We’ve been talking about it for several months now, and hinting that news was incoming, but now it is official. We’re going to Africa in 2020 to climb Kilimanjaro, and all of you are invited to come along too. The final plans for the trek have just been finalized and anyone interested in joining us can now sign up. Here is all the important information you should know:
When Will The Trek Take Place?
The Adventure Podcast/Blog Kilimanjaro Expedition will begin on September 7, 2020 in Arusha, Tanzania. That’s the day that you will arrive in country for what will be the start of an 11-day adventure. Eight of those days will be spent climbing the mountain, with a bit of time before and after the trek to rest up and get your feet back under you. We chose that date in order to avoid conflicts to our schedules, but to also give listeners and readers who are interested in coming along plenty of time to prepare. That also happens to be Labor Day Weekend here in the U.S., so any American travelers will get a bonus day off as a result.
When booking your return flight, your departure for home will be late in the day on September 17. That means most of us will arrive back home on Friday, September 18, giving us a whole weekend to recover before returning to our regular schedules.
Who is Leading the Trek?
We have partnered with Tusker Trail to lead our Kilimanjaro climb. I have traveled with Tusker on several occasions in the past and can assure you that they are not only the best company operating on Kili, but they are one of the best adventure travel companies I’ve ever worked with, period. Tusker has been leading clients up the mountain for more than 40 years and their guides, porters, and other support staff are top notch. In fact, their cooks are even trained by the Culinary Institute of America and you’ll be amazed at what they can do, even while at remote campsites.
In addition to having years of experience on Kilimanjaro and offering great food throughout the trek, there are a number of other reasons why we chose Tusker to lead the climb. For starters, the attention to the safety and health of their clients is unmatched. While on the trek you’ll have twice daily medical check-ins with the guides to ensure that you are feeling good, not suffering from any ailments or injuries, and to make sure your body is acclimating properly. Not every Kili operator does this, but it is an essential part in staying connected with the team. Additionally, Tusker assigns more guides to a trekking group than other operator, which also helps to ensure everyone is well looked after. Those guides all carry bottled oxygen for emergency situations, which is not all that common on Kili either. And if a real serious issue arises, the team even has a portable oxygen tent to help stabilize a climber for evacuation.
Beyond that however, there are numerous other nice touches. For instance, the company is now using larger, more spacious, walk-in tents to provide a bit more comfort while out on the trail. You’ll also be assigned a comfortable air mattress, eat your meals in a spacious dining tent, lounge in camp chairs outside when the weather is good, and even get a hot shower at some point along the climb.
Before and after the trek you’ll stay in nice, comfortable hotels and you’ll have a pre-climb briefing that will provide all the information you need prior to setting out for the mountain. In short, you’ll find Tusker to be incredibly professional and run like a well-oiled machine at every phase of the operation.
Which Route Will We Take?
Our aim is to climb Kilimanjaro along a beautiful and scenic route that isn’t overly crowded. Because to this, we’ve decided to trek the Lemosho Route, which is known for its spectacular views and general lack of traffic. It also happens to be slightly longer than the Machame or Marangu Routes, which provides a bit of extra acclimatization. That means we have a better shot at reaching the summit. Tusker has a high success rate on Lemosho, which means more clients get a chance to stand on the Roof of Africa.
The Lemosho Route begins on the western side of Kili and proceeds upwards, first passing through remote rainforests along the way. There is a good chance we’ll spot some wildlife on the trail. The views along this path are second to none on the mountain and come summit day we won’t have to get up in the wee-hours of the morning either. We’ll actually climb and descend in daylight, reaching the summit after most of the other teams have already moved on. In fact, with my previous Kilimanjaro climb with Tusker there wasn’t anyone else on top of the mountain when we arrived, giving us the entire place to ourselves.
How Much Will It Cost?
The Adventure Podcast/Blog Kilimanjaro Expedition is priced at $5480. That includes pretty much everything once you arrive in Tanzania, including accommodations, transportation, meals, and so on. You will be responsible for your flights and entry visa of course, but once in country most everything else is covered. When evaluating potential partners to guide the trek price was obviously part of the equation. But when you weigh in the level of service, attention to client needs, and experience, Tusker wins out over everyone else, including companies that are priced considerably higher. Safety was also a primary concern, and Tusker has us well covered in that area too.
Please note that there is an additional $350 fee for those who wish to have their own room or tent while on the trek. That is strictly optional of course and most of us won’t mind sharing a space with someone else. But it is available should you choose to go that route. Tusker also offers options for mandatory evacuation insurance should you need it as well.
How Do You Sign Up?
You can sign up for the trek on the Tusker website or by calling them at 800-231-1919 or +1-775-833-9700. You can also email them directly with questions or comments as well. When you do sign up, be sure to mention that you are joining The Adventure Podcast/Blog Kilimanjaro Expedition. A $1000 deposit is due when you make your reservation.
Do you have any other questions? Leave a comment on this post and I’ll answer them here. Or, if you prefer, you can email me directly as well. I’m looking forward to connecting with everyone in Africa next year as we build up to this fantastic adventure.