Kilimanjaro Trek and Safari
Tanzania, Trek & Walk, 11 days - from £2,295 (land only) - from €3,215 (land only) - from $3,700 (land only)
By: Jennifer Calvert, Leeds, UK
A high ration of support crew to staff made a big difference on summit day, when there were plenty of staff to support various members of the group. Very well organized. All of the guides were great, I felt very safe and felt that the guides were very knowledgeable and looked out for people becoming unwell. Overall a fantastic trip. The local crew and guides did an amazing job getting everyone up the mountain. The food was amazing and the accommodation on safari was amazing.
By: Patricia, Canada
I have nothing but the highest praise for the staff provided by your ground agent. However, I think they should invest a bit of money in refurbishing their tents, which are getting a bit shabby. Being stuck in the chemical toilet tent because of a malfunctioning zip was not fun, although it provided a certain amount of entertainment for the others in the queue. (And it didn't happen just to me!)
Peter was superb. We called him the amazing teleporting man, because you'd be plodding along without seeing him for a couple of hours, and then all of a sudden he was at your side, checking up on you. He made it very clear who was in charge, and made an excellent choice in appointing Joseph to set the pace. All of us were smart enough to follow his lead, and this paid off, as the entire group of 16 made it to the crater rim. I always felt safe during the climb, knowing that Peter had things in hand.
The pace was kept at a reasonable rate and apart from the summit day, which is just plain brutally hard, I had no difficulty with it. I did have difficulty getting down from the mountain. There was always a guide on hand to help me out. I would particularly like to mention a man by the name of Vettas, who held my hand during the descent down the scree slope back to the Kibo hut site. Without him, I would probably still be up there!
The climb up to Kibo Huts was very pleasant. We had good weather and were moving slowly enough to enjoy the walk. Each day presented a new type of challenge, but by the time we reached Kibo, I had progressed from worrying about whether I was going to make it to the top, to feeling confident that I could do so. The safari extension was wonderful. I especially enjoyed the night in the tented lodge at Tarangire National Park -- going outside at 6:30 a.m. and finding a herd of impala outside the front door, and an elephant feeding two tents away at the back was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
By: Dawn Pirie, Aberdeenshire
KE were very quick in getting back to our queries and very accommodating in organising our flights from Aberdeen. Generally good but we did have some issues with some of our zips on our tents and the toilet tent not working properly. Food quality was excellent, there was always lots of it and we were particularly impressed when the crew managed to rustle up a birthday cake for one of our group (complete with candles & writing on the top)! Crew members were always cheerful and helpful, especially Peter, Joseph, Imran and our cook.
Peter [Trek Leader] was very knowledgeable, helpful and very well organised. He had ours and his crew's health and well-being as his number one priority at all times. Was positive but also realistic in each and everyone of our abilities.
Particularly enjoyed the hiking days leafing up to summit day, especially camping at Mawenzi Tarn. Absolutely spectacular camp site! Also enjoyed spending time speaking to our crew, finding out more about their lives, Tanzania and their future. Loved the fact I managed to make it to the summit with my husband.
Thought the accommodation in Tangarire was superb-loved the fact that wildlife could stroll around, the accommodation was great, the owner was so welcoming, the food was great and the view from the tent was stunning! Would have loved to have stayed here longer. Ngorongoro and Tangarire were fantastic and we saw so much wildlife at close range.
By: Harriet Murrell, Woking
The aspects particular enjoyed were: 'The friendships built within the group and patience and excellent service offered by the crew. Topping out on Kili was an obvious highlight as was exploring the different environments the safari had to offer.' The trip 'met and exceeded expectations.'
By: Judith Gosselin, New Hampshire, US
I never enjoyed so much having such an incredible team of tour leaders and porters. These people were genuinely gracious, kind, fun, and patient. They took care of every person's individual needs and many times already anticipated the needs. The chef even cooked a birthday cake at 14500 km with candles and all for a person's surprise birthday. The trek guides and the safari guides have to be the best in Tanzania. I would definately recommend KE and this team to many others. Overall, this trip exceeded every expectation and I can't wait for the next adventure.
