Off the wall Kilimanjaro questions

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WanderingJim
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Re: Off the wall Kilimanjaro questions

Post by WanderingJim »

Scott P wrote: Thu Jan 11, 2024 10:23 am
bramasoleiowa wrote: Thu Jan 11, 2024 3:52 am
nunns wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 8:44 amIf I ever decide to give Kili a go, my plan is to spend several days in CO climbing 13ers and/or 14ers, and sleeping at treeline or higher, prior to flying to Tanzania.
Mt Meru, Tanzania, is 14,968ft and some outfits offer that as an acclimatization hike before Kili.
Plus Mt. Meru in itself is a lot prettier, less crowded, and more interesting than Kili. You also see a lot more wildlife.
I'll third Mt Meru before Kili. I did it and it helped make my Kili climb successful (although wet :) ).

Before Kili, I had various 14k successes (CO and CO), plus Incachiriaska Pass in Peru (approx 16,300 feet) to gauge how I'd handle 19k. While not a guarantee, how you handle 14k can give you an idea how you'll handle 19k.

If you can do some 13-14k hikes before flying to Tanzania, great. But doing Mt Meru within a few days of starting up Kilimanjaro is useful in my opinion.

Just don't get off the plane and head up Kilimanjaro right away. Meru is the best acclimatization before Kili you can get (most of the nearby towns and cities are 5k).
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Jay521
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Re: Off the wall Kilimanjaro questions

Post by Jay521 »

OK - I'm still in research mode on doing this but I think it's gonna happen this fall and issue right now is deciding on how long a safari to take - As I stated when I started this thread, my wife wants to go with me and isn't interested in doing a safari on her own. So, the plan right now is that we go to Tanzania together and do a safari. Then she flies home and I go give Kili a shot. Thought briefly (VERY briefly) about doing in the other way around but no way she wants to go there on her own to meet me.

So - question is - for those of you who have done safaris, is there any consensus as to the optimal safari length? I know that's a wide open question but I would appreciate your thoughts. I know that they are offered for virtually any length one wants - from a couple days to several weeks. Certainly money and time away from home are conditions we have to deal with but I'd like to know if someone took a 4 day safari and thought it was fine or too short or whatever length with whatever thoughts.

And again - if anyone has any "Don't do this!" comments, those would be appreciated.
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jbealer
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Re: Off the wall Kilimanjaro questions

Post by jbealer »

we did 8 days on kili then did 2 back to back safaris. each were 1 day in the park, 2 diff parks, but was about 4 days of driving, 4 days sitting in a car after moving your legs for 8 days sounds like a dream, but for me it was to much sitting after being active for so long and then the plane ride home after that was a lot of down time for me.
i would send her to the beach, you hike, meet back up and do a safari together.
i wish we would have added the beach in.
also renting our own bathroom on the hike was the best thing we did!
No Mountain too steep, No trail too long....
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Jon Frohlich
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Re: Off the wall Kilimanjaro questions

Post by Jon Frohlich »

Jay521 wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 2:03 pm
So - question is - for those of you who have done safaris, is there any consensus as to the optimal safari length? I know that's a wide open question but I would appreciate your thoughts. I know that they are offered for virtually any length one wants - from a couple days to several weeks. Certainly money and time away from home are conditions we have to deal with but I'd like to know if someone took a 4 day safari and thought it was fine or too short or whatever length with whatever thoughts.

And again - if anyone has any "Don't do this!" comments, those would be appreciated.
My safari was 4 days. Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, then 2 days out on the Serengeti. I think 4-5 days is plenty safari for most people. I guess you could maybe stay longer and do one of the lodges in the Serengeti and have a rest day or two in there and make it a week. I agree that after a few days driving around sitting in a Land Rover you eventually want a break from it.

