6 independent reviews for Climb Kilimanjaro, Rongai Route

Reviews for Climb Kilimanjaro, Rongai Route

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review 7 Apr 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro! Absolutely awesome, it is one massive challenge but worth every step!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Make sure you take it seriously! Several people had not done adequate fitness training ie hillwalking, running, endurance training. Yes it is a walkable mountain but when you consider altitude, cold, camping and long days, you need to be fit. DRINK LOTS OF WATER at least 3 - 4 litres a day! Layers, layers, layers YOU will be cold, hot, cold, hot make sure you have the right gear.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Local people do benefit by tourists coming to climb Kili, jobs are created but competition is fierce, they also rely on our generosity to supplement there income. It is important to book with a company that values, appreciates and pays well and follows appropriate guidelines to ensure the welfare of porters. Every effort is made not to impact on the environment, eg educating tourists to take all rubbish off the mountain and the use of chemical toilets at camp sites.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

An amazing experience, as I celebrated my 50th birthday at the summit with Hashim, the guide that supported me throughout the summit night, ensuring my safety. I have some brilliant photographs and met some lovely people!

review 26 Oct 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Reaching Uhuru Peak. This was most memorable.

review 14 Sep 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Reaching the Uhuru peak on Kilimanjaro, although utterly exhausted at the time.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Need to be fit. Come prepared for all conditions - heat, cold, altitude, dust.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, tourism is clearly an important aspect of local economy. In that sense it appeared to be a win/ win situation. I wonder at the longer term erosive effect of thousands of people trekking up the dusty crater sides. I am not sure what could be done about this.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent. It was difficult to foresee exactly how things would be, but in general it was an enjoyable challenge and very rewarding in meeting other like minded people as well as the kind and hard working porters and guides.

review 20 Jan 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Doing the climb! Unfortunately, I didn't make the summit, but it was a truly amazing 6 days.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Do your research so you know exactly what you are doing, and what you will need. Don't skimp on equipment/clothing and listen to all the advice from your guide. We found the info given by the booking operator before the trip was extremely detailed. The only thing to note was that their guidance on tipping the guides was a bit outdated. The local operator gave us an extensive briefing on the first day, and a guidance sheet for tipping (based on ranges) before the trip which we used. The team you walk with are AMAZING - they totally deserve to be given the market rate for tips and it's really important to get this right. In addition, at the end of the walk, it is usual for walkers to 'donate' any unwanted gear to the team. Please do this - the local people don't get given proper kit or equipment. They depend on second hand donations. Give it all away to people who will really benefit it. Given that the booking operator uses the best local operator in Tanzania, I'd say that this is a really excellent package.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, we camped all the way, and the emphasis was on leaving no environmental trace. Moreover, we were creating jobs / work for a team of 20 local people. (Note this is why the tipping is so important - i suspect the base wages aren't much and they rely on tips).

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

This was truly truly amazing. It's really hard work. Be under no illusions - you sleep in a tent, up a mountain for 6 nights. You stink, you are tired. But, it is worth it. In terms of comfort, this local operator offers the best in making this experience comfortable - they have good equipment, good sleeping mats, amazing hot food, and fantastic good humour.

review 19 Oct 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Inevitably it was standing at Uhuru Peak with the hard work over. Also the camaraderie of the great group of people and guides we shared the experience with. The guides were also very helpful and caring in looking after those who were ill or suffering from the various affects of altitude. After six dusty and dirty days on the mountain I have to say that the hot shower back at the hotel was actually a highlight too!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

The trek itself is relatively easy until summit night, although be ready for a very dusty and dirty journey and the nights camping are bitterly cold. Everyone's body can react differently to being at altitude but for me the summit night trek was more mental than physical. The extreme cold is pretty wearing so be ready to tough it out and don't think beyond the next step you are taking. Just plod on. Your drinking water will probably freeze and you will wish you had doubled your six layers of clothing to about twelve. Don't scrimp on that extra layer you will probably need it as you don't walk fast enough to generate much heat yourself. As far as training and preparation is concerned if you wish to replicate the conditions our group experienced on summit night then the next time you have a thumping headache or hangover open up the freezer and stick your head in it for six to seven hours whilst drinking some dirty, icy water from a plastic tube. If you survive that you'll be about ready. One other point is not to hang around in Nairobi, if you go via that route, unless you have an interest. There isn't that much to see, the traffic is dreadful and the Riverside shuttle to Arusha and on to the hotel is a long journey. It took eleven hours for us and then we had to go straight in to a trek briefing on arrival as we were so late. If you can get to the trek hotel earlier I would do that so you don't feel so rushed. I got my visas before I left but this didn't save any time at the border on either side as others hadn't. In the case of Tanzania it was cheaper to buy it on the border than in the London consulate.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes; the guides and porters were extremely efficient and friendly. Talking to them gave us an understanding of their own domestic arrangements and although it is a tough life they get fairly well paid by local standards. Our trekking group was very clean leaving camp each day and there was a genuine awareness about maintaining a clean environment on the mountain.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

First class; a very good operator and local agent to travel with.

review 8 Oct 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

There was so much excitement it's difficult to know where to begin - being bumped off the connecting flight from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro, despite having confirmed flights, boarding passes and allocated seats; the stunning terrain on the Machame route (changed at the last minute because the Rongai Route was closed) the great food (how do they manage that?), the wonderful organisation and support by the guides, the extraordinary challenge of the 'final ascent' setting off at midnight after only 3 hours sleep, in temperatures below zero. Each person competing with the mountain, not each other - the support was tremendous - everyone willing everyone else to succeed - not just in our group but everyone on the mountain that night. If only life was like that! Watching the sun rise and finally, of course, the exhilaration of standing on the roof of Africa...

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Keep checking out the flights with Precision Air - or go a different route (I believe KLM fly directly to Kili).

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. Every time we stopped for a 5 minute break, the guides got us to check that we hadn't left any litter behind etc.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It was excellent. I would give it 5 stars but the statement beside the 5 star doesn't express my sentiments!

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