Leesha and Lau coordinated an incredible experience for me and my friend to work a local hospital in karatu. We worked in the labor and delivery ward and greatly enhanced our skill set as birth doulas. It was the kind of experience that I would never have been able to coordinate on my own. True local insider access. They also kindly coordinated a safari on our last day with their awesome staff Patrick and Ossman. It felt like we were kickin it with good friends all day. Patrick was our driver and we spent a lot of time with him- he is now one of my dear dear friends. I’m so grateful for him and the love he has for his country. I always felt safe and well taken care of! We stayed across the street from Leesha’s at Mama’s house which was comfortable and hospitible with a beautiful family. I couldn’t have imagined a better experience. And I didn’t feel like I tourist which I greatly appreciated! I highly recommend organizing your travels in Tanzania through Boma.
The is the first mantis I have seen in Tanzania… she showed up in the house, on the light switch, no less!
I only had my phone, so the picture isn’t as great as I had hoped, but what a cool little guy!
Mantis are known for their large, strong forearms which they use for trapping, and gripping their prey. They are ambush predators and large ones can even eat small birds, lizards, frogs, and vertebrates!
The praying mantis get their name from their upright posture, where they stand with their forelegs together, as if praying.
Mantis were thought to have super natural powers in some civilizations. They are also infamous for the fact that the female will sometimes eat her male partner after mating!
There are 6 routes on Kilimanjaro and the length of climbs ranges from 5 days to 9. Some include camping at the crater rim, some have huts for sleeping, and some have a higher successful summit rate than others. Click here to read more about the Kilimanjaro routes.
Choose your outfitter (Boma Africa, obviously!)
There are many travel agents that sell the tours to a second hand outfitter “on the ground” in Tanzania or Kenya. It’s worth confirming who will be executing your climb so that you can have all the information on their safety standards and services provided. www.bomaafrica.com
Being in good health and fitness is an asset when attempting to summit Kilimanjaro. Cardiovascular training, along with some climbing/ mountainous hiking can help to prepare you. To reduce the risk of altitude sickness you can spend some time at higher altitude before your climb. You can do this by doing some hiking at home, or in and around Arusha. Read more about preparing for your climb here!
Break in your boots
A good pair of boots is a must on Kilimanjaro. They should have good ankle support, water proof, and warm, and of course, be comfortable! IF you are buying new boots for this epic adventure, make sure you break them in before you come. Nothing is worse than finishing off day 1 with a giant blister!
Practice your day pack
Same as above- if you are getting a new day pack, break it in! Practice putting in all the items you will be carrying for the day to make sure everything fits and you will be comfortable. Typically you would carry rain gear, 3L of water, your lunch box, sunscreen, a hat, lipsyl, your camera, and extra layers of clothing, that either get peeled off or get put on as the day goes by. What to expect on the mountain is explained in more detail here.
Think about Medication
You may want to discuss with your physician to see if taking medication to help prevent altitude sickness is a good option for you. Also ask about other medications or vaccinations you might need for travel to Tanzania.
Bring an SPF lipsyl
Make sure you bring a lipsyl with SPF!
Remember “Pole Pole”- walk slowly!
Walking slowly will increase your chances of submitting successfully! Conserve your energy and give your body time to adjust to changes in altitude. This will be on the of the first Swahili words you will learn from your guides, Pole, pole- Slowly!
Drink a sip of water every 10 minutes
Hydration is important in any physical endeavour, and dehydration can increase the risk of altitude sickness. Taking frequent small sips throughout your climb keeps you well hydrated and fit to climb to Uhuru peak! To see your packing list, click here.
Turn back if reccommended
Your guides are trained to recognize the signs of altitude sickness and fatigue. If they have concerns regarding your health they will recommend beginning to descend. While this can be very disappointing, it’s important to take their advice seriously. Kilimanjaro is a friendly mountain, climbed by thousands, young and old, from around the world every year, but needs also to be taken seriously as altitude sickness can be a very serious health hazard. More on safety here.
A handful of great safaris, treks, and Kilimanjaro climbs
Providing free education to 20 students at LK Kindergarten
Funding to pay the teacher for 6 months of 2018
Collection of enough school supplies for the next year at LK Kindergarten
Funding to fix the water source at LK Kindergarten
Acquired 20 used tires to add play structures to the Sue and Martin Parnell Playground
Shipping 40′ sea container FULL of supplies and equipment for Boma la Mama Birth Centre
Opening the Mto wa Mbu Community Centre in partnership with The Mto wa Mbu Project
Thank you to George & Jean Terpsma, Ella and Charlotte Jobin, AP Elementary School, Beating Hearts Music, Rotary Club of South Edmonton, Maureen Fath, Emmanuel Foundation, The Mto wa Mbu Project, Lindsay Kimmett Memorial Foundation, Shanualea Vliegenthart, Lucina Midwives, Barbara Campbell, the Birrells, and to the many private donors that filled the shipping container, their suitcases, and our hearts!
What are some goals for 2018, you ask??
Obtain funding for operational costs for 2 years in order to open Boma la Mama
Request funds to expand the school
Place several skilled volunteers at the school and community centre
Add play structures to the Sue and Martin Parnell Playground
Resume running water at the Boma sites
Register Boma Africa as a Non Profit Company in Canada & implement new organizational structure
Invest in marketing to sell more tours & generate more funds for our projects!
Establish a “safe gear” program to ensure our Boma Africa porters have warm boots and gear on our climbs
The annual Kilimanjaro marathon is coming up in just over 2 months! Not sure I can train up to a half marathon that quickly, but might sign up as a 21 km run/ walk for myself.
The marathon was founded in 2002 and attracts almost 9000 runners including locals and athletes from around the world. The route heads up the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, passing through forest, plantations, villages, and the town of Moshi. Winners claim prizes up to 4 million TSH.
Our most memorable Kilimanjaro Marathon was Kili Quest 95.2 in 2013. Lawrence and Martin Parnell of Canada planned to run the marathon, then attempt to climb Kilimanjaro in just 24h! It was amazing- they summited Kilimanjaro- but not quite in the 24 hours they had hoped! This was a successful fundraiser for the organization Right to Play.
The only marathon I’ve ever done was the Kilimanjaro Marathon- and I only did half! It was hard, but such a fun day! Everyone is in such high spirits and the locals of the sleepy villages come out to cheer you on or join up with you for a few kilometres. Many folks from around the world, and from Tanzania are there for a fun day- mixed with elite athletes training for the Olympics!
If you are looking for a race to add to your itinerary and a chance to go on a world class safari, or to climb Kilimanjaro, get in touch!
Asante Sana Wilson Family for your donation- Katie is excelling at the Mwalimu Anna school thanks to your scholarship.
Katie has been sponsored since pre school (originally by Mr. Jeremy) and has been fortunate to attend the awesome Mwalimu Anna school in Mto wa Mbu village. She loves school, and gets A’s. Her grandpa gets up at 5 every day to get her ready for school. The school bus picks her up at 6 am and drops her off at home at 5 pm. It’s a long day but she thrives. This is an english medium school where most instruction happens in English.