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Kilimanjaro, Safari & Zanzibar report: BostonGal's trip report

Kilimanjaro, Safari & Zanzibar report: BostonGal's trip report

Mar 21st, 2006, 01:44 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
Yes, I bailed on work and read the whole thing too.

Kili: wow. I can't believe you did that. I congratulations you wholeheartedly.

I'm sorry (and surprised) you didn't see a ton of wildlife in the Serengeti. A weird year it seems. Next time!

Thank you again. This is a fantastic report. I really felt like I was there with you--even when I didn't want to (day 7!).
Leely is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 01:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,220
Hi BostonGal

I've just finished the Kili climb portion of your diary and want to thank you for sharing your experiences with us so openly. How exhilerating, exhausting and exasperating!

I know you know this, but, having read your comment about being embarassed that a 67 year old man reached the highest point some hours ahead of you I just want to remind you that altitude sickness really is completely blind to age and fitness levels. It can hit those who are extremely fit and healthy and leave those who usually have much less stamina untouched. It can even affect someone one time they ascend and not the next time. So the fact that it hit you so hard is not at all a reason for embarassment - infact, given how badly it did affect you, I think it underlines your determination and the achievement itself!

Kavey is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 01:47 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 20,132
Hi Bostongal,
You have ruined and made my day. I was only planning on reading a paragraph or 2 and go back to working on my overdue school project but I just couldn't stop reading your sensational trip report.

As Patty also stated, you also had me in tears when you were closing in on the summit. You should be proud - you rock girl .

Thanks for posting and looking forward to pics.
p.s. how'd the critters do while you were gone? They're always glad to see us upon return.
cybor is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 01:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 890
Thanks for taking the time to post. Over a year on from climbing Kili and doing the northern circuit not a day goes past when I don't think about it. You go to Africa one thing, come back changed. I wish everyone could experience it.

Take care,

Matt_from_England is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 01:53 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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I forgot to say congratulations for persevering and making it to the summit.
bat is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 02:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Just finished the rest...

Thanks for sharing it all!
Kavey is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354
Hi BostonGal

Thank you for this great report! The Kilimanjaro part certainly brought back memories of my first climb in 2003.

Ours was a 7-day Machame climb and it was the hardest thing I've ever done!

I can clearly remember the cold of that final summit approach and the zombie-like feeling at the summit. The guide had to remind me to take pictures with my camera that was frozen at the time! It was much harder than I ever expected and I was prepared for the worst!

Surprisingly after 2 summits, my 3rd time on Kili a year later was less successful - I had to give up at Stella Point.

For others thinking about climbing Kili, please remember that there are different routes and ways to the summit!

Please research all the options carefully and talk to local licensed outfitters who understand the options better than overseas agents!

Some routes are much better than others in terms of success rates and you certainly don't have to climb at night like BostonGal and I did!

It will always be hard but some of the lesser known route options are a lot more convenient with fewer people and better "facilities"!
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 02:34 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,790
OK, maybe I won't take Kili off the table.
bat is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 03:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 412
bostonGal -I just gave up on finishing my work tonight to finish your incredible trip report!

So maybe I won't give up my dream of Kili, but after reading BostonGal's report, "must be willing to climb Kili with me" is definitely going on my list of dating requirements b/c I sure as hell don't want to do that without some serious moral support!
maxwell is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 04:13 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Your report on the climb was wonderful. I really felt like I was ascending, almost feeling the various miseries you described. The beautiful scenery and sunsets were also very real. Your recounting gave a good sense of what that experience would be like.

You're so right about the trip prep being similar to a job.

When the passport was lost I could feel a tightening in my stomach. That sort of thing can happen in the chaos of travel.

I had wondered about the rhino numbers. Thanks for reporting 8-9 in the Serengeti. How sad, it does not seem like a viable population. And 19 in the Crater. Hope that is sustainable genetically.

I got to the monkey petting incident and will eagerly return for more later.
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 02:22 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 424

What an amazing experience you have shared in such great detail. Thank you for taking the time and effort to write this wonderful report. It made for a terrific read and many kudos to you on your accomplishment with the Kili climb.
DJE is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 04:55 AM
Posts: n/a
I started the read last evening, but had things to do, so finished this morning. It was wonderful and the detail, especially, the Kili climb was breathtaking in more ways than.........

