I'm booked on this trip and really excited. Gradually gathering all the bits and pieces needed to make it as comfy as possible, made a list, it's long. I'm in two minds as to whether I should get my visa upon entering Tanzania or get it earlier at an increased cost.
Never done anything like this before, I'm not particularily fit and I'm also a smoker, hopefully I'll have quit by then ( have made some recent failed attempts) though in terms of will power trying to do so makes climbing Kili seem no harder than going up my front door step.
I'm hoping others booked on the same trip or those with previous experience post on here.
I am not on your trip but am leaving for the same trip on 22nd feb.
There is a kili thread in the feb departures section of the forum with lots of tips. (would like to meet)
Yeah the kit list seems huge! We have most of our kit now and all we need to do is sort out currency and airport parking.
We sent off for our Visas on the 30th dec . We think it's better to get them before you go as it will save the hassle when you are there. Also it will give you peace of ming knowing you already have it.
You can get all the forms and info from the tanzanian embassy website. Fill the form in and send 2 passport photos and pay £38 into a barclays account and send the reciept with your application along with your passport. Should take 10 days. maybe faster.
It is my first "big trek" and I am really excited about it and a little nervous.
As for fitness, I think if you are fit then it can only help . But altitude sickness is the biggest reason for failing to summit , and that can hit anyone. But I agree that a strong positve mental attitude along with folowing the guides advice will get you to the top.
Perhaps make getting to the summit your goal to give up smoking for good :o)
off on the same trip. Time getting near. have a lot of the stuff from the list. Like you in 2 minds about the visa, though Exodus are pretty relaxed about it.
main thing will be the altitude sickness, gather the trick is to bring stacks of paracetamol.
would hate to get near the summit and not make it
This trip is fantastic, but there are definately a few things that will really help you reach Uhuru, regardless of whether you smoke or not!
The local guides are super, so listen to them. Pole, Pole, means slowly, slowly and if you want to give yourself the best chance, then stay behind the lead guide and walk slowly right from the beginning. For the first couple of hours its almost painfully slow, but then you get used to it and by the time you are standing on top of the highest free standing mountian in the world, you'll be thankful for all that patience! Drink plenty - 5 litres of water, plus your soups etc daily will keep you hydrated and will go some way to keeping those headaches and nausea to a minimum. It sounds almost impossible, but start now; increase your fluid at home and when you are out there the guides will provide you with 2 litres before lunch, 2 after and 1 for the evening. Eat plenty - its normal to begin to lose your appetite the higher you go, but if you can get some food inside you regardless of whether you are feeling sick, it will really help you and the food provided by AWC is tasty and plentiful. If you like garlic start taking it daily and then throughout the trip. A garlic capsule in the morning is found to increase your circulation and can help with the altitude sypmtoms. The last thing - the night ascent... its not normal for us to walk for almost 2 days with little and broken sleep, whilst possibly feeling a bit 'odd', in the dark and not be in bed between 2am - 4am, so you will need to dig deep and find that positive mental attitude and believe me, its there, in all of us! Break down the ascent into 4 sections and at each section the guides will stop briefly and check you are okay. If you are suffering slight altitude sickness, let them know. Check the symptoms before you go so you are aware of how you may feel and can keep an eye on each other. To suffer to some degree is normal, but anything more sinister and the guides will be there to help you.
Your mind may play games and at times you may feel like 'giving up', but this will only come in waves - for every down wave, there will be an up wave and then there you will be, watching the sunrise over Mawenzi (stopping briefly with a cup of tea before making the final push to Uhuru).
The Rongai route is one of the best, 4 seasons in one trip is true, underfoot is not tough and no technical skill is required, just bags of enthusiasm and good health. Good Luck and savour every moment! p.s. yes, visa on arrival is possible, but can be a bit of a lengthy process depending on the queue. If you can get it before you go, it just saves on your time.
Great to read all your views and ideas! I'm also really looking forward to this trip, and can't believe how near the departure now is. To pick up some of your threads.... I'm buying my visa on arrival, but I guess if you've got it in advance that's fine too. I've never trekked to this height before, so have been trying to keep fit - but, as you say, the joker in the pack is the altitude. I think the really important thing is attitude - take each hour and day as it comes, and enjoy the company and scenery. It is a holiday, after all! A friend of mine did the climb last June and said not to underestimate the cold, especially at night (so make sure you've got those thermals). Another tip was to take gaiters to keep stones out of your boots.
Overall, I'm sure we're going to have a great time, and I really look forward to meeting you all soon!
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