Happy New Year to you too! Here are some photos…
It was the experience of a lifetime. Absolutely epic!
The climb was a real adventure. On our first day it bucketed down with rain for about 4 hours in the forest. Thank goodness most of my stuff was in Jiffy bags! I was really happy after that to see the first camp – Machame. On the second day it also bucketed down just as we got to Shira camp. The view from Shira camp was really awesome. The view from Baranco was even better. The view climbing up from Shira plateau to Lava Tower was also amazing – this was when we saw the mountain top for the very first time, even though it has been hiding behind vaporous clouds for 3 days. It was so inspiring.
The ascent (on ascent night) seemed to go on forever, but Nelson gave me the altimeter which helped me actually (so I could just see for myself what height we were, rather than asking all the time). If I ever climb again, I would want it to be Nelson with me again – he’s really wonderful and humble which I appreciated very much. The porters are incredible and I felt really humbled by seeing the huge loads that they carry all the way along the route. I wish I had drawn more money to give them as a tip – I think I gave them 290 dollars, but I wish I could have given them more. The porters were a really spirited bunch who loved to sing their songs about the mountain every morning.
On the night of the ascent, I wasn’t really all that physically tired by the time we got to the top, I was more just tired from lack of sleep. Having said that though, there were definitely tears in my eyes when I saw that Uhuru peak sign! I just couldn’t believe that we’d actually made it to the top! The temperature at the peak was also something incredible to experience. My hand started going grey after being taken out the glove for only a few minutes to take photos. The last time I experienced that sort of cold was in Moscow. The wind was like a knife that cut right into you. The most difficult part for me was the climb down the mountain to be honest. My knees and quads got really sore and I had a headache after my ascent which stayed with me all the way coming down to Barafu camp. Not fun! But after Barafu camp, I recovered from the headache quite nicely and made it to Mweka. The trip down to Mweka is a really long way and seems to go on for hours.
The views from the mountain every night and every morning were really special and I made lots of new friends from various countries during the hike. I think of all the tour companies I saw during my hike, yours is definitely the best as you really did a great job of informing me of all the risks and so forth, which for some reason the other tour operators don’t seem to do very well at all. There was a distinct lack of knowledge with some other tour operators which I thought was not great considering the risks involved. Also the Facebook updates helped my family keep track of the progress which they really appreciated very much. The food was great – compliments to the team for putting up with my vegetarianism.
Thank you so much to you and Nikki for all your assistance and organization, it was a really wonderful experience and not something that I’m going to forget soon.
Add me as a friend on F.B. and you’re welcome to grab photos from my album that I put there too.
Next will either be Mount Kenya, Mount Meru or gorillas in Rwanda…
Penelope Masefield and Emma Guy (Australia) – Successful summit on 17 December 2015 6 Day Lemosho route – Standard package
My friend and I have recently returned to Australia after climbing Mt Kilimanjaro with your group.
As two young women travelling alone, we were nervous about undertaking such an adventure.
Words cannot describe how amazing our entire trip was. The team who took us up the mountain exceeded our expectations every day.
The porters were so friendly and happy every day and were basically absolute legends. Their customer service skills, even when English
was not strong, went above and beyond what would have been required. I was very impressed by all the little things they did to make us
more comfortable. i.e meeting us after summit with juice, or the table cloth for dinner.
The Food cooked by our Chef was very impressive! What he can do on the one stove was really amazing. And our waiter Hussein was
absolutely a key to our positive experience we had every day. His attitude was incredible and contagious.
Innocent our guide, I can’t thank him enough for getting me to the top, for setting a great pace that both Emma and I were comfortable with,
making jokes, singing songs and being a great friend on our trip. He was knowledgeable about the Mountain and always offered a helping hand
if we got stuck. I couldn’t recommend Innocent and his team more to anyone wishing to climb Kili.
All in all our experience with the mountain and the accommodation was a very positive one. We both felt we left a piece of our hearts in
Moshi and hope to return again soon.”
Rochelle Soodyall and Vikash Soodyall (South Africa) – Successful summit attempt on 27 October 2015 Superior package – 6 day Marangu route
Hope you are well.
Just wanted to say a big thank you to you for helping us put this together.
Everything ran so smoothly and we are so impressed.
The hotel was amazing and the service was impeccable.
To John Matiko and his team:
They made this journey possible. We owe our lives to them.
Humble, sincerity, humanity are the traits that is shown by all.
The food was delicious and they made sure that we were well taken care off.
We cannot begin to express our gratitude. They will forever hold a special place in our hearts for making this dream come true.
They are our angels in disguise.
Summit night was really tough and intimidating but nevertheless we made it.
Thank you Nikki for your support. It is much appreciated!!
Marco Steenkamp and Tasneem Collins (South Africa) – Successful summit attempt on 27 October 2015 7 Day Rongai route – Superior package
As you can imagine when we returned we had a 101 things that needed our attention, I do apologise for the late response.
It was an experience which we cannot explain in words, it was amazing and realizing our dream at the summit of Kili was incredible. What made our summit possible was not only due to the training we put in before the expedition but the expertise, enthusiasm and professionalism of our team (the senior guide was Safiel and the assistant guide Wilfred) – which exceeded my expectations – as well as all the information you provided us in terms of gear requirements and other general advice for the summit attempt. We also didn’t experience severe altitude sickness symptoms which made our experience just that much more pleasant.
I can honestly say that there was no negative side to our Kilimanjaro expedition.
