Why are the prices to climb Kilimanjaro so different between operators?
It is sometimes difficult for our clients to understand why there is such a difference between Kilimanjaro operators when it comes to pricing. When comparing prices of Kilimanjaro operators, many clients only see the bottom line cost. There are things you pay for that you may observe directly, such as your guides, porters, food and equipment. However, there are many things that you may not observe that will indirectly affect the overall quality of your climb.
Peak Planet has the highest guide to client ratio on the mountain. Whereas most companies have one guide for three to four clients, we have one guide for every two clients. This allows us to give much more personal attention to each client making for a more pleasant and, more importantly, a safer experience.
Additionally, Peak Planet guides are certified Wilderness First Responders and are trained by IFREMMONT a European-based, high altitude medical training organization. Most guides only go through the very basic training provided by the Kilimanjaro National Park service. However, we want our guides to be true experts and therefore continuously provide advanced training for them. Read more here: http://peakplanet.com/climb-information/guides-and-porters/
We provide three hot meals a day made with plenty of fresh food, including meat, vegetables, grains and fruit. Other companies make meals primarily with low cost, less nutritious ingredients like rice and pasta with powdered sauces. They also provide box lunches that are tasteless and unhealthy. Replenishing your body is very important given the calorie expenditure on the mountain, so we want to make sure you eat well.
We provide high-quality Ferrino brand equipment for our sleeping tents and dining tents. Tents on Kilimanjaro are heavily used and must be replaced constantly. Lowered priced companies will purchase low quality locally made tents and repair and reuse older tents as long as possible. Old, poor quality tents can translate into uncomfortable nights. Read more here: http://peakplanet.com/high-quality-equipment-service/
Porter abuse is a big problem on the mountain, as most Kilimanjaro operators cut costs by taking advantage of porters – either by paying them very little, not feeding them enough (sometimes just once a day), increasing their loads, or forcing them to sleep in inadequate shelters.
Peak Planet is a member of the Kilimanjaro Porter Assistance Project (KPAP) – an independent organization that monitors operators’ treatment of staff. We voluntarily submit to this constant evaluation so that our clients know that the staff that serves them well is likewise treated well by us.
We pay our guides and porters living wages. By doing so, we are able to attract and retain high performing staff. Talented guides and porters want to be rewarded for their efforts, so they do not work for cheap companies. The level of care that goes into the welfare of our staff will increase our costs. It is one of the fundamental principles of Peak Planet to treat its entire staff fairly and humanely and ensure they receive regular work. Clients will indirectly see this principle through the eyes and attitudes of our guides and porters while they are climbing Kilimanjaro. It is one of the main reasons why our clients rave about our guides so much after their climb. Ultimately, all of these necessities increase the cost of our climbs and this is reflected in our prices.
Peak Planet is a midrange operator. However, we wholeheartedly believe that our services are comparable with those of so-called luxury operators though our prices are thousands of dollars less. Our aim is to provide a great value to our customers.