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Can you do Kilimanjaro without a guide?We have many requests to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with just a guide or without a mountain crew at all. However, we must adhere to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park rules. Before we answer the question—can you do Kilimanjaro without a guide—let’s take a look at the rules for the Park.

The Guides

Here are the specific Park rules that apply to the head guide and assistant guides.

  • It is the guides responsibility to make sure their climbers have the proper gear.
  • The guide is responsible for making sure there is enough food for the climb.
  • All guides need to have the proper training, be honest, disciplined and trustworthy.
  • All guides need to be registered with the Guides Association and hold a valid guiding card issued by the Park.
  • Guides are only allowed to guide their own group.
  • The guides need to be within sight of all members of their party at all times.
  • The guides are responsible for registering every guide, porter, and climber in their party at the trailhead.
  • In case of emergency, all groups are required to carry a cell phone(s).
Significant Park Dates

1910 Mount Kilimanjaro was declared a game reserve.
1921 Mount Kilimanjaro was designated a forest reserve.
1973 Mount Kilimanjaro was made into a National Park.
1977 The Park was opened for public access.
1987 The Park was declared by UNESCO as a world heritage site
2013 Voted as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa


The following list pertains specifically to all of the porters on the Mountain.

  • Tour Operators and Guides are required to employ honest, disciplined and trustworthy porters.
  • All Porters need to carry a card that shows they are registers with the Porters Association.
  • The Porters Association shall make sure they are fit to climb and are required to submit each porter’s medical records every twelve months.
  • The Porters are only allowed to carry 33 lbs (15kg) on the Mountain.


This section covers every climber on Mount Kilimanjaro.

  • All climbers must follow official climbing routes.
  • Wood fires are forbidden for whatever purpose including cooking and warmth.
  • All climbers are forbidden from sleeping or making camp within the caves inside the park.
  • Alcohol is forbidden inside the park.
  • Disposable water bottles are forbidden on the Mountain.
  • All climbers shall practice Leave No Trace guidelines. They must practice garbage in garbage out.
  • Parachuting, cycling, skiing, and hang gliding are strictly prohibited.
  • Children under 10 are not all0wed to climb beyond 12,000 ft. unless they have written permission from the National Park.
  • Weapons are not allowed in the Park.
  • Do not erect, mark or remove any signboard in the Park
  • Do not kill, harass, disturb or feed any wild animals in the Park


Climbers that break any of these rules are subject to fines of no less than 500,000 Shillings and up to one year in prison.


In summary, can you do Kilimanjaro without a guide? The answer is no. Mount Kilimanjaro National Park is a protected park. The Park rules specifically state that you must have a guide or an armed park ranger guide every group. Thousands of people attempt its summit every year. They are required to have a guide to lead them and porters to carry their equipment. Without these rules, the Mountain would be littered with trash, covered in graffiti and have many more injuries and deaths. And without the guides and porters, only a few elite groups would ever get to summit Mount Kilimanjaro. These guidelines were put in place to protect the Mountain for everyone to enjoy both now and in the future.

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