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Kili 1st July

Hi, I've just booked Kili Rongai route 1st July - it looks like I'm the only girl....and I'm terrified!!  Would be great to hear from one of my fellow travellers to put my mind at ease...


hello, well i think i'll be the youngest. i will have just finished my a2 exams and will be 18. how do you know your the only female aswell??

Cos I asked! I believe we are a group 0f men (except me of course) mostly late twenties and a couple of of 50s....


You're not the only girl! 

Hi, yep, since I booked I was told there are two other ladies on the trip.  So at least three of us and there's one space still left so maybe four!  I feel very unfit at the moment so really need to get my act together!



Glad to hear that someone else is feeling unfit!  With 3 months to go, I really need to get motivated, but in the evening when it's a toss up between a glass of wine and the treadmill................ What's a girl to do?!


Yep. I'm glass of wine every time...if not bottle, lol!



anyone had any previous trekking experience or been at high altitude?? this will be my first proper trip and the highest altitude i've been at is 3000m but i took the cable car option on that particular day lol. anyone doing any form of training or anything?? im hoping to climb up scafell pike in a few weeks providing the weather is ok so hopefully i will be relatively fit come the start of the trip.


Hi there. Good to see some posts from people going on this trip! I booked ages ago and can't believe it's only two months away now. Scary stuff! I can't wait though. I did the Inca Trail with Exodus last year which was absolutlely brilliant and I have a feeling this is going to be even better. I think my friend must be girl number 3. I'll tell her to get on this messageboard!



Hi everyone, I'm girl number 3. Can't wait until July, not long to go now. Happy to see comments about drinking wine rather than exercising - I think we are all going to get on well! Any hot tips/info on fitness, altitude, food rations (and tastiness) and how to smell fresh during the trip would be much appreciated!   


jane b

Girl No 4 reporting in..... (actually am far too old to be classed as a girl, but hey..) Like everyone else am very excited but apprehensive about fitness levels.


hi kevin, after getting my yellow fever jab, malarone malaria tablets were recommended to me by the nurse. i think there quite expensive but she said they were the best and had no real side effects as well.



 Thanks for the feedback.

            Regards, Kevin


Hey guys & gals, how you all doing?  Is it just me, or is anyone else terrified of doing this?  I nearly cancelled actually.  I'm scared of flying, so it's a challenge for me to get to the bottom of the mountain, let alone the top, lol!

And the prospect of a week being 1) Grungy and 2) Tee total (not necessarily in that order) is rather worrying.  I keep wondering why I turned down a cheapo week of sun, sea and...more sun in Greece with the girls for

Seriously tho, I've heard that it feels amazing to achieve, and generally the groups gel really well and support eachother.  It sounds like we've got a really good balanced mix of people, which is great.

And I'm glad i'm not the only one who finds exercising my right arm a lot easier than my while body, lol!  I guess I'm reasonably fit, but sadly work interferes with that far too much, but I've been told that it's really a case of whether the altitude gets you or not, and i wont know that til I try.  Is anyone taking drugs?

On the cleanliness front I think wet wipes are an idea, and I have some dry hair shampoo spray.  So whilst it will look rank, at least it will smell sweet :-)  Oh, and sorry about this boys, but are any of you girls taking a she wee?!!  I did think about borrowing one of my Dad's wine making funnels, but then again, maybe not...

On the anti malerials, I had a disaster with my Nepal trip recently where I couldn't go because I was being so ill.  I was taking Chloroquine and Progaunil (or something similar)?  I have now got some Malerone but am going to test drive them first I think.

Anyway....despite getting close to cancelling last week, I still haven't, and am desperately trying to think positively about getting to the top! (or the bottom!)

