Guest post from Meg Haynes who climbed Kilimanjaro with her family in March 2017.
The Kilimanjaro trip was incredible! From start to finish, Tusker took wonderful care of us. Our four guides — Francis, Urio, Gaudence, and Kombe — were very professional. I always felt we were in strong hands. The attention to our health was much appreciated. Tusker’s medical care was one of the deciding factors in my selection of a trekking company.
Although all of our guides were great, I want to especially single out Francis and Urio since I had the most interaction with them. Francis was a steady force. When needed, he had a helping hand ready as we climbed around Barranco Wall. He encouraged us to hike together as a group since we were all family and friends. For the most part, we were able to do that. I was especially appreciative of that approach on summit day. We encouraged each other throughout the day. As the slowest in the group, that encouragement made a big difference in my ability and determination to make it to the top. Francis also ensured we were all taken care of at Crater Camp, which proved harder than we anticipated.
Urio’s good nature is a joy to be around. In our case, he went the extra mile. My son-in-law had a delayed arrival in Africa due to a fiasco at the airport, and when he finally arrived, Urio guided him safely up the mountain to catch up with us. On summit day, Urio took pictures for me since my camera was extra weight in my backpack that I was trying to avoid. And on the day after the summit he stayed back with Francis to help me hike down; I had difficulty with the scree and was still feeling the effects of Crater Camp.
The porters were unbelievable in their ability to navigate rocks and steep paths, all while carrying duffel bags and camp equipment on their heads.
Eric created meals that would have been delicious in any environment but were especially amazing given the conditions he was under. I still can’t believe we had a hot, delicious meal at Crater Camp!
The drivers were careful with our belongings and always willing to go the extra mile, and Julian did a thorough job explaining what we needed to do and what lay ahead.
After the climb, we did a safari in the Serengeti. That was also an incredible experience. Our guide was very knowledgeable, and the accommodations were excellent.
Thank you Tusker for creating memories that will last a lifetime. I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful celebration of my 60th birthday!