Elna Smit (South Africa) – Successful summit attempt on 29 September 2015 Superior package – 7 Day Lemosho route
Myself and my husband would like to thank you for crafting an unforgettable experience for us. To get to the rooftop of Africa has been a lifelong dream and we are so happy we chose Climbing Kilimanjaro to make our dream come true. From the onset you and your team have been extremely professional and very helpful. Thank you for answering every single email and question. The team in Tanzania were also superb! Manasseh was very helpful prior and after our climb. Most importantly we really want to commend what a superb mountain team we had. David (our chief guide) and Salim (assistant guide) were paramount in getting us to the top. Their positive spirits and knowledge about the mountain (and people!) was amazing. The food was delicious and Passat was a wonderful Chef! We already miss his food. The porters were always encouraging us as they sped past and we will miss their songs and smiles. We really feel like we’ve made friends and these people positively contributed to our once in a life time experience. We would definitely recommend your company and David’s team to anyone wanting to climb Kili! Thank you!
Elna and Henk Pretorius
Riana Kretzschmar (South Africa) – Successful summit attempt on 29 September 2015 Superior package – 7 Day Lemosho route
Thank you very much for all your assistance before our trip, at the airport (with my little hickup) and posting photos for our friends and family to follow us. Your expertise in arranging this trip was amazing. Needless to say, there were times when I felt I was not going to make it at is was difficult (guess due to the altitude) but our guide, Nelson and his wonderful team made us get through it to the very last step.
These guys are amazing and always friendly and eager to help where they can.
Our Safari was wonderful and well organized. Every day was more exciting with all our sightings and Big 5.
I will definitely recommend your company for both Kili and Safari.
Riana Kretzschmar & team
Margarita Yelevich & Aleksey Pozhidaev (USA) – Successful summit attempt on 27 September 2015 – Superior package – 6 Day Machame route
Let me begin with saying that our trip to Tanzania as a whole and our climb to the top of Kilimanjaro in particular exceeded all my expectations! What a wonderful time we had!
It’s been almost two months since our return (sorry it took me so long to get back to you) and I still cannot stop sharing my joy and stories with my friends and coworkers. Everybody wants to know all the details and two people are already thinking very seriously about climbing Kilimanjaro too.
I want to express all my sincere appreciation to John and his team. Their daily effort in making us feel comfortable, welcomed and taken care of played the key role in our success. Us making it to the summit would not be possible without them. Everyone on the team was so friendly and attentive to our needs and wishes.
Looking back, I would not change anything or wish that something was done differently. Everything was planned and executed very well with high professionalism by both Climbing Kilimanjaro and Hidden Valley companies. You are the best!
Thank you for organizing this trip!
Matthew Patton group (USA) – Successful summit attempt on 18 September 2015 Superior package – 6 day Machame route
Just wanted to express on behalf of the whole group what an amazing trip this was. You have a fantastic organization that really catered to us and did an incredible job of getting us all up to the top at the same time.
Nelson is an amazing and very trustworthy guide. We immediately felt very safe with him. Ziggy is an awesome cook. Robert held a great pace for us. Jackson helped Ashley to the top. Everyone was amazing. A truly good group of guys. Do not let Nelson go! I will always recommend you guys and tell them to ask for Nelson! I wouldnt have it any other way if i did this trip again.
You are also great in keeping in touch with me and communicating everything to us about as clearly as possible. Its been as stress free as possible.
Thank you again very much!
Plamen Ivanov (Bulgaria) – Successful summit attempt on 17 September 2015 Superior package – 6 day Machame route
I didn’t have the time to write when i came back from Tanzania, because there was too much work accumulated during my absence and waiting for me in the office.
Now i have few minutes and i just wanted to tell you that i’m quite happy with the services that you provided and with my trip to Tanzania in general. Thank you very much for that!
The climb of Kilimanjaro experience fully met my expectations and even exceeded them by far. The logistics were perfect, our guide John was fantastic, the entire crew was fantastic. I was lucky with the two Americans that i joined, which i now call my good friends and also with the weather. I cannot think of anything that was not OK. Everything was just perfect!
The safari was for me something that i just add to my Kilimanjaro trip. But in the end i was also very happy to do that! It was also a very interesting adventure!
Thank you once again for the great service and all the best!
Logan & Dhesagee Pillay (South Africa) – Successful summit attempt on 14 September 2015 Superior package – 7 Day Machame route
Hope this mail finds you well.
We just wanted to thank you and the team in Tanzania for making our Kilimanjaro trip a success. It’s a dream come true and still feels surreal.
Aaron and especially James I owe my life to after I suffered Pulmonary Adema at the summit. Dhes was fine all the way, in fact she became stronger just before Stella Point.
I couldn’t take 3 steps without gasping for breath with much difficulty. I couldn’t understand why this was happening to me at the time because I followed the eating and water recommendations from day 1. I also took Diamox daily.
Nonetheless James knew exactly what was happening and never left me for a second.
Thanks also to the porters who often would come back on the trail to help Dhes and I to carry our backpacks to the next camp. I’m still amazed at how strong and agile that are and so courteous and pleasant. They made it their duty for us to succeed. God bless them.
We thoroughly enjoyed every single moment of every day. We both miss the Majestic mountain – Roof of Africa, it has really grown on us and will always harbour a special place in our hearts forever.
To you and your team, we would definitely support and promote your company as a preferred tour company of choice. All the travel arrangements went like clockwork. Friendly drivers between transfers. Overall 100% service. The hotel staff was outstanding and very accommodating.
Thank you for making our dreams come true.
Logan & Dhesagee