Would be great to hear from any of you,



Hi Elaine,

You're not alone in feeling slightly daunted by the propsect of climbing Kili, I too have questioned whether this really counts for a holiday or not!  We're all going to be in the same boat on the mountain, and none of us will be smelling particularly fresh by the end!  I'm now concerned about by ankle, having spent a weekend hill walking in Wales in preparation and then not being able to walk for a few days!  I'm going back to the gym tomorrow and hoping that walking some of the South Downs later this month will put my mind at rest.  One of my other concerns is the cold and just how many layers to pack!

I've not used either doxycyline or Malerone recommended for Tanzania, but the nurse at my GP surgery has been really helpful with advice, especially as I too have had an adverse reaction to anti malarials in the past.

Overall though, I am getting quite excited and like Jane I'm going to enjoy a cold beer at the end!

Claire x

p.s. is anoyone else going to the slideshow evening on tanzania at the beginning of June in London? 


cheers ash for that post, much needed advice you gave there. i'm really building up the excitement now, i must say im abit anxious though. a few people i've spoken to seem to think its just a walk but i for one think it wouldnt be as appealing if it was! anyways, i would be interested to no how much money, spending money people are taking? i've looked at a number of sites but the amount taken seems to range from nothing to a ridiculous amount. i've not opted for a down jacket, anyone else in the same boat?? cheers. Richard

Thanks so much Jane and Claire for the reassurance :-) I'll just have to keep focussing on that beer!! and Ash - fab advice - thank you.  I have heard a range of reports from people with different experiences, some found it relatively easy, others absolutely gruelling.  I think the summit night is obviously the killer, especially if you go on after Gillman's Point.  Re kit - I think i need to hire a down jacket and poles.  Have most of the rest of it already.  Had a bit of a nightmare with my boots tho, having broken them in really well the eyelets fell off and got replaced with a brand new pair, which aren't working for me at all.  They actually bruise my foot and ankle and I have to undo them.  So need to get some more and do speed breaking in!  I have been walking around Bewl water which is about 13 miles.  Flat but at least will get the boots comfy i hope.

 Am seeing the doc Wednesday to get some more malerone and ask about the altitude drugs.  I heard the herbal supplement Gingko biloba can also help?  So sorry to hear about your ankle Claire.  I think I have a dislocated thumb and cant use my left hand so holding poles may be interesting, lol!

 Do we know if our trip's fully booked?  last i heard there were 11 places out of 12 taken?

Elaine x


yes agreed, as ash said i think it all depends on how everyone's body reacts to the altitude but hopefully with the itinerary set which allows good steady acclimatisation we'll all make to Uhuru peak!

sorry to here about your problems with your boots, what make were they?? my boots have lasted me ages which is good, got them from the local outdoor shop.

 regarding the trip being full last time i saw, there was one place available but i presume it will be full. especially with it being a full moon departure!

 just wundered aswell where the cheapest place to buy malaria tablets is? if anyone knows any information that would be great cheers, as they're not cheap by any means. i've heard that asda are one of the cheapest around though!


Hi Ricky,

My boots are karrimor, tried loads on today but none nearly as comfortable, it's such a pain.

I got malerone from the local chemist, didn't realise prices vary?  they were about £3 a pop I think (plus a fiver for a private presription).  But hey, the trips not that long, so not too bad.  Don't know if anyone is going on to safari or Zanzibar after?  I'll be straight home because my job ends on 30 June so I'll need to do some serious job hunting.  Hopefully if i make it it will look cool on my CV :-)

 Elaine x


or8 well im sure you'll find a pair!

or8 thank you, yeh and i think upwards of 2000m the mosquitoes will diminish, so i can't see them being a real problem but i might just go with malarone. yeh well i think prices vary depending on size or amount of tablets you buy. but shouldn't need alot anyways.

yes altitude will be the only thing stopping me, but im sure with a bit of support and guidance we'll hopefully all make it to the top! another worry is my camera will freeze up and miss that all important photo next to the sign proving i made it to the actual summit! 

 would be devastating, as that is the one picture everyone would treasure for the rest of their lives!


