We came to be recommended to As Soon As Possible Safaris by one traveler on this very important forum, and as we trust it, off we booked with As soon As Possible Safaris. We wired 50% package deposit to their bank account as requested and we were booked in. Our package was to climb Kilimanjaro via Machame route for 6 days and Budget camping safari for 3 days to Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara and Tarangire. On 16th we flew into Dar es salaam airport where we connected a flight to Kilimanjaro airport. Very exciting! The driver from ASAP SAFARIS was waiting for us and drove us to Arusha. We started with Kilimanjaro on 17th August till 22nd August, while the safari was from 23rd August till 25th August. We finished our safari package yesterday and today evening we are flying to Zanzibar. Our experience!
(1). KILIMANJARO TREK
As Soon As Possible Safaris put us with other climbers so we were 6 in our group. The chief guide was called Shayo with other 2 assistant guides. 2 porters per climber were allocated, among porters and guides some were cooks. Off we started with 12 porters,3 guides and 6 climbers made an expedition of 21 people. Day-1- took us 5 hours from Machame gate to Machame camp which is around 3000m above sea level, that was an easy trek through the mountain forest. Day-2- Very short but steep from Machame camp 3000m to Shira camp 3841m- this day took us 7 hours of trekking. Day-3-It was also not a very difficult day as we went up and down.There were signs at every point. From Shira camp 3840m we went up to lava tower 4600m. Trekking up was a bit difficult as it took us 5 hours from Shira camp to Lava tower and only 2 hours descend from Lava tower to Barranco camp(3940m) where we slept.
Day-4-This was a gradual ascend from Barranco(3840m) via Karanga valley camp(4100m) up to Barafu camp(4600m), we arrived at Barafu aroung 15:00hrs and slept earlier because on day 5 early after midnight our chief guide The great Shayo told us that we would have started to trek heading to the summit.
Day-5-This day is why I am recommending ASAP SAFARIS. I was arguing why should the Director of ASAP SAFARIS David Katunzi allocate 3 guides on our group. Per the promise of our great Shayo the previous day we started heading to the Summit one hour after midnight. After 3 hours trek one of our members experienced the mountain sickness, she had to descend down with the assistant guide, the rest 5 continued the ascend with 2 guides. After one another climber also experienced mountain sickness, NO WAY he has to come down with the assistant guide while us 4 continued the trek with The great Shayo. It took us 7 hours to reach the Summit! Hurraaaah!!!! It is UHURU summit with the Tanzanian national flag, we stayed there around 15 minutes taking pictures around the flag, then we started our journey descending down. WOOOW!!! After 2 hours from the summit we met the 2 people who descended down because of the mountain sickness trekking up to the pick with their 2 assistant guides, we came down rested for 1 hour to have our lunch at Barafu camp, after lunch it was an easy descend to Meka camp(3100m) where we slept. Before dinner our 2 friends whom we met trekking up the summit also arrived THEY ALSO REACHED THE SUMMIT!!!.
Day-6- It was an easy descend for 4 hours to Meka gate where ASAP SAFARIS car was waiting for us to drive us to Arusha and before that we were awarded the certificates saying that we have reached the Roof of Africa. Don't forget the following- 3 seasons sleeping bags, gloves, enough warm clothes IT'S TOO COLD UP THERE!
BUDGET CAMPING SAFARI
All 6 people went on this 3 day safari, which finished yesterday. Our driver guide was called Minja. Very knowledgeable! Good at spoting animals, friendly and speaking good English. Our Land cruiser was in a very good condition. The cook was Mollel, the food was good and enough, the camps were superb, clean tents and sleeping bags, toilets and bathrooms were more clean as expected.We can easily say that AS SOON AS POSSIBLE SAFARIS is a well run and organized safari company-- google them, you will never regret for your money.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.