Discussion in 'Sports, Adventure Training and Events' started by Galileo82, Dec 2, 2008.

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  1. All,

    I am planning a trip out to Kenya in April to climb Kilimanjaro and was wondering if any Arrsers had done it and had any info on reputable companies, average costs and any other valuable information!

    There will be no technical climbing, just the walking, and we will probably do the more adventurous Machame route. I would rather book it out there, it seems like it would be cheaper.

    All relevant advice would be greatly received!

    Thanks in advance!

  2. I did it a long time ago but what rocked my boat was all the Kraut crap up there left over from WW1
  3. Command_doh

    Command_doh LE Book Reviewer

    Exodus, Explore, plus others.

    I did it in February 2006 with Exodus. Good group, all though you will get a mixed bunch of ages and fitness levels. 3 of them didn't make the last day's Midnight ascent from Kibo Hut, having to go down. Thats the hardest bit - the rest of it is more like a stroll in the park if you are a decent hiker. I did the Rongai route.

    Take loads of wet wipes and imodium. Everyone comes down with the sh1ts at one point. I took loads of isotonic powder for my camelbak. Forget the walking poles, they are a waste of time. Decent and well fitting boots, and compeed/moleskin for the blisters. You won't wash much/if at all, so leave most of your kit in the hotel. Sunblock, decent hat. Layers for the last day, its bloody cold up there, but it has to be removable as the Sun will be on you on the way down. I took about 4 litres just for the last day. But Diamox (altitute sickness tablets, waste of time) was making me p1ss something chronic anyway. Forget about an SLR camera, its too bulky. Get a decent small camera, a couple of spare cards/batteries.
  4. Don't forget your acetazolamide (Diamox).
  5. Jagged Globe run a trip to Kilimanjaro - not done it myself but have used them for other locations and found them to be excellent if at the upper end of the price bracket.

  6. I did it in 2000 for brain injured children,the charity way seems to be one of the best ways to do it.the biggest failure in our group of around 20 (around half completed it )was not fitness but altitude sickness.
    I wouldnt want to do it as an individual but as a group it was a great experiance.
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  7. Had the very good fortune to do it with some lads from the Royal\

    Engineers in, I think, 1962/3. Dates get a bit hazy now.

    I think the lads came from the RE Sqn with 24 Inf Bde in Kenya.

    We were part of a detachment to aid the civil power on a project at Lake

    Chala in Tanzania. A canvas runabout with outboard, some PE and fish for

    brealfast. Anyone on here remember that?
  8. One very useful bit of advice: Don't go to Kenya. Go to Tanzania :D

    No, don't thank me, please, you're welcome ... :D

  9. I was holding the map upside down, honest Sir!
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Careful those twin peaks of Kilimanjaro are quite perilous. Are the Arthur Wilson twins going?
  11. Most of the big firms (Exodus, Adventure Company, etc) sub-contract to a local trekking firm in-country, so it can sometimes be cheaper to fly out and book with the local operator directly. Of course, doing this means you may lose out on some of the reassurances of using one of the high-end UK-based operators.

    Do the maths, because sometimes it may not work out cheaper; the big firms get good deals on flights and accommodation as they book a year in advance.

    If you have experience in an area, it is often possible to do a trip on a shoestring budget, but increasingly the popular trekking areas are insisting on guided treks only (ie no independent trekking), this is certainly the case now in Nepal (I'm not sure about Kilimanjaro but I think it's the same there as it's in a National Park?)

    One piece of advice I would give to anyone planning to trek overseas is to get the appropriate rescue and repatriation insurance package. For a Kilimanjaro trip I'd recommend the BMC package, although there are others available and they all tend to use Rescue International to provide the service. I have seen one bloke die of HACE in the Himalaya, he was being casevaced on a bamboo ladder (carried by porters), if he'd had the same insurance as my BMC policy, a helicopter could have been arranged through Rescue Int'l.

    Regarding arranging a rescue, consider also taking a sat-phone, I took a Hughes handset with a Thuraya simcard on my last overseas trek. The handset was about $800 and the simcard preloaded with credit was about £170 if I remember correctly. Not cheap but we had a drama and needed to casevac one of our group, so it was money well spent as our trekking guide did not carry a sat-phone. His answer to any drama was 'bamboo ladder' ie make a bamboo stretcher and pay someone to carry you down the hill?!! :D

    edited to add: I've never been on Kilimanjaro, it may be possible to get a normal mobile phone signal, in which case disregard the sat-phone info above, it was relevant in the Himalaya but I have no idea what comms are available where you want to go :wink:
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Great advice above, especially from Cryptotermes.

    Apo-logies, I am not meaning to dig up a medieval thread for the sake of it, if certain things go well myself and a mate are looking to trek up Kilimanjaro in September after first getting up Triglav (another trek but not as long or high and the Highest Summit in Slovenija, has a very 'interesting' knife edge final path to the Summit). This thread looked good for seeing if any ARRSE'rs have since trekked up Kilimanjaro and what your experiences were. I have been up on Mt. Kenya back in 92 as part of a 4 Man Exped with the Sappers, it is not as high as Kilimanjaro but much more technical, myself and the experienced Army/RE Mountain Leader suffered with AMS at the time but the symptoms were mild, as I understand it if you are showing Moderate AMS Symptoms you MUST descend 200ft and stay a day at that level before deciding whether to continue the ascent, i.e. if your symptoms lessen considerably.

    I know from Kenya that Altitude sickness can happen to anyone regardless of fitness or mountain experience, Mt. Kenya has claimed a considerable number of lives due to the ease of the ascent, the same with Kilimanjaro, official deaths per year are 10 - 12, unofficial up to 50! but considering an estimated 25,000 people attempt to Summit Kilimanjaro each year then the stats, although bad, are understandable; I know the number of days you plan are key to either making it or failing also, an estimated 45% of those who give themselves 5 - 6 days actually make it to the Summit, 85% of those who have the time and the money to afford to take 8 - 9 days manage to make it to the Summit.

    Any thoughts/advice/stories please add to the thread.

  13. Cheers SMF,

    I've just spent the past hour on Tuskers Website after seeing your Link here, they look extremely Professional and a pleasure to trek with.

    Many Thanks for this...
  14. Gundulph,

    I am fortunate enough to have family friends in such business in Tanzania, and in October 2010 we took an expedition of 21 young army cadets up Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for Help for Heroes.

    If you would be willing to make your expedition on behalf of a charity and raise some money I would be more than inclined to advise my friends of your intentions and find you a very reasonable price.
    • Like Like x 1