Debbie le Roux (South Africa) – Successful summit on 6 January 2019 Superior package – 8 Day Lemosho route
I should have already sent you a thank you for an amazing trip, so my apologies.
For me personally it was a trip of a life time, and another tick on my bucket list. My husband and daughter also had a fabulous time, and for us as a family a time of bonding and making memories.
I think we were truly fortunate to have the team we did. John Matiko our head guide ran a tight ship, he was very professional and explained everything clearly as to what to expect the following day, and what was expected from us as to when to be ready etc He answered all questions and dealt with everything in a calm manner, we were very aware that he noticed everything and offered assistance when he saw it needed.
The team were very efficient, we couldn’t believe how they could pack up camp after we left, and still have everything ready for us including a hot meal when we arrived at the next camp. The food was tasty and sufficient, John explained the need to eat even when we weren’t hungry. They even sent porters back every day to meet us on the way, if any of us needed help with our day packs.
Whilst our summit day to base camp, night and following day walking down to spend our last night at a lower altitude was truly the most exhausting of all the days, I couldn’t have done it without the support of the guides. They are truly to be commended, as I believe the success of the reaching the summit is largely due to their professionalism.
When we returned home a friend gave me a book to read, written by an American diplomat who did the trip in 2010, after completing it I said to my husband that I’m glad we chose Climbing Kilimanjaro as a tour company, as it seemed everything that could have gone wrong went wrong on this man’s journey.
Having said that, I believe who you chose to accompany you on a trip like this is just as important. We were all positive and kept each other positive and laughing when we were exhausted or cold.
I’ve already sent your details onto friends and people who’ve showed an interest. Not having experienced any of the other routes I can’t say what would have happened if we’d chosen one of them, however after researching your website and deciding that I wanted the best possible advantage to summit, the 8 day Lemoshe route seemed to be the one, and was confirmed when all 5 of us managed to summit. I did experience the effects of altitude for the first time on the summit night, I’m not sure if it was a combination of exhaustion and tiredness, but fortunately it was mainly nausea and vomiting with no headache.
The porta loo is a must for anyone able to afford it, I felt extremely grateful that we’d included it. The public ablutions are appalling and it’s no wonder people suffer with gastro on the mountain.
Debbie le Roux
The trip was amazing, I still have dreams about the mountain every night. The staff was absolutely wonderful, I felt very safe with the guides.
Fred is the best, Emmanuel was very supportive and was always around when I needed any assistance, Michael was very pleasant and helpful.
Porters are my heroes. Nothing could be done without them. Singing and dancing deserves an award. I loved every second of the trip.
Thank you for checking in with us! I’m pleased to tell you that our trip was absolutely amazing from start to finish. From the start, you were a great help to us. Thank you for always promptly answering messages. As we came from all over the world, we were asking ourselves when/if you sleep. Haha. We felt that no matter when we messaged, you had a quick, clear and concise answer. Nelson spoke very highly of you, as well.
As for the actual trip:
We only got to spend a little time with the driver, Frank, but he was very fun and kind. He was very knowledgeable and taught us about culture and wildlife during the drive.
The hotel accommodation exceeded our expectations. Since we had a camping mind set, we weren’t expecting much, but we really appreciated the comfortable hotel before and after the trip.
As for the crew: I cannot say enough about the team who took us up the mountain. ♡♡♡♡♡♡
Our guides, Nelson♡ and Alex♡ were absolutely superb. They were such amazing leaders, and we were very happy to see how they cared for us, and also cared for their team. Of course safety is a concern for all travellers, but we felt very comfortable and safe with them. Even when we showed signs of AMS, such as headache and vomiting, they supported us and explained everything they were doing and why. They comforted us so we didn’t overreact to mild symptoms. Alex even wrapped my ankle each morning and basically carried me up the mountain so I could summit. They were vital to our success and we felt soooo fortunate to have gotten them as our guides. ♡♡
Next, perhaps the biggest surprise for us, was the quality of the food. Chef Dauson♡ went above and beyond to ensure the food was to our liking and made sure we wouldn’t lose our appetites. When we finished the hike, he even taught us how to make some of our favourite dishes. That was a very unexpected but wonderful experience. I don’t know if it’s practical, but I would even suggest maybe asking him if it would be an option to add to the regular tour because it was soooo fun for us and we think everyone should have the experience to make some of their favourite Tanzanian dishes so they can make them at home!!
