One of the greatest experiences of my life. From the physical preparation to execution, it was a tremendous personal commitment and accomplishment. I believe in my heart and mind that Thomson was a very big part of my success. We had a wonderful experience made all the better by the many wonderful Thomson Safari people that guided, supported, transported and advised us on Kilimanjaro and on our safari. I am a raving fan of Thomson!
Kilimanjaro, Grand Traverse Route, October 2012
Click to enlarge photos from Ben’s trek
The plan was executed without a hitch! Both Carey and I made it to the top and better yet…she said yes! : ) The last day at the base, Carey and I were surprised with a cake – and it was really good! Not quite sure how all that came about but it was an awesome end to a tough but great week! Thanks to Thomson Safaris for helping to make it a great experience.
John & Carey
Kilimanjaro Trek & Safari with Zanzibar Extension, January 2013
The Kilimanjaro trek was the most awesome experience of my life – never to be forgotten and will be talked about for some time to come.
A little over 2 years ago, Kili wasn’t even on the agenda. Being in my mid-60s, I never thought it was doable but once the decision was made, I trained especially hard. For me, the daily treks were not difficult, however summit day was a real challenge. But we made it and the experience was absolutely amazing, it was a great feeling of accomplishment!
The guides, porters, cooks and waiters were first rate; they encouraged us along the way and helped when necessary, it made the climb easier than anticipated.
Janet & John D.
Kilimanjaro Grand Traverse Route, August 2012
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.
Thomson Safaris was the official tour operator for WaterCan’s inaugural Kilimanjaro climb, which saw 22 adventurous Canadians summit Mt. Kilimanjaro to bring vital attention to the global water and sanitation crisis. We were greatly impressed by the quality of the experience that Thomson Safaris offered our climbing team – the guides were well-informed, personable and professional; the meals and accommodations exceptional; and, day-to-day logistics expertly executed. We thank the Thomson Safaris team, in both the US and Tanzania, for helping to make our fundraising climb a first-class and memorable adventure for all.
George Yap, WaterCan Executive Director & Kilimanjaro climb team member
Photos taken by Nick Spector, 2012
Where to start? The trip was absolutely AMAZING! With the real highlight being the Kilimanjaro trek. I can’t say enough about the experience…and the experience was all about the staff.
Our guides, waiters, cooks, porters, camp manager, really everyone that we were in contact with were just perfect. Super smiling, friendly, singing, dancing, joyful-essentially these guys made the trip. I think Sunday must be the best guide on the mountain! Calvin and James, his assistant guides, are wonderful people. In addition to Sunday, Godfrey – who was our waiter – became a true and heartfelt friend.
I can’t say enough about the safari portion of the trip as well. Our guide, Kileo, was AMAZING! He found us the big 5!!!! I could just move completely into Gibbs Farm, none of us wanted to leave!!! I hope I’m lucky enough to spend some more time at Gibbs Farm in my lifetime. At the Serengeti Nyumbas we were fed well and treated even better by Sufi and his colleagues.
Overall, I would absolutely recommend Thomson Safaris to anybody. The experience was more than I could have imagined from both the cultural and spiritual perspectives. Thanks for making this a trip of a lifetime, I am forever changed. To be honest, just thinking of the trip brings tears of joy to my eyes.
Kilimanjaro Grand Traverse Route & Safari, September 2012