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Why AWR is the Best Kilimanjaro Guide Company

Story by Adventures Within Reach

Posted: July 25, 2017

Summit of Kilimanjaro

Climbing Kilimanjaro is a once in a lifetime vacation, and you want to have the very best experience possible.  Your guide company will be the biggest factor in achieving your goal of climbing Kilimanjaro.

These are the main areas to look at when selecting a Kilimanjaro guide company:

  1. Safety & Experience
  2. Guides
  3. Equipment
  4. Food
  5. Responsible Travel
  6. Customer Service
  7. Price

With Adventures Within Reach, safety is our highest priority.  Our guides, equipment, food, and customer service are of a higher standard than our competition.  We offer all this at a competitive price.  This combination results in very high summit success rates.

Note that the areas that we do not have control over are 1) your preparation (training and gear), 2) weather, and 3) factors out of our control (lost luggage, cancelled flights, etc.).  These can all impact your trip, but we can help minimize some of these issues.

1. Safety & Experience

AWR has been offering Kilimanjaro treks for over 17 years.  Our sales staff has climbed Kilimanjaro on multiple routes, so we can answer your questions.

All treks have a pulse oximeter, which measures pulse rate and oxygen saturation.  Your guide will test your oxygen levels at least twice a day.  This measurement is one way to see how well you are acclimatizing on the trek.

Our Kilimanjaro guides are certified Wilderness First Responders (WFR).  They receive ongoing training in first aid and acute mountain sickness (AMS) so that they are up-to-date on the best ways to treat injuries and sickness.

All guides carry a phone for emergency use.  Oxygen and hyperbaric bags are available to rent on your trek.

2. Guides

Kilimanjaro GuidesAs on any trip, the guide really makes the difference in an amazing experience.  Our guides are selected on their history of experience, safety, trek management, mountain knowledge, leadership abilities, and personality.

Our treks have 1 lead guide and 1 assistant guide for every 4 people (a 1:2 ratio).

Kilimanjaro guides are trained and certified by the Kilimanjaro National Park. They start out as porters and work their way up to assistant guide. When they are ready to advance to a lead guide, they go through the national park certification process.  Our guides also go through additional training like Wilderness First Responders (WFR), first aid, acute mountain sickness (AMS), and customer service.

3. Equipment

Tents and dining tent on KilimanjaroWe take our equipment very seriously and make sure everything is in good working order.

  • Tents: 3-person dome-style 4-season mountain tents for 2 people (Mountain Hardware or similar) with 4 poles to withstand high winds.
  • Sleeping pad (non-inflatable 2-inch pad with nylon cover)
  • Oximeter (1 per group)
  • Spacious dining tent, dining table, and stools
  • Cooking utensils, equipment, and supplies
  • Eating dishes and utensils
  • Wash basins and soap

Equipment is selected to provide a comfortable experience on the trek.

4. Food

Meals on KilimanjaroOn the mountain, you are served breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner.  All meals are hot, including lunches if the weather allows.  We use fresh, local food that is plentiful and delicious.  It is resupplied mid-trek. Our chef is continually improving the menu to offer variety and nutrition including ample protein.  We cater to special diets including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free.

Water is boiled in the morning and evening to refill your water containers with safe water to drink.

5. Responsible Travel

Sustainable TravelAdventures Within Reach is a partner of the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP).  This is an independent non-profit that oversees the proper treatment of porters on Kilimanjaro (wages, clothing, weight limits, food, shelter, etc.).  We strongly believe in taking great care of our staff!

We also believe in the principles of Leave No Trace.  It benefits all of us to be environmentally and socially responsible on the mountain and everywhere we travel.

6. Customer Service

Porters putting up tents on KilimanjaroIn the end, a good travel experience is all about the people.  We try to respond to all requests and questions within 24 hours.  We can accommodate special requests (special diets, customized itineraries, celebrations, etc.).  We have options to fit your budget -- lower cost group treks up to luxury Kilimanjaro treks.

AWR has been offering Kilimanjaro treks for over 17 years.  Our sales staff has climbed Kilimanjaro on multiple routes, so we can answer your questions and tell you honestly what is it really like.

7. Price

Climbing Kilimanjaro is not a cheap trip, so you want to have the best experience without overpaying.

Adventures Within Reach is a mid-priced operator -- not the cheapest and not the most expensive -- but we are a great value for the price.  There is no need to pay double the price for the same services.  Low priced operators will cut corners on safety, equipment, food, and often treat porters very poorly.  We offer a great value for the price!