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More than the usual Kilimanjaro trip

Swindon, United...
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More than the usual Kilimanjaro trip

Hello,

A friend and I are planning on going to Kilimanjaro, mainly for two reasons; the sheer spectacle and the achievement. We're both keen walkers but Britain has become small so we're looking further afield. We have looked at Team Kilimanjaro as a potential guide as they offer a route called TK Rongai which appears less commonly used. Our girlfriends have decided to wait for us in Zanzibar or Pemba which is nice of them. We will join them after finishing.

We're keen to avoid statistics concerning completion and while we clearly want to reach the summit we don't want to be among the masses so are going out of season in August (in August as my friend works shifts for Honda in Swindon and this is the close down period). We have a budget for the trek (excluding flights) of £2k and we plan to use the clinic in London (can't find the name) that puts you through a series of tests to judge your ability to acclimatise to the altitutde. We don't want to rush so are planning on taking an eight day trek.

My questions:

Has anyone used Team Kilmanjaro or even their TK Rongai route, if so would you recommend it?

Failing that, what would be the best tour to pick?

What is the clinic that performs the tests I mentioned?

Are there packages including flights that I have so far overlooked?

Is August a good time to go (I believe this is outside the rainy season)?

Will our girlfriends be safe in Zanzibar or Pemba for the time we are away?

Alternatives to Zanzibar?

Any other relevant advice for preparation, things to avoid, things not to miss.

Any advice is welcome.

Thanks.

Sydney
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1. Re: More than the usual Kilimanjaro trip

Firstly, dont use an overseas tour company, choose locally owned and operated. Ask for their TALA licence to confirm the company is actually TALA licenced in their name or if it has some other name on the licence. Ask the company you mention to give email you a copy, please post their reply.

I would recommend 7 days minimum and the Lemosho, Western Breach, crater route.

Rongi is the only route to approach Kibo from the north and the least travelled. Originally the trail began right against the Kenyan border, though recently the trail shifted eastwards and now starts at the Tanzanian town of Loitokitok, after which the new trail has been named (most trekkers refer to this trail as the Rongai Route).

This is an isolated route less frequented by trekkers, it is likely that you will encounter wildlife, as animals tend to gather where humans don’t. Trekkers will also be rewarded by the vast number of unique plant life that is prevalent in the rainforest, mooreland and the semi to alpine desert zones.

June to October are also good months to climb though a little colder than January to March. This is the main high season and therefore busier than at other times. Generally June and October are considered slightly quieter than July and September.

You don't need to waste your money on a clinic. Just choose a company with quality safety principles and medical equipment. The key to Kilimanjaro is pole pole, swahili for slowly slowly as you trek the mountain.

$2000 per person is cutting it fine for a quality trek of at least 7 days. You may need to spend a little more for quality.

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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2. Re: More than the usual Kilimanjaro trip

I believe he said 2,000 pounds sterling which would be about $3,000. That is probably enough as the minimum cost for the climb will be about $1,500. Don't know if this will include your girlfriend's Zanzibar portion also, but that might bust the bank. Zanzibar will most probably be safe, as long as they observe good safety rules, such as not walking about at night, don't mix with political crowds, etc.

Scotland
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3. Re: More than the usual Kilimanjaro trip

Have never heard of the clinic that can judge your ability to acclimatise, just go slow and drink lots of water and do as your guide suggests.

We found Killi a very easy climb, we used the Lemosho route, took 7 days, most days were half day walks. We used a local team (Basecamp) and there was just my husband and myself there. The weather was easy to deal with as our training involved walks in blizzards and minus 20's (at home in Cairngorms) In fact our normal conditions are harsher than on Kilimanjaro. I suggest you get used to camping out as I think many people who do the climb are not used to camp life. It was a real pleasure to arrive at a camp all set up and get your meals cooked for you - oh and the washing up done.

Also I suggest get as good quality gear as your budget allowes, buy second hand sleeping bags and jackets if it means you actually get a better quality - again these were items we already had and knew them to be up more than capable for any weather conditions.

Hope you manage to get to Kili, it is a great experience.

Chicago
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4. Re: More than the usual Kilimanjaro trip

Don't forget to figure tips for the guides and porters into your budget also.

New Zealand
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5. Re: More than the usual Kilimanjaro trip

We are off in a fortnights time to climb the Rongai Route with Team Kilimanjaro - three weeks today will be summit day:) We did a lot of research and was happy with what TK provides along with their Rongai route details which appears to give a good rate of summit success. We have chosen to do the extra night at the crater. The partners that are not climbing with us are doing a safari also organised by TK - this safe guards us if anything should happen like delayed flights etc as we are coming over from NZ. The safari is dearer than the climb. I have found TK to be great to work with, happily answering all of our queries.

Swindon, United...
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6. Re: More than the usual Kilimanjaro trip

Thanks all for your advice. I'm glad to see someone has used TK before but I will still ask for the TALA licence anyway.

My budget is £2k sterling for the trek, my girlfriend is paying for her beach lazing on her own!

We definitely want to visit the crater so we'll be on an eight day trek as a minimum.

Swindon, United...
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7. Re: More than the usual Kilimanjaro trip

Parkfields,

Thanks for your post. Would you mind contacting me to see how good the route and TK were once you've got back home? I've heard and read good things but a recent experience would be really useful.

Good luck, and I hope you enjoy the trip.

Edited: 24 June 2013, 12:59
Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: More than the usual Kilimanjaro trip

W1111, as new to TripAdvisor, I would like to introduce you to the SEARCH function for forums. There is plenty on these forums about TK. For the best search results, go back to the Tanzania forum (right now you are on the Kilimanjaro NP forum). Above the list of posts is a green Search button. Type in Team Kilimanjaro and you will get any number of responses. Know that the default sort is by 'relevance' but you can resort by 'date'.

TK has been around a number of years. For what it is worth, it seems that once climbed, not a lot of people regularly check back to answer TA forum questions, so your lack of response may not mean it isn't good. I noticed an older post stating that they are not on the TATO list. It is expensive to join this, and it means little whether you are or are not on the list. It helps if they are, but it is like any membership - you are just on a roster. Some countries have associations with accountability, but not Tanzania.Maybe by now they have mustered up the funds and are paying dues.

New Zealand
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9. Re: More than the usual Kilimanjaro trip

W1111 I will try and post when I finish but as we are then travelling for another 5 weeks, it may be some time before I do. However I am going to write a blog, as I find it is a good way to keep in touch with family back home. I plan to take a pad with me, to record each day and when back R & Ring in Zanzibar, I tend to update the blog. The blog address is parkfieldsnz1.wordpress.com, you are most welcome to read that if interested.

I am not sure whether TK is registered or not. I do recall reading about their status and the reasons behind which made good sense at the time. I found their website very comprehensive and their responses to my emails prompt.

All the best with your planning.

Andrea

10. Re: More than the usual Kilimanjaro trip

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