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Mt Kilimanjaro - Trekili Eco Expeditions

A Marathon with a Difference

Posted February 26, 2014 | Comments Off

If you’re a runner then you’ll no doubt like a goal and a challenge. Just running a city marathon is challenge enough for some people but then there’s those who like to take it up a notch. The Kilimanjaro marathon is truly a marathon with a difference because your run is at the base of the highest freestanding mountain in the world, so not your average marathon scene.

The route is 26.2 miles and situated in Tanzania, south of the equator. The run is between 830-1150m altitude and can be in 90 degree heat, which makes it one of the more challenging marathons in the world.

The Kilimanjaro marathon has been established for 12 years. If you don’t want to run a full 26.2 miles then you can choose to run the half marathon or even the 5K instead. There’s something for everyone at this great sporting event which is why it is becoming so popular with international runners.

For the past 12 years at the beginning of March people descend from around the world in the town of Moshi, Tanzania where they to begin their run from the Moshi stadium. The marathon was originally set up to promote sport in Tanzania, it has the backing of a number of different official organisations, including the IAAF and the Tanzania Tourist Board.

kilimanjaro marathon

There are many professional runners who come to the race and especially from the Kenyan circuit. The higher altitude training benefits the runners in preparation for lower altitude runs.

The marathon route is a fantastic way to see some of the sights of the local area because it passes through the town of Moshi, up through villages, local farmland, coffee plantations and toward the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. The whole route is lined with local villagers and spectators cheering on everyone taking part in each of the races.

There is very much a party atmosphere in the whole local area because this is a great event in the Kilimanjaro calendar. There’s lots of entertainment with musicians and dancers. There’s also food and drink being sold for everyone to enjoy.

February / March is a perfect time to visit Tanzania, and so is also the ideal months to hold this event. The run is also at the time of the annual migration of the wildebeest into the Serengeti National Park so is the perfect time to fit in a safari too.

Anyone who likes a physical, mental and life changing challenge might like to consider a triple trek expedition which could include a climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro, a safari and rounded off with the Kilimanjaro marathon in 2015.

Could there any better way to push yourself to new limits and experience all the wonders of Tanzania in one trip? We would recommend a trip to Chemka Hot Springs after this trekking triathlon for certain.

If you’re already in Tanzania and fancy a bit of a challenging walk or run on Sunday 2nd March then you can still sign up to join the Kilimanjaro Marathon in Moshi. Alternatively you can make it part of your Tanzanian visit in 2015 and book a whole holiday of a lifetime fitness challenge for yourself and friends.

Get in touch and we’ll help you organise the whole thing.

Brother and Sister Conquering the Seven Summits

Posted February 21, 2014 | Comments Off

The Seven summits challenge is a great test for anyone who is passionate about mountain climbing. Many people have achieved it, some have not been so successful but the reward is in the trying because so few people even consider doing such a thing.

So how incredible it would be for the first ever siblings to summit all of the 7 highest mountains in the world, across seven continents?

The amazing Brother and Sister conquering the Seven Summits together.

Brother and Sister Conquering the Seven Summits

Pakistani siblings Mizra Ali and Samina Baig reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro to tick off another of the worlds highest peaks on their quest to conquer them all.

Mizra Ali was reportedly overjoyed when he spoke of their achievement at the summit of Kilimanjaro. He said it felt fantastic reaching the top after experiencing heavy snow and rain on their ascent. Expressing his great joy to have arrived at the roof of Africa at last.

Samina Baig is the first Pakistani woman (and youngest Muslim) to carry the Pakistani national flag to the top of Mount Everest in the Himalayas in 2013. Both siblings are participating in this event through the Adventure Diplomacy Expedition, which is a Youth Mountaineering Education Program that seeks to promote mountain sports to the youth of Pakistan.

The brother and sister team are taking on these great challenges to raise awareness for Gender equality and empower women worldwide. We think it empowers everyone and anyone because so far to date, just under 200 people have complete the Seven Summits challenge!