Hi Elaine,

             If you have wide feet like mine, you might want to try Meindl boots which are very comfortable and have an excellent reputation. Either way, just try wearing a new pair as often as possible, even if it does make you look rather odd walking down the high street! I would definately recommend a down jacket (or synthetic equivalent) for the high altitude cold as it does the job far better than thick fleeces.

           Because this trip is more of an endurance event than anything else, I would recommend loading up on carbohydrates (pasta, potatoes etc...) a week or so prior to going on the trip. You may put on an extra few pounds but that is a good thing, because you will soon lose it all on the trek. 

           To help prevent platypus tubes from freezing you can purchasea foam insulating tubing from an outdoor shop, I got mine from Cotswolds Outdoors, some years back and it did the trick during winter trips to the Alps.

jane b

Hi Elaine, really strange that Kevin should mention Meindl boots as I was going to ask if my spare Meindl boots would be any use to you? Worn-in and very comfortable, but obviously only ok if they fit !!- 6/6.5. More than welcome to try them - let me know if any use.

Hope rest of training going ok- I'm certainly fed up of gym at the moment, but it has to be done...!

Jane x

Thank you Jane, that's really very kind of you.  I'm a 5 though sadly!  I looked at a few more pairs today, I tried the Meindls before but they were a bit too wide.  What do you think about leather/non leather?  Both Cotswolds and an independent shop have told me that leather is not necessary? My karrimors are leather which I quite like. There were some nice non leather Brashers.  Just beem to the Dr to pic up more Malerone (my test drive on Sunday worked well!).  He did prescribe the anti altitude sickness drugs, but only just, and wasn't very happy about it at all!  Said that he hasn't prescribed them in years because it is debatable whether they do more harm than good.  He said that they can trick your body into thinking it's ok when it's not?  Anyway, I got them but he said to take them with me rather than actually take them.  Hmm....

Gosh, am I going with a bunch of real fitties?!  Sadly I am so snowed under with work that my fitness plan has gone to pot a bit....but I keep thinking if chris moyles can do it then so can I!

Elaine x


Hi Elaine. I dont claim to be an expert but I'm pretty sure that non-leather boots would do the job for this trek. I'm going with a non-leather pair so if someone knows otherwise please let me know!!

Ricky, I was also worried about missing out on that all important "proof" photo  at the top because my camera couldn't handle the cold. My mind has been eased somewhat by a coleague of mine (an experienced mountaineer) who claims to never have had problems with cameras even at altitudes above what we're doing. Lets hope he's right!!

Well I'm about to buy a new camera, cos i need one,  and was going to go for the all singing, dancing, drowning, kicking, totally indestrucatable non freezing one (be useful afterwards anyway), so I'm sure we will get the pics between us.  I also think the company will probably be able to take that all important pic! :-)


Hi Elaine, i subscriped for the trail magazine about a year ago and maybe decembers issue had a review of suitable cameras for trekking. They recommended an Olympus 1040 i think which is shock proof and a fairly sturdy camera. thought id let u no anyways seen as though your going to buy a camera but this is the camera ive got and is very good.

 In other trips i think everyone shared photos around so im sure we'll all get the photos we want!

speaking of fitness levels my a level exams are taking up my priority so i'll have about 8 days after my exams to put in the extra yards but looking at videos of people on the summit, i don't think by the looks of it, fitness is the biggest factor.

jane b

Ps -Ricky, forgot to say, good luck for A-levels; must be really hard to concentrate on exams plus training, so well done ! Youngest doing A/S levels so understand stress! Sure you will enjoy trip!

Know nothing about cameras, but all seemed ok if you kept them well wrapped in socks etc!

Jane X


thank you, all should go well hopefully! no real pressure on these ones with me doing better than expected earlier in the year. but i supose this trip acts an an incentive to work hard but my mind does wander i have to say. in terms of training ive pritty much neglected it now with my focus being on my exams but i was doing 5mile and 2.5mile runs only month ago so should be all good. ive got 8 days to sort my act out aswell lol


Elaine, I too am contemplating a new camera (we're off on safari after the climb and our current camera has a delay when taking photos and is just likely to result in lots of blurs!), and not sure if you'd noticed that we can get 20% off at Jessops through our Exodus booking - worth a look see. 