I will say camping out on the Serengeti with a circle of Land Rovers as a wildlife fence and signs at the bathroom not to go too far because of lions was.....entertaining.
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greenonion
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Re: Off the wall Kilimanjaro questions

Post by greenonion »

Jon Frohlich wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 3:22 pm
Jay521 wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 2:03 pm
So - question is - for those of you who have done safaris, is there any consensus as to the optimal safari length? I know that's a wide open question but I would appreciate your thoughts. I know that they are offered for virtually any length one wants - from a couple days to several weeks. Certainly money and time away from home are conditions we have to deal with but I'd like to know if someone took a 4 day safari and thought it was fine or too short or whatever length with whatever thoughts.

And again - if anyone has any "Don't do this!" comments, those would be appreciated.
My safari was 4 days. Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, then 2 days out on the Serengeti. I think 4-5 days is plenty safari for most people. I guess you could maybe stay longer and do one of the lodges in the Serengeti and have a rest day or two in there and make it a week. I agree that after a few days driving around sitting in a Land Rover you eventually want a break from it.

I will say camping out on the Serengeti with a circle of Land Rovers as a wildlife fence and signs at the bathroom not to go too far because of lions was.....entertaining.
Do you lion proof your car? :mrgreen:
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Re: Off the wall Kilimanjaro questions

Post by OrngChocD »

Jay521 wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 2:03 pm Then she flies home and I go give Kili a shot. Thought briefly (VERY briefly) about doing in the other way around but no way she wants to go there on her own to meet me.
IMO, either way is more or less similar. The TO (Tour Operator) would take good care of her whether she arrives solo or departs solo. But she probably has reasons for her preference.


So - question is - for those of you who have done safaris, is there any consensus as to the optimal safari length? ..... thought it was fine or too short or whatever length with whatever thoughts.
The optimal length for a Northern Circuit safari would depend on which parks and areas you plan to visit (Manyara, Tarangire, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, ...), your inclinations and level of interest in what each has to offer. If you plan to visit the Serengeti, the time of the year would also determine which area would offer you the "best" experience. That would then affect the number of days required to accomplish it well/unhurriedly. The Serengeti is vast and one would typically not cover 50 kms in an hour on the unpaved roads even with just wheels turning and no time spent on game drives. Driving inside the NPs is restricted to the hours of 6am-6pm.

I know people who have gone once every 2-3 years in the last 15 years for 3+ weeks each trip, and who would go more frequently if possible. Some have gone 20+ times. Just for safari to East Africa. I also know people who go to Disney every year. There are clearly lots of people here who climb the same mountains every week/month/year :-). So, can't comment on what's too this or too that for something that depends so much on our personal proclivities.

It will help to have realistic expectations of sightings during a safari. It's not like a visit to a zoo. Just because you're there doesn't mean the animal(s) will be there at the same location at the same time. A person expecting a Butchart Gardens kind of "filled" experience in a wildflower meadow may be disappointed. I've heard of such disappointment expressed. For me, it was emotionally uplifting and touching to observe wildlife living 'truly' free in that wilderness, unaffected by, oblivious to, .... human presence. A stark contrast to how I feel after reading about the tourons of Yellowstone, or the ways in which humans otherwise anthropomorphise animals, while (supposedly) intending no harm, etc. etc.

If you can, choose compatible safari companions. For example, birders have a different level of patience. If you're not like them and there are birders in your group, somebody may get on someone's nerves.


And again - if anyone has any "Don't do this!" comments, those would be appreciated.
Don't forget the malaria prophylaxis. It's not needed on Kili but should be used on the safari.

Don't go to the beach. For most people living in the US, there are excellent beaches available 'nearby' with one or two flight hops. If I'm going all the way to Tanzania from here, I'd spend my time and money experiencing what is unique to Tanzania and what can't be experienced here/nearby/elsewhere easily. That's assuming that you are not the kind to be looking for a McDonald's there.


Feel free to PM me. I (female) did solo Kili climb [1], followed by a 6-day solo safari [2] over a decade ago.

[1] - no friends/family, not really solo
[2] - just the guide and I
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