Why were you interested in hiking Kilimanjaro?
I do love camping and hiking, but it wasn’t on my radar. I lucked into the whole thing. A friend had won this trip through an organization called Backwoods Adventures, who organizes tours like this all over the world. She ended up not being able to go due to a knee injury and she very graciously gave the trip to me. So I’m very lucky to have had this opportunity.
Tell us the #’s of the trip:
9 friends in the group, 9 porters to help carry gear and food (those guys are amazing), 62 hours of airports/airplanes, 17,902 miles traveled, 19,310 ft to summit, 6 days up, 1.5 days down (all hiking, not technical climbing), (1) 33 lbs duffel bag, 1 pair of pants (like an idiot), 50 miles of hiking, beaucoups: zebras, wildebeests, gazelles, birds, baboons, water buffalo, some: elephants, giraffes, hippos, lions, various monkeys, jackals, ostriches, a: rhino, jaguar, 20’s at night on the mountain, 70’s in the day, 1 NATiVE water bottle.
What was the highlight of the trip?
The summit was beautiful, of course. We safaried the NgoroNgoro crater, birthplace of civilization they say. It’s like the garden eden, full of Noah’s creatures.
The whole thing was an amazing adventure!
What did you learn about yourself that you did not know?
I learned I can bruise my lungs just from breathing to hard. I learned how I can get a decent amount of sleep in coach. I learned I’m a mediocre videographer.
What did you learn about the world around you that you did not know?
I learned about the the Maasai tribe that lives in Tanzania. They are nomadic and we got to visit a village where we sang and danced and hung out in a hut with Cloud, the chief’s son. I learned you can stuff way more people in a van than you think is possible. Riding around Moshi, the town you stay in before the climb, a lot of vehicles were FULL of people. I learned that Tanzanians are very nice people and love to help you learn Swahili. I had a 40 word vocabulary by the time I left. “Chakula zurri sana” is Swahili for “this dinner is very good”. I learned hippos kill more people in Africa than any other animal. Yikes.
What advice would you give anyone considering this adventure?
Rubber toe caps. You wear them on each toe under your socks when you’re walking down the mountain and they SAVE your toes. Trust me. Rubber toe caps. REI has them. Also, go with Joe (Backwoods Adventures) or at least pick your guide wisely. He was our guide for two weeks, start to finish. His trips are top notch, he knows the locals, has stellar room and board lined up. This is not alway the case as I learned from several other climbers.
Yes. You can check out the trip info here: Backwoods Adventures