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Ways to Experience Mount Kilimanjaro
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Reviewed 20 August 2015

We had the pleasure of climbing mount Kilimanjaro, what an experience with amazing guides and crews!

Date of experience: August 2015
1  Thank Dennisk2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2015

Yes, you CAN do Kilimanjaro. You might start having second thoughts after reading the negatives online about altitude sickness, which unfortunately caused my brother to bail out from the trip three weeks in advance. But if you do a longer trek, take Diamox & listen to your guide, then everything should be fine!

My dad & I were both unfit and did no training to prepare for the trek. My dad was also 50 lbs overweight, so even though he struggled a lot more than I did, we both ended up making it to the top! Obviously, it is better to train and get in shape as it is more respectful to the mountain and to make it easier on yourself, but to those of you who aren’t super fit & are interested in climbing Kilimanjaro, I want you to know that it is still possible!

One of the best ways to ensure a successful Kilimanjaro trip is to have a great guide and team. We booked through Warrior Trails who paired us with our guide Elly, though he has his own company, Kili Dreamers, which I believe you can book directly with him. Elly and his entire team were fantastic! Top notch experience and professionalism! They are there to do everything possible to help you reach the summit and to achieve your goal. They would provide extra assistance when needed, such as on some of the longer days, calling the porters to come back from camp to help carry our daypacks during the last hour or so of hiking on days when we were slowing down, struggling and getting tired. The extra assistance was welcomed! Even on summit night, our guides carried our backpacks, gave us ginger tea and even Coca Cola as a bonus & kept us on pace to reach Stella Point just before sunrise; excellent pacing!

Elly also checks your oxygen levels and heart rates daily to monitor your health and ensure your safety on the mountain. Both Elly, and our assistant guide, Samuel, were patient with us as we took a slower than average pace, sometimes taking twice as long to reach the next camp given our lack of fitness.

Our guide also suggested some alterations to our itinerary in order to increase our chances for a successful summit. For example, we ended up doing a 9 day Lemosho climb, though we had booked a 9 day Northern Circuit. We were unaware that the route we had originally chosen was longer, harder and not the right match for inexperienced and unfit hikers like us. We ended up listening to our guide’s advice and switched our route as our goal was to summit and we both did! If we would have stuck to our original itinerary, we might not have been successful, so we are very happy with the outcome and for listening to our guide! It is also entirely up to you whether you want to make any alterations if they are suggested, but note that Elly has your best interests at heart!

Also, the food is very good and plentiful! You will be very well fed! With lots of food, health monitoring, encouragement and useful advice, you will be in excellent care with Elly & his entire team!

If you listen to your guide’s advice, then you will make it to the top. For instance, I did not plan on taking Diamox, however, as per our guide’s recommendation, I figured I had better listen as this guy is the expert, the professional, and he knows what he is talking about since we were his 213th climb! If we had any chance of making it to the top, then it would be with this team and following their advice. As a result of taking Diamox combined with a 9 day climb, neither I nor my father experienced any symptoms of altitude sickness, not even a minor headache!

Overall, I would highly recommend climbing Kilimanjaro for anyone looking for an adventure of a lifetime. I would also highly recommend Elly & his team as they will do everything possible to ensure your health, safety & that you achieve your goal! I want anyone having second thoughts to know: DO IT! You won’t regret it! You are capable of more than you think – go slowly, listen to your guide and enjoy the experience!

Date of experience: July 2015
2  Thank Kimmyr0x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2015

My husband and I hiked up Kilimanjaro with Climb Kili for our 1 year anniversary and it was awesome! We did the 7 day Machame route and had an amazing time with Seraphine as our wonderful tour guide. Climb Kili only has up to 6 guests within a group so the experience is very personal. Seraphine is awesome and recommend him to anyone and everyone who is thinking about going on this adventure.

Date of experience: June 2015
5  Thank eileenmarie421
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2015

Recently returned from a successful Shira 10 day climb of Kilimanjaro with the African Walking Company (booked though Peak Planet). All 4 of us summited!

After researching several various tour companies, we settled on AWC as the reviews were good, and the price was much lower than several of the other American based tour groups. We were very glad with the decision, the booking was flawless w/ Peak Planet, and the climb experience with AWC was excellent.

Our total climbing party of 6 was supported by a total of 30, 1 lead guide, 2 assistant guides, 1 cook, 5 helping porters and 21 standard porters. Everyone was fantastic, everyone was crucial to our success. The equipment was great, we rented their sleeping bags and sleeping matts,(highly recommended). Peak planet has a great website, explains most everything you need to know.

We can definitely recommend the Shira route, it gave us the most nights high up on the mountain, a key to acclimatizing. Some of the other routes start lower in the Jungle, and although we heard great stories of that experience, we were confident in our ability to start trekking at over 9,000', and the Shira Plateau is beautiful. Three of the days involved acclimatization hikes above our camp.

We booked a 7 day safari through AWC afterwards, that was great also.
Kilimanjaro was truly a bucket list item, thanks to AWC for making it come true!

Date of experience: August 2015
1  Thank ricksteveswannabe_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2015

I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro via the Machame route with G Adventures. The climb consisted of 6 days and 5 nights on the mountain. The first couple of days were pretty easy with only a few hours of walking mainly through the jungle and fairly dense vegetation. The third and fourth days were a bit harder with more trekking and it this point we were getting fairly high up so the altitude was starting to affect us a little. Getting to the summit on the fifth day was tough. We had to get up just after midnight and trek throughout the night. Near the top a few of us in our group started to feel sick and nausious but it was definitely worth it and we reached the summit in the late morning. It's fair to say we were all extremely tired after that but the walk down the mountain wasn't too bad and only took only a few hours as well as an overnight rest.

One of the best things about the Machame route was the different environments you progress through. At first we were in a rainforest akin to the Amazon but as we went higher up we passed through many different climate systems. The views the whole way were outstanding, it was especially cool being above the clouds after the second day. It was probably warmer than I expected throughout; even though we were at a high altitude the heat of the sun meant that I only wore a few thin layers during the day. It did get cold though at night and I would recommend bringing a warm sleeping bag.

The food along the way was pretty good considering we were on a mountain. Our cook made us things like rice and pasta to fill up on although many of us lost our appetites near the top. I would suggest bringing energy bars to eat throughout the day. It terms of physical demand it wasn't too difficult. I'd say you have to be in decent shape but anybody who lives an active lifestyle should be able to accomplish it. Most of the journey just consists of walking, there were a few places were you needed to climb with your hands but they were rare. Most tourists like myself had trekking poles and I would strongly recommend using them as it made a lot of the trip easier.

To conclude I had a great time! The trek was very enjoyable and it was a great feeling to have conquered the highest mountain in Africa!

Date of experience: August 2015
Thank 807rahils
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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