Congo Tour operators – Nyiragongo Expedition Tours : Climbing Nyiragongo
The internet, as informative as it is, can also be pretty overwhelming. If you search for Nyiragongo tour operators, for instance, you’ll be inundated with results.
So how can you know which to look at, and which are any good?
Our first piece of advice: try not to get too caught up in finding the cheapest option. We’re all for saving money, but not to the extent that it makes a major expedition like climbing Kilimanjaro unpleasant or even unsafe.
You’re going to be spending a chunk of money on your airfare and the trek anyways, so don’t risk the quality and enjoyment of it all just to save a few dollars. That’s our opinion, at least.
The three kinds of tour operators
To help you sift through the tour operators on offer, it’s helpful to know that there are three main types of Kilimanjaro tour operators:
- Budget tour operators
- Value-for-money tour operators
- Luxury tour operators
1. Budget tour operators
These operators are the least expensive and usually charge between $1,500 and $1,900 per person for a seven-day climb.
This may sound great, but keep in mind that if you pay them less, they probably pay their guides and porters less. Budget tour operators also often charge you less but increase the tipping amount for you to budget, so ultimately you end up spending around the same amount of money as you would for a value tour operator, minus the quality in service.
We discussed the importance of good guides and porters in relation to your health and safety earlier in this post, so keep that in the forefront of your mind when making this decision.
Note too that budget tour operators also usually provide poor quality equipment, and your meals will also be of a lower standard than those you can expect from a value-for-money operator. The importance of good, nutritious food on a Kilimanjaro climb cannot be overstated.
More info: Meals on Kilimanjaro
Value-for-money tour operators
These tour operators generally offer a per-person package fee for a seven-day of anywhere between $1,900 and $3,200. Longer climbs will naturally cost more, as every day you’re on the mountain involves more costs (think park fees, crew wages and food).
Value-for-money operators offer treks of about six to eight days in duration, which give you more time to acclimatise and so increase your likelihood of successfully summiting the mountain. They also ensure your guides and porters are properly prepared and well paid, and they don’t compromise on the quality of food or equipment provided.
Follow Alice falls into this category of tour operator. Our fee also includes one night of accommodation and transport on either side of the trek. We also loan clients a cosy winter sleeping bag designed for Kilimanjaro at no extra charge.
When comparing the package prices of different tour operators, consider if they all offer the same inclusions.
Luxury tour operators
Any company offering a seven-day Kilimanjaro climb package above US$3,200 per person could be considered a luxury tour operator.
These operators usually offer the same services and amenities as value-for-money operators, but they just offer a little more as well. What sort of extras, you ask? Usually they’ll offer five-star accommodation on either side of the climb, as well as things like portable showers, wine and oxygen tanks during the adventure itself.
A reputable luxury tour operator is a perfectly fine choice for your Kilimanjaro trip if such extras appeal to you – the cost is just generally out of the reach of most people’s pockets.
There are hundreds of Kilimanjaro tour operators out there, making the topic a large one. We consequently haven’t been able to squeeze in all the info in the above synopsis. If you’d like to know more about the three categories of tour operator and the services each one provides, please contact us!