Kilimanjaro’s Hidden Secret – Beer for Sale!


I love beer
I love beer

There is a hidden racket on Kilimanjaro, a little profiteering going on through a mixture of park authorities, guides and porters. When most tourists descend off Mt. Kilimanjaro, they want to quench their thirst with a nice good beer, whether it’s warm or cold, as long as it’s beer.

Since Safari Lager and Kilimanjaro Beer are pretty much the only beer available in the country, most tourist can’t wait to get their hands on a beer back at the hotel. But wait, beer can “be arranged” in certain camps, most easily at the Mweka Camp, the camp on your last night down the mountain. Porters carry up beer to Mweka Camp via the Mweka Camp gate. In Mweka Camp, you can find the camp manager and ask for beer. He will pretend he doesn’t know anything, but then will call over a porter, who will ask you how many beers you want, and run off into the forest, bringing you back as much beer as you want. We bought about 70 beers one night and it was no problem – probably one of their biggest orders.

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The thing is: it’s expensive, at least compared to the regular price. In hotels and on the streets, you can get beers for about 700 shillings to 1200 shillings, that about 75 cents to $1. However, at Mweka Camp, beers go for about $3 each. It’s worth it, though. Some poor soul had to pack them up to 10,000ft on the mountain. And, if they can make it happen, I will pay the price.