Yep, I know this has been hashed a lot. But searching through the random comments of folks on Kilimanjaro is wearing on me a bit, so I hope you will allow me the liberty of posting my own thread for our upcoming trip. This thread is open to any comments, tips, photos, etc. regarding Kili for anyone - feel free to fire away!
Basically, we are looking to make an attempt via the Rongai Route in late September, followed by a three day camping safari. As usual, I have a ton of random questions regarding this, and I'm your usual lazy poster that doesn't want to dig it all up - ha! Besides, more threads helps the site anyways.
Right now, we are looking at Zara and Peak Planet as potential guiding companies. The issue is, this year's prices for Zara are only a couple hundred cheaper then Peak...and Peak is IMEC certified, whereas Zara isn't. I've also found a few bad reviews regarding Zara's equipment. I know a few folks here have had a great time with Zara - I'd like to hear anyone that has been with Peak, or any other operator. Our quotes right now are coming in at about the $3000 range, and I have no desire to pay more then that.
So among my many questions - (more to come I am sure)
What tricks have you seen porters and guides try to get more money out of you? I know about the "mystery porter" that you never see, and Mrchad recently told me an interesting one regarding wearing worn out/oversized shoes. I'm also interested in any other common scams, places to avoid and things of that nature.
How much did you train for the hike? All of the folks in our group are experienced back country hikers, but we haven't been over 12k. We plan to do several high altitude hikes over the summer, and spend the last week before the trip staying up at about 9k. I have been considering doing the Diamox regimen before we leave.
How much did you have to pay for your immunizations prior to the trip?
I am considering taking our own four season tent (MHW Trango 2) that we know is useable for this trip and in great shape. If we take that route, I will probably insist on doing the setup/teardown myself. Thoughts?
Thanks for any that care to share - I look forward to reading your insights and stories!