By: Carolyn Ashmore, Berkshire, England
The trek up Kili was amazing and personally I feel a tremendous amount of satisfaction from achieving my goal. I was impressed with the professionalism of our chief guide and his organisational skills were very good. The chef went the extra mile and the food was substantial. I was pleased to see that Katadyne water filters were used for drinking water.
By: Patricia Davenport, An American in Paris, France
This trip was in celebration of my 40th birthday and I could not have imagined having a better experience. The group we travelled with was fabulous and I made a lot of new friends. The crew was great and made 'roughing it' not so rough... plus the little things like teaching us swahili and welcoming us to camp with a song made the adventure that much more enjoyable. This was an unforgettable experience and I look forward to my next holiday!
By: Kim Ruhland, Colorado, USA
Onex (our guide) anticipated upcoming events and concerns on the trek and was always telling us (correctly) what to expect and how to prepare. He seemed to have an excellent rapport with the crew and they seemed to respect and follow his lead. I personally, would not have made it to the Summit without Onex's encouragement (and the songs they sang on the way up to keep me going!). On the way down, one of our members (our daughter's boyfriend) needed their help because of his knees, and they were there for him.
By: Brian Biddlecombe, Orpington, Kent
The mountain was fantastic but strenuous, as you would expect, however it was the quality of the accommodation in the safari park and Arusha that made such a difference because it was so unexpected and compared to camping, luxurious. Onex(our guide) was superb; he coaxed me up the mountain, was incredibly patient and always had a smile for us. Also I did not imagine the safari would be so good. Thought we might see a couple of animals but our guide in the park, Kes, was so good at spotting the different species that he made the trip for us.
By: Anne Dowell, Leicester, UK
Would strongly recommend Safari extension - lovely opportunity to unwind and indulge following the Kilimanjaro trek.
By: Heather Labden, UK
We found the staff at the KE office very helpful and patient with all our questions and it was really reassuring to know you were talking to someone who had done the trip and therefore have great first-hand knowledge.
Our porters and trip leaders were great; we couldn't have made it up without their support. They even made a big effort to celebrate on Christmas day by providing wine and a cake!
Overall a fantastic trip, made special by the staff that lead the group. And to top it all we got engaged at the summit!!
We particularly enjoyed the group leaders and porters great spirit and enthusiasm, the amazing safari accommodation that was far beyond our expectations and of course reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro.
By: Donna and Mark Austin, Southampton
I have completed the feedback form, but I just felt it necessary to email you as well to say how wonderful our trip was. From booking through to going and the staff out there, it was truly amazing.
I would like to commend how great the staff from the local crew were. They made the trip what it was, in addition to the cheerful and helpful team of porter staff. They couldn't do enough for us all. From meeting them at the airport through to the final ascent and descent they were kind, professional and went out of their way to make the trip as great as possible. They even went as far as cooking a birthday cake for one member of our group, whilst we were half way up the mountain! Both my husband and I suffered with altitude sickness at different points in the trip and the staff could not do enough to help us along the way; they made special food for us, carried our bags at times and were there when we were at our worst. I suffered only on the final ascent with altitude sickness, which meant that I travelled further back from the group and Peter was the most encouraging, motivating and kind person at this point. He ensured that I would reach the top! I cannot thank the local team enough for making this trip the most memorable, terrific trip for us all. The other members of the group were equally as impressed with the service that the team gave us, from cooking wonderful food, carrying our gear and the quality of all the facilities, we were spoilt by comparison to many of the other groups trekking that we came across. Aside from how well they delivered their service, they were constantly happy and smiley which just made us realise how well the team worked together and how they all looked after one another. Peter was outstanding at not only caring for us but he clearly cared a lot about all of his team and that was evident through the way he looked after them. I do hope that you will pass on my thanks to the local crew and explain to them how amazing they were.
