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Good Meru / Kilimanjaro Guiding Company Needed

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Good Meru / Kilimanjaro Guiding Company Needed

Postby Jerry L » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:20 pm

Well I've got a plane ticket for Ecuador for March but I've been there so many times that I'm thinking about heading to Africa instead ? Does anyone have some somewhat current input on guiding companies. Cheaper is better always. I appreciate any help that you can give me from your experiences.
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Re: Good Meru / Kilimanjaro Guiding Company Needed

Postby Enkidu » Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:19 am

We used African Environments ( http://www.africanenvironments.co.tz/pa ... e/home.htm ) we spent 2 days at Meru and then climbed Kili via the Western Breach. The breach is one of the best options available as it allows you to explore the crater, Ash Pit, and glaciers. It takes a little longer as we spent an extra day acclimating so that we could camp in the crater at 18800 feet (5700m). This way we only had to climb for an hour on summit day instead of the typical march all night from Barafu or Kibo. The camps at Arrow glacier and the crater were also great as we had then completely to ourselves. This is very different from say Barafu where it is crowded, noisy and smelly.

If you are looking to do it as cheap as possible there are probably better options. Most other companies guiding via Machame or Marangu do the route 1 or 2 days faster. This saves costs on park fees, guides, food etc.. Ultimately a middle of the road option in terms of price is probably best as I have heard some real horror stories where some of the budget guide services are concerned.
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Re: Good Meru / Kilimanjaro Guiding Company Needed

Postby Jerry L » Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:10 pm

It doesn't have to be as cheap as possible...........just looking for the best deals I can find with a reputable company. You said that you spent 2 days at Meru but didn't actually mention climbing it. Did they include the climb of Meru as well ? And what did it cost you ? Thanks for your help.
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Re: Good Meru / Kilimanjaro Guiding Company Needed

Postby Enkidu » Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:04 pm

We did not climb Meru - We spent one day viewing wildlife and one day hiking up to about 8000 feet to help acclimatize. The company I mentioned does offer guided climbs of Meru - I think it is a 3 or 4 day trip. Including our time on Meru and Kili it was a 10 day/9night program. Cost was about $3000 (per person) and included all meals, porters, 2 nights in a hotel (one at each end of the trip) and all transport (including pick up and drop off at the airport).

The extra time on Meru and the extra night on Kili were money well spent as it allowed us to acclimatize much better than the standard route up Kili. Neither my wife or I had any AMS symptoms and the extra night in the crater allowed us to see the glaciers and Ash pit up close - something few Kili climbers do.
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Re: Good Meru / Kilimanjaro Guiding Company Needed

Postby mjp20k » Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:04 pm

I just got back (Friday, 1/27/12) from a very successful Kili trip with the following firm:

http://kilitopandsafaris.com/

We did an extended 9 day climb of the Lemosho (Forest) route with this company and their services were phenomenal. All four of us reached the summit on the 7th day and spent that night at the crater camp. It took 2 days for the descent.

It was $3000 per person for the climb, food, services, all park fees, and hotel accommodations on the front and back ends.

We didn't do Meru but I believe you can arrange a climb with them if requested.

Ask for Gabriel Nkini (the founder and owner). I highly recommend this firm.

Matt Powell
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Re: Good Meru / Kilimanjaro Guiding Company Needed

Postby Jerry L » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:41 pm

Thanks for the reply. How about Zara Tours ? Anybody have any experience with them ? It seems as though I've heard their name here before.
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Re: Good Meru / Kilimanjaro Guiding Company Needed

Postby ScottyP » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:51 am

I am going with Zara in March based on strong reccs from another climber friend who has used them twice. 6 day Machame..
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Re: Good Meru / Kilimanjaro Guiding Company Needed

Postby Tonka » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:06 pm

I just did the Machame over Christmas and we used the Marangu Hotel. We had a private 7 day climb and they did a good job. They are one of the oldest guiding companies and a member of the group that supports a minium wage and weight limit for their porters. It's also a nice hotel right in Marangu. Take it for what it is, a porter supported trek. So my advice is spend the extra money on a bathroom tent. It means another porter but it is so worth it.
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Re: Good Meru / Kilimanjaro Guiding Company Needed

Postby Jerry L » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:29 pm

Scotty P............What dates are you climbing ? What's the cost ? (if you don't mind me asking).

Tonka..............I have to bite. Why is a toilet tent worth it ?
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Re: Good Meru / Kilimanjaro Guiding Company Needed

Postby Tonka » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:47 pm

It's your own, clean, has a seat, is close and just an all around better option. With all the liquids you'll be drinking your constantly going to the bathroom. I think it cost us an extra $140 for the tent which really means an extra porter. This did not include the extra tip. Have you ever been in an African pit toilet? They can be pretty nasty on the mountain with all the various issues people are having.

Here is a pic of me doing my best dump impersonation outside our bathroom tent at Shira camp :)
Image
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Re: Good Meru / Kilimanjaro Guiding Company Needed

Postby Jerry L » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:25 pm

What email address did you use for Zara Tours ? The one on their website doesn't work ??
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Re: Good Meru / Kilimanjaro Guiding Company Needed

Postby s1bkaer » Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:12 pm

Adventures Within Reach out of Boulder CO has the most helpful and accomodating staff. They take the time to sit and find out what type of trip you are really looking for along with a very personable staff that is fun and just all around great people. I highly recommend them.
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Re: Good Meru / Kilimanjaro Guiding Company Needed

Postby Offpathkate » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:38 pm

I've climbed Kili twice- One was a nightmare with a shoddy operation that I booked through a retailer (turned around at gilman's) and once an absolute pleasure (and made it to Uhuru!)> On the second go, I had truly excellent UK guide and ground operators that've been working on Kili for fifteen years. I know they recently began offering direct bookings, so you don't have to part with the extra thousand or so to a local tour re-seller.... But they're one of the longest standing and safest crews operating on Kili, and, I can tell you, it's an absolute, disheartening train wreck it is when you don't get the right crew.

You can check them out at http://www.kilimanjarojourneys.com

They offer Meru as a warm-up extension. Were you thinking of doing it before or after Kili?

Anyway, hope that helps, best of luck!
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Re: Good Meru / Kilimanjaro Guiding Company Needed

Postby summitman175 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:43 pm

Hello jerry,

My name is Moses, and I am am a Kilimanjaro guide and I can organize your trip for Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru. I have climbed Kilimanjaro 180 times Mt. Meru 70 and many other climbs to Mt. Kenya. I have organized many people from the summit post, if you need their references I will give them to you.
Please contact me at : moschriss@yahoo.com
The company I use is http://www.africanbroexpeditions.com they are the very best in Tanzania with great prices...
Hope to hear from you very soon

Cheers

Summitman
Last edited by summitman175 on Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Good Meru / Kilimanjaro Guiding Company Needed

Postby Sarah Simon » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:26 pm

Jerry,

We visited Kili with Kilimanjaro Brothers: http://www.kilimanjaroclimbingadventure.com/

Not only were things safe, clean, comfortable, etc., but we were having a blast on the mountain. Shoot George Mtaki an email and see what adventure he can pull together for you.

Enjoy!
Sarah
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