Welcome to Africa Treks

Adventures in Africa - December 18, 2004 - December 30, 2004

he adventure in Africa began more that a year and a half ago. I had had thoughts of Kilimanjaro a few years earlier after reading about the rapid recession of the glaciers on the grand mountain. Then after our visit to Peru and Machu Picchu, the thoughts of visiting east Africa and climbing Kilimanjaro returned. I had a desire to climb Kili while the glaciers still existed.

When I finally brought home some print outs about Kilimanjaro, K became interested and then excited about the possible adventure still tempered by her worries about altitude problems. But the seed had been planted!

Initially, K was a bit circumspect about the trip being concerned about how she would react at altitude (she had a tough time crossing Dead Woman's Pass, elevation 16,000 ft + enroute to Machu Picchu). But I had started reading about Kilimanjaro and began researching outfitters secretly on the world wide web.

So, with visions of the Africa that Ernest Hemingway had written about and with computer print-outs in hand, our dreams of an adventure in Africa evolved into real plans.

One day I brought home a guide book with information about climbing routes on Kilimanjaro and her sister peak Mount Kenya. (K loves books).

As our plans began to coalesce, we decided that as long as we were going to go to Tanzania, we should also do a safari (it's a rule we made up).

Armed with information from the guide book and the computer print-outs, we made our selection of outfitters, which was Zara Travels, located in Moshi and headquartered in the Springlands Hotel.

Robin Pascal, Zara's contact in the U.S. was always available. She helped us decide on the route we would take up the mountain and helped coordinated our schedule for the safari after the climb. Robin was responding right up to the day we departed for Kilimanjaro.

Our travel itinerary had us departing Sea-Tac at 8:30 am on Sunday, December 18, 2004 to Chicago (it took the help of a KLM ticket agent to get us through security in time to catch our next flight) to Amsterdam and to Kilimanjaro Airport arriving at 9:30 pm on December 19th. 25 hours sacrificed to the gods of travel. But we arrived safely with all our gear and luggage... The adventure begins!

Bob and Kolleen - The Trailpair