- Melissa Arnot
- Alex Barber
- Gabriel Barral
- Jake Beren
- Zeb Blais
- Katie Bono
- Anne Gilbert Chase
- Sean Collon
- Leon Davis
- Elias de Andres Martos
- Cody Doolan
- Paul Edgren
- Mark Falender
- Leah Fisher
- Eric Frank
- Steve Gately
- Josh Gautreau
- Thomas Greene
- Casey Grom
- Dave Hahn
- Walter Hailes
- Tim Hardin
- Mike Haugen
- Andy Hildebrand
- Mike Hinckley
- Joe Horiskey
- Nick Hunt
- Tyler Jones
- J.J. Justman
- Levi Kepsel
- Mike King
- Adam Knoff
- Katy Laveck
- Ben Liken
- Josh Maggard
- Paul Maier
- Linden Mallory
- Lindsay Mann
- Andres Marin
- Jeff Martin
- Erik Nelson
- Billy Nugent
- Brent Okita
- Logan Randolph
- Tyler Reid
- Dave Reynolds
- Kel Rossiter
- Geoff Schellens
- Shaun Sears
- Garrett Stevens
- Jason Thompson
- Mike Tomlinson
- Mark Tucker
- Mike Uchal
- Pete Van Deventer
- Alex Van Steen
- Ed Viesturs
- Maile Wade
- Mike Walter
- Seth Waterfall
- Solveig Waterfall
- Peter Whittaker
- Win Whittaker
- Bryson Williams
- Dan Windham
- Robby Young
Posts for Kilimanjaro from 08/2011
Greetings from Tanzania,
The team has gathered at the Dik Dik Hotel in Tanzania. Sometimes the toughest part about starting a trip like this is getting out of town and sitting on a plane for such long time periods. Now that those things are behind us we can begin to focus on our adventure.
We enjoyed a beautiful day at the Dik Dik Hotel mostly napping, resting and eating then had to do a little work to get ready for our climb of Kilimanjaro. We went through a thorough gear check and discussed how to pack our bag and packs for the mountain. A team meeting to discuss our plans for the next few days and coordinating with our mountain staff to assure all our gear is packed, weighed and ready to go.
This is the first trip to Africa for all of our team members and they are fired up for the climb which begins tomorrow. We have planned for an early breakfast and then will make the 90 minute drive to the Machame Gate, our entrance to Kilimanjaro National Park. We start our climb with a 6 to 7 hour hike to our first mountain camp, Machame Camp.
We will send updates throughout our climb and hope you will follow along. Everyone is excited to get started!
Uusiku mwema (good night),
RMI Guide Mark Tucker
Jambo from Kikoti Camp,
We packed up this morning, left the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge and headed to Tarangire National Park. It is about a 2 hour drive from the crater rim, and by late morning we were already seeing the first of the many animals to come. Tarangire is the fifth largest park in Tanzania and it boasts over 3,000 resident elephants. It lived up to its reputation today and would guess that we saw at least 300 today.
Since there is only one main river running through the park, most of the animals are concentrated along this water source, especially in the dry season (June - September). Lots more of zebras, wildebeast, impala, and gazelle were seen, as well as a few lions. The safari drivers always talk to each other about what animals they have seen. Unfortunately, it has been at least two days since the last leopard has been seen. Maybe it will happen tomorrow….
We will spend a few hours game viewing in the morning before heading back to the Dik Dik Hotel and getting ready for our flights home.
This has been a really fun trip and we are sorry that it has to come to an end. Thanks to the entire team for making this a great adventure, and congratulations to all of you for reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro.
Cheers to all and safe travels home.
RMI Guide Jeff Martin
Hello from the Ngorongoro Wildife Lodge,
We were driving down into the crater at 7:00 am this morning for a full day of game viewing. We saw at least 10,000 animals today, mostly zebra, wildebeest, cape buffalo, and gazelles. But the two black rhinos (mother and baby) is what stole the prize. We first saw them way out in the distance, but they continued to travel in our general direction and so we waited patiently. They ended up crossing right in front of us, about 100 yards away, and we were the only group to see them. Timing is everything when it comes to safari.
We also saw lions, a cheetah, hyenas, a serval cat, and elephants. It was quite a day. After spending the majority of the day in the crater, including a picnic lunch, we headed back up the road to the crater rim. At the top, we stopped at a traditional Masai village to learn about their culture and how they live off the land. It was a lot of fun getting a tour of their huts and watching them perform their traditional dances.
It was then time to head back to our lodge to grab a drink and head out on the patio to watch the sun go down over Ngorongoro Crater.
Tomorrow, we travel to Tarangire National Park where we plan to spend another full day game viewing. The only animal left on our “Big Five List” is the leopard. We have heard that our chances are good that we can see one in Tarangire.
- The Kili Team
We enjoyed our night at the Kikoti Camp spending time by the open fire after dinner. This tented camp is really luxury camping, a bit rustic but not roughing it and a very peaceful location out in the bush.
After breakfast we toured Tarangire National Park on a three hour game drive seeing lots of elephant and a nice glimpse of a cheetah! This morning was cloudy and cool but we enjoyed warm and sunny conditions this afternoon. We made a stop for souvenirs and last purchases on our way back to the Dik Dik. We will spend some time repacking and organizing for our flights this evening. After dinner we will leave the Dik Dik Hotel and transfer to the airport.
Overall the trip was a great success. We made some new friends, climbed Kilimanjaro and had fun on safari. We can’t believe it is already over.
Thanks for following our adventure.
