In December 2015/January 2016, working as an Expedition Leader for World Challenge Expeditions, I spend a month with a group of Aussies on expedition, including my sixth summit of Kilimanjaro and all the group of 13 people make it to the top as well.
For photographs of this expedition see Tanzania 2015
This expedition is arranged by World Challenge
Tanzania (Mt Kilimanjaro)
Dec 27 – Dec 28, 2015
Arrive in Dar es Salaam. Known as Dar for short, the city is an exciting melting pot of all East African cultures where Masai tribesmen and Muslim sheiks walk side by side through bustling markets and crowded cafes. On arrival, we meet our driver, who takes us to our pre-booked first night’s accommodation. There’s a lot to organise today: we need to change some money, make or confirm any bookings, organise transport to our next destination and pick up any necessary supplies for the first phase of our expedition.
Dec 29, 2015
Dar es Salaam. Today we have the opportunity to plan ahead and complete expedition admin, as we acclimatise to our new surroundings.
Look ahead in our expedition and think about what bookings need to be done now and who we need to call up!
Also think about how we are going to get our team around Tanzania and put a plan in place.
Dec 30, 2015
Travel to Moshi. Head up to Moshi in Northern Tanzania to prepare for the next phases of our expedition
Stock up on supplies, look into rest and relaxation options and confirm any transport bookings. There is also plenty to do in Moshi such as visiting the town’s vibrant markets to buy souvenirs. Our In-country Agent, Timba is based in Moshi should we need him.
Dec 31 – Jan 2, 2016
Mount Longido Acclimatisation Trek. At first light we will head from Moshi to Arusha, where we will meet the Mt Longido Cultural Tourism Programme representative. They will then take us to Longido Village, the gateway to Mount Longido (make sure we ring them beforehand). At 2679m tall, Mount Longido is one of the toughest acclimatisation treks available in Tanzania. Accompanied by local Masai guides we will walk through dense natural forest and buffalo trails. If we reach the peak on a clear day, we will be rewarded with views west to the Rift Valley, north into Kenya, south to Mount Meru and east to Mount Kilimanjaro. Our trek will be run by the Cultural Tourism Programme, which means that guide and trek fees go directly to the local community, and our expert guides are all young Masai who have grown up in the area. Feel free to ask them any questions we have on Longido and Tanzania.
Jan 3, 2016
Travel to Moshi from Longido. Today it is time to return to Moshi and to the next phase of our expedition. The journey back from Longido is a long one, so we leave plenty of time to do it!
Jan 4 – Jan 8, 2016
Project Phase. Today we will travel to our project site. Our project form will give us information on how to get there. Don’t forget to pick up supplies beforehand or along the way as food and equipment may be scarce in the local area. The project phase is our opportunity to interact with a local community and see a side of Tanzania that few visitors have the chance to experience. There’s a wealth of tasks our team can take part in and activities may include creating vegetable gardens, repairing classrooms and developing playgrounds.
The time we spend on our project will have a lasting impact on the community so it is up to us to lead by example and show the value of a good, hard working ethic. As a team we might like to think ahead and plan some lessons and games. Why not set up some extracurricular activities like a football or netball match with some of the local children?
Jan 9, 2016
Kilimanjaro Tree Planting Project. Today we will meet with Timba, the In-country Agent in Tanzania, who will take us to the site, where we will be contributing to an ambitious project of reforesting the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro; helping in turn to reverse the devastating effects of deforestation for the local environment and inhabitants.
Jan 10 – Jan 17, 2016
Mount Kilimanjaro Trek. Our team is about to embark on an awe-inspiring, eight-day climb of Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895m), the highest mountain in Africa. The trek is very challenging, but achievable, so make sure we’ve done plenty of fitness work before we arrive. Remember to pack some warm clothing too Kilimanjaro is so big that climbing it can mean passing through all four seasons on the way!
We’ll be climbing on the Lemosho Route, which comes in from the west. Each day, we’ll carry in our day sack all the food, water and spare clothing you need, plus any group kit that the Expedition Leader has asked to bring.
Our main rucksack, tent and cooking kit will be carried by a team of porters. We’ll pass through cultivated farmland, lush rainforest and alpine meadows before reaching the barren lunar landscape of the higher slopes, which leads to Barafu, the base for the final ascent. Porters on Kilimanjaro have a really tough job and they’ll really appreciate any effort we make to get to know them and make them feel part of the team. A few words in Swahili will go a long way. Asante means thank you and pole (pronounced polay, and meaning my sympathies to you) shows respect for their work after a hard day of carrying your bags.
Jan 18 – Jan 20, 2016
Rest and Relaxation – Safari. The chance to see East Africa’s impressive wildlife is what brings many people to Tanzania. We choose Ngorongoro and Tarangire, which combine stunning backdrops with close-encounters with some of natures finest creatures.
Our game drive will be with Ahsante Tours, our recommended safari provider.
Jan 21, 2016
Travel back to Dar on the Dar Express (10 hour bus journey) and prepare for R&R on the Swahili Coast, for a well-earned rest! The journey will take about 8 hours, so leave early, so that we don’t arrive in the dark!
Make sure we book your accommodation and transport early, so that we are not disappointed!
Jan 22 – Jan 24, 2016
Rest and Relaxation – The Swahili Coast. We decide to head to the coast for our well-earned rest and relaxation phase. We head for Kipepeo, which boasts white sandy beaches, a number of exciting activities and are excellent sources of East African history and culture.
The East African coast was a key base for the slave trade and we will find evidence of this wherever you go.
This phase of the expedition is the perfect time to bring home souvenirs for friends and family and there is no better way to grab a bargain than by haggling in Swahili. Ask bei gani? for the price. Ghali sana means very expensive and punguza kidogo asks the seller to lower the price a little. Of course, the best haggling tactic is to smile and joke, so remember not to take it too seriously!
Jan 25 – Jan 27, 2016
Depart Dar es Salaam. Perform those last minute jobs before you pack up for the final time and head to the airport for the flight back home. Ensure that we arrive at the airport at least three hours before our flight is due to leave and give ourselves plenty of time to get there, as the roads can be very busy! Getting off the plane back home, we\’re bursting with stories and photos to keep family and friends entertained for hours! Saying goodbye to our team will be harder than we imagine as we have become lifelong friends, but the excitement of a shower, clean sheets, a comfy bed and catching up on all the news at home will make it easier.
Mount Kilimanjaro Weather Forecast for 5895 m (c) Snow-Forecast.com
Mount Kilimanjaro Weather Forecast for 4524 m (c) Snow-Forecast.com
Mount Kilimanjaro Weather Forecast for 3152 m (c) Snow-Forecast.com