About the Kili pricing: I can say that we are the cheapest around for the best quality; our quality is the same as expensive US companies (see below), but we charge about 30% of their price.
There are indeed a few organisations who do it even cheaper and it your choice to go with them or not, but beware for fraud and bad service. The park fees have gone up slightly, and the park fees (both Kili and safari) are about 50% of our prices. The rest is for 2 nights half board in a very good and safe (!) hotel, private transportation in good vehicles, about 2 porters per person, guides, cook, all meals and tents and some margin.
You can do the math and see how much margin there will be.
We use only trained guides who speak english and won't let you find your own way down as has happened with some of the cheaper companies; there are plenty stories of people getting 'a good deal' in Moshi, paying $900-1400, only to find out:
- No accomodation is included
- that the tour will take only 4 or 5 days
- that no one appeared at the meeting point,
- there were not enough porters
- the porters do not get any salary and are dependent on tips only or on stealing gear from the clients.
- all the vehicles were suddenly 'broken down' or $ was needed for fuel
- not getting (enough) food, or it was 'not included' and quite pricy on the spot
- they were intimidated by the guides and porters to give them extra $ and clothing was stolen
- they were not taken to the summit due to 'bad conditions'
- were left alone on the mountain!
Unfortunately all the rich western tourists attract people who want to join the dollar party in a less honest way. As you will notice when you arrive in Moshi, it has a different atmosphere than other African cities, the mountain is by far the safest place to be in the area - if you are in good company -. Not everybody can become our guide or porter; they have to test and prove themself worthy. We are glad we can pay extra for better guides and safe and satisfied customers.
So it's your choice, if you think that a good company give you good service and people for little money, go for it! Our prices are the lowest for all expeditions as we think that the prices have been inflated, but any lower and we will have to get another job to pay for the trips of our clients.
PS: Please feel free to checkout
-http://www.alpineascents.com/kili-price-date.htm for Alpine Ascents prices: Intl flight, 7 days Machame, 3 days safari for $4,455.00;
-http://www.mountainmadness.com/intl/africa/k-machame.htm for the prices Mountainmadness asks: "6 day Machame Climb Only Land Cost: $3,400, price includes park fees; 5 day safari Land Cost: $2,900, price includes park fees"...
(note that these prices were accurate when publishing this FAQ, but probably they have increased since then.)