbing package. If solitude and wilderness are what you're looking for, then the most popular routes may not be your best choice.

Crater Camp
What is Crater Camp on Mount Kilimanjaro?

The Crater Camp is a unique area of Kilimanjaro. At 475 feet (144 meters) below the summit, it is the highest campsite on the mountain. 

It lies within the Kibo Crater - one of the three volcanic peaks -, this is the one you always see on aerial photos. You can also see it from the summit, but to visit it is a whole different experience.

 

Why would I want to stay at Crater Camp?

Crater Camp sits right between the Uhuru peak and the Furtwangler Glacier. While Uhuru is the highest point of Kilimanjaro, the crater actually is the center of the volcano. 

While staying at Crater Camp, you will literally sleep on the crater floor right next to one of Kilimanjaro's last remaining glaciers. The possibility to stay at the highest camp on the Kilimanjaro is something that only a few climbers get to experience. 

Crater Camp appeals to those climbers who don’t want to go where everyone else goes but to places that have that special unique edge and thrill.

Furthermore, you will have the unique opportunity to explore the thick wall of ice of the Furtwangler glacier up close. 

Another exciting opportunity is a visit to the actual Ash Pit of Kilimanjaro. The Ash Pit is a perfect circle with a width of 395 feet full of boulders and volcanic rocks. You can even still smell the sulfur; better known as the smell of rotten eggs.

 

What are the risks of staying at Crater Camp?

Due to its high altitude, staying at Crater Camp camp carries an elevated risk of altitude sickness. This occurs particularly during sleep.

Moreover, an immediate descent in the case of altitude sickness is not possible. Climbers even need to ascent before they can start to descent.

This can potentially be very dangerous and even fatal, especially if there is no other way to treat altitude sickness.

 

 

How can I mitigate those risks?

A stay at Crater Camp is usually only offered in combination with longer routes. This allows enough time for proper acclimatization and thus decreases the risk of altitude sickness.

It is also important to check with your tour operator whether hyperbaric chambers will be provided for your climb. This is not a luxury but a real necessity if you stay at Crater Camp, as immediate descent in the case of altitude sickness is not possible.

To further prepare yourself, please have a look at the Altitude Acclimatization & Sickness section on the Climb Kilimanjaro page.

 

Which is the best route to combine with Crater Camp?

Longer routes are ideal to combine with a stay at Crater Camp. These are, for example, the Lemosho Route, the Northern Circuit and the Grand Traverse.

The tours that we recommend most are the 9-day Lemosho Route with Crater Camp and the 10-day Northern Circuit with Crater Camp.

The Lemosho Route has an ideal altitude profile that lets you walk high and sleep low. It's ideal preparation for a stay at Crater Camp and it also increases your summit success rate. A potential downside of this otherwise very scenic route is that you'll share this route with many other travellers.

The Northern Circuit is the longest route on Kilimanjaro and one of the only routes that circumvents the peak on the Northern slopes. This route provides you with the most authentic wilderness experience away from the crowds. It has an excellent altitude profile and even though it's one of the longest routes, it is one of the easiest.

An alternative option is to pre-acclimitize by climbing nearby Mount Meru. This will allow you to climb Kilimanjaro on a shorter itinerary. However, this means that you will hike a lot more and is therefore only recommendable for very strong and experienced hikers.

Would you recommend me to stay at the Crater Camp?

Crater Camp is special because it’s off-the-beaten-track. It allows climbers to stay overnight next to one of Kilimanjaro’s last remaining glaciers. It also gives the opportunity to explore the Ash Pit. This is something that climbers otherwise don’t get to see.

A stay at Crater Camp definitely adds that extra thrill for ultimate adventurers who are looking for a more unique experience away from the crowds.

However, combining a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro with a stay at Crater Camp is physically challenging. Due to the high altitude, it's very important that you are properly pre-acclimatized for your overnight stay.

We only recommend staying at Crater Camp in combination with a longer route that allows you to properly prepare for a high altitude.

 

Is it better to stay at Crater Camp before or after summiting Mount Kilimanjaro?

