January 24, 2013
Like so many people across the world, the Newtown shootings shook Cristina Nelson to the core and like so many; she wanted to help in some way. She was set to climb Kilimanjaro just a week after the shootings and did so with a special tribute packed in her bags. Her story follows.
On the Sunday after the December 14th shootings, I attended mass, as I do weekly. We were all upset about Newtown, and I mentioned this to my chaplain – how devastated and numb I felt, how I wish that there were something I could do. Her response was to tell me to dedicate my trek to those children, and so I did. “Walk it for the children,” she said.
I also got Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags and wrote the names of each of the children on the flags and planned to let them fly when I reached the “Roof of Africa”. It was very meaningful, especially being able to do something with purpose in the face of a tragedy. I often thought of those children as I climbed.
Unfortunately, on the last day of the trek, just 2000 vertical feet from the summit, altitude sickness forced me to turn back. I was very disappointed, of course. But I handed the flags to a father and son in my trekking group from Dothan, Alabama. They reached the top, unfurled the flags and the tribute was seen to its fruition.
In addition to the mountain staff being so supportive, taking care of me and encouraging me the whole way; what really kept me going was the promise I made to dedicate my trek to 20 helpless, little children who would never again know the feeling of climbing, walking, and running. I had a different purpose than just crossing something off my bucket list. I am glad the flags flew at the summit and we were able to pay tribute to and remember the victims.
June 27, 2012
Tanzania is absolutely the most amazing place I have ever been and this was the most amazing trip I have ever taken. I am so excited to share my experience with all my family, friends, and even those I don’t know. Asante sana, Thomson Safaris, and to all your nyumba crews, your Kilimanjaro guides and porters, and your safari guides – job well done! It was above and beyond anything I expected!
Casmir is an amazing guide, and will always be a great friend. He does not miss a beat! I would recommend Thomson Safaris to everyone, and request Casmir as a safari guide.
I have thousands of photos from my trip. I bought beautiful beaded work and other treasures, but nothing touched my heart or brings a bigger smile to my face as when I reminisce or tell my friends about the beautiful, kind and caring people of Tanzania. I did leave a part of my heart behind…and I am so looking forward to coming back.
Kilimanjaro Western Approach Route & Safari, February 2012
Read more about Deb’s adventures in Tanzania in two Wisconsin news publications:
August 20, 2011
The sky at night in Africa is like nothing we see in the US. All those millions and millions of stars is just breathtaking. The Milky Way forms a beautiful swathe through the heavens and one could spend the entire night just watching the stars go by. Ken, being from New York City, had never seen anything like this before and was quite excited when he saw his first satellite tonight.
The above is an excerpt from Jas M.’s blog.
For more, visit his blog documenting his trek on the Grand Traverse Route.
May 1, 2011
To all at Thomson Safaris,
I realized I never personally wrote to thank you for the amazing experience I had during our trip to Tanzania last winter. Not only did we accomplish our goal of reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro with the entire team including our two challenged athletes, Erica Davis and Tara Butcher, but we were looked after like kings and queens by Thomson Safaris staff. Every part of our trip was so well-planned that we hardly noticed we were traveling with two wheelchairs and about twice as much luggage as everyone else!
Special acclaim must go to our porters and guides for our trek up the mountain. Their unflagging energy, enthusiasm and support for what I am sure looked to them like a very strange endeavor was amazing. Without them we would not have made it to the top and back down again in one piece. I know that Derek Gates as thanked you, but I felt another thank you would not be out of place.
Once again, thank you for your support of the Through the Roof trip and documentary. I hope that I will be able to return to Africa with Thomson Safaris – probably without the wheelchairs and film crews – in the future for another amazing experience!
Penthea Crozier, CEO, C.H.E.K Institute
Purchase the Through the Roof DVD, a movie documenting the trek of the first female paraplegic to summit Mount Kilimanjaro!
Read the daily dispatches from the mountain on the Through the Roof blog.
April 14, 2011
My Kilimanjaro experience was superb and I know that much of the reason for this experience being so wonderful was because of the decision I made to go with Thomson Safaris. I researched other companies for my Kilimanjaro trip but I would always return to Thomson because of its reputation. I obviously made the right decision and would confidently recommend Thomson to anyone else.
Kilimanjaro Western Approach Route, March 2011
Dan blogged all the way up to Kilimanjaro’s summit last month!
Watch more of Dan’s video dispatches and read his daily Kili trekking journal here.
January 27, 2011
We all agreed that we paid for first-class service and we received first-class service. I would go with Thomson Safaris again to anywhere. Your crew did an outstanding job. We could just marvel how they managed to keep up their happy spirits despite the heavy work. Also the food and service was amazing under such harsh conditions.
It was reassuring to see that safety was always at the forefront. Also Thomson’s concern about the welfare of the porters made a big difference in choosing this company.
Our tents, camp, food and staff appeared to be far superior to the other mountain trekkers’ which we encountered on the way. Our guides were the best. We always felt well-informed about the upcoming day and when needed they were willing to give up their own comfort just to make sure we are all well taken care of. This is beyond the call of duty.
Western Approach Route, February 2010
Find out why Helga set her sights on conquering Mount Kilimanjaro and details about the trek in her article, Kilimanjaro Adventure – Why Climb the Mountain?