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I'm really considering climbing Kili this year. Does anybody have any recommendations for guide companies, or no anything about the differences between the local ones and the foreign based ones?

The big difference between the local companies and the foreign ones is that, by Tanzanian law, the foreign companies are required to hire local guides. Which means you pay the extra cost of the operations of the foreign company on top of what the local companies get. Plus you get to pay for the representatives of the foreign company who travel to Tanzania to meet you and accompany your hike up the mountain. However, it is true that sorting out which are the good local companies is a bit difficult from a distance. There are several books you can get that do some ratings of the local companies.

Some history - several years ago, the local guides and porters got fed up with the exploitation of the big companies and formed a Kilimanjaro porters union. The better guides formed some small companies and use the better local porters. The biggest problem was (and still is) that several of the big companies (local offices, but owned and run by foreigners) pay wages below the standard set by Tanzanian law and by the porters union. Another problem is that some of the big companies refuse to use women porters, even when they are qualified. Yet another is that by Tanzanian law, there is a limit to the weight a porter may carry, but some of the big companies continue to give bigger loads to the porters (the limit is about 30 kilo, IIRC, about 66 pounds), and do not supply proper boots or ensure warm clothing for the porters.

I made contact with a local company, EcoTours (not connected with the large international tour company of very similar name), through Adventures Within Reach. You can read my trip report here on Trailspace. Because we arranged our own air transportation and used a local company, our cost was less than half what it would have cost had we booked through a US or European based company. Remember that most of the routes up Kili are on good trails (no technical climbing involved - any experienced hiker can do it, except potentially for the acclimatization for altitude problem).

You can just fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (close to Moshi), take a taxi into town, find a hotel, then walk the streets and go with any of the horde of men selling Maasi spears and felt paintings, who will gladly sign you up for a climb up the mountain. I don't really advise that, though (I heard a few horror stories from people while there). The hotels will connect you with a local guide company as well. If you search Trailspace (look at the top right of any page for the tiny search window and type in Kilimanjaro), you will find a number of inquiries such as yours, and a few companies recommended by posters (though obviously there is no guarantee that any of them are any good).

We used SafariAdventure. We were very happy with the director Mr. Jalala who was very kind and with the guides.


I went last september with Peregrine out of Australia based on the recommendation of a friend who went a year earlier. Peregrine use all local guides and porters, there was no foreign company representative. trip cost was $3500 AUD.

Overall once we got onto the trek everything went very smoothly, I did the Rongai route and it was so much quieter than some of the other routes, at times it felt like our group had the mountain to ourselves - brilliant!. 5 of the 6 of our group reached the summit, the other person got the the crater rim

heres some of my impressions of peregrine:

will not be using them when I climb mt aconcagua...

weird that 3 new people joined just when answering this question. 

The lure of Kili...... Always catches my attention.  One day.............

November 28, 2020
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