Choosing the Right Kilimanjaro Trek: Private vs. Group Adventure

Deciding to trek Mount Kilimanjaro is the easy part. Deciding how you want to do it—whether on a private trek or as part of a group—is where some climbers might find themselves at a crossroads.

In this guide, we delve into the differences between private treks and scheduled groups, helping you understand which option best suits your Kilimanjaro adventure.

Private Kilimanjaro Trek

Kilimanjaro mountain guides

A private trek up Kilimanjaro offers a personalized experience tailored to your group's needs. With flexibility in choosing your trek dates, you'll have private services, including designated sleeping and dining tents, dedicated equipment for camping routes, and exclusive transfers. Your support team comprising guides, porters, cooks, and a waiter will solely cater to your group, ensuring a premium experience. While there will be other trekkers on the mountain, your group's services remain distinct and private.

Best suited for:

  • Groups of three or more.
  • Couples desiring privacy.
  • Families and friends.
  • Solo trekkers with specific needs.
  • Large groups.

A private trek can be started on any route, any duration, any day of the year!

Scheduled Group Kilimanjaro trek

Kilimanjaro expedition crew

Unlike private treks, scheduled group departures operate on fixed dates. Joining a scheduled group means sharing common services, including camping equipment and transfers, with others in the group. While group treks offer cost-saving benefits, there's still room for personalization, such as booking your own tent or even hiring a private guide. On average, these groups range from 3-5 participants, ensuring you still get an intimate experience.

Best suited for:

  • Solo travelers.
  • Couples seeking group rates.
  • Those looking to meet new and like minded people.
  • Note: Group sizes are limited, usually to 10-12 people, though the average is around 5 individuals on a trek.

Open or External Groups

Alpine Desert vegetation zone on Kilimanjaro


If you're struggling to find a suitable trekking date or tour, consider an open group. With adequate notice, we can open up a private departure for others to join. This way, you can share the trek's communal aspects, like support staff and transfers, while maintaining your initial planned dates.

Open Group: If pre-existing scheduled tours or dates don’t align with your plans, you can create a private departure and open it up for others to join, provided you notify in advance. This allows you to share costs while ensuring your preferred dates are maintained however you do not have a guarantee of a group rate until others join.

External Group: These are groups added by trusted partners. Acting as intermediaries, these platforms can help you find a tour that matches your preferences. All external groups will be with a approved Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project partner.

Best suited for:

  • Solo travelers or couples with specific travel dates in mind who do not want a private trek
  • Travelers wanting a custom tour, not offered on our scheduled departures already, but are open to sharing the experience with others.

The choice between a private or shared group trek to Kilimanjaro hinges on what you prioritize: personalization or shared experiences. By understanding the pros and cons of each option, you can ensure your Kilimanjaro expedition is both memorable and tailored to your needs. Safe travels!