Mizra and Samina aim to help build a positive image for Pakistan’s tourism industry. Samina is now a national hero in Pakistan and will no doubt gain more attention as her and her Brother conquer their remaining seven summits and beyond.

The siblings seek to use adventure as a platform to bring about change, bring people together, inspire people to do more, be more and become one with nature. They embody the ideals of the Youth Mountaineering Education Program by doing this.

The next stage of the siblings expedition is in Bali (Indonesia) to summit the Mount Carstenz Pyramid and they are expected to complete their Adventure Diplomacy in August 2014.

We wish Mizra and Samina all the very best on their continued adventures in mountaineering. We were impressed by their story and so we are sure you will be too.

The Chinese Mountaineering Association and Kilimanjaro

Posted February 19, 2014 | Comments Off

We are delighted to report on some very exciting news for Tanzania and particularly the Kilimanjaro tourist industry. The Chinese Mountaineering Association and Kilimanjaro are uniting to create a wonderful new partnership.

Chinese Mountaineering Association

The Chinese Mountaineering Association recently worked with Tanzanian Tourism to bring about a climb for Chinese diplomats to summit the top of Mount Kilimanjaro with crew members of the China Central Television (CCTV) group which will broadcast footage of their climb to highlight the greatness of climbing Kili to the Chinese nation.

The Chinese Mountaineering Association (or CMA as they’re also known), was founded in April 1958 with its headquarters based in Beijing. They are an non-governmental organization and a member of the All-China Sports Federation. The CMA is China’s only national organisation for mountaineering. In October 1985, the CMA became a formal member of the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation.

Wang Yongfen of the CMA, pledged to work with CCTV to promote Tanzanian tourism to provide a mutually beneficial relationship between the two countries. This work is to help boost the Tanzanian economy by helping to promote the wealth of natural tourist attractions to across the world.

The entire climb was captured by CCTV crew members and journalists which will broadcast the video to encourage other Chinese citizens to take up the challenge of trekking to the summit of Africa’s tallest mountain.

For many years there has been a mutually respectful bond between Tanzania and China and while no one wants to cause further harm to the wildlife and environment by inviting so many to visit this great land, if it’s done with respect, some of the poorest people in the world will benefit from this partnership.

Reastus Lufangulo of the Kilimanjaro National Park (KINAPA) has welcomed the attention for Tanzania and believes the group will help to promote the natural great wonders of Africa to Asian countries, so that even more people across the world can experience all that this great country has to offer.

Promoting trekking expeditions and safaris in the Serengeti can only be a positive step if those travelling from China and East Asia choose a trekking company that values the wildlife and environment in Tanzania.

As we have touched upon on previous posts, if trekkers choose budget trekking companies then the impact from their visit and the heavy footprint that they leave behind will ensure that this beautiful place suffers under the heavy burden of so many boots trekking it’s land.

Kilimanjaro and Serengeti

It is down to the trekking companies to work in such a way that their trips leave no trace on the paths they travel down with each expedition, be it on the back of Mt Kilimanjaro or on the foot of the Serengeti. Travelling in an ecological way and respecting the people, the wildlife, the plant life and the environment should be at the top of the check list.

This partnership being forged between the Tanzanian and Chinese is a welcome one and will no doubt bring great things for the people of both great countries. Friendships are formed on the foothills of Kilimanjaro, so we look forward to making many more friends from China and all across East Asia.

Together we will experience great things and leave without a trace but take it all with us in our hearts and minds.

Vegetarian and Vegan Trekking Safari

Posted February 13, 2014 | Comments Off

If you’re looking to go on a trekking holiday to Mount kilimanjaro and you’re either a vegetarian or vegan or have special dietary requirements you may think that a trekking expedition in Tanzania might not be the right type of trip or place for you to go.

Tanzanians enjoy a wide variety of foods including vegetables, grains, pulses/legumes, nuts/seeds and fresh fruit making this type of trekking holiday perfect for all dietary requirements.

