Luggage scale

Weighing Your Options: Packing Smart for your Kilimanjaro Trek

October 24, 2014

Everyone who’s ever been on a long journey knows it’s not just what you pack, but HOW you pack that counts. But on Kilimanjaro, the limiting factor isn’t the space in your duffle: it’s the weight of your items. Porters on Kilimanjaro are only allowed to carry 33 pounds each up the mountain, a limit Thomson strictly adheres to for their health and safety.

Elbola infographic

What You Need to Know About Ebola

October 6, 2014

An unfortunate side-effect of the 24-hour news cycle is that dramatic or tragic stories get much more coverage than stories of hope and success, and that coverage often lacks context and in-depth analysis. Shock value and implied danger are the order of the day while perspective and basic facts are often lost in the media…

Porters and their respective tribes

The Tribes of Kilimanjaro

September 24, 2014

If you look at Kilimanjaro’s history, one tribe stands out as being intimately tied to the mountain: the Chagga. But the Chagga didn’t live around the foothills of Kili in isolation, and in fact, for several centuries, they weren’t a unified tribe at all. Much like their neighbors (and longtime adversaries) the Maasai, the Chagga…

New summit sign at Uhuru Peak

Sign of Success: New Summit Sign on Kilimanjaro

September 15, 2014

The Kilimanjaro summit sign has long been an inspiration to weary trekkers nearing the top. But over the years, the original sign, constructed from wooden planks, became weathered and worn. In January 2012, the wooden sign was finally retired, replaced with a shiny new green sign…

Trekker Kristen with a group of porters

The 2% Club: One Trekker’s Story of Pre-Summit Descent

September 10, 2014

At Thomson, we’re proud to lead 98% of our trekkers all the way to the summit! But what about the 2% who don’t reach Uhuru Peak? Read David’s story of his early descent with his daughter who suffered from altitude sickness.

Arial view of Kilimanjaro's summit

Head and Shoulders Above (Most of) the Rest

September 3, 2014

There are a lot of ways to measure a mountain’s prowess. Overall height is a common yardstick (and hopefully not determined BY a yardstick), as is technical difficulty, but there’s one measure all but the most mountain-obsessed may not have heard of: topographic prominence. Topographic prominence is the height between the summit and the lowest contour line circling the mountain in question and no other higher mountain.

A variety of sleeping bags

Sleep Right! Picking the Right Sleeping Bag for Kilimanjaro

August 20, 2014

Getting enough sleep on the mountain is an important factor for summit success…but it can be hard. It’s going to be cold on Kili, and buying the wrong bag—or using it incorrectly, and missing out on some of its warmth potential—can be the difference between getting a full night’s rest and getting frustrated by a night full of shivering. Make sure you’re considering all of the following important factors

Alice Liles at Uhuru Peak

I Stood on the Roof of Africa

August 6, 2014

In 2007 I decided I wasn’t getting any younger, the world wasn’t getting any saner, and if I ever planned on seeing Africa, this was the time to do it. I also decided, and to save my life I can’t remember where this came from, that I should also climb Mount Kilimanjaro while I was there. Not surprisingly, I couldn’t find a single other person who shared my passion to climb the highest mountain in Africa, so just like the Little Red Hen, I decided, fine, I’ll just do it myself. And I did.

Map of Africa from 1813

Kilimanjaro: Snow-Capped Source of…The Nile?

July 30, 2014

Ancient knowledge of the world was spotty at best, and often based on many-times-removed hearsay. Historians and geographers often relied on muddled accounts, mythical tales that somehow made their way across the oceans, and when that failed them, their own imaginations. Some mix of the above produced the first tales of the “Mountains of the Moon,” fabled snow-capped peaks in East Africa that were thought to be the source of the Nile River.

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