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Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Arrive in Tanzania

Coming off the plane in Arusha, the city in Tanzania where we base from to go to Kilimanjaro, the first thing that strikes the senses is the smell of trees and vegetation we simply don't have in the northern hemisphere. There, too is a subtle, but pervasive smell of the wood and charcoal many people use to cook with. It smells wonderfully of Africa to me.

Our group all arrived at least a day early to take advantage of their time here in this beautiful country, and so we were able to meet one another earlier than usual. This was a good thing because it allowed some lost luggage to be recovered and a GI problem to resolve itself, two problems I rarely see, but that are not unknown when travelling halfway across the globe.

Our team is a nice mix of veteran climbers with Mt. Rainier under their belt and folks who have rarely spent time in a tent. But everyone is engaging and interesting, and conversation is easy. A good sign of things to come.

While half the group opted to get their equipment check done yesterday so they could get in a day safari in the local Arusha National Park, the other half chose to do their check today and enjoy a leisurely afternoon before we begin our expedition up the flanks of Kilimanjaro. Both great options.

Our team breakfast this morning will be followed up with a group dinner tonight, enjoying the amazing food here at the Rivertrees Country Inn. Normally we would lament leaving such fine food during our week of climbing, but not this time. The chef taking care of our food needs this week is amazing! Gourmet dinners and hearty breakfasts await us at every camp, prepared by an incredibly talented chef by the name of Benson. You'll hear more about this guy later, but for now we're doing well and eager to start our climb. 

Word has it that upon making the summit, a couple of our climbers are going to reward themselves with some beautiful Tanzanite jewelry. I love the idea!

Wish us luck as we begin our big adventure! We've been waiting for this climb to all come together for a long time, and in a few hours, we will be taking our first steps up towards the summit of this wonderful mountain.


RMI Guide Brent Okita

Comments (2)

How exciting!
Wishing you all an enjoyable Day 1 of hiking!
Wishing everyone an incredible experience hiking up to the peak and coming back!
With cheers, good luck, and best wishes,
Suganthi Subramanian


Posted by: Suganthi Subramanian on

I am so excited for all who are about to embark on this wonderful journey.  Wishing you all a great climb and hope this trip is all you hoped it would be and more.

Good luck to all.

Posted by: Barbara Heck on

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