Has anyone got their Visa yet?  I've got the forms from the Embassy website, but wasn't sure if it would be easier to obtain on arrival, which I believe that you can do?

Gosh Jane, you're doing it again?!!  When did you last do it? Did you do a different route last time?  Thank you all for boot advice, I may well go for the Gortex Brashers I saw. On the camera front, I'm sure we will share pics so hopefully noone needs to worry too much about technical issues (I have another other worries already!). Ricky, I cant believe you're having to get all sorted on this whilst taking your exams, good on you!  Hard enough for me to juggle work with sorting myself out for this.  I was intending to sort my Visa beforehand but haven't got round to it yet....there is still a possibility I may have to cancel....should find out today whether my job is no more after 30th June.

Elaine x


Hi Jcmoloney, i've sorted my visa out. the tanzanian embassy were pritty efficient aswell, returned to me in about 8 days i think. but it saves alot of hassle i supose as we'll all be tired from the long flight. aparently it can be quite a slow procedure aswell obtaining a visa at the airport. but their were no real problems, you have to give details in Tanzania for security reasons so just give the hotel address. Where staying in the Marangu hotel in Moshi.

Exodus gave me the correct information though but they have a website aswell, Maranguhotel. com.

Hope work give you some good news anyways Elaine!

Dear all,

I found the following post on the website which I thought may be of interest re altitude sickness,

Hope you're having great weekends.  I was planning on the gym this morning but woke up with a headache (self inflicted I'm afraid so no sympathy needed!).  However, am doing my regular 13 mile stomp around the reservoir tomo so shouldn't feel too guilty after that :-)

Elaine x

 Hi guys. Myself and partner have done a few trips with Exodus at altitude now (Toubkal, Kili, Gokyo & Everest and the High Inca Trail) and we reached the tops every time with no problems. Our regime is as follows; start taking one aspirin a day and one gingko biloba (from Holland & Barrett) a day about a month before and during the trip. The aspirin is meant to slightly thin the blood, and the gingko does whatever herbs do, but we had no ill effects apart from a slight loss of appetite on Kili! In addition, drink lots of water and go very gently, especially the first few days, and you'll be fine. Enjoy!


i have to say i envy your 13mile walks lol im solely focused on a level law which is just a nightmare. i've got about 10 days to top my fitness up aswell before we leave after my exams are finished soo gona be hectic to say the least!!

with the dales only 30 minutes away though i hope to get out abit, might even do the three peaks so i have that to look forward too.

 anyone else planning any form of training??

jane b

30mins from Dales, Ricky? - must be a fellow northener...! Jane


yes i definitely am! broad yorkshire accent as well!!. live near huddersfield anyways. where abouts are you then?? how u travelling down to heathrow if u dont mind me asking??

jane b

Sunny Keighley, but actually from other side of border...! Flying down to Heathrow from Manchester  mid aft. (£33 - seemed ok deal) How about you? Jane





or8 yeh my mum used to work there, you'll of heard of lightcliffe then probably!! and or8 yeh that sounds good. getting train to king cross, got return for £43 which seemed quite good! and its only a few pounds on the tube i think. never been to london so should be good experience, can't say im looking forward to the busy tube but there we go!!