You can stay at Crater Camp both before or after summiting Mount Kilimanjaro.

Most articles on this topic refer to climbers ascending Kilimanjaro via the Western Breach route. They stay overnight at Crater Camp and then ascend the summit. However, we recommend avoiding the dangerous Western Breach at all times.

Moreover, it is possible to combine Crater Camp with all other routes. In this case, you always reach Crater Camp via Stella Point at the crater rim. From an acclimatization point of view, the altitude difference between Stella Point and Uhuru Peak is not significant. Therefore, you can actually choose when you'd like to stay overnight at Crater Camp.

It's possible to descend to Crater Camp straight from Stella Point. You can then spend the afternoon exploring the crater and ascend to Uhuru Peak the next day. Alternatively, you can ascend Uhuru Peak from Stella Point and go to Crater Camp afterwards. The next morning, you can either explore the crater or ascend to Uhuru Peak a second time to see the sunrise. Both options are possible and can usually be discussed and agreed with the guide on the spot, depending on how everyone in the group is doing.

Western Breach Route
Do you recommend the Western Breach route?

We do not recommend the Western Breach route. Due to the unnecessary risks associated with the Western Breach, we highly recommend climbers to consider alternative routes. If you are not convinced yet, please make sure to read James Balog’s eyewitness account about the 2015 deadly rockfall incident on National Geographic: Tragedy on Kilimanjaro.

If after educating yourself thoroughly about the risks involved you still wish to ascend to the summit via the Western Breach, please make sure to only book with a responsible tour operator who can provide you with a well-trained and experienced guide.

Please request your custom quote from us, and we will recommend the best tour operators to you for a private climb. As it is important that all group members are of roughly equal physical abilities and mountain experience in order to minimize your risks when climbing the Western Breach, please also note that responsible tour operators will not operate open group climbs for the Western Breach, and we are unable to open such new group climb for you.

You can find out more information about some of the other, safer routes that are equally off-the-beaten-track  – even though not recommended due to the increased risk of altitude sickness – on our Climb Kilimanjaro Experience page.

 

 

 

Comparison
Is the Lemosho Route more authentic than the Machame Route?

Both the Lemosho and Machame Route have spectacular scenery that gives you an authentic view of the Kilimanjaro landscape. In fact, both routes join halfway through and are identical thereafter. They both include many of Kilimanjaro's most distinctive landmarks including hiking up to Lava Tower, clambering over the Barranco Wall, and passing through the eerie Dendrosenecio forest.

While both routes are popular, there are still more climbers following the Machame Route. Therefore, one could argue that the Lemosho Route offers a slightly more authentic experience away from the crowds during the initial days of your climb.

Which is the shortest route to climb Kilimanjaro?

The 5-Day Umbwe route is the shortest hiking route in terms of distance. It has the most direct path to Uhuru Peak. Alternatively, the 5-Day Rongai Route can be completed in the same amount of time.

However, don't mistake short for easy as the opposite is true on Kilimanjaro. You still need to conquer almost the same altitude difference as on any route. The shorter the route is, the steeper is its path and the less time you have to acclimatize to the high altitude.

Therefore, only pre-acclimatized or very fit climbers who are confident of their ability to acclimatize to the high altitude should choose a short route. 

What is the difference between Northern Circuit and the Grand Traverse?

The Northern Circuit and the Grand Traverse are the longest routes on the Kilimanjaro. They both circumvent the peak on the northern slope and offer 360° degree views of the peak and afar. It offers some of the most diverse and spectacular scenery on Kilimanjaro.

The biggest difference between the two routes is that climbers on the Grand Traverse get driven up to a fairly high altitude of 3,400 meters (11,200 feet) on their first day, along with the old Shira evacuation route. This makes the Grand Traverse a shorter and less challenging variation. The route is typically completed in 8 days: 8-day Grand Traverse Itinerary.

Which is the best hiking route on Mount Kilimanjaro?

The truth is there is no single best hiking route that works for every trekker. For example, if you really value the scenery, then the Lemosho, Shira, Northern Circuit, Umbwe and Machame routes probably offer the most scenic and diverse landscapes.

