I’ve finally gotten back and (almost) fully re-oriented to life back in the states. I just wanted to write you and share my experience from the trip.
From the very start to the end, I had a fantastic experience and couldn’t have been more welcomed or taken care of by the Climb Kili staff. I was met at the airport by Gideon who provided some great conversation and Swahiili lessons on the way to the hotel. From there, the staff and Judy were very friendly and helpful. They arranged a car into the city on my rest day and again, we were very well taken care of. On the mountain, Seraphine and his two assistant guides were absolutely phenomenal. I truly can not say enough great things about those 3. They are all clearly extremely passionate about the mountain, or what they call their “office”. They wanted us to have the best time possible, best possible chance at summitting, and also did their best to educate us on our surroundings. Our cook, Pancakes, churned out delicious food every day. There wasn’t a single meal I didn’t enjoy. The porters were all very friendly as well, despite not being able to really communicate with them with the language barrier. We were taken care of very well the whole way up and down the mountain. On the way down, one of the members of our group was struggling. One of the assistant guides stayed with her the whole time while the rest of us made it down more on our own pace with the other 2 guides. Sera called ahead and a stream of porters met us partway down the mountain to help carry our day packs down. I personally didn’t need the help but I thought it was a great gesture and I’m sure some of the other members who were struggling definitely appreciated it. I don’t think there was really anything I could complain about on the mountain portion.
On the safari, our guide Emmanuel was terrific as well. He also seemed to be very passionate and knowledgeable about the wildlife he was showing us, educating us as best as he could instead of just pointing out the animals. And what a great job he did with that as well! I’d say we got pretty lucky in that we spotted 4 of the Big 5 within hours on the first day. We snagged the elusive rhino on the 3rd day to get em all. We were very impressed that he could be driving and just casually point out some animals way off in the distance that were barely visible to our naked eyes. All the places we stayed on the safari were amazing, but my one minor complaint is that I wish we could have stayed EVERY night at the Acacia Farm Lodge. That place is gorgeous! I guess more seriously, the only thing I think could have been a little better defined before the trip are the actual times out on the safari. The itinerary is pretty vague with it and we didn’t find out until we were on the trip that there were only 24 hour limits within each park and we had to juggle and hustle to maximize our time at each location. We still saw plenty of animals and had a great time, but I know the 3 of us on the safari were all very easy going. I could definitely see how someone might not be satisfied with the full detailed schedule once there.
Thank you and all the Climb Kili staff we encountered again for helping me and my friends have such a great experience. The people we met, clients and Climb Kili staff alike, were all awesome and I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to partake in this trip.