Will we need a translator? lol.  Guys, am still struggling with boots.  4 shops, 4 different lots of advice.  I'm with you on the non leather being ok now (tho some will disagree).  But, do you reckon you need to go up a shoe size for boots?  Some shops say yes, and I know that your feet swell, but they feel like boats and my heels slip?  My current ones were my shoes size and were fine.  Just a shame about the hard bit that bruises the top of my foot! I'm also being told I dont need thick socks (I quite like my thick brashers) but thin wool ones with the right padding?  Also, what about poles?  I have one of my own, but not two.  I believe we can hire them cant we?  Is everyone going for two?   Good luck with the studies Ricky.  Law? yuck, I work for a law firm, don't envy you at all!! E


i think wearing a liner pair of socks and a thicker pair like brasher or bridgedale is best idea, the liner helps to stop the feet rubbing as well as blisters. and yeh two poles, after reading the reviews seems like two poles are a neccessity! depends if you used to walking with poles too? can't say i ever use them but should be useful on summit night.


Sorry to hear that you are still struggling with your boots Elaine, I do sympathise.  I'm walking some of the South Downs this weekend, and whilst I have done a lot of walking in my boots, they caused me some trouble when walking in Wales at the beginning of May - I pulled my achillies in them and if the same happens again, I'm concerned for the mountain (it's only 6 weeks away!).  For the shoe sizing, I've was always told that the additional space in the boot helps the toes when decending, but if they are too big, they don't provide enough support at other times (I appreciate this comment may not be that helpful!)  Mine are big enough that I could fit on 2 thick pairs of socks and be comfortable - as for socks, I have always walked with one thin pair and one thick pair, which has always served me well.  I've never walked with poles before, even decending from other mountains, but I am taking a pole this weekend for a trial run!  Ricky, I echo Jane and Elaine, and wish you the best of luck for your exams, (and also for your first experience on the tube!).  Claire x   

Thank you for the comments.  I really like my thick brasher socks, never had a blister with the other boots.  But I think the liner sock is a good idea.  The boots I liked weren't available in half sizes in the shops, but I've managed to find online and should arrive tomo in time for the weekend.  They are the new Brasher Lithiums, lightweight but mega sturdy i'm told!  I've gone for ones half a size on my shoe size, think Brashers are quite generous anyway.  Exodus said today they dont hire poles but i can hire them from this other company.  I was hoping i could get them out there to save taking them.  Bought some North face walking trousers today, very sexy....not!  But I keep reminding myself it's not a fashion parade, lol.  Best of luck with the ankle this weekend Claire, it's worrying when it's coming up so soon!  I really need to find some boots quickly else i'm done for.  i did think about deferring til sept, but you lot sound like a good bunch and I think we we all get on really well :-)  Oh, and I heard from Exodus today that we're the full complement of 12, so that's nice to know. E

jane b

Elaine, hope all goes well with new boots . Don't worry about a translator - I'm sure we will be able to understand you....! Jane x

That made me laugh out loud, literally!!  I think we'll all get on great... E x


Hello all, me again!

Non-leather boots should be fine. There were a few people on my trip who wore synthetic gore-tex boots. I wore a pair of leather Brasher Hillmaster GTX boots and they were great.

With regards to the boot/socks combo. I would recommend a pair of liner socks followed by a pair of thick trekking socks. I wore some bog standard basic M&S thin wool socks and some brasher 3/4 season boot socks. Just make sure your liner sock isn't cotton and is a tight fit. Otherwise they will bunch and cause blisters.

For those still wondering about the visa. It is sooo easy to get it on arrival. Just make sure you have your $50 ready (preferably in smaller denomination bills. Anything over $20 gets rejected if it's anything less than perfect!). I thought it was easier than the American visa process!. Just make sure you have the details of the hotel to hand.

I know someone mentioned about buying insulating tubes for Camelbak's. These are good but they will still freeze, just slightly slower! One tip I would give is on the final day, once you have had a sip from the tube, blow the water back into the bladder so that it doesn't lay in the tube. This will minimize ice buildup in the drinking tube.

