There are hundreds of climb and safari outfitters in East Africa to choose from. Finding the right one for your particular needs can be a very big and daunting decision with many factors to consider. Costs are always on or near the top of the list. Most people are surprised to learn how expensive activities in East Africa can be. But once there you will learn, hopefully not the hard way, that there are few places that exemplify the saying, "You get what you pay for." more than East Africa.
Judging the quality of the experience you will get from various outfitters is extremely difficult. A quality experience is one that provides comfort, safety, success. In the case of Safaris, degrees of luxury can be added. A luxury safari will put you in resort settings with many comforts of home that you won't find on a camping safari. But these things do come at a price. Depending on your own personal adaptability and tastes, you might not want to spend the extra it takes to have added luxury. And you might not want to miss the sights, sounds and smells you can experience by spending the night in a tent on the plains, surrounded by the nocturnal activity of the local residents. But a quality safari, regardless of whether it includes a luxurioius room with a view or a tent on the plains, is one that will provide an experience you will always cherish. In the same sense, with regard to climbing a mountain, a quality climb does not mean a luxury climb, because there really is no such thing, but instead it means one that will provide you with a little more comfort, a higher safety factor and greater chances for success.
Unfortunately, the support infrastructure needed to supply quality does come at a price. We stongly advise that you do not choose the cheapest alternative ( especially not the $1500 special out of Moshi) just because it is the cheapest. A really cheap climb that seems too good to be true will undoubtedly wind up being just that, and could get you into trouble.
First, Kapanya learned his guiding skills and talents while working with large quality companies like Mountain Madness, Wilderness Adventures, Abercrombie & Kent and National Geographic, and he refuses to cut corners or sacrifice the things needed to conduct a quality climb. Years ago, he insisted we go to the expense of purchasing a PAC, Portable Altitude Chamber, for client safety. We were the first small local operator to do so and remain one of the only small local operators to carry this piece of equipment. There are a lot of little things he also insisted on like purchasing camp chairs with backs as an extra added bit of comfort for clients, offering the bottled water option and purchasing three person mountain expedition tents for two people to share.
Second, 100% of the cost of a trip with EAOA goes to the local economy. With the exception of park fees and local government fees (licensing, permits, etc.), which are unavoidable, every dollar goes directly to local crew and services. On a climb, you may not see them all together at the same time but, even as a single climber, you would have a minimum crew of at least 11 people to support you safely to the summit and back down. Indirectly, the rest of the local community benefits by allowing that money to trickle down. This is in sharp contrast to most of the bigger and well known companies who need to take large portions of trip dollars to support their offices in the US, UK, Germany, Australia, etc. My involvement is strictly voluntary and I take no money.
Third and last, you do not want to miss out on having Kapanya as your guide. He has a personality that is special and unforgettable. He knows every trail, rock, plant, bird, reptile, insect or any other animal you might encounter. He will most likely become your friend for life and, when you look back ten years from now at your trip, he will also be the foundation of much of what you remember from it.