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Kilimanjaro self suppport option

Discussion area for peaks outside of the USA.
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Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:08 pm

Re: Kilimanjaro self suppport option

Postby onebyone » Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:41 am

Hey, I've been to to Africa several times. Just be careful about cutting too many corners to save a few bucks. Your personal support team could be awesome, but then again, you'll be in charge of keeping everyone in line and doing what you paid them to do. A solid company will have its reputation on the line and will also have a larger support system if anything were to go wrong. Don't forget, going on your own usually means meeting your guides, going shopping for food and supplies, etc. etc. So you'll lose a day or two right there, whereas a decent company will pick you up wherever you are, take you to your hotel, etc. So, just hiring a few guys could go really well or there could be a lot of shenanigans? Will you be meeting your guide in Arusha???- Arusha is quite sketchy FYI.
Finally, with a decent outfit, there will always be at least one guide who will be allocated for the summit even if everyone on your team fails. You'll move a little each day from pt A to B then pt B to C, etc. They have a system. Most of the people who fail do so because of altitude as mentioned in all of the other posts. I'm sure you'll climb a few 14ers before you go so you'll probably be better off than many of the other people on the mountain.
Having said that, in my experience, once you get to around 18,000 feet, it's like a different zone. Most people from Colorado work their way through it because their mind and body says to itself, "Yup, altitude."
You didn't say, if you've spent a lot of time in Africa or this would be your first time. Africa is a different culture and can be frustrating at times. If you have experience in Africa then maybe your 1st option will work just fine. If you have never been to Africa, then you might want save yourself the trouble and let them plan the whole thing for you. Hope this helps.

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Re: Kilimanjaro self suppport option

Postby Pops921 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:33 am

My wife and I did Kilamanjaro in 2010. We went the Lemoshi Route w/ the Western Breach Variation. The Western Breach has a little easy scrambling (difficult class 2 or easy class 3), which I thought would be more fun the the trails. We used Wilderness Travel (they have a local company, I can't remember the the name), which is probably the most expensive company to go with. I think other companies offer this route also. We spent a full acclimation day at ~16,000. We camped in the summit crater at around 18,500- which was pretty awesome. Alpine start and summit at daybreak before the crowds! All the clients summited. The cost for the guide service is driven by days on the mountain and number of clients and porters. Wilderness Travel ferried fresh fruits and vegetables all the way to summit

I used Diamox (or the generic equivalent) on this trip and other trips above 18,000'. I take a low dose - cut a 125mg tablet in half and take a half each morning and evening on the approach and a full 125mg on summit day. I do not have any issues with the side effects. Most flatlander doctors prescribe 250 mg.

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Re: Kilimanjaro self suppport option

Postby lpyle » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:25 am

Pops921 wrote:I used Diamox (or the generic equivalent) on this trip and other trips above 18,000'. I take a low dose - cut a 125mg tablet in half and take a half each morning and evening on the approach and a full 125mg on summit day. I do not have any issues with the side effects. Most flatlander doctors prescribe 250 mg.


I did the same thing - I took 125 mg of Diamox each day instead of the prescribed 250 mg. I had some side effects (mainly tingling hands and some ringing in the ears), but they weren't bad. I think the Diamox helped quite a bit. I tend to get fairly bad headaches at altitudes over 13,000 feet (even though I live near 8,000 feet), and I didn't have any headaches except for a relatively mild one on summit day. Our guides had very negative views on Diamox. They said they had many clients who got dehydrated taking it and were too weak to continue to the summit. I made sure I drank a lot throughout the climb and was fine.

We used Zara Tours and I was very happy with them. Our guides were great and we had excellent food throughout the trip, including fresh fruits and vegetables and eggs. I thought the price was quite reasonable at $1590 per person.
"I believe that if you set out on an adventure and you're absolutely convinced you are going to be successful, why bother starting?"
- Sir Edmund Hillary

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Re: Kilimanjaro self suppport option

Postby Billy the Kid » Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:23 pm

douglas wrote:
lpyle wrote:I'm also planning a climb of Kili this year, in October. We are probably going with Zara for a guide service. It's my understanding that if someone needs to go down, most guide services will have a junior guide go down with them so that the others can continue. But you might want to check on this in advance. If you're concerned about cost, Zara has a "Clean Kilimanjaro" special in early October - if you help clean the mountain, you get a 15% discount on the Machame route.


I'm going in October as well - the last two weeks and doing the Lemosho route. I was planning on using Ultimate Kilimanjaro as I've heard good things about them. I'm going to do a private tour with 4 or 5 buddies.


My wife and I climbed Kili two years ago, in September. We also booked our hike through Ultimate Kilimanjaro and were VERY happy with them. They were not near as expensive as some of the other options, and our experience was no different than those who paid much more. FYI...Ultimate Kilimanjaro is a 3rd party, so they contract the climb to a local company. That local company is Zara Tours. So, if you book through Ultimate Kilimanjaro, you are using Zara for your trek. But, as I said, we were very happy with them! We summited via the 8-day Lemosho Route. I would suggest giving yourself extra time to help increase your chances of making it to the summit! Using 8 days, I suffered NO altitude problems and felt as good on Kili's summit as I generally do on a 14er summit. However, on the summit day, we saw several people in really bad shape...in fact, one older man actually died near the summit, on our summit day (NOT using Zara Tours). We did have one person in our group who was unable to summit. One of the assistant guides took her down safely and we were all able to continue on and summit. They will make sure there are enough guides in the event that others in the group must abandon the climb. Whatever you decide, good luck and have fun!! I would also consider September. The weather during this time is usually very favorable...we saw NO rain or snow during our entire 8 days on the mountain. And, you can train all summer long on the 14ers in Colorado!!
"Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So, be on your way."- Dr. Seuss

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Re: Kilimanjaro self suppport option

Postby WarDamnPanic » Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:47 pm

We used Marangu Hotel from several references from this site would use them again if we went back. Food, guides, hotel before and after the climb were all first class. Here is a link to our trip report. Have fun it is a special place

http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=12914&parmuser=WarDamnPanic&cpgm=tripuser

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