A handful of travel companies find if difficult to understand that vegetarians and vegans enjoy trying different foods, the same as people who eat meat and fish. Salads are enjoyable to a certain degree but they aren’t something that you want to eat every day! You want to be able to enjoy the local cuisine whilst still avoiding the foods that you don’t want or can’t eat.

That’s why most trekking holiday companies offer a vegetarian and vegan trekking safari for your special dietary requirements also including lactose, wheat and gluten intolerance.

Vegetarian and Vegan Trekking Safari

As you plan your trekking holiday you will be required to describe what foods you eat and what foods you don’t so they are able to prepare the appropriate foods for you without you worrying about what you will be eating whilst on your expedition.

You’ll find the highly skilled cooks on the trek are able to prepare amazing foods to the highest possible standard with only a handful of ingredients, this is despite the lack of cooking equipment. Some cooks do use MSG in their food preparation so if you’re concerned about the use of this in your food, ensure you mention that to them.

It’s important that the foods you eat whilst on your trek are easy to eat and easy to digest, especially at such a high altitude. It is also important to include all of your food groups in your diet everyday, including your protein, carbohydrates and fats, which gives you with the correct nutrients and energy to help you power through each day.

A typical breakfast on the mountains generally consists of cereals, porridge, fresh seasonal fruits, pancakes, toast with various different condiments or if you prefer a full english/vegetarian cooked breakfast. You will also have a choice of coffee, tea, juice and drinking chocolate.

Snacks can be anything from fresh fruits, chocolate, and biscuits. You can even bring your own favorite snacks along if you prefer.

Lunches are generally soups, sandwiches, boiled eggs, fresh fruits and perhaps even hot foods depending on the length of the day you will be trekking and various drinks.

Afternoon tea on the mountain can include popcorn, cakes and nuts which is often everyone’s favourite meal of the day as you can probably imagine.

You can expect to eat on your last meal of the day anything from vegetable or meat soups, stews, spaghetti bolognaise, casserole, curries followed by fresh fruits and ugali which is a local dish.

Before you go to sleep at night you can enjoy a hot beverage in your tent.

As you can see the foods that are offered are geared towards everyone whatever your dietary requirements may be. It’s important that you inform your travel company of what you would like before you start your trekking holiday so they are properly prepared to meet your specific needs.

Here at Trekili we provide luxury trekking holidays so you can rest assured that we can cater for your needs. If there are special requests in relation to the food you want or need to eat during your expedition with us then please select the specific dietary requirement in the application form and we will plan accordingly.

Wildlife Heritage Foundation Kilimanjaro Charity Trek

Posted February 10, 2014 | Comments Off

Lynn Whitnall a Trustee of Wildlife Heritage Foundation and CEO of Paradise Wildlife Park reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania with nine conservationists on Sunday 26th January for each of their chosen charities including the Wildlife Heritage Foundation in Smarden.

Steve Sampson and his son Peter Sampson purchased the Sanctuary in June 2000 and have done excellent work in order to conserve endangered species of big cats and highlight the current crisis within the preservation of wildlife worldwide.

Lynn is taking part in several charity events in 2014 to raise a total of £50,000 for the Wildlife Heritage Foundation, which is dedicated to the captive breeding of endangered big cats within the European Endangered Species Programme.

Wildlife Heritage Foundation Kilimanjaro Charity Trek

wildlife heritage foundation kilimanjaro charity trek

The many conservationists completed the climb for their own chosen charities including Action for the Wild, Rhinos in Lewa and Wildlife Vets International. They were especially keen to raise awareness of the European Association of Zoos (EAZE) and the Aquarias Pole to Pole campaign to highlight the impact the planet is havign on the polar caps and especially the Emperor penguin and Polar Bear.

The whole team trained for many months to make sure their fitness levels good enough to be able to complete the climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. After all, many people, wildlife and organisations were depending on them to reach that summit. Each person had an intense fitness programme to follow, as well as completing many climbs in the UK, including Snowdonia and Kinder Scout before their greatest ascent.

