Ultimate Kilimanjaro, the #1 guide service on Kilimanjaro, has recently made significant improvements to its climbing operations. For nearly a decade, Ultimate Kilimanjaro has guided thousands of clients on Mount Kilimanjaro, Africas highest peak. However, their success is not measured by how many people they take to the summit, but how great of an experience it is for all climbers.
“We strive for continuous improvement,” said Adam Collins, Expedition Coordinator for Ultimate Kilimanjaro. “We sat down and looked at everything from top to bottom with a critical eye, and what we’ve come up with is truly the best experience for our clients. I’m really excited, and our clients will be too.”
Among the changes implemented are upgrades in camping equipment, additional safety measures, and better food.
Many people who climb Kilimanjaro do not have any previous backpacking experience, which means clients are not accustomed to sleeping outdoors. Ultimate Kilimanjaro eases the transition by providing thick foam sleeping pads and state of the art Mountain Hardwear and MSR brand tents on all trips.
“These are serious tents, built for the toughest alpine conditions. They are perfectly suited for the weather on Kilimanjaro,” said Collins.
Besides enduring extreme cold, anyone climbing Kilimanjaro may develop symptoms of altitude sickness due to its staggering height – 19,345 feet above sea level. Ultimate Kilimanjaro guides constantly monitor climbers throughout their journey. Twice daily, health checks are performed with the assistance of a pulse oximeter, a handheld device used to measure oxygen saturation in blood. Additionally, climbers are evaluated based on the Lake Louise Scoring System for detection of altitude sickness. Oxygen is used to treat climbers with moderate or severe altitude sickness.
“Bottled oxygen is included on all climbs,” said Collins.
The food served on Kilimanjaro is made with fresh ingredients, carried by porters and prepared by mountain chefs. The menu consists of a variety of entrees and tastes intended to keep energy levels high after a hard day’s hike. Food is resupplied to climbers on longer itineraries so climbers have ample fresh food.
“One of the symptoms of altitude sickness is a loss of appetite,” noted Collins. “That’s why it’s important to provide tasty dishes, so that people will eat even if they don’t feel hungry.”
The improvements didn’t stop with just the clients. Ultimate Kilimanjaro guides are dressed in Mountain Hardwear waterproof hardshells, insulated down jackets and moisture wicking tee shirts. And as one of the strongest supporters of the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP), Ultimate Kilimanjaro guides and porters receive far more than the standard compensation than those working for other companies.
“Climbing Kilimanjaro is a team effort,” Collins stated. “Without guides and porters, there are no clients. There are no operators. It’s in our best interest to see that everyone is treated fairly.”
Ultimate Kilimanjaro offers private and group treks on all Kilimanjaro routes year round, including the new Northern Circuit route. For seasoned backpackers with high altitude experience, there is also an option to sleep next to one of Kilimanjaro’s last remaining glaciers and visit Kilimanjaro’s volcanic center, the Ash Pit.
“Our customers are going to be thrilled. The best Kilimanjaro operator just got better,” said Collins.