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Entries By brent okita

Kilimanjaro: Okita and Team Visit Tarangire National Park

Land of elephants. Tarangire National Park has one of the largest concentrations of elephants in the world. And we saw plenty, along with most every other animal to be seen on safari. It was a great day of wildlife viewing in a park very different from the Ngorongoro Crater. This park is huge. A vast savanna broken up by a few river systems that provide much need water in this very parched environment.

Eric's big objective was to see a leopard, and our guides Chacha and Jacob didn't let us down. High in a leafy tree, camouflaged so incredibly well, was the cat! How our safari guides can pick these critters out of beyond me. We can only see it with binoculars, but there it is, with part of a carcass it had been feeding on. 

The animal sightings continue regularly as we make our way to our luxury tent camp in the park. We celebrate our final night together with another wonderful dinner and a few glasses of nice South African wine. 

We're off to get in a few more hours of wildlife viewing before having to get back to Arusha where we'll enjoy our day rooms for a few hours before our evening flight home. 

Who knows, maybe we'll get lucky and get into the big cats again on our way out. 

RMI Guide Brent Okita and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Thanks for finding a leopard for Eric! And thank you for the updates. It has been fun to follow along. What an amazing experience for them!

Posted by: Lisa Corcoran on 8/11/2023 at 10:23 am

What an amazing adventure. I’m so glad Eric got to see a leopard! Leopards were such a big part of his childhood. Leopard PJ’s (nonstop for a while), stuffed animals, etc. With Eric’s awesome imagination he didn’t just pretend to be a leopard, he WAS a leopard. I bet there was a part of his soul that was right up in that tree with that leopard he saw.

Posted by: Judy Woellner on 8/11/2023 at 8:57 am

Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Visit Ngorongoro Crater & Maasai Village

Wednesday, August 9, 2023 - 9:16 am PT

The drive to the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater brings you to well over 6,000', and on this day clouds obscured the views until we had descended most of the way to the crater floor. But this didn't get in the way of seeing the animals we had come to see. 

This area is truly one of the greatest wildlife habitats of the world. And we weren't disappointed today. There wasn't much we didn't see, and we got up close and personal with many animals. Well, from the safety of our Landcruiser. 

Lions, of course, were the highlight of the day and we were lucky enough to get multiple sightings. The list of animals we saw covers most of what you'd see in a National Geographic special, but the sheer numbers of animals continues to impress. Thousands, and this is not even prime season, according to our wonderful safari guide/drivers Chacha and Jacob.

We ended the day visiting a Maasai village where we were entertained with some dancing, a fire starting demo, view of their traditional living space - the boma - and their school. Yes, it was all a little staged, but it was also nice to know that we were helping support the village financially.

We're now enjoying the comforts of this wonderful lodge after a long day. Doesn't get any better! 

Tomorrow, Tarangire National Park. Can't wait! 

RMI Guide Brent Okita Lion PC: Mike Tully

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

A safari is on my bucket list and I hope to do this in 2024. Love seeing the photos which brings this into reality. Have a great safari and thanks for the blog.

Posted by: Barbara Heck on 8/9/2023 at 5:55 pm

Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Explore Lake Manyara and Elephants

Reluctantly, we got out of our beds this morning in preparation for our first day of the safari. After seven days in a tent and sleeping bag, I know we all could have used a few more hours in the wonderful beds at the RiverTrees Country Inn, but we had animals to view. 

Initially things were slow but picked up after lunch. The highlight: watching a pair of elephants from 30' away.  Now, we're bring spoiled at the Plantation Lodge, a truly special and wonderful lodge where the rooms are 5 star and the food just as good.  We're all looking forward to getting horizontal because we have a big day ahead: the Ngorongoro Crater where we're sure to see thousands of animals

Lala salama,

RMI Guide Brent Okita

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Kilimanjaro: Okita and Team Celebrate Success, Prepare for Safari

Aug 7, 2023 1:55PM PT

A sound sleep and much needed recovery was had by the team after our descent to Mweka Gate and the thin air of 6,000'. Negotiating a slick, slippery path down the 4000' to our waiting bus and celebratory lunch proved tricky, but no casualties were had.

We said our goodbyes to our new friends who supported us this week on Kilimanjaro. We all welcomed the showers, dancing, and comfort at our hotel - plus the ability to connect with friends and family.


Tomorrow our safari begins the second half of our adventure. Catch you then!


Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Welcome back down to earth where the breathing is easy.  Congratulations to all who make this climb. What a great feeling you must all have. 
Glad there were no casualties.  A good week for you all.

Posted by: Barbara Heck on 8/7/2023 at 2:49 pm

Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Check in After Summit Climb

Summit day! Waking up at 11:30pm the moon and stars were in full force. Everyone was nervous and excited to start climbing. After breakfast we began. As we ascended the altitude and cold really challenged us.  Finally, the horizon started getting light as sunrise greeted us. As we got to Stella Point fantastic views of the crater showed up, bathed in the early morning sun. The climb to the summit, Uhuru Peak, was beautiful as we traversed past the summit icefields. The climb was tough, but to be expected of a 19,340' mountain.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

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Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Reach Summit of Kilimanjaro

Saturday, August 5, 2023 - 9:38 pm PT

Hey, this is Brent Okita with the RMI Kilimanjaro team. We are on the summit of Kilimanjaro right now. It's, oh, I don't know what time it is, a couple of hours after sunrise.  We have a beautiful day up here. Everyone did great and we are looking forward to coming down and celebrating. Congratulations to the whole team. All right, that's all for now from the summit of Kilimanjaro, 19,340'. We will talk to you later.