Kilimanjaro and the Montane Forest Belt is rich in many different species which includes mammals, primates, carnivores, antelopes and bats. The Cape buffalo, blue monkey, white colobus, western black and leopards can all be seen in the Montane forest.

The team may have been lucky enough to see grey duiker, eland, bushbuck and red duiker. Around the Tarakia and Namwai rivers an estimated 220 endangered African elephants can be found and sometimes they may even venture up onto the higher slopes of the mountain.

The endangered black rhinos could once be seen in this area and was last sighted in 2006 in Western Africa (as could the mountain reedbuck) but unfortunately both are now extinct.

Although they battled altitude sickness and extreme weather conditions, this trip of a lifetime was worth the effort. The experience of Tanzania’s incredible wildlife, and achieving their goal by reaching the summit will forever be ingrained in their memories and has helped make a big difference to each of their chosen charities.

Wildlife conservation is extremely important and is a cause close the heart of Trekili.

Protecting the wildlife and environment is of paramount importance to us which is why we provide eco trekking expeditions, so we can play a part in helping preserve this great land and all who inhabit it.

If you’re planning a trekking expedition for charity and are conscious about the footprint you leave behind, get in touch with us because we care about the environment, the people, the wildlife and you.

If you’d like to make a donation to Lynn’s charity challenges you can do so (and read more about her story) by clicking the link here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LynnWhitnall

The Migration of the Serengeti

Posted February 08, 2014 | Comments Off

If you’re looking for an eco safari holiday then the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is undoubtedly is one of the best wildlife reserves in the world.

It has one of the largest migration circuits for its wildlife in the world. Visiting the Serengeti can be done throughout the year and you will come away having seen some of the most incredible wildlife that inhabit this earth.

The Serengeti which comes from the Maasai word Serengit, means “endless plains” which stretch north to Kenya and borders Lake Victoria in the west. Its vast landscape is 5,700 square miles and the rolling plains stretch as far as the eye can see.

During the year you will find the Serengeti is a mass migration for Grant’s gazelles, Thompson gazelles, impala, eland, 2 million wildebeest, and 200,00 zebras all racing across the vast plains in search of vegetation and water to survive. The volcanic soil across the Serengeti has created such nutritious grass that the herds continue to thrive off this land year after year.

The actual timing of the migration of the Serengeti really depends on the rainfall patterns each year. The wildlife’s inbuilt survival skills allow them to know when the time is right to make their move.

migration of serengeti national park

As the migration begins you will see lion prides, cheetah and leopards. Elephant herds are also visible. There really isn’t anywhere else in the world where you will see such vast quantities of wildlife.

This wildlife spectacle moves between Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and Kenya’s Masai Mara, and is definitely one of the most amazing wildlife guided tours you will ever experience.

The rains begin in the Serengeti in November and that’s when you will see the vast herds of wildebeest migration arrive to feast on the nutritious vegetation along with the many other wildlife.

They generally stay here until March, and you may be lucky enough to see the many wildebeest calves that are born in February if you visit at this time of year.

Around April they start their migration North to find fresh feeding areas. West of Seronera and around Moru Kopjes you’ll see an amazing site consisting of hundreds of thousands of different animals on their journey North.

Within the acacia trees that line the Seronera River lone cheetahs can be seen lazing in the sun. You may be lucky enough to see an African jackal or perhaps a spotted hyena, an aardwolf or even a beautiful serval cat.

The Serengeti is also home to gaudy agama lizards and rock hyraxes which can be found around the isolated granite koppies. It’s also home to over 500 species of birds including secretary birds, ostriches and black eagles.

A game drive is definitely a must in the Serengeti but as with the whole of Tanzania night drives are not permitted. There are a number of areas where you can go walking in the North of the park Kogatende or if you have a head for heights a magical balloon ride over the Serengeti will be a lifetime experience you won’t want to miss.

