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The most significant cost of your holiday in Tanzania is the cost of the Kilimanjaro trek itself. Set aside US$1100-plus for the absolute cheapest trek, more if you plan on ascending by an unusual route (or on the Rongai and Lemosho Routes which usually involve greater transport costs to get to), want to take more than the absolute minimum of five days, or insist on walking without other trekkers. Once on the mountain, however, you won’t need to pay for anything else throughout the trek, except for the occasional chocolate bar or beer which you can buy at the ranger’s huts on the way (though don’t forget tipping!!!).
Away from the mountain and the other national parks, by far the most expensive place in Tanzania is Zanzibar. Elsewhere, you’ll find transport, food and accommodation, the big three day-to-day expenses of the traveller’s life, are pretty cheap in Tanzania and particularly in Moshi and Arusha:
Basic tourist accommodation in Tanzania starts at around £5/US$7.50. You can get cheaper, non-tourist accommodation, though this is often both sleazy and unhygienic and should only be considered as a last resort. We have not reviewed these cheap hotels individually in the book, but we do give some indication of where they can be found in the introduction to the accommodation sections in the city chapters. At the other end of the spectrum, there are hotel rooms and luxury safari camps going for anything up to US$2000 per night in the high season.
Food in Tanzania can be dirt cheap if you stick to street sellers plying their wares at all hours of the day - though dirt is often what you get on the food itself too, with hygiene standards not always of the highest. Still, even in a clean and decent budget restaurant the bill should still start at only £2.50-3.50/US$4-5.50.
Public transport is cheap in Tanzania, though it could be said you get what you pay for: dilapidated buses, potholed roads, inadequate seating and narcoleptic drivers do not a pleasant journey make, but this is the reality of public transport, Tanzanian-style. Then again, at around £1/US$1.50 per hour for local buses and dalla-dallas (the local minibuses), it seems churlish to complain. That said, given the appalling number of accidents on Tanzanian roads (they say that after malaria and AIDS, road accidents are the biggest killer in the country), if your budget can stretch to it do consider spending it on transport: extra safety and comfort are available on the luxury buses, and at only a slightly higher price.
|How much it costs|
|Kilimanjaro park fees|
|Other costs of climbing Kilimanjaro|
|How to book: introduction|
|Booking your trek with an agency at home|
|Booking your trek with an agency in Tanzania|
|Getting to Kilimanjaro: introduction|
|Flights to Kilimanjaro and Tanzania|
|Flights to Kenya|
|Travelling overland to Kilimanjaro|
|The routes up Kilimanjaro|
|Marangu Route (5-6 days)|
|Machame Route (6-7 days)|
|Rongai Route (5-6 days)|
|Umbwe Route (5-6 days)|
|Shira and Lemosho Routes|
|What to pack: introduction|
|Clothes for Kilimanjaro|
|Other equipment for Kilimanjaro|
|Essential equipment for Kilimanjaro|
|Highly desirable equipment for Kilimanjaro|
|Useful equipment for Kilimanjaro|
|Luxury items for Kilimanjaro|
|A Kilimanjaro medical kit|
|Diamox - what is it, and is it worth taking on Kilimanjaro?|
|Malaria and malarial prophylaxis for Kilimanjaro|