Do You Need A Guide For Kilimanjaro?

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Got the Roof of Africa on your Bucket List and wondering whether you can climb Kilimanjaro without a guide? You’ve landed in the right place.

Many a serious adventurer will set themselves a date with the highest free-standing mountain in Africa, but not all will conquer her. If you’re considering climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and you want to know if you can do it without a guide, here’s your answer. 

WATCH: can you climb Kilimanjaro without a guide?

In this quick video, our founder Keith Crockford explains whether you can climb Kilimanjaro without a guide.

Wondering whether you can climb Kilimanjaro without a guide and prefer to read? Here’s your answer…

The sorts of people who’ve got Kilimanjaro on their Bucket List tend to be the sorts of people who love a challenge. Because, let’s face it, that mountain is massive, and reaching the summit is going to test you. 

But some tests are a step too far, and in 1991, the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority ruled that climbing Kilimanjaro without a guide was no longer allowed. That’s still the case now: you can’t climb Kilimanjaro without a guide. 

The Kilimanjaro National Park Authority requires that all climbers hire a registered guide when attempting the ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro. Guides are trained in first aid and emergency medical treatment, as well as route finding skills (so they know how to get you back down safely). 

They also know what gear is appropriate for your level of experience with hiking in general and on mountains specifically, and they’re best placed to monitor how well you’re doing and reduce your chances of suffering from altitude sickness. 

Why do people want to climb Kilimanjaro without a guide? 

We get the attraction, we really do. 

Being able to say you’ve conquered Kilimanjaro, and done it all off your own bat, it’d win you great kudos. Or at least it would in a world where rule-abiding was frowned upon and your safety didn’t matter. 

But the truth is, social responsibility and ecotravel is growing in importance to travellers all across the world. And by paying for a local guide, you’re not only reducing your chances of leaving a negative impact on Kilimanjaro, you’re also putting money into the local economy. 

Having a guide to lead you to the summit doesn’t mean you’ve earned that tick on your Bucket List any less. And while you might think you could save money climbing Kilimanjaro without a guide, you wouldn’t – because you wouldn’t be climbing Kilimanjaro in the first place. You’re not allowed to without a guide, remember! 

why do you climb Kilimanjaro at night

Can you get away with climbing Kilimanjaro without a guide if you decide to try it anyway? 

It goes without saying that we would never recommend you try to climb Kilimanjaro without a guide. But if you went ahead and did it anyway, it’s highly likely you’d be caught, fined, ejected from the national park, and possibly even put in prison or deported from Tanzania.

Those are the possibly penalties anyone faces when they attempt to climb Kilimanjaro without a guide. And yes, there’s every chance you would be caught – throughout a trek to Kilimanjaro’s summit, Uhuru Peak, your trekking group will be checked and the authorities will want to see your guide’s licence every time. 

At every camp, you’ll have to sign in too, as will your guide. And before you even get to the foothills of the mountain, your guide and group will be checked at the gates too. 

Ready to tick Kilimanjaro off your Bucket List? Climb to Uhuru Peak with The Bucket List Company and do something amazing. 

Our group climbs to the peak of Kilimanjaro are popular for good reason: you achieve something amazing, with a fantastic and fun company who understands the very best way to do adventure travel. 

It’s official you know: we’re the British Travel Awards’ Best Adventure Travel Company!

Our founder Keith had reached the summit fourteen times at the last count, so if you’ve got any questions about any of our trips and different routes to Uhuru Peak, he’s your man! Give us a call on 01769 309007 or email [email protected]

Click here to find out more about our Kilimanjaro trek on the Lemosho route

Click here to find out about our Kilimanjaro trek on the Marangu route

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