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.

Kilimanjaro porter from the Chagga tribe

Ancient History: What We Know (And Guess) About Kili’s Earliest Inhabitants

July 23, 2014

We often talk about how the Chagga people have traditionally lived on and around the slopes of Kilimanjaro. But they haven’t always lived there; according to their own oral traditions, their people either sought out, or were driven towards, the fertile slopes of Kilimanjaro around 1500 AD, where they’ve remained ever since.

Top 5 Reason to Climb Kili

Top Five Reasons to Climb Kilimanjaro

July 2, 2014

An early Everest climber, George Mallory, long ago laid claim to the most obvious (and snarkiest) reason to climb a high mountain: “because it’s there.” But why climb Kilimanjaro? For one thing, it’s one of the Seven Summits.

Barranco wall on Mt. Kilimanjaro

Can’t Miss on the Mountain: The Barranco Wall

June 25, 2014

Though it’s a demanding portion of the trek, most trekkers are thrilled that they get to experience the Barranco Wall; even without the physical exertion, the view from the top is stunning enough to get anyone’s heart racing!

Thomson trekkers using headlamps

Night Owl or Early Bird: Nighttime vs. Daytime Summits on Kilimanjaro

June 18, 2014

Both daytime and nighttime summiteers will start at Barafu camp, but their experiences will unfold a bit differently… Depending on the route you take up the mountain, your summit bid may be a 10-15 hour night bid, or you may have the opportunity to summit during the day. Shorter routes, like Umbwe, include nighttime summits with immediate descents, since limited acclimatization time on these treks makes it uncomfortable for climbers to stay at the summit elevations for long.

Mawenzi Peak on Mt. Kilimanjaro

How Kibo and Mawenzi Came Apart

June 11, 2014

We often talk about Kilimanjaro as though it’s a single mountain, but in fact, it’s made up of three separate volcanic cones. And when we say separate, we mean separate—the summits of Kibo and Mawenzi are around 7.5 miles apart! As for so many of the mountain’s most recognizable features (like Mawenzi’s jagged top), the Chagga people have a folktale that explains why the two peaks are separated.

Gustave Dore Inferno

Will Your Trek Lead You Up Kili…or Down to the Underworld?

June 4, 2014

As far back as you can go, cultures around the world have traditionally believed in some sort of life after death. Often, there are two possible ends, and where you wind up is determined by your actions on Earth. The Greeks imagined the souls of their heroes enduring forever in the paradisiacal Elysian Fields, while…

Chickpea fritters with vegetables

Kilimanjaro in the Kitchen: Chickpea Fritters

May 21, 2014

Chickpea fritters are one of our trekkers’ favorite dishes Photo: Thomson Safaris staffer, Amy Czarnecki There’s one very obvious “high-point” of any Kilimanjaro trek (here’s a hint, it starts with a “U” and ends with “huru Peak”), but many of our guests rave about another experience on the mountain: the food! We got in touch with…

SEARCH BLOG BY TOPIC