However, if better acclimatization is a priority for you, then a longer route like the Northern Circuit is the best choice.

If you want the shortest (i.e. steepest) route and are used to high altitudes, then Umbwe may be a good fit.

And, if you averse to crawling into a tent, consider staying in one of the huts on the Marangu routes. These come complete with beds and sleeping huts.

Which is the easiest route?

'Easy' means different things to different people. The same applies to the difficulty of the routes to climb Kilimanjaro. Therefore, we focus on two criteria:  the amount of walking per day and the and the amount of ascent.

The 8-day Machame Route is your best bet for an easy route as it has the least amount of walking per day of all routes. Add to that the benefit of  "hike high, sleep low". This really helps with continuous altitude acclimatization.

However, if you are more concerned about the ascents rather than the amount of walking, then the 8-day Grand Traverse is your best option. This route has the least amount of ascent to start with. Since it's also a longer route, it also offers plenty of time for good acclimatization.

Which is the safest route to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

The biggest cause of fatality on Kilimanjaro is altitude sickness. Therefore, the safest route will be the one which allows for the best acclimatization.

The Northern Circuit and Grand Traverse are the longest routes on Kilimanjaro. They also offer plenty of opportunities to climb high and sleep low. This is the best way to get your body used to the high altitude and reduce the severity of altitude sickness. Therefore, they have the highest summit success rates.

However, on any route, it is most important that you don't push beyond your limits and follow an experienced guide who will assist with descent if required. If you do so, all the popular routes may be considered more or less equally safe or risky.

Besides acclimatization, the routes that avoid the dangerous Western Breach are definitely safer than the routes that don't. To go even further, some routes also avoid the Barranco Wall. Therefore, the Northern Circuit, the Grand Traverse and the Rongai route could be deemed safest.

Choosing Your Itinerary
Overview
How do I go about choosing my best Kilimanjaro route?

To choose the best hiking route for your Kilimanjaro climb, it is important to assess your personal preferences and priorities:

  • Do you prefer the most stunning scenery or authentic wilderness away from the crowds?
  • Do you prefer a climb with the least amount of walking and easy slopes, or are you looking for a bigger physical challenge?
  • Do you have time constraints, or are you OK to take a longer route of 8 days (or more) in order to maximize your summit success chance?
  • Do you have budget constraints, or do you prefer to pay a premium for a longer climb, a private tailor-made arrangement (as opposed to an open group climb), and/or a luxurious climb off-the-beaten-track?

Once you have some clarity about your personal preferences and priorities, it becomes easier to find the right route for you:

  • If scenery is most important to you and you don't mind the crowds, then the Machame or Lemosho Route will be the clear winners.
  • If you are looking for the easiest possible route with the least amount of climbing uphill, then the Grand Traverse will be the way to go.
  • If you want the maximize your summit success chance, then the Grand Traverse, Lemosho Route and Northern Circuit will be your best choice.
  • If time or budget limits you to no more then 6 or 7 climbing days, then either the Shira or Machame Routes will be a good compromise for those prioritizing scenery over solitude, and Rongai for those in search of wilderness.
  • If you have no choice but to climb during rainy season, then the huts along the Marangu Route will provide shelter from the rain, and the Rongai Route has a lower chance of rain overall.
  • If you are confident of your physical abilities, and you either have considerable experience in high altitudes or are planning to pre-acclimatized on another mountain, then you may prefer a more challenging and direct summit approach via the shorter 5-day Marangu, Rongai or Umbwe Routes.

Please contact us for a tailor-made recommendation.

Safety
Which is the best Kilimanjaro hiking route for altitude acclimatization?

The best routes for altitude acclimatization allow you to climb high during the day and sleep low at night. Climbing high during the daytime gets your body used to the high altitude. By sleeping at a lower elevation during the night, your body has enough time to take a break from the lack of oxygen associated with higher elevations. You should also ascend slowly over multiple days so that your body can acclimatize better.