One last thing, if you are taking a camera on summit day, keep it inside your jacket and use your body heat to keep it warm. Not only does this help with battery life, but most cameras have a thermal tripout when it is too cold. Fortunately my camera was ok, but my video camera said it was too cold to work at the summit :-(

Thats just reminded me actually. A word of advice about video cameras (nerd moment coming). If they record to a hard drive rather than tape or memory card, they may stop functioning above 3500m. This is because hard drives require a certain air pressure to be able to right to the medium. Above this height, you risk damaging the hard drive. Best case scenario, it won't record and previous recordings will be find, worst case scenario, it won't work again without a costly repair. This will also affect hard drive based mp3 players such as iPod classics, although solid state flash based players like the iPod Touch, Shuffle, Nano and iPhone should be fine.

Best of luck to everyone! I really wish I was going again but hopefully I'm off to Aconcagua in December :-)



cheerz again ash, still think im going to gamble on the insulating tube for my camelback, mines already inside a bag if you like so should help insulate it better. and regarding aconcagua i saw you left a post on an internet site few days ago, could have been the 7

i think thats my plan anyways, summit kili hopefully then do aconcagua. who u thinking of doing it with?? adventure peaks look very good and organised. how u affording this anyways being a similar age to me?? just wondered mind.

but aparently first day on aconcagua is as hard as the summit night on Kilimanajaro so sounds tough. theres really good clips on youtube though, don't no whether youve seen them but if u put in aconcagua expedition in, these guys have got around 12 clips showing every leg of the trip! thought id point it out too u anyways.

cheerz for our trip advice anyways, always good to have some expert advice!


I was hopefully going to do Aconcagua with Adventure Peaks. I'm off to Dubai in a couple of weeks but when I get back I'm going to take a drive up to Ambleside to have a word with Dave Pritt.

It will be much tougher that Kili and I'm certainly not going to underestimate it. I would love to do an 8000m peak some day; possibly Cho Oyu or Everest, so I want to get as much experience in as possible while I'm young!

I'm able to afford these trips because I'm not at school any more and I work full time as a web developer. I also do freelance web programming.

Lol, I wouldn't exactly call it expert advice but I thought I'd help answer questions that I wish I had known before my trip. The first time I made contact with anyone on my trip was at the Costa Coffee in Terminal 3!



well a level sport tomorrow, wot an exciting occassion that will be lol

feeling quite apprehensive over my fitness, have about ten days to get in shape but anyone been up to anything trip related??

any injury concerns or anything?  thought i pulled my hamstring last night playing cricket but was just a dodgy moment.

Hi Ricky,

Hope the exam went well!  Have you still got more to sit?  I can still just about remember mine, lol.

Well I upped my game in the last few weeks, doing aerobics 3 times a week, but work went mad again so it's all stopped.  But don't worry, you're young and it's the altitude that can get any of us after all, irresepective of fitness.

I still have boot trauma too, to add to my stresses!  And the Air france thing didn't help my fear of flying!  But it will be fine.

 Clare, how's the ankle holding up?



hi, yes the exam was fine thanks, finished geography today so just got to learn about consumer protection and all that for a weeks time then im all done. but that sounds good, i tihnk im going to make an appearance at the gym in the not so distance future but other than ready to go.


What place is this that you call the gym?!  It's nearly 7pm on a Friday evening and I'm still in the office!  Having said that, I've been going both days at the weekends, but walking my 5 flights of stairs to my floor at work several times a day is about the most exercise I've been getting during the week!  Fortunately my ankle is holding up, but I am avoiding too much impact sport e.g. running, which is a great shame when the weather is nice.  I think I'm almost there with everything now, have a list of bits to purchase this weekend (which is a really nice excuse just to go shopping!)

Ricky, I'm glad to hear that your exams are almost over, I remember A level Geography far too well! 

 Elaine, I hope that your boot woes are sorted out soon and you have nice comfortable footware for the climb.

 Can't believe its less than 4 weeks to go!  Claire x


lol well im afraid it was the pub last night. but that sounds good.

my kit bag has just arrived this morning, dont no about anyone else?

but i was planning on taking 2 rucksacks so not so sure what to do now. surely it be easier for porters aswell to carry rucksack rather than a large bag.

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