Not visit to Tanzania is complete without a safari trip in the Serengeti. Contact us today to book your eco safari expedition.

Pushing Beyond Limits to Reach New Heights

Posted February 05, 2014 | Comments Off

It is amazing what your mind can do. You could consider climbing Kilimanjaro for a fleeting moment and then your mind will talk you out of it saying it’s too far, too expensive, too hard, too high, and so on until it seems like an impossible feat.

Then there’s that moment when you decide there is only one option and that’s for you to summit this mountain NO MATTER WHAT because very few experiences on earth come close to summiting Mount Kilimanjaro.

A medical condition or physical impairment should not stop you from believing you can summit Kili (or any other mountain). As long as you have the desire and determination with a strong mind then you can achieve anything.

Jim Whittaker (the first American to climb Everest) had chronic asthma which improved at high altitude due to the lack of allergens and cleaner air. Anatoli Bukurev and Galen Rowell both had lung disease as children yet both had great success mountaineering.

Pushing beyond limits to reach new heights is not an easy undertaking for most of us but when you have a physical restriction which could hold you back, it takes additional strength both inside and outside to reach the summit.

The the roof of Africa is not out of your reach, even if you have added physical challenges to consider.

As long as you train, know your body, always have the right medication with you at all times, and good support then there’s really no reason why you wouldn’t be able to summit Mount Kilimanjaro.

spencer west climbing kilmanjaro

Here’s some advice on what to do before you plan your trek whether you have a medical condition or a physical impairment:

  • Seek advice from your doctor
  • Train at varying altitudes to prepare your lungs
  • Ensure you have the right medication and equipment
  • Book well ahead of your trek to ensure you have enough time to prepare
  • Inform the trekking company if you have any specific or special needs
  • Train in as many different ways as possible to ensure you’re at peak fitness
  • Summiting Mount Kilimanjaro is definitely on many people’s bucket lists and it is achievable for the majority of people.

    However if you suffer from a respiratory problem such as asthma, then you may find the climb a lot tougher. But this certainly shouldn’t stop you from achieving your goal. Some people’s respiratory problems are actually alleviated at higher altitudes!

    The preparation training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is a huge undertaking for anyone, and if you have a condition such as asthma then your preparation for the climb will need to be tailored to take your condition into account.

    It’s a good idea to speak to your doctor first and get advice on your medication. This may need to be tweaked depending on how your feel during your training. Speak to a personal trainer or someone that has experience in climbing at high altitudes to get the best possible fitness program and advice.

    Completing the climb requires endurance and strength and approaching Kilimanjaro requires you to have a good level of physical conditioning. The better your physical strength, the more you will be able to cope with and enjoy your experience.

    Make sure you take it nice and easy throughout the climb, if you need to stop then do so, if the porters, guides and fellow climbers are aware of your condition or personal challenges then they will be able to support and assist you whenever you need.

    Having to deal with a debilitating illness such a Parkinson’s Disease and deciding to climb Mount Kilimanjaro can be a huge undertaking. Generally it’s mind over body with anything physical. With the right mindset, preparation and support, you will summit.

    Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is such an amazing achievement for anyone but can you imagine achieving this without legs?

    Well that’s exactly what Spencer West did, he climbed 80% of Mount Kilimanjaro just be using his hands! Spencer was born with sacral agenesis, his lower spine was poorly developed, leaving his legs permanently crossed.

    Spencer had his legs amputated at the age of five, just below the pelvis. Although he was told he would never be able function properly by doctors, he chose to ignore this and trained for a year in preparation for his Kilimanjaro climb. He finally reached the peak with his two friends after an exhausting seven hour trek to the summit.

    As you can see, anyone can reach new heights when they put their mind to it. It may take some a little longer, and require more physically and mentally, but when someone is determined, very little can stand in their way.

    If climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is on your bucket list or you’ve have any questions about your expedition to the summit, please get in touch with us to discuss the best options open to you reaching the summit.

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