7-day Machame, 8-day Lemosho, 8-day Grand Traverse and 9-day Northern Circuit (including acclimatization hike to Lava Tower) are all excellent routes for altitude acclimatization that allow you to hike high, sleep low and ascend slowly over multiple days.

Summit success
Which Kilimanjaro route has the the highest summit success chance?

The Kilimanjaro routes with the highest summit success rates are those with the best altitude profile so that you can acclimatize to the thin air before attempting your final summit push.

Climbing high during the day and sleeping low at night is ideal. Furthermore, it's important to ascend slowly over multiple days so that your body has more time to get used to the high altitude.

8-day Machame, 8-day Lemosho, 8-day Grand Traverse and 9-day Northern Circuit (including acclimatization hike to Lava Tower) are all excellent routes for altitude acclimatization that allow you to hike high, sleep low and ascend slowly over multiple days. With the right preparation and the right guide, these routes all have a summit success chance of close to 100%.

Recommendation
Which Kilimanjaro route do you most recommend?

For most climbers who prefer to scale the mountain when the weather is sunny and dry, and to maximize your summit success chance without having had prior high altitude experience, our most recommended routes are:

  • 8-day Lemosho Route: Best scenery and easy to join an open group climb, as long as you don't mind the crowds
  • 8-day Machame Route: Easiest route with the best scenery, as long as you don't mind the crowds
  • 8-day Grand Traverse: Easiest route in authentic wilderness, as long as you don't mind missing some scenic highlights
  • 9-day Northern Circuit: A somewhat more difficult alternative to the Grand Traverse (similar to Lemosho), yet with more opportunity to acclimatize and more scenic variety compared to the Grand Traverse

Arguably, 8 or 9 days on the mountain may sound just a bit too long. If you prefer a group climb, you will also be somewhat limited in your choice of affordable options for the above routes. So if either time or budget is a constraint, then we recommend:

  • 7-day Machame Route: Most popular route with great scenery and ideal profile for altitude acclimatization (similar to Lemosho, just shorter)
  • 7-day Rongai Route: Authentic wilderness away from the crowds. However, the scenery and profile are not as good as the Machame Route.
Finding Your Best Offer
Getting Started
How do I organize a Kilimanjaro climb?

When organising a Kilimanjaro climb, your tour operator will do most of the work for you locally. However, you'll still need to decide what kind of climbing experience you prefer, make travel arrangements and organize your gear.

Start by deciding your personal preferences: When and how long? Which route? What level of quality & safety standards? Do you prefer a private tour or to join a group? Browse through our content to find out for yourself, or book a free personal consultation with us.

Once you know what you want, it's important to find a reputable and reliable tour operator who consistently receives high ratings from past climbers. Of course, you will also want to get your best value-for-money quotation for everything that you'd like included in your package. Search climb offers online, or request your custom quote for a climb quote from us.

Once you've booked your climb, you will also need to organize your flight, insurance, vaccinations and health checks, etc, so make sure you start planning well in advance. You will also need to organize your gear, though most items you need can also be rented locally when booking with a high-quality company.

Guides
How many guides will there be for my group when climbing Kilimanjaro?

When climbing Kilimanjaro, you must have at most 2 climbers per guide, and at least 2 guides for groups of 2 climbers or more.

This ensures that there will always be enough guides to assist climbers who require descent, while at the same time allowing all other climbers to continue their summit ascent safely.

The minimum guide-to-climber ratios are stipulated by Kilimanjaro National Park regulations and they apply to all climbs booked via Fair Voyage. So for every group, there will always be one lead guide, and we have classified all other guides as assistant guides.

Please beware that guides and companies operating illegally on Kilimanjaro may not adhere to these minimum ratios, which can lead to dangerous, life-threatening situations. While it may be tempting to save costs by booking with a low-budget operator, your financial savings may come at the cost of your own safety.

Minimum ratio of Kilimanjaro climbers per guide for all climbs booked via Fair Voyage:
ClimbersGuides
1 climber1 guide
2 climbers2 guides
3 climbers2 guides
4 climbers2 guides
5 climbers3 guides
6 climbers3 guides
7 climbers4 guides
8 climbers4 guides
9 climbers5 guides
10 climbers5 guides
11 climbers6 guides
12 climbers6 guides
Inclusions
Is it worthwhile to have a portable mountain shower for my Kilimanjaro climb?

