Jun 092016


Over the years, we have had many couples celebrate their weddings on a high note – literally. It makes sense. Climbing Kilimanjaro is symbolic of their relationship – reassurance that together they can accomplish amazing feats.

Ultimate Kilimanjaro is featured in this month’s issue of Wedding Inspirations. The article, “The Road Less Travelled,” talks about bucket list adventures couples may want to consider for their honeymoon including:

  • Climbing Kilimanjaro
  • Cycling through Vietnam
  • Rafting the Zambezi
  • Diving the Wild Coast
  • Kayaking in Madagascar


Here is the excerpt on Kilimanjaro.


You’ll most certainly feel on top of the world as you and your number one mate summit Mount Kilimanjaro. The world’s tallest free-standing mountain at 5 895m, and the highest mountain in Africa, a ‘quick’ trip up is the ultimate addition to any Tanzanian honeymoon. Its majestic peak permanently covered in snow and its three dormant volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, make for a heady mix.

Your quick trip will take between five and nine days on average, depending on a number of factors such as weather, your state of fitness, acclimatisation and the route you choose. There are seven well established routes to the summit which vary in degrees of difficulty as well as in type of accommodation (they range from camping only to huts and electricity in some places). Despite the dramatic mountainscapes, rocky formations, beautiful forests and spectacular ridges, climbing Kili is no walk in the park and travellers are advised to research thoroughly, use an established and reputable company, and prepare properly in every way. SA-based company Climbing Kilimanjaro has ticked off over 15,000 successful summit attempts since 1994, and offers hikes up Mt Meru, Mt Kenya, and active volcano Mt Ol Doinyo Lengai. Ultimate Kilimanjaro is also worth a thought.

Situated in the 1 668km² Kilimanjaro National Park, there’s plenty to do and see even before you summit. The park consists of five main vegetation zones, the foot slopes characterised by plains and lush forest home to elephant, leopard, buffalo, and many endangered small antelope and primates. On the eastern side of the mountain, Chala Crater Lake is also a must visit with its deep blue-green waters and surrounding 100m high crater rim.

Acclimatisation is essential on any honeymoon, whether or not you’re heading up the hill, and the Bay Leaf Hotel in the nearby town of Arusha is just the spot. With five gorgeous suites promising luxurious comfort – just the place for a little post climb pampering – it also prides itself on fine dining with a combination of continental and traditional North Indian Punjabi cuisine, an “intriguing match-made-in-heaven mix”.

Click here to read the full article.




Nov 162015


Did you know that your stay at Stella Maris Lodge helps pay for the operation of the adjacent Stella Maris Primary School? All income goes towards the education of orphaned and underprivileged children. We encourage everyone to meet the children. They love visitors!

The Lodge and the adjacent Stella Maris English-Medium Primary School were built by the people of Mailisita in partnership with the Mailisita Foundation – a US-based orphan and vulnerable child relief organization. The income from the Lodge goes exclusively to paying the teachers and buying food for the children. So not only is the Stella Maris a beautiful place to relax, but your stay directly helps the underpriviliged children of the local village.  You can hear their happy songs while enjoying your morning fresh-brewed Kilimanjaro coffee!

Aug 242014

ebola map smallYou have probably heard the news about the ongoing Ebola epidemic in Africa. As of August 21, 2014, there have been approximately 2,500 reported cases, with nearly 100% of these cases originating in West Africa (Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia). There have been 15 cases originating in Nigeria.

There is virtually zero risk of exposure to Ebola while in Tanzania. As the map illustrates, the outbreak is many thousands of miles away. Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with an infected person’s body fluids. Infected people are not contagious during the incubation period, and only become contagious with the onset of symptoms. Therefore people who are most at risk are health care workers and families of infected people, not tourists.

While we understand your concern and care for your safety, it is safe to continue with your Kilimanjaro plans until further notice. We will monitor the situation very closely and notify our clients of any changes. Should Ebola become an issue in Tanzania, trip insurance, which is a requirement for participation in our trips, would reimburse you for expenses if you purchase the optional coverage “Cancel for Any Reason.”

Learn more about Ebola here.

Jul 132011


Kilimanjaro outfitters begin their trips from two main Tanzanian cities – Moshi and Arusha.  The simplest way to travel to these destinations is by flying into Kilimanjaro International Airport, sometimes referred to as KIA (airport code: JRO).  Once you arrive at the airport, it is simple to take a taxi or private vehicle to Moshi or Arusha. Both cities are less than one hour away and the cost of a taxi is approximately $50 per vehicle.

The prices of flights into Kilimanjaro International Airport vary widely, from about $1400 to more than $4000. We advise our clients to purchase tickets at $2,000 or lower – which is a fair price.  (KLM flies to Kilimanjaro International Airport regularly.  Vayama is a good source for domestic Tanzanian flights.)

Most times, it is cheaper to fly into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (airport code: NBO) in Nairobi, Kenya. However, to get from Nairobi to Moshi or Arusha, you would need to purchase a Kenyan visa, stay overnight in Nairobi, and then take a bus or private vehicle to Tanzania. The drive takes 7-8 hours. So once you factor in these costs, plus the additional time (one or two travel days depending on if you depart from Nairobi), it is much more practical and less stressful to fly directly into Kilimanjaro International Airport.

Dec 122008

Air Tanzania, Precision Air, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Air and other local carriers that serve Tanzania are sometimes difficult to deal with.  Their websites might be down, do not allow online booking, and telephone calls and e-mails frequently go unanswered.

A dependable way to book domestic or regional flights to or from Tanzania is through Vayama. This powerful travel search engine is easy to use and gives many pricing and timing options when planning your trip itinerary.  It’s a great resource that I recommend to our clients.

Aug 302008


There are not many choices when it comes to flying into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).  Most people fly with KLM, a Dutch airline that offers daily service from the USA (through partner airlines) via Amsterdam.  Regional flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport are available through Ethiopian Airlines, Air Kenya or Air Tanzania.  Recently, British Airways has announced that they will launch a new route to Kilimanjaro International Airport.  The CEO stated that they plan to start a direct flight to the region, giving visitors another option when planning their travels.