After a little over two weeks in Tanzania I’ve returned to Nairobi, having successfully bagged (and filmed) the other two major peaks on my agenda: Mt. Meru, and that most auspicious of African climbs, Mt. Kilimanjaro.
While in Tanzania I was working with the local sister company of KG Mountain Expeditions called Snow Africa Adventures–it is extremely expensive and difficult for international companies to operate in Tanzania, so almost all tour companies have partnerships across the Kenyan border, from where most of the tourists arrive after flying into Nairobi. Snow Africa Adventures is managed by a long-time mountain and safari guide named Hussein Omari. Hussein was my host and coordinator for my time in Arusha, the township that dominates tourist traffic. It’s the nexus of the business running to Kilimanjaro National Park and the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the two most popular safari areas in all of Africa.
With Hussein’s help, I arranged interviews, got to and from the parks, and explored the towns that are home for the guides and porters on Kilimanjaro and Meru. When I actually went to the mountain, it was with a different Hussein. Hussein Said is also a long-time mountain guide, and of the two Hussein’s he’s the only one that’s still active (and in shape).
I’ll be posting several updates after this one regarding each individual mountain, the men I was working with, and a particularly complicated story regarding the Tanzanian bureaucracy.