There is no question that the coronavirus has had a profound and lasting impact on our lives. All we have to do is look at the Internet, television news channels, newspapers, and other outlets over the past two months to see how much it has dominated the news cycle on a global scale. The COVID-19 virus has upended our daily lives, causing us to distance ourselves from friends and family, rethink how we approach many daily tasks, and alter the way we work and play. It has also caused us to reassess our priorities and look ahead to the challenges that still await both in terms of health and economic recovery. Keeping all of those things in mind, I have made the decision to cancel the planned 2020 trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro for blog readers and podcast listeners.
Last year, when I announced this trek—along with my podcast co-host Dave Adlard—we were overwhelmed by the number of people who expressed interest in coming to join us on a hike to the summit of the tallest mountain in Africa. At the time, we had no idea how many people would be interested in joining us, but when we saw that you readers and listeners wanted to take on this adventure too, we quickly made plans to make that trek a realty. We enlisted our friends at Tusker Trail to help with the planning, and we set a suitable date in September of this year, giving anyone who was interested in joining us plenty of time to plan and prepare for our little expedition. What we didn’t count on was global pandemic that would alter the way we travel and could cause health risks for weeks and months yet to come.
Over the past several weeks, Dave and I have discussed the best way to proceed with our plans. For a time, we had hoped that things would start to improve and that we might see a light at the end of the tunnel. After all, September is still several months off and things could certainly get better before then. But as we watched how this pandemic has unfolded, absorbed information from health experts and travel advisors, and saw that the lockdowns and quarantines were getting extended, the decision soon became very clear. We needed to pull the plug on our planned trek and let those who had been planning to go with us know about our decision as soon as possible.
Last week, we reached out to Tusker to let them know that we were cancelling. They completely understood and supported our decision, telling us it is the right thing to do. They also told us that anyone who has already placed their deposit down for the trek can leave it with them and use it at any time in the future or you can reach out and discuss getting a refund if you need that deposit back. They are willing to work with all of their clients in figuring out the best way to proceed. I chose Tusker to be our guides for this trek because I have worked with them in the past and have found them to be the best in the business when it comes to climbing Kilimanjaro or leading a variety of other small treks. I still feel that way and would encourage anyone who was planning on joining us in Tanzania this year to consider going with them when it is convenient and acceptable in your schedule.
For now, we’re not planning another Kilimanjaro trek. We hope to let things settle and reassess the possibilities of making this trip a possibility again sometime in the future. Our feeling is that the economic impact of the pandemic could be even more devastating than the virus itself, which could make travel a challenge for many for months and possibly years to come. But, if things start to get back to some semblance of normality, and once the economy starts to get back on track, we’ll begin to explore the idea of taking on this trek once again.
We apologize for having to cancel the trip. Both Dave and I are extremely disappointed that we won’t be going to Africa later this year. For now though, we definitely know that this is the right decision. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this challenging time.
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