Why Should You Climb with Team Kilimanjaro?

Should you climb with Team Kilimanjaro?

What is your summit success rate?

We do not actually keep statistics for summit success and I regret that none of the statistics that any company has so far published that I have seen, have been accurate.

One of our agents in South Africa used to publish a success rate for us of 98% on their website but I have no idea where they got this figure. I indicated to them when I first saw this claim that this data was not derived from us, as we deliberately do not publish such data, but they chose to keep the information in place.

I suspect that some operators and their agents may feel tempted to invent figures, knowing that it's impossible for a prospective client to verify their claims.

By contrast, somewhat ironically actually, our (non-published) summit statistics can actually be verified, since we have published reports for every single climb group that has trekked with us over the last few years on our Kilimanjaro live reports site, so you can get a very accurate picture of trends there.

The reason it is very unlikely that we will ever actually publish stats is because doing so places a dangerous burden on a climber, and more dangerously still, on the guide. If a guide knows that his boss uses success rates as a marketing tool, he will be apprehensive about returning from the mountain with anything less than a summit. Putting pressure on a guide to get his climbers to the summit by hook or by crook is understandably very dangerous as he will have to subvert his natural protective instincts to the demands of his office, which is obviously something that Team Kilimanjaro would never allow.

That said, perusing our live climb reports will likely indicate that we would expect at least 19 in every 20 attempts to be successful at summiting.

Why should I book to do the trek with Team Kilimanjaro?

You shouldn’t necessarily. Our job requires that we aim to determine whether we think you’ll be happier with us or with someone else, as it is disappointing for both of us if it transpires that you were actually after something that we don’t even pretend to offer.

Basically, we are fairly unique in that we are run by mountaineers (though so are African Environments and Alpine Ascents - both excellent operations) and that we have configured our timings and movements and procedures to best ensure hydration, nutrition and rest and to best exploit the principles of safe and thorough acclimatisation in order to maximise the likelihood of your summitting safely and comfortably.

But that said, there are perhaps two or three other groups that can legitimately make similar claims. Of the handful of companies however that have a serious attitude towards their expeditions and that approach an ascent of Kilimanjaro as a mountaineering expedition rather than a mere package trip and business opportunity, we are conspicuously the lowest priced. Again, the reason for this is that we have almost daily departures and correspondingly lower operating margins and can support our staff year round, whereas typically, these other operations run only 5-10 climbs on Kilimanjaro a year and have to pay high wages to entice good guides who work for other companies away from the main operations they usually guide with.

We do not mollycoddle our people and they certainly do not see themselves at all as poor little pathetic exploited Africans (as often seems to be the working assumption behind many questions related to "porter treatment" - as though they were either little pets or trapped in indentured servitude), but on the contrary, most seem to have varied and fulfilling family and social lives, all seem really proud to work with us, and I feel very privileged to have such a dedicated and loyal team of men.

We have some tremendous talent in the team and yet an ethos of humility and humour, while maintaining a very serious and professional attitude about the things that must always be taken seriously. We have a markedly different attitude to Kilimanjaro and everything related to it, than all our competitors and it might be the case that you simply do not identify with the ethos of what we represent.

It is so easy to say only what you strongly suspect that the prospective client wants to hear, but again, we don't do this as we know that this approach may lead to disappointment later on both sides, so before making your choice we would ask you to please aim to derive as much information about us as possible from our website. It’s all sincere and reasonably accurate; and from Googling us independently of what we say about ourselves here on our website, and thereafter to simply decide whether indeed we’re likely to be a good fit with one another, or whether you might simply feel more at home elsewhere. [We used to recommend a couple of other alternatives here but we note that they have since gone out of business or removed their websites].

Do you have recent feedback from clients who have completed the trek with you?

Yes, plenty! But it wouldn’t be very objective of us to put you in touch with people that we know are only going to say nice things about us. If you visit the following resources you will have direct uncensored access to feedback from more than 200 of our expeditions, feedback that is totally outside our control or ability to edit!

Many people spend a lot of time and money training and equipping themselves for a Kilimanjaro climb, only to fail in their objective of reaching the summit. Failure is avoidable and we really want trekkers to understand how to prevent it.

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As from March 2021, PCR testing (or rather, sample-taking) is now available at Seronera and Ndutu airstrips in the Serengeti. This facility has been implemented to prevent clients having to either curtail their safaris or dissect their safaris with a journey to Arusha or, more recently, Karatu (FAME Hospital), mid-safari - so as to satisfy the "less than 72 hours old" validity rule that most airlines are required to enforce. 

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Arusha Cycling Club
Wednesday, January 20th 2021

Arusha Pedal Series club aims to organise a group ride three times a week - on Mondays, Wednesdays or Thursdays, and Saturdays. All keen cyclists are welcome to join.

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Dangerous to climb Kilimanjaro?
Friday, January 1st 2021

We read widely divergent estimates of deaths on Kilimanjaro, but how dangerous is it really? In this post we share our own experience of the dangers.

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Dealing with COVID in 2021
Thursday, December 3rd 2020

First of all - you can definitely still climb Kilimanjaro during COVID-19! There is absolutely no impediment within Tanzania. Issues only potentially arise with your own country's rules.

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How to Get a PCR Test in Zanzibar
Thursday, December 3rd 2020

Although there is no requirement to have a PCR test for COVID in order to enter Tanzania, many climbers are nonetheless required by their airline to show evidence of a negative COVID test before boarding the flight home.

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How to Get a PCR Test in Arusha
Wednesday, November 4th 2020

This following information is provided to reassure prospective climbers that there is a straightforward way to enjoy the incredible tourism and adventurous opportunities that Tanzania offers, while ensuring that returning home afterwards is stress-free.

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Kilimanjaro's Western Breach
Friday, July 3rd 2020

Kilimanjaro’s Western Breach is a beautiful and breathtaking place but represents the most risk-associated assault route to Kilimanjaro’s summit, of the four options currently sanctioned by Tanzania National Parks.

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How Much Does It Cost to Climb Kilimanjaro?
Wednesday, February 19th 2020

I think the question of how much it costs to climb Kilimanjaro is a little like asking, how much it costs to buy 'a car'! Apart from the obvious question of how many people you want the car to carry and whether you want it to have offroad capability, there are more subtle considerations.

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Kilimanjaro has been climbed from the park gates to the summit in a little over just 5 hours, and yet the Royal Geographical Society suggests that trekkers should not spend less than 10 days reaching the summit? So, how long does it usually take and what is safe?

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While we've assisted people in their 70s, a 5 year old, amputees, and quadriplegics to the summit, and while in theory, pretty much everyone could climb Kilimanjaro, nonetheless, many people have told us that climbing Kilimajaro is the hardest thing they've ever done in their lives - and some of these people have been professional athletes (rugby players).

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This area of the site aims to stay up to date with developments in Tanzania and on Kilimanjaro, and to respond to queries that arise that the main area of the Team Kilimanjaro website doesn't adequately satisfy.

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