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Blinkman987
Jul 10, 2008

Gender roles guilt me into being fat.


I'm thinking about hiking Kilimanjaro, going on Safari, and spending a weekend in Cape Town over December. Here's what I have sketched out so far. Note that I typically am very aggressive in travel. Once I'm bored, I want to be somewhere else. Any thoughts or experiences you can share?

Dec 13th - 15th
Fly to Kilimanjaro

Dec 16th
Orientation day

Dec 17th - Dec 22nd
Kilimanjaro

Dec 23rd
Travel

Dec 24th - Dec 27th
Safari

Dec 28th
Travel

Dec 29th - Dec 31st
Cape Town

Jan 1st - Jan 2nd
Fly to LAX

Kilimanjaro
I'm choosing the 6-day hike over the 7-day hike, though I could use the day before or the day after and extend to 7 days. I'm still in reasonable shape and I've been at 14K feet before. 19K would be a big jump for me, but I'm comfortable with it.

Safari
I don't have any need to see any specific animal. I just want to see some animals in their habitat and some cool stuff. Is it possible to do the Serengeti and Norongoro Crater in this four-day timeframe?

Cape Town
I really liked Cape Town last time I visited. I'd like to see it again and just chill before I head back to LA. I am likely theoretically better off skipping Cape Town, but it's sooooooo loving far unless already in Africa; so, I'd like to go.

Blinkman987 fucked around with this message at Mar 14, 2017 around 07:06

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Admiral101
Feb 20, 2006
RMU: Where using the internet is like living in 1995.

I don't agree with the 6 day Kilimanjaro. Guessing you're doing Machame?

I spent some time at 14k altitude as well in South America, but 19k on kilimanjaro was a whole different ballgame. Keep in mind that most days on Mt Kiliyou'll be around 15-16k feet elevation or so. The last 2-3k comes all at once at night.

The 6 day climb probably generally involves skipping the camp that's halfway between the barranco wall and the camp situated at the base of the summit. To do this, you will have to power through the day and make sure to get to the last camp before evening (ideally in the afternoon). This is because you will probably be waking up around midnight in order to start your climb (it's a 5ish hour climb from the camp to the summit). You do not want to be rolling into the last camp at like 7pm because you won't get the sleep you need for the summit climb. Even when you get off the summit, it's not like you'll be able to catch up on your sleep. The minute you're off the summit you'll be packing your poo poo up for the 5-6 hour climb to the bottom base camp. You're not allowed to linger at the camp next to the summit.

You better be very confident in your fitness to both make the climb and have it be relatively enjoyable. Not to mention, the camp you skip is actually above the cloud line, so if you're into night photography, you can get some great shots during the night that you otherwise wouldn't be able to get (since you'd presumably be climbing up to the summit instead).

I did the 8 day lemosho climb and really enjoyed the different biomes we hiked through. Kilimanjaro is really a textbook example of the journey mattering more than the destination.

Regarding the safari: yes, I did both the Serengetti and Norongoro Crater in 3 days/2 nights. 4 is plenty of time. If anything, I had enough of the zebras by day 3. Try to get a booking to camp on the serengetti for one of the nights. It's really awesome and was definitely one of the highlights of my trip.

Blinkman987
Jul 10, 2008

Gender roles guilt me into being fat.


Admiral101 posted:

I don't agree with the 6 day Kilimanjaro. Guessing you're doing Machame?

I spent some time at 14k altitude as well in South America, but 19k on kilimanjaro was a whole different ballgame. Keep in mind that most days on Mt Kiliyou'll be around 15-16k feet elevation or so. The last 2-3k comes all at once at night.

The 6 day climb probably generally involves skipping the camp that's halfway between the barranco wall and the camp situated at the base of the summit. To do this, you will have to power through the day and make sure to get to the last camp before evening (ideally in the afternoon). This is because you will probably be waking up around midnight in order to start your climb (it's a 5ish hour climb from the camp to the summit). You do not want to be rolling into the last camp at like 7pm because you won't get the sleep you need for the summit climb. Even when you get off the summit, it's not like you'll be able to catch up on your sleep. The minute you're off the summit you'll be packing your poo poo up for the 5-6 hour climb to the bottom base camp. You're not allowed to linger at the camp next to the summit.

You better be very confident in your fitness to both make the climb and have it be relatively enjoyable. Not to mention, the camp you skip is actually above the cloud line, so if you're into night photography, you can get some great shots during the night that you otherwise wouldn't be able to get (since you'd presumably be climbing up to the summit instead).

I did the 8 day lemosho climb and really enjoyed the different biomes we hiked through. Kilimanjaro is really a textbook example of the journey mattering more than the destination.

