Francis tackles Kilimanjaro

May 1st 2018  |  Tanzania, Travel, Unique Experiences  |  by  Francis Naumann
Mount Kilimanjaro an zebra below grazing

I’m over 50, a little overweight, not especially fit, have misshapen feet and dodgy knees, and I’ve recently climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for the second time, got to the top, and loved every bit of it.

It was an astonishingly good trip, stratospherically better than the one I did 20 years ago, and the things that helped set it apart included the following:

Ake Lindstrom, our climb partner in Tanzania, is an expert mountaineer and has climbed close to a dozen much higher mountains than Kilimanjaro.  His scientific and personal understanding of altitude and tall mountains means he offers meticulous route and climb planning.

Approaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro © Ake Lindstrom

Approaching the summit

The Lemosho route is one of many up the mountain, but it’s the best of all for scenery, altitude acclimatisation, and seeing as much of Kilimanjaro as possible. It’s a longer climb than some, giving your body more time adjust to:  the reduced level of oxygen; to walking for quite a few hours each day; ascending steep slopes; and keeping up with sleep and food intake.

On the way up the mountain Lemosho route Mount Kilimanjaro

On the way up the mountain

Well trained and very experienced staff look after you all the way on the mountain. They are the A-Team in more ways than one, friendly, fun, helpful, enthusiastic, always keen to chat and wonderful ambassadors for Tanzania too. Their help and support gives us a 98% success rate for Kilimanjaro climbs.

The climb team Mount Kilimanjaro

The climb team

This is what Ake and his team provide on every climb:

  • Spacious tents, (designed for three but to accommodate two) big enough to stand up in
  • Camp beds instead of just mattresses on the floor and excellent sleeping bags with liners
  • A tent with a chemical loo, so you don’t have to use the public loos in the camp sites (they are pretty awful in most cases)
  • A wash tent and the option of a hot shower each day
  • Three cooked meals a day, even breakfast and lunch feature something hot and freshly cooked
  • Hot drinks ad lib, a plentiful supply of safe drinking water, and snacks all day
  • A comprehensive safety kit, and a unique twice daily monitoring system to ensure clients are staying healthy and coping with the increasing altitude.
  • A spacious and cosy dining tent with tables and chairs
Walk in tents with cots Kilimanjaro Climb

Comfortable tents

Breakfast on Kilimanjaro

Plenty of good food and drink on the way up

Essentially, you just turn up with your own clothes and everything else is taken care of. We had a team of 48, including three guides, looking after six of us.   Kilimanjaro is a very beautiful mountain, with fascinating flora and fauna, complex and intriguing geology, and reaching the summit is a truly rewarding feat.  If I can do it, then anyone can.

Francis at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro

Francis at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro

Further reading on summiting Mount Kilimanjaro

There’s a full and fascinating write up of Francis’ climb and for further information have a look at Alice’s five top tips for reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro.

4 responses to “Francis tackles Kilimanjaro”

  1. KATE STEVENSON says:

    Well done Francis!!

  2. Monique Plein says:

    Amazing Francis – well done – still won’t make me do it though !

  3. Victoria Young says:

    Definitely on my list of things to do for my own 50th! Bit worried about altitude sickness though?

    • Renate says:

      Dear Victoria, The ‘A Team’ at Summits Africa have a 98% success rate for Kilimanjaro climbs – safety is the number one priority. The 8 Day Lemosho Route Climb VIP option which offers gentle acclimatisation to the altitude, luxury private facilities, ideal for people that would love to take the climb at their own pace and learn about the flora and fauna en-route, small groups and plenty of time to take photos and have fun …..

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