A fantastic 2 weeks - climbing and conquering Kilimanjaro is an experience that I will never forget. The support and friendliness of the African Walking Company was unwavering, and the sights on the safari got better and better each day - truely amazing.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
So many to choose from.....
Reaching the top of Kilimanjaro was emotional and exhilarating.
The joy among the guides and porters after we had reached the top was heart warming.
The food served by our 'Professional Stomach Engineer' was top notch.
The companionship and laughter shared with the other members of the trip made the whole experience enjoyable.
The variety of animals and birds on the safari - we kept raising the bar in our expectations and the wildlife kept on delivering.
- What did you think of your group leader?
Priscus was fantastic - he was very well organised and dealt with our concerns without fuss and with reassurance. He also managed the porters and assistant guides, as well as sharing his knowledge of the mountain, flora, animals and his wonderful country. Our health and safety was top priority at all times, although he did seem a little too keen at times to distribute Diamox to us!
The assistant guides were also very supportive and a lot of fun.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Be prepared for a cold and hard morning on the summit day. I wore 7 layers on my top half, 4 on my legs, 3 hats and 2 pairs of gloves!
Remember that a Positive Mental Attitude is half of the battle.
Drink plenty of water - take bottles and a water bladder that contain at least 3 litres in total.
Ibuprofen taken with paracetamol increases it's effectiveness - we had 2 nurses on our trip who assured us that this is true!
Check the cover provided by your insurance and also the service that they provide. One of our group developed pulmonary oedema and had to descend on day 6 of the trek. She thought that the support and concern provided by the Exodus insurance was limited, although the assistant guide who was with her provided as much support as possible.
Remember that even if you don't achieve your dream at the first attempt, you can always try again, but you have to recognise when to turn back to ensure that there can be a next time.
Take plenty of memory cards for the safari and get snapping.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
Our group wondered whether it was necessary to go to a new hotel for lunch on the final day, after the flight back to Arusha. It took a while to get there up a side road and we passed our original hotel a little further on along the main road when we left for Kilimanjaro airport. Given that our trekking bags were being stored at the original hotel, and that their transport to the new hotel had been forgotten, it would have made more sense to go to the same location to enable us to re-pack before the journey home.
It would also have been nice to have some continuity in leader throughout the 2 weeks. We were met on arrival by a person from the African Walking Company, who left us at the start of the trek. Priscus looked after us during the trek, but afterwards another person from the AWC took us back to the hotel where we were given a brief outline of the schedule for the next few days (although with the levels of exhaustion only a couple of people absorbed it). He then left us and the next morning we were joined by our driver/guide for the 4 day safari. Finally another person met us when we returned to Arusha. It all felt a little disjointed and there were times when we were not sure of the details of what was happening next.
If you are having doubts about booking this trip, STOP! Book now and you won't regret it.