Regarding the safari: yes, I did both the Serengetti and Norongoro Crater in 3 days/2 nights. 4 is plenty of time. If anything, I had enough of the zebras by day 3. Try to get a booking to camp on the serengetti for one of the nights. It's really awesome and was definitely one of the highlights of my trip.

Yes, I'd like to do Machame. Understood on the extra day. I'll do 7 days at least. I read that many people land in Kilimanjaro and immediately hike the next day. What was your experience? I'll be hiking and backcountry camping but it's hard to do elevation once the fall hits as I'm not a huge fan of snow camping.

Thanks for the good news on the Safari. Will definitely try to camp on the Serengeti for a night. I love stuff like that.

Admiral101
Feb 20, 2006
RMU: Where using the internet is like living in 1995.

Blinkman987 posted:

Yes, I'd like to do Machame. Understood on the extra day. I'll do 7 days at least. I read that many people land in Kilimanjaro and immediately hike the next day. What was your experience? I'll be hiking and backcountry camping but it's hard to do elevation once the fall hits as I'm not a huge fan of snow camping.

Thanks for the good news on the Safari. Will definitely try to camp on the Serengeti for a night. I love stuff like that.

You'd be staying in Arusha right? I did my safari before the climb, but I can't imagine there being much of a difference. Arusha's elevation is only like 5k so there's not much acclimatizing that will be going on. I went in June as opposed to December, but my understanding is that snow on Kilimanjaro is rare anymore. Even on the summit, the snowline has been slowly receding over the past decade. I doubt you'll have issues with snow camping.

Saladman
Jan 12, 2010


Admiral101 posted:

You'd be staying in Arusha right? I did my safari before the climb, but I can't imagine there being much of a difference. Arusha's elevation is only like 5k so there's not much acclimatizing that will be going on. I went in June as opposed to December, but my understanding is that snow on Kilimanjaro is rare anymore. Even on the summit, the snowline has been slowly receding over the past decade. I doubt you'll have issues with snow camping.

By snow camping, he meant where he lives, i.e. that he won't be getting especially into camping shape immediately before heading to Kilimanjaro.

Personally I think going on the safari before would help you a lot for acclimatization. Your camp the night before Ngorongoro (on the crater rim) will be at like 2100 meters. The Serengeti camps will also likely be around 1000-1200 meters (e.g. Mto wa Mbu is a town which is a common camp stop, situated at 1200 meters). 4-5 days of that will definitely help you not get headaches on the first couple days of the hike. It's not going to help you at 6000 meters, but it'll at least help you sleep the previous nights if you're not gasping for breath at your camp at 4000 meters. I didn't do Kilimanjaro, but personal experience between going to 4k meters and not being acclimated, vs. going from 2000 meters for a few days then 4k meters, made a massive difference. I don't do well at altitude, and feel bad sleeping even at 2k meters if I'm coming from near sea level. Sea level to 4k meters is hell without diamox, and still lovely with diamox. Or pee-y with diamox, to be more precise.

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webmeister
Jan 31, 2007

The answer is, mate, because I want to do you slowly. There has to be a bit of sport in this for all of us. In the psychological battle stakes, we are stripped down and ready to go. I want to see those ashen-faced performances; I want more of them. I want to be encouraged. I want to see you squirm.

I did Kili in March 2011, and I'd reinforce the 7-day recommendation (we did Machame 7-day as well). The third day where you climb up to the Lava Tower and back down is pretty tough, so having two essentially half-days after that makes it a hell of a lot easier. We used diamox as well, the other couple in our group didn't and turned back at the crater rim. Bring as much of your own gear as you can, since the stuff available for rent is usually old and not in great condition. The only thing I rented was a big heavy ski jacket.

Yes, Ngorongoro Crater is right near the Serengeti, if you're going with a company based in Moshi or Arusha then you'll go straight past it. Definitely do both, the Crater is an absolute highlight. You definitely get safari fatigue though unless you're super into wildlife photography or something, by day 3 it's definitely "wake me up when it's not zebras or wildebeest". And yeah, do the camping if you can.

We went with a local company called Zara Tours and they were pretty great, I'd recommend them unless they've gone downhill in the past 5-6 years. They basically take care of everything once you get off the plane at Kilimanjaro airport.

One thing to consider - instead of Cape Town, how about Zanzibar? You can get cheap-ish flights there from Kilimanjaro, and although Stone Town is a bit touristy, there's a good party town up in the north (I forget the name), and the eastern coast is really beautiful and chilled out. We stayed in Jambiani for 4 days after our climb and safari and it was an awesome way to relax. It's pretty rustic out there though, so if you can't bear intermittent wifi and electricity it may not be the best option.

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