Kili makes top 10 list


This month Backpacker Magazine posted their list of the Top 10 classics. Kilimanjaro rated along with Everest Base camp, Mont Blanc, Machu Picchu, Annapurna and more. Among their reasons it's a "giant standing alone, Kili offers a view unlike any in the world."

They also offer some helpful tips (beta) to consider when planning your trip and begin your Swahili training with "pole pole" meaning slowly. On our first trip up Kilimanjaro this became the mountain mantra for all the climbers. Porters would huff it at us as they streaked past to the next camp and guides would constantly remind customers to take it slow.

Backpacker is one of my favorite publications and I appreciate that they only have space for a small amount of information. But I might suggest anyone interested in making the climb also consider some of the local outfitters. I don't want to name names for fear of seeming biased. But there are a number of reputable companies that also have agents or offices in the US, UK, Germany and South Africa. The nice thing about these options is you can book with a reputable agent in your home country while ensuring your guide definitely knows Swahili, since he's Tanzanian. These types of trips tend to be cheaper than Alaskan Mountain Guides, National Geographic or others. However, you lose the comfort of having an expert American guide travel with you (as well as a personal toilet carried up the mountain for you). You might think you can live without the expert advice, but after you see (and smell) the state of the pit toilets on Kilimanjaro you might have second thoughts about the personal toilet.
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