MM Collection
Checking in from the Condor's Nest on Illimani, Bolivia. MM Collection
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August 23, 2012

Custom Trips on Kilimanjaro

This summer has been the season of small Kilimanjaro climbs! We completed three successful trips up the mountain in July, two on the Shira Plateau and one up the Machame Route, and they all had an air of custom, small-party quaintness. One group added a luxury beachside finish to their Shira Plateau climb on the beautiful white sand beaches of Zanzibar. What a wonderful way to reward yourselves after a summit accomplishment! Check out stories from the other two climbs below:

Climbers Mark J. and Neil W. joined us on July 7th with our lead guide Bonaventure for our classic Shira Plateau climb. To introduce the guys to the spectacular country, the team hiked up a hill close to camp to watch the sun set over the back of Kilimanjaro. As the group started out on towards the mountain, they passed through grasslands, to the montane forest, the Hagenia zone and up into the upper Heath zone. Mark and Neil were in photographic heaven with great views of the Shira ridge and clear skies.

(all photos from previous treks)

Trekking through the montane forest. David Bates photo

As the team started to gain elevation after passing the Lava Tower, they began to practice the technique of the resting step. Luckily, this technique allowed them to continue their entertaining conversation even as the air thinned with the gaining elevation. 

The night at the Crater Camp was a bit rough for Neil. Altitude was not agreeing with him and our guides treated his altitude sickness symptoms and monitored him carefully well into the night. Luckily the treatment and close care from our lead guide made his symptoms subside and he got a couple hours of uninterrupted sleep before the next morning. Thanks to Bonaventure's experience with altitude related illnesses, Neil was able to continue up with Mark the next day and stand on the top of Africa!! You never would have thought he had been sick the night before; he was so excited with his accomplishment he practically ran the whole way back down the mountain! Congratulations to both men for overcoming the challenges and reaching their goal!

The glacier on Kilimanjaro. David Bates photo

On July 14th, newly-weds Fabio S. and Shaadi S. celebrated the first half of their honeymoon on the summit of Kilimanjaro as well! This team decided to do our shorter Machame Route

The trip started out with a preview of the great cuisine they would be experiencing as Fabio and Shaadi enjoyed breakfast with their guide, staff and a couple colobus monkeys lingering near camp! The great game viewing continued throughout the day as they shared their sundowner with a couple buffalo and started off dinner with a nearby leopard roar. What a way to start the trip!

Climbing on the Machame Route. MM Collection

As the team made their way up the mountain, they enjoyed taking pictures of the surrounding spectacular scenery and even got snowed on a bit. (That night called for some hot water bottles in sleeping bags to stay warm.) On July 20th, Fabio and Shaadi topped off their honeymoon by standing on the summit of Kilimanjaro! As they descended to Mweka camp, they celebrated their accomplishment with a delicious dinner of fresh salad and leg of lamb. 

Congratulations to the happy couple! 

There are still plenty of Kilimanjaro climbs to join this year. Our September 21 trip is reaching 9 climbers so far. Call to get your spot on this climb!