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Ways to Experience Mount Kilimanjaro
from $2,950.00
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Reviewed January 12, 2015

I'm a 25 year old medical student from Pennsylvania and with a 27 year old buddy, we hiked Kilimanjaro from 1/4/15-1/10/15 with Kili 3 Peaks. I was very pleased with the experience and was most excited to have made it to the top!

Positives:
Before the trip:
-From the beginning, wonderful email communication with Stephen, the director of the company. Answered our questions in detail. He formerly hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro himself. The suggested packing list proved very appropriate, there was nothing I felt I lacked on the cold nights and long days of the trip.
-When the usual hotel option (Sal Salinero) wasn't available all of our nights surrounding the trip, Stephen worked with us to stay at the Pamoja Guesthouse, which I highly recommend for ~US 30/night. We were rebated the difference saved in hotel cost by Kili 3 Peaks.

During the trip:
-Our guide, Baraca, was a kind, helpful 23 year old man who had significant experience, including previously with Zara tours. He is the company's head guide, and I was pleased with him. He picked us up at the airport and when encountering some difficulties finding Pamoja Guesthouse (which is poorly marked, one of its few flaws), he assured us he would take us to another hotel if Pamoja wasn't found or proved unsatisfactory upon arriving.
-We booked an extra day to rest before hiking (highly recommend), and Baraca took us to Marangu village (~7,000 ft) to help us acclimate a bit before starting.
-During our seven days hiking, Baraca did a good job balancing encouragement with taking a slow pace, to best acclimate to altitude (2 keys of acclimatization: hydration, low exertion w/ frequent breaks). He promised us we would reach the top and despite our doubts and our struggles as we gained altitude, we did indeed make it.
-The food was very good during our trip, with good variety, including option of tea/hot chocolate/coffee at each meal, and typically a starch with a vegetable or meat sauce, buttered bread, and sometimes dessert. Meals were big and filling; 8 protein bars in 7 days was the only supplement otherwise used by me or my buddy.
-Service was equally good. Our waiter, Nemis, clearly took pride in his job and was very friendly. The porters incredibly carry up to 50 lbs each day and were kind and friendly while doing so.
-The tent was big enough for the two of us and a good tent. As an aside even with -10 rated sleeping bags, sometimes a bit cold, so definitely pack long underwear. And sunscreen! Equatorial sun did a number on my neck one day after a lazy sunscreen application.

Negatives:
-On the first day of our trip, there was some confusion as to whether we would have an assistant guide. Although we had been promised one, it initially looked as if we would not have one, which concerned us (in the event of one of us needing to descend or Baraca getting hurt). However, Baraca did appoint an assistant guide after hearing our concerns.
-The 7 day trip was a bit long. By day 4 (around 13,000 feet and up), I didn't sleep as well and my appetite decreased. As such, I was getting ready to finish the trip, but more days remained. I would recommend a 5 or 6 day trip, as these aren't necessarily tougher (sometimes it's a shorter route, not more miles/day, which my buddy and I didn't understand fully when booking). also, short term altitude acclimatization, in our opinion, is not much different between 5-6 days and 7-8 days. Longer term acclimatization to altitude takes 4-8 weeks and no trip up kili affords that kind of time for the body to adjust to low oxygen.

IN short, I recommend Kilimanjaro and Kili3Peaks, which we found to be a very professional operator. Kilimanjaro isn't for everyone- I'd recommend you try to go to altitude if you have time (ideally a couple weeks) before taking the trip. Not necessary, but a nice plus if you're retired or can work anywhere. The sunrise from the top was as moving as anything I've ever seen.

Date of experience: January 2015
1  Thank Jenner G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2015

THis is a bucket list experience that I would highly recommend. Challenging with a capital C, but with the right guides and support memorable as hell. I am going to be back. With two celiacs and dairy allergies we thought food would be tricky, but our Zara guides were very helpful, they made sure they looked after our needs and at no time were there any food issues. There professionalism and caring attitudes were amazing. THey were also a lot of fun so don't hesitate to take on the mountain with them.

Date of experience: December 2014
3  Thank Northshoretravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2015

I climbed the 7 day Machame Route with Summit Expeditions - SENE. The trip started on the 31st of December with a total of three hikers, 15 porters and two guides. Overall it was a great experience and all of us made it to the top. I wanted something more private and intimate which I got with SENE. I picked them because of their focus on personal safety as well as their overall success rate in getting people to the top of the mountain. Felix was our guide who is Simon's brother. Great knowledge of the mountain and really a great leader. Overall it was a very positive experience and I can't say enough good things about them.

Date of experience: January 2015
4  Thank scottmK3543XO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2015

Dont go with them!!!.Very, very expensive and unprofessional company.The worst crapp ever. They left me with Kili Climbers I payed nearly 1800 dollars for invidual tripy but I got into to 5 people group. Asked for vegetarian food, never got it. Ate some meal for 5 days...diseaster. never go with them, dont make same mistake.

Date of experience: December 2014
12  Thank Rad B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2015

Do this with Pristine Trip Adventures!!!! It will change everything!!! Best our company in Tanzania!!!

Date of experience: December 2014
Thank Nykke F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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