I was very apprehensive about choosing the right company for my Kilimanjaro hike. There are so many options that you don't want to pick the wrong one for something like this, which is no doubt a once in a lifetime experience. I was travelling with a friend, and interestingly, both myself and my friend independently liked the email reply best that we recieved from Bobby, the manager at Babylon Lodge. He seemed honest, genuine and helpful, and I can truly say that these qualities were present throughout our entire trip.
Bobby gave us lots of helpful advice prior to our arrival, and he was extremely flexible at all times. Our flight was delayed and he kindly suggested we could start the hike a day later if necessary. He also chased up our lost baggage and ensured it was delievered to our hotel; for the hike we had to hire a few pieces of equpiment and he kindly arranged all this for us too. And when we were leaving, after the hike, the assistant manager, Henry, drove with us all the way to Moshi at 3am, to help us get on the best possible bus to Dar. We felt as if we were being looked after by close friends or family during the entire trip.
It would have been nice to spend more time at the lodge and in Marangu, but our schedule was tight; however, our short stay was very pleasant neverthless. Staff were helpful and food was good. The rooms were basic but clean and comfortable.
The hike itself was very well organised. We did the Macheme route (6 days) and found the price to be pretty reasonable in comparison to other companies. However, of greater importance was the fact that we felt safe and comfortable during our time on Kili. We got good quality hot meals three times a day, the porters were efficient and hard-working, and our guides were honest and supportive. We both made it to the peak, and certainly a lot of this credit goes to Tadai and Jackson, our guide and assistant guide.
So overall a great experience; I would certainly recommend Babylon Lodge to anybody wishing to climb Kili (or just explore Moshi/Arusha). Bobby is a really friendly, helpful guy and his leadership will no doubt lead Babylon Lodge to a very bright future.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kilimanjaro's Best Budget Hotel! Babylon Lodge is situated in a lush garden setting, just minutes from Kilimanjaro National Park. Locally owned and operated, we provide service and amenities that equal the more expensive hotels at a much lower price. We have recently remodeled with new restaurant, bar and garden areas. Also, since we are from the area and have no need for middlemen, we can help you to find low-priced, quality tours that you might not find at the larger resorts. Babylon Lodge is the perfect place to stay for a weekend away or before/after a climb. Babylon Lodge is the only hotel in Marangu that offers free Wi-Fi to its clients. Welcome to Babylon Lodge for quality and affordable services. ... more less