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Who Are the People in a Mountain Crew on Kilimanjaro?

Every Kilimanjaro climb is an awe-inspiring journey to the Roof of Africa, but the experience would be impossible without the dedicated individuals who make up the mountain crew. In this guide, we will introduce you to the essential members of a Kilimanjaro mountain crew, shed light on their roles, and explain why they are the unsung heroes of your expedition.

Meet the Kilimanjaro Mountain Crew

A Kilimanjaro mountain crew is a diverse and skilled team of individuals who are specially trained to support climbers in every possible way. They are the backbone of your journey, providing logistical, practical, emotional, medical, and more types of support. Here are the key members of a typical Kilimanjaro mountain crew:

  1. Lead Guide

The lead guide is the captain of your Kilimanjaro expedition. They are responsible for making critical decisions, ensuring the safety of the group, and navigating through the challenging terrains of the mountain.

  1. Assistant Guides

Assistant guides support the lead guide in guiding and taking care of climbers. They are well-versed in the mountain’s intricacies and play a vital role in helping you reach the summit.

  1. Porters

Porters are the strong and diligent individuals who carry equipment, supplies, and climbers’ personal belongings. Their hard work makes the expedition possible, as they ease the physical burden on climbers.

  1. Helping Porters

Helping porters are a subgroup of porters with additional duties. They assist with various campsite tasks, ensuring everything runs smoothly for the group.

  1. Cook

The cook is a culinary expert who prepares nourishing and delicious meals during the trek. Their skills in providing hot and tasty food are highly appreciated, especially at high altitudes.

The Significance of the Kilimanjaro Mountain Crew

Understanding the roles of the Kilimanjaro mountain crew is vital to appreciate the importance of their contributions. They go above and beyond to ensure that climbers have a safe, comfortable, and successful journey. Kilimanjaro is not just a mountain; it’s a challenge of a lifetime, and behind every successful summit are the dedicated individuals who make it possible.

How Big is a Kilimanjaro Mountain Crew?

The size of a Kilimanjaro mountain crew depends on the number of climbers in the group. The more climbers, the larger the crew required to support them. Kilimanjaro climbing groups can range from as few as two to as many as 20 climbers. Here’s how the climbers-to-crew ratio typically works:

  • For a group of four climbers, you would have a mountain crew of around 22 people.
  • In contrast, a group of 12 climbers would necessitate a much larger mountain crew, with approximately 56 individuals.

This ratio ensures that there is sufficient support for every climber, contributing to the overall safety and success of the expedition.

The Kilimanjaro Mountain Crew by the Numbers

Here’s a breakdown of the number of crew members based on the size of the climbing group, as exemplified by Follow Alice mountain crews:

  • For 1 climber, there will be 10 mountain crew members.
  • For 2 climbers, there will be 14 mountain crew members.
  • With 3 climbers, the mountain crew will consist of 15 individuals.
  • If your group has 4 climbers, you’ll be supported by 22 mountain crew members.
  • In a group of 5 climbers, the crew will number 28.
  • For 6 climbers, you can expect a crew of 31 individuals.
  • With 8 climbers, the mountain crew will comprise 40 members.
  • A group of 10 climbers will be supported by 48 mountain crew members.
  • And for a group of 12 climbers, the crew will consist of 56 individuals.


The Kilimanjaro mountain crew is the unsung hero of your climb. They are the dedicated individuals who work tirelessly to ensure your safety, comfort, and success on this incredible journey. The next time you embark on a Kilimanjaro expedition, remember that your experience is made possible by the hardworking and skilled individuals who comprise the mountain crew.

Your mountain crew is not just a team; they are the heart and soul of Kilimanjaro. They are the reason you can reach the summit, savor the breathtaking views, and create unforgettable memories.


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