RMI Guide Mark Tucker
We left the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge today and traveled to Tarangire National Park. We stopped for a lunch in the bush and were treated to a delicious outdoor meal. Our excitement for the afternoon was a dust devil, a very small tornado looking weather feature, that could have spoiled our great meal. Tarangire has one of the highest concentrations of elephant and it did not disappoint today. We saw a few new species that we hadn’t seen at the crater and got great views of two large male lions. The weather has been partly cloudy with a light wind which as made for a perfect safari set up keeping us and the animals cool from the hot African sun.
We are now at the Kikoti Camp located just outside Tarangire National Park. We will be spending our last evening in Tanzania enjoying a great dinner followed by a bonfire in the courtyard of the hotel listening to the sounds of the African night.
RMI Guide Mark Tucker
Hello from the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge,
Well, the elusive tree climbing lions were no where to be seen today, but the game viewing at Lake Manyara proved to be spectacular. From the moment we entered the gate, there were lots of animals. The first sighting of the day was a troop of baboons, followed by velvet monkeys, blue monkeys, giraffes, cape buffalo, elephants, hippos, and water bucks. Not bad for the first hour of our safari.
We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the park, and took enough pictures that a few batteries were already drained half way though the afternoon.
Lake Manyara is about an hour’s drive to Ngorongoro crater and we timed it perfectly to be at the first viewpoint of the crater right before sunset. When you first approach the crater, the view is just spectacular. Dropping almost a 1000 feet below you is the largest unbroken and unflooded caldera in the world. It is almost 13 miles across and is home to 25,000 animals. Not surprising that many call this the eighth wonder of the world!
After a short drive along the crater rim from the viewpoint, we arrived at our lodge for the next two nights. The Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge sits right on the crater rim and each room has a full on view looking out over the entire crater.
We will get an early start in the morning to drive down into the crater. Tomorrow is going to be a big day and the group can’t wait to get down there.
- The Kili Team
Hello from the Dik Dik Hotel,
We had an early wake up call at Mweka camp this morning and were on the trail by 8:00 am. It was blue skies leaving camp then we descended into the cloud forest and had the first rain of the trip. Even though we had a long summit day yesterday, the team was very motivated and made great time walking down to the park gate. We said our goodbyes to all the support staff that helped us climb Kilimanjaro and then loaded up the bus to head back to the Dik Dik.
After being greeted by a glass of champagne, we headed immediately for a well deserved hot shower.
We just finished our celebration dinner and will re-pack our bags once again, but this time, it is for a new adventure - our safari that starts tomorrow. First stop is Lake Manyara, most well known for it’s tree climbing lions. We will let you know if we are lucky enough to see one.
The Kili Team
We woke today to pea soup fog, so the beautiful picture windows in each room did not provide for an amazing sunrise in the crater. The team pushed on towards the 1500ft descent to the crater floor. We had a very interesting culture stop at a Maasai village. We were treated to local dance and tour of their living situation, the Maasai people live in cow dung covered stick structures with thatched roofs, the real deal. Nice folks but I’m not sure if you would invite them into your home, they are tough group of humans. We couldn’t leave before giving even more to the local economy by picking a few choice handmade trinkets.
With poor visibility we descended down a steep 4 wheel drive road to get below the clouds. Game drive on! Lots of everything in a small space; this is what the Ngorongoro Crater is noted for. We saw lions, hippos, rhinos, secretary birds, kori bustards, lilac breasted rollers, superb starlings, and kites, lots of hyenas, Cape buffalo, jackals and two zebra fighting. We experienced the beautiful acacia forests and lots of sun in the afternoon.
Back to the lodge for a bubble bath and a buffet dinner that hurt because we ate too much. Can’t wait till tomorrow!
Wish you were all here.
Mark Tucker and Team
Jambo from the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge,
After enjoying a hot shower, our celebration dinner and a good night’s sleep we departed the Dik Dik Hotel for our first day of game viewing in Tanzania’s National Parks.
We left at 9 a.m. and made a quick stop at a local grocery store for drinks and snacks. We stopped in a town called Mesquito River where we purchased some local bananas before entered Lake Manyara National Park and spending four hours following the herds of elephant and giraffe. The cloud cover made for a nice temperature for us and the animals and we were excited to see warthog, dik dik ,superb starling, hippo, baboon, blue monkey, bush buck, impala, cape buffalo, zebra and wildebeast.
We continued our caravan to the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge located on the crater rim. We arrived in time to see the sunset across the plains of Africa and are enjoying the views from our big picture windows looking down into the crater.
We have a full day of game viewing in the Ngorongoro Crater on tap for tomorrow. We have planned for an early morning start with hopes of seeing the sunrise over Tanzania as we descend onto the crater floor. We are keeping our eyes out for the elusive rhino.
Everyone is doing well and enjoying our continued adventure. It should be a great sunrise!
RMI Guide Mark Tucker
Hello from Mweka Camp,
We did it! We had an absolutely perfect summit day today on Kilimanjaro. Leaving camp at 12:45 am, we made it to Stella Point (the crater rim) by 6:30 am, just in time to watch a very colorful sunrise. At 7:30 am, the entire team was standing on top of Uhuru Peak, the Roof of Africa. The group did an excellent job of climbing the 4,000’ from Barafu Camp to the summit.
The weather continued to cooperate today and we had clear skies all day long. It is always nice to be rewarded with a grand view from the top. We all congratulated each other for this big accomplishment, and took our summit photos. We descended back to Barafu Camp in time for a late breakfast and to pack our gear up for the hike down to Mweka Camp.
It is nice to be down at 10,000’ again. We are camped amongst the Giant Heather and the air is thick again.
Our last dinner on the mountain started with a champagne toast to the summit of Kilimanjaro, and was followed by a wonderful meal. We walk out the last six miles and end our trek at the Mweka Gate tomorrow. We will be back at the Dik Dik by early afternoon and everybody is looking forward to a hot shower and clean clothes.
The Kili Team
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