On June 29th, 12 strangers aged 15 – 75 came from all over the U.S. for a Thomson Safaris trek. We quickly bonded as a group as we were all hoping to experience the trip of a lifetime – a Kilimanjaro summit!

Some of the group came for high school graduation gifts and some for 50th and 75th birthday presents. All of us came for the challenge of climbing the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world.

The first day, we were all motivated, confident and somewhat invincible. The only worries we had were making our 33 lb. weight limit. We met James, our head guide, and he was so calm and professional that he reassured our positive attitudes.

Day 2, we met Alphayo, Gaudence, Peter, Simon and Wilbard, our assistant guides, our cook and waiter, personal porters and our 52 regular porters. Our total team of 67 incredible men sang and danced for us and once again our enthusiasm and confidence were confirmed. We were excited and ready to go!

Not long into the trip, we all realized that our trip of a lifetime would not have been possible without of the help and support provide by our incredible team organized by Thomson:

– The setting up and breaking down of our camp – under the guidance of Prosper our camp manager – kept us comfortable the entire way of the journey.

– The wonderful meals, prepared by Richard and served by Lucas, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner kept us well nourished for some of the strenuous days we faced.

– The hot drink and hot water for washing brought to us every morning to help us start our days on a good note.

– The toilet tents that were kept clean and neat – day in and day out – to accommodate our personal needs.

– The assistance from the team – carrying our packs, adjusting our hiking poles, removing our gators, fixing our zippers (tents, sleeping bags, packs) – made our long days easier.

– The assistance from the team helping our weaker hikers, offering first aid, and just holding our hands – kept every one going on the toughest of days.

– The kind words: jambo (hello), mzuri (good), asante (thanks), karibu (welcome), and my favorite lala salama (good night) always made us feel well cared for and even loved.

Thomson went above and beyond the call of duty. Almost all of us were able to conquer Africa’s tallest mountain – we were able to touch the “roof of Africa” thanks to the great team you provided!

This was my 2nd Kilimanjaro summit – the 1st one with Thomson – and it was by far the best of my trips! I will always remember my time on the mountain and always appreciate the guidance, support, and overall good care provided by your team!