Whether it's worthwhile to have a portable mountain shower for your Kilimanjaro climb depends on your personal preferences. Most climbers do not need it, while those who have it wouldn't want to miss it.

If you're new to camping in the wild for consecutive nights, imagining a week without a shower may be a scary thought. However, most climbers will find that it's not as uncomfortable as they imagine it to be. Overcoming this initial fear is all part of the unique personal growth experience that makes Kilimanjaro such a rewarding mountain to climb. In hindsight, you will likely feel proud of having managed a week without a shower. Even though operators who offer mountain showers would typically also provide warm water, you may also find it too cold to take off your clothes and shower.

Climbers who book a portable mountain shower & wash tent, on the other hand, also tend to use it. They enjoy the comfort and flexibility to take a shower on days when they don't feel too cold, and are happy about their decision to book that includes a warm mountain shower.

Is it worthwhile to have a walk-in tent and cot for my Kilimanjaro climb?

If you prefer more comfort, it may be worthwhile to upgrade your climb with a walk-in tent and sleeping cot. Crawling in and out of standard sized tents multiple times a day can become quite tedious for some people. The space may also feel very confined with not much room to spread out your gear or get changed, especially when shared between two climbers. A larger tent will feel more spacious and give you more room to move. On the flip side, larger tents will also feel colder because they don't trap the heat as well.

Whether you feel more comfortable sleeping on a cot compared to standard foam sleeping mats used on the mountain is very individual. Cots can feel more comfortable to sleep on for some people, as they're softer and give the feeling of a familiar frame bed. For others, however, the relatively narrow width of cots may feel less comfortable compared to sleeping closer to the ground, where you can simply rest your arms or legs on the floor if you need more space.

Toilets & Sanitation
Is it worthwhile to have a portable mountain shower for my Kilimanjaro climb?

Whether it's worthwhile to have a portable mountain shower for your Kilimanjaro climb depends on your personal preferences. Most climbers do not need it, while those who have it wouldn't want to miss it.

If you're new to camping in the wild for consecutive nights, imagining a week without a shower may be a scary thought. However, most climbers will find that it's not as uncomfortable as they imagine it to be. Overcoming this initial fear is all part of the unique personal growth experience that makes Kilimanjaro such a rewarding mountain to climb. In hindsight, you will likely feel proud of having managed a week without a shower. Even though operators who offer mountain showers would typically also provide warm water, you may also find it too cold to take off your clothes and shower.

Climbers who book a portable mountain shower & wash tent, on the other hand, also tend to use it. They enjoy the comfort and flexibility to take a shower on days when they don't feel too cold, and are happy about their decision to book that includes a warm mountain shower.

Open Group Tours
When joining a Kilimanjaro group climb, can I customize it to make it cheaper?

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.

When joining a Kilimanjaro group climb, can I go my own pace?

When joining an open group to climb Kilimanjaro, please note that you will have to adjust your walking speed to that of others, which typically means the pace of the slowest person in your group. It is not uncommon for this to create some frustrations amongst group members. Faster climbers would prefer to go ahead and take less frequent breaks, while the slowest person may feel pressured to walk faster.

When booking a group trek, please expect that you will need to adjust to the pace and needs of the entire group. Furthermore, you will not be able to adjust your itinerary spontaneously (unless needed), such as shorten your climb by a day if you feel that you can go faster. While there will always be a sufficiently high guide to client ratio to assist with early descent if needed, groups will not split up to accommodate the preference of some climbers to walk faster than others.

If you prefer more flexibility during your climb to set your own pace and adjust your itinerary while climbing, please contact us for private climbing packages.

Accommodation
Is it worthwhile to have a walk-in tent and cot for my Kilimanjaro climb?

