I never thought tour groups were necessary as I believe that you can really navigate through everything on your own, plus, that's half the fun trying to figure things out. So, when my friend told me that we were required to have a guide up Kilimanjaro, I was pretty bummed out and somewhat skeptical. It was only after the summit that I realize how important our guides were in getting our entire group, of five, to summit within ten minutes of each other. They paced us as they have done it thousands of times and knew when to push us. They knew when was a good time to rest and when to slide our one foot in front of the other. Our main guides, Kamili, August, and John, were completely amicable, knowledgeable and professional. I truly believe that if we didn't have them, most of us would either not make it because of altitude sickness (from not having a good pace) or dehydration. When I witnessed another climber in another group get carried down the mountain, I knew that having that outside perspective of a guide was necessary. And I am grateful for our wonderful guides and the well planned out trip, because they got us to the summit.