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Kilimanjaro - others experiences

  • 07-01-2013 5:53pm
    Registered Users Posts: 79 ✭✭

    Hi all,

    I've read a few threads on here which are quite old on Kilimanjaro but often cover different aspects of it. I'm planning to try it in September this year. I am a complete noob when it comes to hillwalking/hiking/mountain climbing but I just want to do Kilimanjaro.

    The physical and equipment preparation for it is one thing but logisitically I'd like to hear how people organised it i.e. who did you book with? So far I've seen companies like the African Walking Company and Adventure Alternative . Has anyone used these? Or can anyone recommend a good operator?

    I'm not just looking to book a holiday, climb the mountain and come back. I plan on climbing the mountain, doing some volunteer work for a month and then having a holiday in SA so will need to book flights separately. What airport is best to fly into for Kilimanjaro? Is it one in Kenya or Tanzania?

    Another important thing is the route. I'm considering the Rongai route as I think it gives maybe a beter chance of hitting the summit. Has anyone done this route? Would you recommend it? Or were any other routes so great and accomplish-able that you'd recommend them?

    Any advice greatly appreciated.


  • Registered Users Posts: 33 Trilogy

    Hi GI Joe,

    I climbed Kili in Sept 2011 and have to say it was just brill. I'm a bit outdoorsy but I did it with my 14 1/2 stone husband on honeymoon and it was something that he wasn't that interested in (was keeping me happy!) but is so glad now that he did it and defo thinks it was one of his best achievements.

    I can wholeheartedly recommend the african walking company whom we booked via Africa Travel Resource (ATR). We found both outfits to be just superb and looked after every aspect so well. African Walking company look after their guides really well, supply top quality gear and support and even the food is good!

    We did the Rongai route on recommendation of a friend and my experience was that it is a quieter route. This really hits home by the time you get to the final night pre summit (kibo) and the campsite is mayhem! I wouldn't have liked the noise / dirt etc on the busier routes but thats just me. (Bring ear plugs!!)

    We also rented sleeping bags / mats / walking poles / summit jackets off the AWC and they were really clean and of good quality etc. You'll see lots of ridiculous list of gear that you need but get the basics right and you'll be fine.

    I could go on and on and on so just PM me if you need anything more specific!


    Ps - I wouldn't bother with SA after when you are so close to Zanzibar! Paradise!

  • Registered Users Posts: 79 ✭✭Gijoe

    Thanks Trilogy,

    very helpful. That Africa Travel Resource group looks to be exactly what I need so will give them a shout. I may PM in a while if I have more specific questions.

    Where did you fly into and out from by the way? And where did you stay on the nights pre and post the ascent?

    I'm going to be taking a few months off so could fit Zanzibar in easy ;) , I have mates in SA so I'd never be forgiven for going that far and not calling in to say hi :D

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,029 ✭✭✭Rhys Essien

    You can fly in to Kilimanjaro airport.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,296 ✭✭✭Coeus

    Hey, I trekked up Kilimanjaro early last year and went with Adeventure Alternative. They were great and have their own local company in Moshi who cant sort almost thing you might want out there. I did the Macheme route over 7 days as I thought it would be best for acclimatisation in that it is a bit more up and down than the other routes and you have that extra day on the mountain. On the trek itself there was 7 of us and we had 4 guides which was really helped on the summit night. We all reached the top so they must be doing something right.

    As for getting out there I couldn't get a flight south of €1K into Kilimanjaro airport so I booked return flights to Nairobi and got a bus to and from Moshi. The bus actually picks up and drops at the airport if your flight time suits their schedule.

  • Registered Users Posts: 33 Trilogy

    Yep we flew klm schipol to Kilimanjaro international (ha!) we chilled out for a few days in Moivaro coffee plantation which is nearer to Arusha than Moshi. We then stayed in Kilimanjaro mountain resort on the night before and night after the climb (best shower of my life!!!) it was pretty good by Tanzanian standards (or maybe I was delirious!)

    Couldn't recommend ATR more- they arranged every little detail and transfer and were happy to work within budgets / give advice etc. In fact the best piece of advice we got was to do kili first (we were gonna do it the 2nd wk) as you get a little nervous when u arrive and see all groups that have finished and u overhear the horror stories :o

    One last piece of advice? Bring a nail brush! The dirt on the mountain is unbelievable!!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 28,019 ✭✭✭✭looksee

    Can't resist saying that I climbed Kilimanjaro in 1969...

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,852 ✭✭✭Hugh_C

    I went up in Sept 2008 the week the financial markets went awry. Good place to be.

    I trekked with Adventure Alternative, good outfit, 19 of our group of 22 made it to the top using the Machame Route. It was fairly filthy up there, crap everywhere because the toilets were so disgusting - people headed off out into the rocks to do their business. That said, it was a pretty good experience, although I saw a few people being dragged to the top who should obviously not have been there with definite signs of AMS. I think there may be a cultural issue with the African guides being reluctant to tell the mzungu to turn around and go down. People do die up there and it's worth bearing in mind and educating yourself about AMS before you go.

    I wrote a journal about it if interested.

  • Registered Users Posts: 79 ✭✭Gijoe

    I read your blog Hugh C, great read and I find it helpful to read or hear people's individual experiences of the ascent. At the minute I'm trying to arrange my group but think I'll book with ATR and the African Walking Company. I'm starting into my physical prep soon - climbing Snowdon in early February but its the altitude sickness which is my worry. I have to do some reading up on it. My old gym had an oxygen controlled room so might go back to them grovelling to see if I can use it before I head (September, so have ages yet).

  • Registered Users Posts: 33 Trilogy

    Any updates GI Joe? Was talking to a friend re Kili and thought of this thread!

  • Registered Users Posts: 108 ✭✭NauP

    Did the Machame route in June - amazing but tough. Happy to answer any questions.

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