I will be highly recommending KE to anyone who wants to do a similar trip in the future.
With many thanks and best wishes, Donna and Mark
By: Marc Smith, Kent, UK
An unbelievable experience! The support crew were tremendous. They couldn't do enough for you. From water boy to the porter who had the unenvious job of emptying the toilet, they all pulled together to make the experience an unforgettable pleasure.
Peter was nothing but the best the whole way through. He exuded confidence and experience and it was easy to feel totally cared for the whole way to the top and back down again. He was always aware of your personal safety throughout, including hygiene - an integral part to staying healthy throughout the trip. He was our guiding light.
An absolutely amazing experience, that seems a little surreal. I'm sure it will take time to sink in properly and the mammoth challenge we achieved will finally dawn upon us. I met some amazing new friends and shared so many wonderful moments that I will treasure for many many years to come. Thank you KE
Most Enjoyed: physical challenge, it was a mental assault. Without the support from the people around me I would not have made it. Sharing that moment on summit day, after the grueling ascent that pushed you through the point of exhaustion and beyond, was unreal. Sunrise on the peak of Africa's highest mountain - perfect!
By: Louise Tomlinson, Derbyshire, UK
The guides and support crew on our trek were fantastic. They were knowledgeable and friendly and we felt safe in their hands at high altitude.
Our trip leader, Peter, was fantastic. He clearly cared about the well being of his team, and about ensuring we had a safe and enjoyable trip. His enthusiasm and encouragement for our group was tireless. We felt safe in his hands during our summit attempt - he was clearly very knowledgeable and experienced about altitude sickness & took good care of those of us who became unwell during the trek. Following Peter's lead and advice and that of the other guides ensured that we all made it to the top!The food was great, it far exceeded my expectations of what would be possible to prepare on a trek.
The standard of accommodation once coming off the mountain was far higher than I expected from the trip information - it was a nice surprise. I wasn't expecting showers, toilets and beds which felt very luxurious after a week in small tents with limited means of washing!
The tent accommodation in the Tarangire national park was a lovely surprise after a week on the mountain - very luxurious! The safari was brilliant - the tented lodges were great, and the safari experience far surpassed my expectations - we felt we had seen as much as we possibly could in the last 3 days of our holiday.
I saw the shop during a trip to Keswick and remembered it when looking into booking the trip. I liked the option of doing the trek up Kilimanjaro over a longer time than other companies offered and the fact that this increased the chances of making it to the summit.
By: Anthony Hextall, Staffordshire, UK
The trek guides/porters were excellent. If I could recommend those guys for some sort of award, I would. The hygiene, care, attention, food quality were all excellent.
By: Rosalind Kirkman, Edinburgh, UK
Most helpful thing was a telephone conversation with Vanessa who had recently been on the trip and could answer specific questions.
The guides were outstanding. Even when I had to get up in the middle of the night, they were there keeping an eye on me and my tent to ensure our safety. They could not have been more helpful, or watchful for our wellbeing and safety. The cook did an excellent job of providing fresh, tasty nourishing hot food 3 times a day, always more than we could eat. All the support crew were invariably pleasant and helpful, even though they were working hard in sometimes bad weather.
I have a sensitive digestive system, but had no health problems of any sort. The food was well cooked, the water was plentiful and always filtered, and hygiene was given a high priority.
By: Mette Hansen, London, UK
I just loved it, love, love, loved it! If anyone complains about anything it's because they don't have the right attitude! The very smallest points is that there was a couple of occasions where we didn't get the hot water for washing due to late arrival/early start or some such thing. The hot water really does make a difference in terms of making you feel more civilised!
BEST HOLIDAY EVER. I'm probably not the best one to evaluate as I'm completely biased, I just loved the whole experience so much!