Excellent trip! Chose this route based on the time I had available really and completed over Xmas. Certainly a different way of spending Xmas day! Great group of enthusiastic people and great guides really makes the trip. Definitely challenging - as everyone says it's the altitude that's the killer!
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Summit day in general was the highlight for me, tough but amazing sights and achievement by all. Summiting shouldn't be your only goal, considering you're only up there for a couple photos then head back down again, seeing the sun rise was a lot better in my opinion.
Hearing a speech from everyone when you're back down is very heart warming, especially since by then you're pretty close with everyone in the group. It's good to hear the reasons why people wanted to complete such a trip.
- What did you think of your group leader?
The whole group guides and group leader are all top class. Very genuine and really want to get to know you. Of course, these guys have been doing it for some time so they know their stuff. They swap and change who they are walking with so you really feel part of a big team - which is of course how it should be.
The porters are real work horses (as have the guides and leader been in their past), really friendly and very appreciative. These guys obviously don't get a lot out of it so it at least brings a bit of comfort to make sure they know they really are part of the team too.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Fitness isn't necessarily the most important, having a good set of boots that are properly worn in is! Make sure you get plenty of walking in so your feet and legs can take it. You don't have to be mega fit to walk 10 hours a day, just good stamina.
Can really recommend www.trekhireuk.com great little company based in Surrey and have training days and generally good sound knowledge to pass on. Able to hire pretty much anything you could want on the mountain which can save you loads of money!
Keep batteries, camera etc in the bottom of your sleeping bag so not exposed to extreme temps.
Didn't realise at the end they have a collection for the porters etc so if you have anything that you don't mind getting rid of, take it!
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
A few of us ended up going out clubbing in Moshi on the last night. Certainly not on the itinerary (wouldn't mind seeing it there as an option!) but a good laugh. A world away from home but what an experience!
Try the Kilimanjaro Beer on the first pit stop from the airport, it's not bad at all and you feel like you need a treat after all the flying :-)