Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is one of those bucket list items that isn’t a decision you make overnight. A trip of this calibre requires lots of research, planning, saving and training. After recently embarking on this journey myself, I’ve learned a few things in the process including what you should consider when choosing a company to guide you to the summit. After months of research, I decided to travel with G Adventures, and I cannot say enough about the incredible and positive experience I had with them on the mountain. If you’re thinking about which tour company to travel with, here are five reasons why I recommend doing it with G Adventures.
Every day of our journey, the guides at G Adventures would do regular health checks on us including checking our heart rate, oxygen intake, and overall appearance to make sure we were adjusting to the altitude safely. They were well trained on the signs to look for, and were well prepared with oxygen tanks, and medical supplies in the event someone felt ill on the trip.
2. The G Culture
When you travel with G Adventures, you are travelling with a family and the love is palpable. Every day our ‘G Fighters’ who were our Porters, would proudly wear their G Adventure shirts and hats, sing songs, give us high fives, and looked after us like we were their own family members. They even went as far as helping us un-tie our hiking boots at the end of a long day when they knew we were running low on energy. It’s the little touches that really made a big difference.
3. The Food
If there’s one thing you won’t be on this trip, it’s hungry; I still salivate thinking about some of the meals we had on the mountain that week. Most lunch and dinner meals started with a delicious soup and used a lot of local ingredients like Plantains, tomatoes, avocados, and pumpkin. Every morning, the Porters come around to your tent to offer you a hot tea/coffee so you can wake up and stay warm while getting dressed and packed for the day ahead. There is a separate tent called ‘The Mess Tent’ where all the meals are served and enjoyed (and where you and your fellow travellers can enjoy some down time to discuss the day). I especially enjoyed the bonding that was encouraged at every dinner meal; the guides would ask us each to share what our favourite part of the day was, and then offer us some tips and advice on how to prepare for the next day ahead.
4. Responsible Tourism
Since the very beginning, G Adventures has operated under the belief that travel is an exchange, not a commodity. When you travel with them, you’re giving back as much – if not more – than what you take away, often in ways you’d never expect. For example, the hotel we stayed at before and after our trek was the Stella Maris Lodge which is locally owned and operated and is a non-profit hotel dedicated to funding the Stella Maris School for orphaned and vulnerable children across the street. Working with small, locally owned businesses rather than big international chains not only helps keep the overall cost of your trip down, but also ensures that your travel dollars stay where you spend them. Supporting local entrepreneurs and small businesses strengthens communities, raises the overall quality of life, and ensures that the places you love will continue to be loved.
5. Lifetime Deposits
Some travel companies require you to put down a non-refundable deposit on your trip before you pay for it in full. But as we all know, life can throw curve balls your way when you least expect it; forcing you to change your travel plans. Whether you get sick, have family issues to attend to, or change jobs, your deposit on a trip with G Adventures, will never disappear into a black hole. Instead, your deposit can be applied towards a new trip, you can give it to someone else, or donate it to Planeterra.
If you’re thinking about making the journey to Mt. Kilimanjaro, contact a Flight Centre travel agent or call 1-866-940-2031 to start planning your trip today.