The Kilimanjaro Alpine Service exists to serve those who wish to climb Kilimanjaro on a budget, and who understand and are happy to accept the implications of implementing cost reduction measures against mid-range and top-end climbs, but who do not wish to compromise their summit prospects any more than strictly necessary, or make the usual safety-related sacrifices associated with booking a cheap Kilimanjaro climb.
There’s a lot of aggressive rhetoric on the Internet about some top-end Kilimanjaro tour operators and middle-men overcharging and making obscene per climber profits on the one hand; and on the other hand, budget companies not paying their staff fair salaries and making dangerous corner-cutting decisions to keep their costs as competitive as possible. Much of what you may already have read is probably true and much will have been exaggerated, however, the basic fact is that if a climber is not very experienced at altitude and not used to moving independently in hostile environments, then choosing to climb with an overtly budget-orientated operator is certainly not an obvious choice and needs to be looked at very carefully. That may sound like a strange way for a budget Kilimanjaro operation to offer their services, but we don’t want to encourage bookings that are made on a false pretence, or attract climbers who will end up disappointed with their decision. Indeed, before making the decision to climb with a budget company, we would prefer that prospective climbers understand how we keep our costs low, so that no-one proceeds with their planning on the basis of any erroneous assumptions.
The reality is that a company that offers cheap Kilimanjaro climbs simply cannot provide the same quality, reliability and newness of equipment, the same calibre of mountain support staffing and professional oversight, and the same volume and quality of climb provisions, as an operator that has more funds to spend on equipping their climbs and attracting the most competent staff. So, at the outset and before proceeding further, it needs to be understood and accepted that when deciding to climb Kilimanjaro on a budget, you will simply not enjoy the same quality of experience and level of support as you would benefit from if choosing to delay your climb a few months or until the following year, and save up a few hundred dollars more to spend on your climb. We are aware that there are claims to the contrary on the Internet, but we believe these to be disingenuous and misleading.
For those climbers who are realistic in understanding that in order to achieve a relatively cheap climb (though with park fees being what they are nowadays, that’s a very relative term) certain cuts have to be made, we are very keen to welcome you to consider booking with us. To be as transparent as possible we prefer to state frankly how we reduce our costs. If you’re happy with these measures, we’ll be glad to progress your proposed booking. If you’re dubious about these measures we’ll be willing to advise you who we believe that you would do best to approach, provided you let us know which considerations are most important to you.
This is by no means an exhaustive description of our cost saving methods. These measures are however, the most significant. It should be noted that while our wage structure does not attract the very best cooks, we nonetheless aim to supply our climbs with a very high standard of nutrition.
Because we are managed as an extension of a high-level Kilimanjaro climb operator we benefit from the same professional oversight of highly trained expedition coordinators, as well as having access to the same extensive infrastructure of staffing, transportation, communications, and equipment - albeit with cost-cutting downgraded options wherever safety is not impacted.
Being under the auspices of this senior operation means that the same comprehensive level of multi-directional communication between climbers, support staff and management, is maintained, with families and friends of climbers able to watch climbs in real-time by following our daily updated Kilimanjaro Google Map.
We are grateful to enjoy live-time positional updates coordinated through TK’s offices. The climbs that detail our movements are denoted by ‘KAS’:
|Jan - June 2013 | Standard Series Climbs|
|Jul - Dec 2013 | Standard Series Climbs|
|Jan - June 2013 | Superlite Series Climbs|
|Jul - Dec 2013 | Superlite Series|