Jonathan Mills (British) – Successful summit attempt on 8 August 2015 Superior package – 7 Day Machame route
Truly excellent trip. We all got to the top and we felt we nailed it!
I will post a review on trip advisor.
Nelson and his team on Kilimanjaro were nothing short of brilliant. Nelson and I had a lot of chats about this and that over the week. When I was slightly embarrassed by the level of pampering that we were getting, as I’m far more used to roughing it when mountaineering, he said that he viewed us as “the bosses” on the trip. I said I’d be much more comfortable if he tried to think of us as grateful clients rather than as selfish tourists who were liable to turn round and complain at any moment!
They were tireless in trying to make us as comfy as possible, and to me it felt like climbing with friends. Nelson was excellent in the way he exercised quiet authority to keep every thing running smoothly. He noticed everything and his team ran like clockwork without any need for raised voices. Everyone knew their job. I really liked the way he expected hard work from the team, but also looked out for anyone who needed support. On a couple of days I noticed he was carrying extra stuff himself and asked him about it. He said it was a hard day for the porters and so he’d taken some items for them. He used to be a porter “back in the day” so he knew what it was like.
Ziggy the cook, Adam (ziggy’s understudy) and “choirmaster” (who was Mr motivator) were stand-outs in an exceptional team. I don’t know if you pay bonuses for good performance but they all deserve one.
On the summit day, with three 15 y old boys in our group of six, Nelson was obviously quietly concerned that they might struggle. They didn’t, but if they had, it was reassuring to see that he had plenty of manpower to hand to help. There were four strong and reliable Tanzanians with us (Nelson, Robert, Choirmaster, and “Bouncer” who was seriously strong with hands like spades!)
I under-estimated how cold it would be on top, and that was even with a lot of luck with the weather which was very calm and no wind. I’d climbed mt Kenya a few years ago and reckoned it would be something similar. Wrong! I’m an experienced mountaineer (Matterhorn, and twenty other big ones in the Alps) but I nearly came a cropper on kili over gloves. With hind sight I wish I’d taken ski mitts (not gloves) for the top, to keep fingers warm. Pocket hand warmers, just for the summit day would be a good idea. And down jackets are a must.
The safari was also excellent with Meeshka. Manyara, then Ngorogoro, then Tangangire. We saw loads and Meeshka was a really nice chap. Knowledgable and friendly. The accommodation on the safari and also at outpost lodge in Arusha was great – the camp at the shore of lake Manyara before the last day in Tangangire was extraordinary- animals wandering by and a walk down on the salt flats.
The transfers to and from Nairobi worked very well. We were we’ll looked after.
And finally I must say you yourself provided a really excellent communication services. You answered questions promptly, clearly and thoroughly. Ian and I were very impressed.
So, great trip. Thanks very much to you, your company and all your staff and employees. We’d be delighted if you want to use us as very, very satisfied customers.
Jon Mills (47) and Pierre Mills (15)