If you prefer more comfort, it may be worthwhile to upgrade your climb with a walk-in tent and sleeping cot. Crawling in and out of standard sized tents multiple times a day can become quite tedious for some people. The space may also feel very confined with not much room to spread out your gear or get changed, especially when shared between two climbers. A larger tent will feel more spacious and give you more room to move. On the flip side, larger tents will also feel colder because they don't trap the heat as well.

Whether you feel more comfortable sleeping on a cot compared to standard foam sleeping mats used on the mountain is very individual. Cots can feel more comfortable to sleep on for some people, as they're softer and give the feeling of a familiar frame bed. For others, however, the relatively narrow width of cots may feel less comfortable compared to sleeping closer to the ground, where you can simply rest your arms or legs on the floor if you need more space.

Preparing Your Trip
Getting started
What steps do I need to take to prepare for my Kilimanjaro climb?

Other than booking a suitable climbing package, it is important that you also take these steps to prepare for your Kilimanjaro climb (read more here):

  1. Take out travel insurance
  2. Book your flight
  3. Book any missing hotel nights depending on your flight
  4. Inform your operator about all your personal requirements
  5. Make sure your passport will be valid for 6 months
  6. Get a health check & required vaccinations
  7. Prepare physically as much as you can
  8. Organize your gear
  9. Familiarize yourself thoroughly with all risks involved
  10. Carefully read all information provided by your operator
Vaccinations & Medications
How do I avoid contracting malaria when travelling to Tanzania?

We strongly recommend taking anti-malarials preventatively. We suggest you consult your physician to decide which drug could work best for you. Besides medication, the single best precaution to protect yourself against contracting malaria is by preventing mosquito bites.

Mosquitos that are responsible for transmitting malaria are most active during dusk and dawn. In general, it's recommended to stay indoors at this time. If your room has no air-conditioning or isn't well-screened, it's best to sleep under a mosquito net.

Whenever you are outside at this time, you can protect yourself by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and a hat in a very light colour. Apply insect repellent to all exposed skin, but not under your clothes, and wear clothes that are treated with permethrin. Also, burn mosquito coils when you are sitting outside.

You can choose to only use mosquito repellent at this time, but you can also use it throughout the day. This way you protect yourself against different types of mosquitos that are active during the day. Among them are mosquitos that carry yellow fever and dengue fever.

In the occasion that you feel ill with flu-like symptoms, it's important to seek professional medical help right away.

Gear & Packing
Electronics
What is a solar charger?

A solar charger is a device consisting of small solar panels that convert solar energy into electricity. This can be used to power electronic devices like smartphones, tablets and other devices. You can also use it to charge a battery pack if you wish to combine the two.

A solar charger is usually portable and needs to be put in sunlight to be able to charge. Once there is sunlight, you have a limitless supply of electricity. As it is clean energy, it doesn't have a carbon footprint. 

 

Should I bring a solar charger for Mount Kilimanjaro?

As there are no power points on Mount Kilimanjaro, a solar charger is your best option if you want to be able to power up your devices during your entire climb.

A solar charger provides an endless supply of electricity as long as the sun is shining. However, the weather on Kilimanjaro can be erratic. Therefore, it is potentially interesting to combine a solar charger with a battery pack.

Also, keep in mind that the panels need direct sunlight to be able to charge your devices. While you walk, you are moving and potentially changing direction which disrupts and, as a result, slows down the charging process.

When choosing a solar charger, do not only pay attention to how many Watts of power they offer. You should also pay attention to their size and weight. These are important aspects to consider since you can only take a limited amount of weight on your climb.

 

 

 

Fair Porter Treatment
Overview
Who are the Kilimanjaro porters?

The Kilimanjaro porters are the dedicated men and women whose job it is to help tourists carry their gear to the summit. Most of the porters are local men between the ages of 18 and 40. They are hired alongside a team of trained professionals. These make it possible for tourists to navigate their way up the mountain.

Women are a smaller number of porters. They face the same challenges as the men, but with the added problem of sexual harassment. Unfortunately, this is still a reality for female porters.

Without the dedication and strength of these crew members, climbing Kilimanjaro would be a mere dream for many.

Wages
How are porters exploited?

