June 21, 2012
I have worked with guides in many countries so I have a sound basis to state that Thomson’s guides are the best. I reiterate my special appreciation of the Kilimanjaro trek guides. They operate in a most difficult environment, yet were consistently upbeat, helpful and encouraging to all of the trekkers.
First and most importantly, they were always genuinely concerned for our health and well being, this was evidenced by their regular checks on us while on the trek. They kept careful track that our water consumption was sufficient.
Second, they were all friendly and easy to talk (or in my case, also sing) with. They always consulted the group to ask how we felt about the schedule. For example, should we start at a certain time; stop for lunch now or push on; how should we plan dinner in relation to the geophysics lecture, as well as many other examples.
Third, the evening briefing about the next day’s agenda was well done, full of information and set clear expectations. We always knew what to expect the next day especially concerning the clothing we needed to wear.
Fourth, the overall organization was outstanding. Having been in command before, I recognize the skills necessary to make all the arrangements come off flawlessly. Camp was always set-up and broken down as expected. Meals, snacks and tea were always on time.
Fifth, it is important to commend the kitchen staff for an outstanding job. How in the world the cook produced the meals he did – high on the mountain with the limited equipment available – is amazing.
Sixth, overall organizational performance was magnificent. By this I mean being met initially at the airport to all the connections in between, including leaving at the airport. Vehicle drivers were all excellent. Our liaison in the US did a fine job supplying information and responding to inquiries.
Let me finish with a repetition of the outstanding job the guides did, without their superior performance all else would have been for naught.
Kilimanjaro Western Approach Route & Safari with The MIT Alumni Travel Program, February 2012
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