Another unexpected treat was climbing with a porter who was summiting for the first time. You have a lovely new porter named Tumsifu♡ who came to the top with us. It was his first time and was such a personal experience for us because he was not just a porter, by sharing our challenge he became part of our team. We could share our joy with him which we felt was a unique experience.
Finally, your porters/crew in general are just amazing. They put in so much effort to make sure we were comfortable, had fun and had the best experience. We felt soooo lucky to have that team. I’m sure there are lots of great teams, but even so, I think Nelson/Alex’s team is something special. They were fun, caring, helpful, hardworking, and kept us laughing the whole trip…They are ALL the best adjectives. We were actually sad summiting because it meant our trip with those guys was coming to an end. Even a week later, I really miss them. Your company is wonderful as is, with Nelson and Alex as guides, but we could also see the bright future of your guides, especially Gilbert♡. He will be a fantastic guide one day, and I hope I will have a chance to come back and try a different route with him as my guide.
Since my trip, most of the questions people have asked me are about the cost, safety and crew. Thanks to Nelson, Alex and their team, I am happy to recommend this company to anyone and based on my stories, people say they are eager to go. So I hope and think in the future, you will meet many of my friends! Please take care of them just as you have me. I thank you with all of my heart for allowing me to have such a memorable experience!
Thank you for everything and I hope you have a wonderful holiday! Kim
Thomas Gross (Australian) – Successful summit on 06 October 2018 Superior package – 7 Day Machame route
Thank you for giving me the best experience of my life. I would not have reached the summit without the professionalism and awesomeness of the crew that came up with us.
Peter and Salim were top notch guides who were not only extremely passionate sharing their knowledge and culture of the mountain and Tanzania respectively but were also super cool and genuinely wanted to know about you and where you come from.
You guys really put us first and your support, especially on summit night, meant a great deal.
I don’t understand how mountain food tastes good, but Ziggy’s cookery was simply sensational. I was never hungry, and always had double portions for every meal (triple portions on summit night!). Thanks also to Alex for being a champion with table service.
All in all, everyone from the guides, cooks and porters bent over backwards to ensure I succeeded and I cannot fully express the extent of my gratitude.
I will never forget Kilimanjaro and the team who got me to the top of Africa.
Asateni sana and Tutaonana tenna!
Lan Anh Nguyen (Vietnam) – Successful summit on 26 September 2018 Superior package – 7 day Machame route
First of all, my great thanks to you yourself as a person of constant speedy responding to all my requests and questions, for your professionalism and being really helpful. Thanks for all the information you sent which I highly respected them and followed them (still regretted I didn’t follow 100% the recommended list, only about 85%, but luckily I got your colleague on the ground covered me at last minutes to recommend me hiring the skiing pants which without it I don’t think I made it to the top). As well as the mountain sickness guide, though I only read it much later when I got time just before the climb, I left it until much later to read for the fact that it’s really long and details, which is great at the same time if people going through it and understand symptom and risks and treatment of mountain sickness.
To summarize the above, I again appreciate very much all provided info, and would like you to even take it more seriously and insistently to tell other climbers the importance of the recommended equipments and mountain sickness guide. They extremely important in increasing maximizing our chance of success.
Second of all, I though don’t have direct contact info of your colleagues and team on the ground. But please pass my huge huge thanks to the whole team again. They would remember me as I was the most talkative person in the group, always tried to speak Swahili to them. The chief guide John did a brilliant job in guiding us, taking care of us each and every step, making sure everyone happy, healthy and enjoy the climb as well as reaching our dream. I don’t remember the names of porters, but all other guides (Dickson, Emanuel, Godswil, Salim) have been part of our success. I especially heartedly be thankful to Salim, a young junior guide who has done his job with all his mind and heart, a natural-born caretaker who never mind about himself but always do anything and everything for people he guides. He will be another great John in future. So please pass my message to the manager to keep him trained and equipped with more experiences as he’s surely a great asset for the company. I’m sure all other people in my group would agree with my assessment about Salim as he cared for everyone at anytime we needed or even when we didn’t asked for but he ran to us to help..
Thirdly, some highlights about the tour that you should maintain:
– Ginger tea: best of the best, helps to warm us up, and gives huge speedy boost of energy. I personally love to have it at least 2 times a day, morning and end of day. Others might only prefer in the morning. So you should give them options.
