Kilimanjaro Expedition


The American Alpine Institute Kilimanjaro expedition takes climbers to 19,341-feet (5,895 meters), the highest point in Africa. As one of the Seven Summits, Kilimanjaro has been attracting both mountaineers and adventurers for more than a century.

AAI uses the best in local logistics to provide an unmatched experience. Indeed, our guides have an exceptional level of summit success on these programs, logging an astounding 95-percent success rate.

On the summit of Africa.

On the summit of Africa.
Nathan Evenson

Expedition Highlights

  • Climb Africa's highest mountain and one of the Seven Summits.
  • Experience the challenge of high altitude climbing, and develop an understanding of how your body fares on high altitude objectives.
  • Explore East Africa's culture and varied ecology.
  • Add a safari to enjoy some of the best game viewing on the continent.

The stratovolcano Kilimanjaro is an immense island of multiple micro-climates, surrounded by the dry, African plains. It stands in north-eastern Tanzania, just a few miles from the southern border of Kenya, and 250 miles (400 km) south of the Equator.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the adventrure is the extremly varied landscapes and ecosystems experienced. The contrasts are stark, from rainforests, to sub-alpine grasslands, to an alpine zone dominated by cliffs and glaicers. The visual impact of Kilimanjaro is absolute, as it dominates the horizon for thousands of square miles, towering above all else, as the highest free-standing mountain in the world.

Kili From Karangu Camp

Kilimanjaro as seen from Karangu Camp. Shawn Olson

Our expedition is an enjoyable, non-technical climb that encompasses expansive views across Africa, passage through diverse cultural areas and ecosystems, and  an optional safari through nearby National Parks. Porters, cooks, and local guides accompany the group, allowing you to focus solely on the experience. 

Related Trip Report

Olson Shawn Tiny

Good Living on Kilimanjaro

By Shawn Olson

The Kilimanjaro trek to the summit and back down is ten days long (including the arrival and departure days), with the safari adding four additional  days.

The safari includes travel through Lake Manyara National Park, the wonders of the Serengeti, Rift Valley, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the market of Mto Wa Mbu where local Maasai sell their traditional crafts.

In terms of wildlife, we see both resident and migratory species including many varieties of birds and a full range of large African mammals. The game viewing is some of the best on the continent.


  • Previous backpacking experience
  • Good physical condition
Alpenglow on Kilimanjaro's glacier.

Alpenglow lights up a glacier on Kilimanjaro.


Kilimanjaro Expedition

Route and Plan

The Machame Route 

Sunrise over Africa, from just below the summit on Kilimanjaro.

Sunrise over Africa, from just below the summit on Kilimanjaro.
Shawn Olson

We climb the mountain by the picturesque Machame Route, considered by many to be the most beautiful route on the peak. Most of the climb itself is actually trekking on well-groomed trails, though there are a few sections of steeper, non-technical terrain. Our camps are at sites established by the Tanzanian National Park Service, and each camp provides outhouses and is staffed by a rescue team in case emergency evacuations are necessary.

We use five camps as we gradually move up the mountain, and their altitude (ranging from 9,843 to 15,100 feet) help us acclimatize gradually before making our summit bid. A typical day includes three to six hours of climbing. Summit day is typically between 5 and 8 hours, and begins just after midnight with a plan to enjoy the magnificent colors of sunrise near the summit.

Besides its beauty, a benefit of the Machame Route is that it includes two days of "hiking high and sleeping low," a strategy proven to help with successful acclimatization.


Why Climb With AAI?

Pinic at camp on Kilimanjaro.

High quality service at camp on Kilimanjaro.

The American Alpine Institute has long been the standard for safety and excellence in mountain guiding. Since 1975, we have been committed to providing the highest quality mountain trips in the world. On Kilimanjaro, we work closely with what we believe to be the best local outfitter in Tanzania.

Our expeditions to the mountain are of the highest possible quality for the following reasons:

  • Adherance to the Best Risk Management Practices
  • Local Natural and Cultural Knowledge
  • Outstanding African Support Staff
  • 95% Success Rate
  • Gourmet Food
  • Group and Private Expeditions Available



Kilimanjaro Expedition

Cost and Dates

Machame Route Trailhead, Kilimanjaro National Park.

Machame Route Trailhead, Kilimanjaro.
Shawn Olson


  • $4950, Climb Only
  • $7975, Climb and Safari
  • $400, Single Suppliment for Climb


Max Ratio:

  • 2 guides for groups of 4 - 6
  • 3 guides for groups of 7 - 10


Capacity: 10 climbers 



  • Aug 11 - Aug 20, 2024 - Climb Only
  • Aug 11 - Aug 23, 2024 - Climb and Safari
  • Sept 1 - Sept 10, 2024 - Climb Only
  • Dec 23 - Dec 31, 2024 - Climb Only
  • Dec 23 - Jan 3, 2025 - Climb and Safari 
  • Jan 26 - Feb 4, 2025 - Climb Only

Lemosho Crater Route

Please contact the office for availabe dates 

Kilimanjaro Expedition


Inclusions and Exclusions

The expedition fee includes:

  • All accommodations (single room supplement available)
  • All expedition organizational requirements
  • Airport transfer from Kilimanjaro International airport to hotel and return; transport to and from the trailhead
  • All meals while on the expedition (also on optional safaris)
  • All dining and camping equipment (excluding sleeping bag and pad)
  • Portable private toilet with bio-degradable waste system (Cleanwaste®) at all camps
  • Services of trip leader, climbing guides, and mountain crew
  • Gamow bag (portable hyperbaric chamber) and supplemental oxygen on all climbs
  • Kilimanjaro National Park entrance, camping, and rescue fees
  • Bottled water at Mbahe; filtered water on climb; coffee, teas, cocoa, milk, juices
  • Guided Mbahe Village walking tour


The expedition fee does not include: personal clothing and equipment, including sleeping bag/pad; international airfare; pre-trip expenses such as immunizations, travel insurance, passports, and visas; additional accommodations and meals made necessary by airline schedule changes; excess baggage charges and airport taxes; bottled beverages; tips and gratuities to leaders, guides, crew, or other staff.


Alternate Pricing Options / Private Groups

Climbers descend after a successful summit on Kilimanjaro.

Climbers descend after a successful summit on Kilimanjaro.  
AAI Collection

  • Course minimum:  
  • 1:1 $5700
  • 2:1 or 3:1 $4700
  • 4:1 - 7:1 $4400
  • Custom dates are available!  Trips beginning on December 26th will summit on New Years Day. For more information, please call (360) 671-1505, or inquire at i[email protected] about these options.
  • Private groups:  No minimum group size and flexible dates (please contact AAI for pricing).


Additional Details

All foreigners from non-Commonwealth countries are required to have a valid visa unless their countries have agreements with Tanzania under which the visa requirement is waived. Check for updates before traveling. Visas can be obtained on arrival for most nationalities.

Equipment Notes
We will supply all group gear (e.g. tents, stoves, utensils etc), while expedition members are to provide their own personal clothing, day pack, duffel bag, footwear, and sleeping bag/pad.

Safety Communications and Insurance
To safeguard members of the expedition we will be carrying a satellite telephone. We require expedition members to carry additional insurance for evacuation and repatriation as well as normal travel medical expenses. Contact us for expedition insurance advice.

Above the clouds in Africa.

Above the clouds in Africa.

Kilimanjaro Expedition

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