At Fair Voyage, we strive to create a safer working environment for tourism workers across the globe. With Kilimanjaro being one of our most popular destinations, we have a particular focus on ending the exploitation of porters in Tanzania, who often suffer the tragic consequences of unsafe working environments and low pay.

To understand the situation that many of these Kilimanjaro porters face, it is important to be aware of the hierarchy that exists. Unfortunately, as the situation currently stands, porters are at the bottom of the pecking order.

With so many tourism companies competing to offer the lowest prices, budget operators often try to take shortcuts to save money and this impacts porters the most, who get low wages as a result.

Most porters work on a freelance basis and are often forced to walk for many miles per day to get to Kilimanjaro National Park in the search for jobs. Unfortunately, however, they may even have to bribe one of the tour guides and pay an upfront ‘fee’ to get a job in the first place.

However, even those who do get a job are only slightly better off. Budget operators take advantage of the desperation of these workers and pay them the bare minimum they can get away with.

Do Kilimanjaro porters get a minimum wage?

Although there is a minimum wage for porters, TZS 20,000 (ca. US $9), operators usually pay much less than that. Some porters do not get paid at all for their work.

As a result, porters rely on tourists to get a tip to feed their family. With budget operators, tourists may find that they are hassled to give a bigger tip than they ordinarily would. Many tourists pay these tips in the belief that it will help the porters.

However, what they may not realise is that all too often, porters may then be cheated out of any tips they earn by guides who instead of distributing the tips to the porters, will sometimes keep it for himself.

Safety
Why does inadequate equipment and preparation endanger lives?

Many budget companies do not equip their porters with adequate equipment. As a consequence, porters are forced to sleep in poor quality tents and blankets instead of sleeping bags.

They are also not given the footwear they need to navigate their way up the terrain. This becomes increasingly problematic when temperatures start to drop.

At night time, the temperatures usually drop below zero. Without adequate shelter and clothing, it is not unheard of for some porters to die as a result of being exposed to these extreme temperatures. When this happens, they are simply replaced by other porters who are subjected to the same conditions.

All of this is compounded by the fact that some porters may get just one or two meals per day, which does not sustain them adequately for the journey ahead.

Why book with Fair Voyage?

Fair Voyage helps you find & CUSTOMIZE your best CONSCIOUS travel experience in Africa and developing regions. Through our direct relationships with LOCAL leaders in sustainability, we can offer you highest QUALITY at best prices. In addition, we INSURE your payments – all 100% free for you. Being INDEPENDENT , we only have your best interest at mind.

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All our offers are fully customizable. Working with many locally leading tourism companies, we are not limited to one partner per destination but can offer you any itinerary variation or combination, accommodation, equipment rentals, and other services or tour inclusions that are available in each market. Even though we are building a platform with the aim to make these customization options easily available to you directly online, we will make every effort to earn your trust through our outstanding personal advice and service.

Curated 5-Star Offers

We go to great depths to compare tour operators, accommodations and packages for the destinations that we offer. Based on objective price-value comparisons, we aim to pre-select the best offers for each budget category (from no-frills to VIP) for you. All our partners are furthermore top-rated by travellers on leading review platforms such as TripAdvisor.

Best Local Prices

Tour operators only pay us a small fee out of their own operational budget when you book via Fair Voyage, to compensate us for our marketing, customer support, payment and other administrative services – all of which they would otherwise have to take care of in-house at much higher cost. This means that we can guarantee you best prices, and at least the same price as local companies would offer you directly.

When comparing prices, please note that many platforms show outdated or incorrect prices that may not be available as advertised. However, should you indeed be offered the same tour cheaper elsewhere, please let us know and we’ll match the price.

Safely Insured Payments

We are insured by the Swiss Travel Security guarantee scheme for traveller deposits. This means that when you book and pay for your Tour with us, your funds are protected against bankruptcy and no-shows. In the unfortunate event that your Tour Operator would not deliver your Tour to you, you receive your full payments back & more – hassle-free. Please be careful if you consider booking directly with a local company as no such insurance scheme exists yet in many developing countries.

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