Many people are surprised to find out how much it costs to climb Kilimanjaro (spoiler: it varies by route, group type and operator, but ranges from $1500 to $3000).
The high cost is largely due to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park fees, which are set by KINAPA (the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority) and are a mandatory cost to enter the park.
As the park fees account for 50-70% of the total climbing cost, I thought it worthwhile explaining how they work, what components make up the park fees, and what discounts are available.
Mount Kilimanjaro Park Fees
What components make up the Kilimanjaro Park Fees?
The lastest Kilimanjaro National Park fees for 2020/2021 can be found here. It’s likely these will be the same for 2022 and 2023.
The fees consist of six main components.
They are as follows:
The Conservation fee is charged for the protection, upkeep and maintenance of the National Park. The fee is US$70 per day per trekker and is charged for every day that a trekker is inside the park. For example, a trekker doing the 7-day Machame would be charged $490 (7 x $70 per day).
The National Park is in charge of the upkeep and maintenance of the public campsites and charges a daily camping fee of $50 per trekker per night camped. Continuing our example above, a trekker on the 7-day Machame would spend 6 nights camping and therefore the total camping fee would be $300 (6 x $50 per night).
The hut fees only apply to hikers on the Marangu route. As with the campsites, the huts at Mandara, Horombo and Kibo camp are maintained by the National Park. The fee is $60 per night per trekker. So on a 6-day Marangu a trekker would pay $300 in total (5 nights x $60).
Rescue fees are charged by the National Park whether you need to be rescued or not. The cost is $20 per trekker per trip.
Crater Camping Fees
The crater camping fee is only charged to hikers who plan to camp inside Kilimanjaro’s crater. The cost is $100 per trekker per night.
Guide and Porter Entrance Fees
The National Park also charges an entrance fee for guides and porters. The cost is $2 per support crew member per trip. As this is usually spread across many hikers in a group, the cost is negligible.
In addition to all these fees, in 2016 the Tanzanian government introduced a Value Added Tax (VAT) of 18% that has to be applied to park fees.
How do I calculate the total Kilimanjaro Park fee?
Using the components above it is simple to work out what the total park fee will be based on the route and number of days you plan to take on your Kilimanjaro hike.
For example, let’s look at the 7-day Lemosho route. The total park fee would be:
- Conservation fee: 7 x $70 per day: $490
- Camping fee: 6 nights x $50 per night: $300
- No hut fees
- Rescue fee: $20
- No crater camp fee
- We’ll ignore guide and porter entrance fees as these vary by group size and are largely negligible
- Total cost: $820 + 18% VAT = $955.80
To save you time working out all the various national park fees by route, here are the Kilimanjaro park fees for the most popular routes. Please note that these fees don’t include the entrance fee for guides and porters.
- Marangu 5 days = USD 719.80 per trekker
- Marangu 6 days = USD 873.20 per trekker
- Machame 6 days = USD 814.20 per trekker
- Machame 7 days = USD 955.80 per trekker
- Lemosho 7 days = USD 955.80 per trekker
- Lemosho 8 days = USD 1097.40 per trekker
- Rongai 6 days = USD 814.20 per trekker
- Rongai 7 days = USD 955.80 per trekker
- Umbwe 6 days = USD 814.20 per trekker
- Umbwe 7 days = USD 955.80 per trekker
Can I pay the park fees directly to KINAPA?
No. Only registered tour operators can pay your parks fees. All Kilimanjaro operators include the Park Fee in their total tour cost.
Are there any park fee discounts for students and national residents?
Yes. The National Park offers discounts for children under the age of 16, Tanzania residents and ex-pats, as well as for East African citizens.
The discounts are as follows:
Children between 5-15 years old are charged $20 per day for the conservation fee (i.e. a $50 a day discount) and $10 per night camping fee (i.e. a $40 per day discount). There are unfortunately no discounts on hut fees, rescue fees or crater camp fees.
Please note: the youngest one can be to enter Kilimanjaro National park is 10 years old.
Tanzanian Residents and Ex-Pats
For Tanzanian residents and ex-pats living in Tanzania, the conservation fee is discounted by 50% to $35 per day. There is no discount on camping fees, hut fees or rescue fees.
East African Citizens
Citizens of the following East African countries (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda & South Sudan) get significant discounts on all fees (up to 90% discounts). You do not need to be a resident in these countries but you will need to present a valid passport at entry. You can see the EAC discount here.