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“To the Top with African Spoonbill”
Review of Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro
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Mount Kilimanjaro Short Trek from Arusha
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Reviewed August 7, 2013

We've just returned from our legendary holiday in Tanzania. We only had one goals. To reach the top of the Kilimanjaro.

We are 5 friends with no experience in the mountain climbing field whatsoever. We got the advice from two other parties to contact 'African Spoonbill', in Moshi, to arrange our climb. That was a perfect tip. After some research we found out that African Spoonbill asked a very good price for there tours. And after this holiday we can say they offer great service for a that price.

After landing in Nairobi we were picked up from the airport, and brought to the bus station for our long journey to Moshi. Here we were picked up by Pius, manager from the organization. During the trip, Pius was there every time we started a tour, and when we came back. It was clear he valued a problem-free holiday for us. At the start of our climbing, and later our safari, we talked everything through with Pius and the guide.

The Kilimanjaro climbing was a great adventure. The beautiful surroundings, mixed with the physical challenge, made this into an unforgettable week. During the week we found there was a big physical difference in our group, so we worried about reaching the top all together at the same time. But our guides were convinced that wouldn't be a problem. And they were right. After a short briefing we started our summit to the top at 00:00. During the week the guides had seen our walking-skills and suggested we would take a very slow pace with a 5 minute break every our. This was perfect, and thanks to the guides and there expertise, we all made it to the top, at the same time, during the sunrise.

In a nutshell. We had a great holiday, with a even greater achievement. African Spoonbill did a perfect job organizing our holiday. They provided professional, but even more important for us, relaxed tour-guides. They all helped us to have reach our goal and make some great memories.
And off course a special thanks to the porters and cooks! The service and meals provided were amazing. Especially with minimum resource.

2  Thank Jaco L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 7, 2013

The trip of a lifetime! Im embarrassed to admit that reaching the summit at sunrise was so profound and gratifying that I wept when I finally made it. It's that soul stirring. I recommend you look into The African Walking Company to help you on your way. They will not only help you get organized, but will rent you equipment you won't want to purchase and will do everything they can to help you summit. What they cannot do, is help you train. Many people we crossed paths with struggled and some did not make the summit; a shame since it takes so much to get that far. I recommend getting a pedometer and start monitoring your steps. You not only will be walking 25-30k steps a day, but they will be uphill (some days the equivalent of 400 flights of stairs!) but also dealing with diminishing oxygen. Train! Get some excellent hiking boots and break them in six months in advance so you'll have no surprises when you start up the mountain. Trust the guides when they tell you to drink water and when they urge you To slow down. They know the trails and know what you'll face based on prior guests. The peak you know from photos is actually only part of the larger mountain system. It is called Kibo. The other peak is called, Mawenzi, and is in some ways more interesting. It is too jagged and unstable to climb, but spectacularly photogenic. It's the kind of mountain Smaug would live in. But all of the terrain is spectacular--from the waterfalls of the rainforest to the arid plains where both peaks hover above you. So train, get with a great team like the African Walking Company and you will experience something that will stand out as something special for the rest of your life.

3  Thank Doug S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2013

My sister and I recently climbed Kili in June 2013. Thanks to Climb Kili, it was an unforgettable trip to the top and back. The Climb Kili crew was fantastic from the very first day, until our last day in Tanzania. I would join up with them if I were ever to return to the mountain.

Lilian in town was very helpful in making sure we got we needed. Peter was a great safari guide who could drive anything. The crew on the mountain were fabulous. Our guides Emanuel and Chichi were great at making sure we were always prepared for what the day would bring. Our waiter, Babu Sistusi, didn't have to go to the summit with us, but he did, and for that he will always be in our hearts. And the rest of the crew and the porters were truly the backbone of this trip, and I will be forever grateful for their efforts.

This was an epic adventure with all the stars aligning perfectly -- clear weather, beautiful scenery, new friends, no altitude sickness, and a breathtaking (wheeze) view from the top!

4  Thank Dada_Angie2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2013

To start with there are 400+ operators to choose from and I choose Team Kili as they were the fastest to respond and (thnx to the trip advisor comments on TK). Also these guys are in the middle of the range with regards to costs. Also I made my plans in 2 weeks and was fortunate to team up with 3 other like minded people.

The bad - *. The communication via email is kinda weak. (Adequate but not great... Especially when I compare to the guides later... Also the website kinda cluttered) * The payment methods left something to be desired.....asking for cash in USD and wire transfers that have a surcharge which we are not made aware off....

The good - * The guides Hesbon + Motto and our chef Barrack were Fantastic and made this whole trip well worth my effort. * The TK team were real knowledgeable of the mountain and were very attentive to minute details of the climb to make our experience memorable. * The team catered to my dietary requests of no Beef, so while the 3 ate beef, they would serve me lamb or chicken dish...

We (party of 4) took the TK - Rongai route which I personally prefer as u get to see 2 sides of the mountain and also it is far less travelled so u really don't run into the masses until 4. Also, in July it rains far less on the Northern side of Kili. We planned for a 7 day hike but we opted to finish in 6 days. Food was great and the camp was well looked after by our many porters. (These guys do deserve as complementary a tip as u can afford to spare). After most days of climbs we would try to do an aclamtization hike in the evenings to set upnwellmfor the next day.

On our day of assent we opted to do a early morning climb as one of our group members was finding it hard to cope with the cold.... We left at 5:30 am and assended in 7+ hours. This worked out well for us as the Best part was that we had the Uhru peak to ourselves as the mad rush was done when we Summited around 12:30pm ish. Am not a camping person so i really did find it a small struggle to sleep at nights as it gets pretty cold closer to base camp. As a suggestion, Would say that you do ur personal hygiene activities during the afternoon (post ur day hikes) when the sun is out, cause early morning is not the easiest time (if u know what I mean).

Also, during my stay in Arusha, I stayed in the Impala hotel. (Outpost was sold out) Smalls more expensive, but they have good food and a place where u can get a good Thai massage when u get back. Would recommend that u check that ur room has hot water and power sockets that work before u start to unpack. Internet is patchy but works semi-well in the lobby.

Thank Ramsee513
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 6, 2013

We climbed Kibo, Mt. Kilimanjara between 18-24 July, 2013, summiting on July 23! Excellent experience with Team Kilimanjaro (TK). Lots of help organizing this trip from BIANCA (and David). We were 10 people coming on 3 different flights from the UK and Canada. We did a safari prior to the climb, that too with TK. The climb first. We were 10 ( youngest 16 and oldest 68!) We did the TK RONGAI 7 day route. We had, I bet the BEST guide that TK have, HAROLD! He and his team especially the summit team were absolutely fantastic. As mentioned by a lot of reviews, the last 2days are quite exacting and any and all training one does is for those 2 days! Their "team" is prepared for everything. The food is great, we had 4 vegetarians and everyone was satisfied. But the summit night is where the TK's team, Harold's summit team really come into action. Quitting was not going to be an option. They will constantly "check" on everyone's well being, hydration and very encouraging. The summit team would break out into song and the toughest bits of the journey. Summiting is a big high, very emotional! I was their with my wife, son, brother, sister, my brother in-law and my neighbor and his son, my son's classmate, so this was a very "personal" trip so I needed ALL of us to succeed!!! Harold and the summit team appreciated this and made it happen. Again, TK is the best. Even the safari to the N. Crater, Lake Manyara and Tarangire and our stay at the Serena lodges was well organized by Bianca.

1  Thank Pratap2429
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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