– Great variety of food;
– Good Discipline to climbers to go Pole Pole, which is key success;
Saving the best for last, just few words expressing my feelings about this climb. It was definitely a life changing experience. I’m a big traveler, did quite crazy things, solo backpacking hitchhiking the world, camping in the wild, etc… but nothing is same as the feelings and emotions I got from this climb. Kili has been my dream ever since I arrived to this continent almost 7 years ago. A dream that I didn’t think I would make it, financially as well as physical conditions. But after years of working and some months of training with all dedication, I finally decided to make my dream come true. First was with the mind-set of conquering the mountain. My highest point before Kili was 4,100m. Stretching to almost 6,000m was quite a big jump. I did it, though not with ease the last 4 hours before the summit, but I made it, tears bursted out when I was up at the top when I literally had very little energy left.
I thought I should share with you so you understand how important your work is in making someone’s dream come true, and leaving footprint in others lives and hearts. You are behind the desk but not any less important than anyone on the ground and up in mountain accompanying us. Thanks again for your hard work. I really hope you love your job a bit more from my appreciation email.
I would like to thank you for helping me realize a personal dream in making it to the Roof of Africa.
Personally i enjoyed the interaction with the porters, waiters and guides. We had an amazing assembly of people who helped us to the top. Our head guide John was an angel and stayed patient despite a very difficult group, explaining everything as many times as required to ensure all the clients understand what to expect. They accommodated difficult dietary requests at short notice and assisted daily when some of the group struggled.
The ginger tea was a huge winner, and we’re still trying to figure out how they made it so delicious on the mountain….recipes are welcome lol.
Overall it was an amazing experience and one of the moments I will always cherish was during our summit attempt, as the sun came up behind Kibo the guides started singing a Swahili song. None of us knew what it meant, but it helped us lift our heads and feet and continue on, a strange reminder of where we were headed and what still needed to be done to reach that dream.
We had a wonderful trip indeed, thank you so much for arranging it for us.
In terms of feedback from us, the whole trip was fantastic, the organization was superb and we possibly couldn’t have had a better team to look after us.
Things we really enjoyed :
Ah, so many. I am probably not going to list them all, but there are a few special moments that left a lasting impression. Food surpassed our expectations. It was great, tasty, nutritious and plentiful. A special thanks to the “Stomach engineer” for keeping our bellies full with warm and delicious meals every day.
Having a hot bowl of water for washing every morning and evening was a special treat and despite all the dust along the route, every time we arrived at the camp, our bags, tents and mats were all set up and clean. We can’t sing enough praises to the guides : David, Good Luck, Nelson, Edwin and African. Where did you find such as fantastic bunch of lovely, kind and fun people ? They really made us feel as though this wasn’t just a job for them, each went an extra mile to make us feel comfortable, carrying spare water to save our energy, zipping our jackets, fastening our gaiters, taking pictures, helping with rucksacks and singing songs along the way.
I will never forget how they cheered us on all the way to the summit, singing songs with all our names and keeping our spirits up. We believe that these guys had a lot to do with the success of our group and all of us reaching the summit, and then…reaching the camp on the way back from the summit, having all the porters cheering congratulations, bringing us each a chair to sit on, taking off and dusting our gaiters and shoes, serving a cold cup of fruit juice ….. all these little things we will remember and be in our stories, because they did make us feel very special.
The party after was great fun, we loved all the singing and dancing and it was really sad having to say good byes after such a great, memorable and emotional week. We clearly are biased because we loved everything about the trip, but still firmly of the view that you guys were the best and most experienced company on that mountain and we made the right decision to climb with you.
Thank you again Nikki, pass our thanks to all the guys also.
All the best
Petra & Henry
My daughter and I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro on the 24th -30th of June 2018. We did our booking through Climbing Kilimanjaro, Villieria, in Pretoria. They assisted us with all the important information in a very professional way. We knew we were in good hands, but it wasn’t until our actual hiking trail that we realized how good their preparations and assistance really were!
