A word from the Director However you choose a climb or adventure operator there are certain points that should be checked before you place your life in their hands. Everyone has their own set of criteria – we list below some important issues regarding a Wild Frontiers Kilimanjaro climb that may be of interest.
We have the experience – operating since 1990 – and over 10 000 successful summits of Wild Frontiers guests, a 90%+ success rate, and all our guests home safe.
A good number of our Safari Designers (and management) have climbed, and can give first hand advice – with many successful climbs between us.
We are members of TATO (Tanzania Association of Tour Operators), and ATTA – watchdogs of the travel industry and we have operations and offices in Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa – so you have peace of mind when paying your money over that you are dealing with an approved long term member of the industry, who undertakes annual industry led financial analyses to prove viability.
Our guides and crew are looked after to international standards, following guidelines laid down by Porters Protection Association in Moshi, and part of that is our undertaking to ensure that porters are properly kitted out for their climb.
Guide to climber ration is one to 2 or 3 guests for groups, but with a senior support to the guide if you are only one climber.
Guides are qualified and trained in Mountain Rescue and CPR etc. Some guides have well over 400 summits in their name.
We carry portable oxygen on all climbs, and a Finger Pulse Oximeter.
We have available on the mountain portable hyperbaric chambers for groups. Please enquire for details.
Guides check guests’ medical condition daily, and monitor this.
Our guides are local – e.g. from Moshi, the regional center, as are our porters. We do not bring in other people from Arusha etc. to work on our climbs, ensuring the area gets the benefit of the income.
There is a lot more information you will be sent when booking your climb with us (suggested pack list, suggested medical kit, information on how altitude may affect you, how to train for the hike etc.), but the below should answer many of the questions that you SHOULD be asking before climbing Kilimanjaro / Mount Meru (or booking any travel package).
There are a few more points that may help you in this decision:
Price issues – these always come up when groups research trips and then compare options. Some will want to go for the cheapest option, some want the better quality and peace of mind of booking through an experienced, reliable licensed operator.
At the end of the day, you all buy safe vehicles, put safe tyres on them, and plan to live a long life – don’t compromise on something as important as summiting Kilimanjaro.
Temperatures drop to minus 20C, and if you don’t have the correct gear, crew, food and so forth, you may be putting your life, and others, at risk. You want to get to the top, safely – and have a good time doing it.
Just looking at our success rate of 90% +, and the AVERAGE success rate of about 50-60% you have about a 30% better chance with us than a budget operator. You don’t want to waste your money.
Many of the reasons for our success rate boils down to money – we pay enough to good guides, crew, and to buy you good food, and use decent equipment (which is maintained/upgraded regularly). When you consider that about USD 710 per person on a 6-day climb goes to park fees alone, and you work out what a budget operator has got left to run a business on, you can see that on budget trips corners will possibly be cut. All to the detriment of YOU, the guest.
This could be done in many ways: from underpaying staff, to avoiding paying full park fees, compromising on food quality and quantity, shoddy equipment, misleading quotes even, and things that may only become apparent when it’s too late i.e. once you have financially committed. Overloading porters is also another area which worries us… some unscrupulous operators cut corners here.
It has been estimated that in GOOD weather, your summit chances with a budget operator are probably only slightly less than if you climb with a decent operator.
In BAD weather, the chances of summiting – indeed surviving without injury – are 40% better with a higher standard of climb. Basically a good, qualified, well paid crew, with decent leadership and good gear, is what you need – and get – from our standard of climb. It is not a luxury trip, but we ensure that both standards and service are maintained to a high level.
Our trips are not cheap – and they never will be. We pay our crew well, use good gear, pay local taxes, operate ethically etc. You will however, get good value for money and a strong chance of achieving your goal i.e. the summit.
Consider the above points well – they are ALL questions you should be asking.