It happened again. The second call we received this month. “I’ve placed our deposit with a Kilimanjaro tour company, and now they are no longer in business.” This time is was ‘Climbing Kilimanjaro, a sub company from Destination Africa.’ Said the father who he and his son has placed a 20% deposit previously and after repeated unresponsive replies finally found out this Kilimanjaro scam company was no longer in business.
“They had a few good reviews on Trip Advisor, but as I look deeper I think they’re fake”
A few good reviews do not make a valid Kili trekking company. As we’ve seen with Coronavirus, months without work has placed many ‘trekking companies’ out of business.
Here are 3 tips to avoid Kilimanjaro fake or scamming tour operators:
1) Can you call and speak with someone? It is important to clearly communicate your intentions, questions. This is a not a small investment with your time and money. You are traveling across the world and simple email communication may not be enough
2) Can you pay your deposit via credit card? Nearly all credit card companies will offer fraud protection. If the trekking company you are booking with only accepts wire transfer DO NOT BOOK with that company.
3) Are they locally owned and operated in Tanzania? Does their ABOUT US have a comprehensive staff list with names of individuals who own and/or operate the company? Many indirect companies book through a parent company who will sell your Kili tour to the lowest bidder. Book direct, make them prove they have a TALA license in their name, and feel safe and secure that your tour is with a company that was been on Kili for decades and will be for years to come!