Would recommend the trip but did feel a little 'abandoned' as no Exodus staff on this trip, very much relied on the local company who's abilites varied immensly. Holiday spoiled by delayed luggage, difficulies with African Walking Company over additional charges, tummy bug and not being booked on flight from Kili to Niarobi despite flight having been confirmed!
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
The first sight of Kili when the clouds lifted, getting up early and seeing sunrise, wild flowers and monkeys!
The kindness of three members of my group for providing me with a water bottle, tourch, knickers and anything else I needed when AWC sent me off on the trek in the clothes I'd travelled in (stayed in for 4 days) having told me my delayed case would be at the park gate.
What did you think of your group leader?
Our head guide was very experienced however three days into the trek he told me he had hired more porters and cook helpers than we had been told at the briefing (you decide at breifing how much tip you are going to give by a list of how many guides porters etc and how much to give). Therefore he said we would have to give a bigger tip. We had been advised at group briefing only to take enough money for the tip and leave everything else in hotel safe. This meant smaller tips and some embaressment on the groups behalf. He did not like it when we complained about it.
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Only take us dollars no-one wants shillings
Hand luggage: get as many of your important must have items into a small suitcase as no-one had a suitcase on arrival at Kili airport w hich is really common (connecting flight left early before bags were put on !).
Fill out a missing luggage form DO NOT LET IT OUT OF YOUR SIGHT. The Exodus rep (AWC in - Exodus T-shirt) will take it from you but if your luggage is very delayed or completely lost you need it for your insurance claim. Make them photocpy it and keep original.
Ask for the AWC delayed luggage policy there is a delivery charge to have your bag delived to the mountain, they may not tell you this.
If your bag is not at hotel by briefing the rep should take you to a local shop to hire equipment needed.
Get recipts for everything.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Exodus UK did help me out when I called for assistance with the mountain delivery charge and to get recipts for equipment hire, letter confirming delay in baggage which were produced and dealt with AWC on my behalf. It did make for a very stressful last 24 hr in Tanzania and spoilt my enjoyment and the memories of the trip. On arriving back in the UK they were eventually able to get a faxed copy of the missing luggage report and my insurance company did accept this. Very BigThank You to Exodus!
The other guides were all great and helpful and took great care of me whilst unwell on the mountain and I felt great confidence in their abilities. 'Stomach Engineer' provided three course lunch and dinner very strange sitting in a tent for lunch with a napkin!