Mount Kilimanjaro Trip Report (#4009)
- Signed By: John Rudolph
- Date submitted: July 26, 2004
Hired my own rag tag team in Arusha by walking around and assessing the self proclaimed guides. The reason - it is as close to doing it unguided when you do not expect much from a "guide." My guide and his two friends who retain the same names but changed bodily appearance were fun though. We left first on summit day after an incredibly noisy night in the high hut and summitted as the sun came up over Meru. I highly recommend getting up earlier if it means seeing the sun come up over the plains and the shadows created. If you do it yourself, have the "guides" take you to the market, pick out the food with them, beware that the meat is/was most likely goat with rice, and make sure any vegetables are washed through and cooked, otherwise do not eat it. The tip crisis has been going on for ten years - the guides will ask for a tip for them and their porters, which is fine, starting almost immediately, and then ask for more. Tell them they get paid when they get down. I found an interesting to help this, give them some shirts, socks, pullover, sweater, something that will help them continue to climb and make a living. These guys are great and should be treated as people in a way you would if you were watching a game in the neighborhood bar, be friendly, have good time, treat them as people not as guides or some strange aexotic from a far away place, and you will have a friend for life. And most of all be honest - many people go there and say things like I will send you a copy of the photos or the such and they never do. This creates a very bad mistrust for everyone else and a very bad perception of climbers in general.