Earlier this year we launched the guide exchange programme to share knowledge and best practices among our local teams. We also wanted to say thanks for all the great work they do for us. Mohamed Toudaoui from Morocco won this years competition and he climbed Kilimanjaro with us in August. This is his trip report!
I travelled from Morocco to Tanzania via Istanbul where I spent a night in a nice hotel. Earth’s Edge booked my flights with Turkish Airlines. Turkish Airlines are very good and look after their clients very well. I went from Istanbul to Kilimanjaro Airport where I arrived at about 02:00 in the morning. I was met by our guide and driver at the airport, they took me to the Outpost Lodge in Arusha.
Later that day all the team from Ireland arrived and they were all great. They are lovely people especially the pilot. We then had a briefing from our Earth’s Edge guides Lorcan and Brian about the mountain. In the afternoon, we all went for a short walk with the local guides to visit the bazaars and small shops in Arusha. The local people were very kind and helpful.
The next day we drove to the gate to start the trek. We met our team of guides, cooks and porters who I found to be the best team I have ever seen in my life. They are simply great, very hard working, answer all questions, always smiling and happy! Everyone does their job to look after the group very well.
The thing I liked the most about the trek was the national park. When I went inside from the gate the forest was so beautiful. As you climb higher there are less trees but it is still very beautiful. The park is very well organised with no rubbish, limited camping places and clean toilets in the camps. I wish we had the same in Morocco and I am hoping that our Minister of Tourism makes National parks like the Tanzanian ones.
The food on the trip was great and there was always plenty. I did miss Moroccan Bread though :-). The campsites were all in great places, our tents were better than other companies and the toilets used by Earth’s Edge are a great idea. The Irish and Tanzanian guides were excellent and so experienced with high altitude. The pace set on summit night was perfect and it helped everyone get up there even the weaker clients. The safari was another great adventure that was well organised. This was the first time I saw animals such as giraffe, lion, and elephant.
The funniest thing happened on the day we reached the summit of Kilimanjaro. We all made it to the top together but on the way down, I asked one of the guides if I can go down to Basecamp faster as I was not feeling well. He said ok, so I made it down in about fifty-five minutes (running). I had cool mango juice (this is great after the summit) and went to my tent for some sleep. After about one hour, I heard one of the Tanzanian guides with 2 of the clients, saying well done we are the first back to Basecamp. I came out from my tent smiling when one of them saw me he said; What? What? Ooooohhhhhh No! and called his friend. We laughed a lot 🙂
Earth’s Edge is a very good company! I saw that they are the only ones who gave their local guides jackets and we recognised them easily every time we needed something. Even though I knew they only pick the best and most professional local staff, it was great to experience this as a client instead of a guide. I would love to go on another trek with Earth’s Edge. Maybe Machu Picchu or Everest Base Camp.
Thanks to everyone who voted for me in the guide exchange programme and to Earth’s Edge for the opportunity.
Mohamed Toudaoui, Imlil, Morocco.