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I'm planning to climb the Kilimanjaro in September. I'll arrive on 29th of August, stay in Moshi for two or three days, then start the hike. What I'm wondering now is whether I should book the tour in advance or whether I can just walk around in Moshi, check some agencies and decide spontaneously.

My main concerns are:

  • Will there be available places if I book two or three days before the tour starts? Or are the tours usually booked out by then?
  • How likely is it to fall for a scam when looking for tour operators?
  • Is it cheaper to book in Moshi directly than booking in advance? And closely related to the point before: how can I distinguish between a good priced offer and a scam?

EDIT: After some research I decided to book the trek in advance. As this is rather a gut feeling I don't feel this would qualify as an answer. I'll extend the question by the information I gathered instead:

  • Tanzania has risen the tourist VAT by 18% by the 1st of July, this means prices are generally higher (1, 2).
  • Prices from different travel agencies range between 1500€ and 2000+€
  • wikitravel.org states (emphasize mine):

    You can either organize your trek up the mountain from your home country through a travel agency, but you'll pay a lot more for this convenience, or, if you've got a bit of time, hop on plane and save some money by organizing it in Arusha, Moshi or in Dar. Be advised that there are as many incompetent and dishonest trek organizers as there are good ones. Ask around to make sure your guide will deliver on his promises.

I'll happily gather some information locally and post an answer if this question hasn't been answered until my return.

  • Its better to book in advance as it will be easier to know how much money to carry with you. – user49889 Aug 16 '16 at 10:48
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It is better to make booking online and pay in advance since this will save time and make you assure of the tour. There are companies which are very competent and trusted in organizing tours,those companies are registered by Tanzania Tourism Board under the ministry of tourism. Find one company and make your booking. Best of luck for more help am available as I live in Moshi Kilimanjaro.

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It's best when you book in advance since its high season you might find most of hotels are full booked around moshi due to number of climbers

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    Welcome to the site. I deleted the picture from your answer as it doesn't add any information. – David Richerby Jul 13 '17 at 11:54

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