Eight days without showers or shaving, ugh! Not for this fru-fru gal.

Sorry you didn't see as many animals as expected, but that happens sometimes. Though it can be our expectations rather than the actuality. There are some places that are void of creatures.

Yup, the heat and humidity is overpowering on the coast, and like you, living here in NYC, also know from heat and humidity. Next to Bangkok, Zanzibar would be the second worst... the reason I so often recommend a/c.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. Your report is another that Fodor's should offer for reading.

Mar 22nd, 2006, 06:32 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 513
Thank you all for your wonderful comments, I really appreciate your feedback.

My first thought:
OH NOOOOO!!! For ANY of you that were planning to climb and were scared off by my recount of my experience, PLEASE still keep it on your plate! Kavey said it best - the altitude affects everyone differently! And as climbhighsleeplow said, there are many to choose from.

If I forgot to add this bit, I apologize but it's very important - there were 8 of us, we all made it to Stella and 5 made it all the way to Uhuru. I think the older couple had their fill of altitude climbing, and I know we said we'd never do a midnight summit, but the other 4 members of our climb group loved every minute of it. Sure, they may have been sick and knackered, but they all said that they'd certainly do it again. It's scary and unpredictable, but for folks that even consider Kili in the first place, that only adds to the excitment and intrigue of climbing! Seriously, I did not mean to put anyone off from considering a climb! I reiterate: it was the BEST thing I'll never do again.

When people ask me what my favorite part of the trip was, or what the highlight was, I always imagined it would be something from the Crater or Serengeti; rather, I don't even have to think about it. The single best part was that mangled mesh of emotions I felt when we summited.

divewop - YESYESYES do I have the bug! However, next time I think I want to do Capetown, and then head over to Nimibia or Botswana. I NEEEEED my African elephant fill! And don't even get me started on other "exotic" locations...

I think I posted it here, and I also said it to my husband: the beast has been unleashed!

Thanks again everyone for making it through my novel! I'll try to procrastinate work today to get to sorting my online pics so I can post them by day's end.
BostonGal is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 07:24 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,309

Thanks for sharing your wonderful, beautifully written, trip report. Kili sounds like an amazing experience, but being without a shower is not for me Ö Where were those Serengeti elephants hiding? To see more exhibitionist eles you could go to Tsavo, Samburu or Amboseli in Kenya.
Iím looking forward to the pictures.
Nyamera is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 07:56 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 513
I have all the pics ready but now Shutterfly's site is on the fritz. I'll post a link when it comes back up!
BostonGal is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 11:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 6,164
BostonGal - Love the report! Your Kili experience was like reading my own-- except I couldn't summit. Isn't it hard to remember now just how bad and how cold you were feeling??! I will have to attempt another time in the far future (on another route as Climbhigh also suggested to me).

I hope sharing is almost as much fun as being there because for me reading is almost as much fun!

I'm off to view your photos!
schlegal1 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 07:23 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 626
Thanks for sharing the photos.

Here is the link:


stakerk is offline  
Mar 24th, 2006, 09:54 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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I am at the python sighting. Go Jay. Glad you had such a rewarding, wildlife packed experience at the crater. I am sure that was a rhino you saw through your binocs and from your description I think I saw that same one!

A double rainbow in Africa, or anywhere, is pretty special. The cook's encounter with the lions is quite a tale. Must have been something about the French accents that excited the lions. Maybe they enjoy fine French cuisine.
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 26th, 2006, 09:27 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Glad you enjoyed your beach before reality stop. I noticed you mentioned the lack of rhino would be an excuse to return to Africa. Any thoughts on where or when?
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 10:09 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 513
atravelynn - while it would be nice to truly see a rhino, my reasons for returning to Africa would be for the elephants and definitely the culture. I feel we didn't get any of that. Sure, we had Stonetown and the drive-by of Arusha, but next time, I'd love to visit a village.

I know I'm going to Morocco in the near future as an extension of the Spain trip I have in mind, however for the next safari bit, I want to visit Botswana or Nimibia. I think I'd like to combine one of those countries with a visit to Capetown.
BostonGal is offline  

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