Travel: Three months until departure


Note: The photo above was taken when we were dropped off, deep into the forest.

Three months before we depart - this has been a high activity week for Africa prep.

You get what you pay for: we are paying for two opportunities to summit, staying one night in the arctic zone (18,500 ft) and our summit hike will take 3-4 hours.  If we are feeling good and the weather is favorable, I'm told we can stay up there for a while.  

I'm shocked when I see adverts to reach the summit for $2,000 or less.  I read one blogger's experience where he climbed 4,000 feet to the summit in one day, twelve hours of hiking!  He only spent a few minutes at the top and mentioned how painful the hike was before turning back and starting their descend. 

Update post trek:

  • A friend of mine made it to the day of the summit attempt but had to head down.
  • During our summit push we saw many people with snow blindness. I will never forget one man wobbling with two guides holding him upright.
  • A family that signed up at the last minute made it about half way before turning back.  They were taking a year abroad to see the world.  Buying/renting gear in Tanzania, completely unprepared. 

Shots & medication: This week I sat down with a travel doctor.  It was really interesting and he provided a lot of knowledge. I'm not to eat ANY uncooked vegetables in Africa, I guess it's a normal to use 'human matter' for fertilizer.... message received!

Shots received this week... 12!

  • Yellow Fever
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Typhoid
  • Rabies
  • Cholera
  • Influenza
  • Tetanus
  • Measles/Mumps/Rubella
  • Pneumococcal
  • Polio
  • Varicella

I walked out with six prescriptions, traveling with four:

  • Malaria
  • Ambien
  • Diamox (acute mountain sickness)
  • Cipro
  • Jungle medical kit

Yellow Fever: I got Yellow Fever from the vaccine.  It took me about a week to recover and three months to heal from the bumps covering my body. It was so bad that I couldn't leave the house for three weeks!

After I recovered from the Yellow Fever, I took the 'live typhoid' over four days.  I will go back to the doctor on June 14 for one more set of vaccines and Typhoid sign off so I have valid CDC paperwork.

Bug control isn't an issue on the mountain but is on day one while in Arusha, and when we come back down for the Safari part of our trip.  We will travel with Deet, and our doctor's secret... Permetherin (an insecticide spray that works on gear for one week). 

Shopping: This week we paid for all the gear we are renting from Thomson Safari, $600USD.  We highly recommend this, no need to buy and travel with arctic outerwear for one adventure.

Arctic Zone gear:

  • Gore-Tex jackets and pants
  • Down jackets
  • Mittens
  • Windstopper fleece gloves
  • Insultated Mountain Mittens


  • Gaiters
  • Rain poncho
  • Sleeping bags
  • Sleep pad
  • Trekking telescopic poles

Cost of gear for two: $1,800 to date with about $500 to go.