RMI Guide Brent Okita calls from the summit of Kilimanjaro.

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Wow that’s awesome, congratulations! That’s an altitude few people outside an airplane ever achieve! Impressive hiking. You’ll remember this day forever! Well done.

Posted by: Judy Woellner on 8/6/2023 at 12:58 pm

Yahoo!!!!  So excited to hear you achieved the summit.  What a great feat for you all.  Proud of those brave hearts that follow the sport of climbing.  I give you all a a lot of credit for the commitment to challenge these mountains and volcanos you so love to conquer.
Have a safe and fun trip on the descend.  Can’t wait to see photos of the summit.

Posted by: Barbara Heck on 8/6/2023 at 12:29 pm

Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Reach High Camp

Barafu Camp 15,200’

We're here! High camp on Kilimanjaro where we'll be going for the summit tonight.

The walk here was straight forward and everyone is in good shape. We again walked like the seasoned climbers that we have become.

It's busy on the mountain and even our amazing camp staff couldn’t hold the prime spot we usually use this time around. It's hard work supporting us climbers. Not only is our entire camp transported each day, but something as simple as water needs to be brought in from someplace. Today at Barafu, the porters must go back to Karanga Camp, then another 30 minutes just supply us. How amazingly strong and hard workers our porters are, and so kind and generous too! 

Today we’ll have a hearty lunch, followed by a very light dinner so we can hit the sack by 6:00. Our plan is to wake up at 11:30 pm and be walking at 12:30 am. This should allow us to hit the summit rim around sunrise, and the summit, Uhuru Point an hour later.

Wish us luck! I'll be in touch at the summit.

RMI Guide Brent Okita & Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Wow Julie and Brent you never seize to surprise me with your athleticism and enthusiasm for the great outdoor. Love to join you one day. Jody

Posted by: Jody Jacobs on 12/2/2023 at 7:18 am

Thanks so much for the great updates and beautiful pictures. You are all climbing to the summit right now. I’m so excited for you! Thank you so much to the guides and staff for making this an amazing experience for my family. Happy trails!

Posted by: Lisa Corcoran on 8/5/2023 at 4:08 pm

Kilimanjaro: Okita and Team Scale the Baranco Wall

We awoke to clear views around camp, a nice change from yesterday's cold, wet cloud that enveloped us. On stage was the Baranco Wall, our first climb. The crew had no problem with the 8:00 start, though there was some anxiety because the trail up the Wall seemed to cling to a vertical rock face. Only after getting onto the Wall was it clear that the climbing is pretty manageable, with just a handful of spots that demanded our keen attention. To safeguard the passage of each team member we always had a guide or two present at each of these spots. By the top of the Wall big smiles were plastered on everyone's faces. I think we all had fun on this stretch. As a reward we had a surprise at the top. Our camp staff had set up a table with tea and snacks for us, which we enjoyed under the mighty presence of the Heiman glacier and the upper reaches of Kilimanjaro. Two hours later we rolled into camp.

Another wonderful lunch is sitting in our bellies as we spend a relaxing afternoon reading, writing, or just relaxing. We're saving energy for our hike to high camp and our climb tomorrow night.

The summit is getting close!

RMI Guide Brent Okita & Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Must be a cool experience, climbing thru 5 climate zones! Good luck to all!

Posted by: John B on 8/5/2023 at 7:03 am

Carry on!!! Must be the elevation!!

Posted by: Terri Woellner on 8/4/2023 at 3:59 pm

Kilimanjaro: Okita and Team Climb Lava Tower to reach Barranco Camp

Our day started in the cloud layer we were hoping to escape, but clear weather seemed imminent. An hour later we finally found sunshine. What was really cool today was that Ken was able to rejoin our team at Shira Camp last night after his health improved following a major GI problem.

The Shira Plateau we were ascending was far gentler on our legs and lungs than yesterday's climb. This was nice since we had a long way to go today. Our destination: Barranco Camp. But first we had to get past Lava Tower, 15,200'. The team climbed well on this terrain and by noon we were feasting on the sack lunches prepared by our kitchen staff. The descent into the Barranco Valley proved just as beautiful as I recall. We're hoping this cold mist at camp goes away with the coming evening so we can enjoy this beautiful camp. This might be my favorite.

Goodnight from Barranco Camp. The dinner bell is about to sound.


RMI Guide Brent Okita and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Exciting to hear the group’s progress!
The summit is nearing!
Sending good vibes!

Posted by: Vish Subramanian on 8/3/2023 at 9:54 pm

Thank you, Brent, for your updates with pictures!! It is interesting and helpful to learn about the team’s journey!
Wishing everyone the very best for the rest of the hike!
Best wishes,

Posted by: Suganthi Subramanian on 8/3/2023 at 7:17 pm

Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Enjoy Good First Day on the Trail

Tuesday, August 1, 2023 

The walk thru the rainforest from the Machame Gate was nice with typically cloudy skies, but no rain. Freddy, a local guide who has been working with RMI for over 30 years set a perfect pace so we could all arrive in camp feeling good. The highlight of the evening was the surprise birthday cake the mtn staff carried up to celebrate Mike’s special day. We're hoping to get above these clouds tomorrow, but for now our sleeping bags beckon us to rest our tired bodies. The chatter of camp, and laughter of our staff, slowly ebbs as fatigue overcomes us after a good day.


RMI Guide Brent Okita

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Loving the updates! Praying for you all to get great rest tonight and have a fantastic day tomorrow!

Posted by: Heidi Tully on 8/2/2023 at 7:15 am

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