From the very first day we were treated as if we were a king and a queen!!! Lunch in the forest at a proper table with table cloth, chairs, cold meat, fruit and cold drinks. The royal treatment continued with every breakfast, lunch and dinner. The effort and dedication of the chef, waiters and butlers were just out of this world. After a long, dusty and tiring day’s walk, we arrived at our next camp to find it neatly prepared for us. We were welcomed with a dance on the beat of the local Kilimanjaro song “ Jumbo, Jumbo bwana!”(Hello, Hello sir….) Our shoes were dusted off, chairs were put in place for us to sit down (always with a view towards the mountain) and a cold glass of orange juice was awaiting us to quench our thirsts. A bowl of warm water was supplied to wash and prepare for dinner. After a wonderful three-course dinner, John, our hiking leader, performed a medical routine on each one of us. Our oxygen levels, heart rate and any other symptoms were recorded accurately in the evenings and in the mornings after breakfast. He kept these record cards updated for the duration of the trip.
Every morning we were awakened with the friendly call of our waiter, Emmanuel, with a steamy warm cup of ginger tea to give us a much needed kickstart for the new day. We kept moving closer to the mountain and slowly but surely, the possibility of summitting became a reality.
I have learned that trust was a key element in the success of our tour. We all fully and blindly trusted John in all he said and the way in which he walked and placed his feet between the lava rocks in the semi-desert, on our way to Lava Tower. Even the smallest detail was attended to and everything we did, strengthened our chances to summit the highest mountain in Africa. The supporting team worked in unity with John and each other all the time. Every team member did his part and worked together to make our trip an unforgettable experience, printed in our minds for life. Their joy and dedication were addictive and it helped to keep our spirits high! In time of need there was always a supportive hand ready to assist us and to prevent any injuries. Thank you for a well-trained and professional, supporting team who was by our side all the way.
On the long awaited night, we were sent to bed very early after our briefing of what was to come later that night. A few hours later we found ourselves moving extremely slowly up the steep hill, step by step in the snow or rather ice, on our way to Stella point (5752m). It was full moon and the reflection of the bright moonlight on the white snow was breath taking! We could even walk without turning our head lamps on. It was extremely tiring and we could feel the strain on our breathing as we moved closer to the final summit point. It was hard to control our emotions when we eventually reached Stella Point! We all spontaneously hugged each other, while wiping the tears from our eyes. The last 500m towards the Uhuru Peak was a reward we’ve been looking forward to for 4 days. We were blessed with the clearest of skies! We saw the sun rising in the east, while the full moon made it’s way down in the west…what an incredible experience that words cannot express!! This indescribable picture was worth it all! John gave us 15 minutes for photo’s and then we started the one and a half days’ downhill.
We want to thank “Climbing Kilimanjaro” for a well-organised hiking tour. You helped us achieve an unforgettable, safe summit of Mount Kilimanjaro – a definite life-changing experience!
Pieter and Klara van der Walt
Dear Gideon and Will.
Thank you so much for a marvelous six days of mountaineering.
We could not have asked more of you and your wonderful team.
The fact that you got us all to the summit, in trying circumstances, is a credit, not only to your climbing skills, but also to your understanding of the mental challenges involved.
It was really sad to say goodbye at the end.
We will treasure these memories forever.
Good luck for all your future summits – you are a credit to your company and your country.
Peter, Grace & Sarah.
I had an extended trip to Switzerland and have just got back to NZ.
I am happy to give feedback and have copied in my guides so they can see it as well.
I am very happy about how my trip went and the experience of booking with Climbing Kilimanjaro. I have no hesitation in recommending your company to anyone who is considering climbing Kilimanjaro or going on a safari.
The communication throughout from Manasseh was excellent and he was very good in organising my safari and accomodating the changes to accomodation that I requested.
The safari was great especially the Ngorongoro crater and my driver Jackson was very knowledgeable and I always felt safe with his driving.
My guides David and his assistant Athuman were excellent. I would not have made it to the summit and back safely without their patience and encouragement and the first aid treatment I received when I rolled my ankle during the trek.
My advise would be to ask by name for these two guides if I knew someone who was going on the climb. David always kept us informed of what was happening and also what to expect as we climbed higher.
We were asked what we liked to eat and the cook was very good at preparing tasty meals. There was always more than enough food for my appetite.
The waiter Yaseen was very polite and good at organising our mess tent and water bottles and the porters who looked after my tent and bag were great as well. Everyone was friendly and helpful.
The whole trip was perfect as far as I was concerned and while I am pleased to have made the summit, the meeting of the people in our climbing team will be the enduring memory that I take away from my visit to Tanzania..