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Frequently Asked Questions About Africa


 
Q:
I'm really interested in this trip, but I'm not sure I can make it to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro. What do you suggest?  
 
A:

Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro is a challenge. However, the climb is doable for someone who is aerobically fit and who can acclimate in the first 24 to 48 hours at altitude. Most people experience symptoms at altitude such as shortness of breath, lassitude, headache and queasy stomach.

Our route is termed "a walkup." There is no technical climbing, it's just one foot in front of the other to make it to the top. Also, porters will carry most of your gear. (You will carry water, sunscreen, and other essentials with you.)

If you are in good health and in good aerobic condition, if you acclimate well, and if you are highly motivated to make it to the summit, then you are qualified to climb Mt Kilimanjaro.

 
 
Q:

I'm still worried about not making it to the top.

 
 
A:

There's no problem if you are unable to make it to the top. You will never be left behind. We have a high client to guide ratio (1:3) and if necessary you will be accompanied to a lower elevation by one of our trained local guides who accompany climbers on Mt Kilimanjaro on a regular basis. Keep in mind that the climb is beautiful and will be a memorable experience, whether or not you get to the summit.

 
 
Q:
Is the water safe to drink in Tanzania?  
 
A:
In general, you should avoid drinking tap water since it does not meet the same health standards as in the U.S. Bottled water is widely available and is safe to drink, as is juice (usually available in juice boxes), bottled soda, or beer. While on Mt Kilimanjaro, you should either treat your drinking water with iodine or ask your porter to boil water for you.  
 
Q:
What kind of foods are available and are they safe to eat?  
 
A:

On Mt Kilimanjaro and in hotels, we will be served meals that are generally safe to eat. As a precaution you may want to avoid fresh uncooked vegetables (as in salads). In general you will not need to be concerned about the safety of your food, since it is specially prepared with tourist needs in mind.

When we are climbing, expect meals like eggs, toast (with jam and margarine), porridge and tea, hot cocoa or coffee for breakfast. Lunch may include a cheese, carrot and margarine sandwich, an orange or banana, hard-boiled eggs, a juice box and chocolate for dessert. Dinner could include chicken, rice, mixed vegetables and mushroom soup. In addition, you can expect an afternoon snack of popcorn or cookies with tea, coffee or hot cocoa.

While on safari, meals are generally prepared by chefs taught in Western-style kitchens. Although the food may taste slightly different than what you are used to, your menu selections will include many familiar foods such as waffles for breakfast, chips with lunch, and bar-b-qued chicken for dinner.

In towns where you may want to sample local cuisine, your guides will give you recommendations on safe foods to try and where you can find them.

 
 
Q:
What travel documents will I need for the trip?  
 
A:

U.S. citizens must have a valid passport (valid for at least 6 months beyond your expected return date) and a Tanzania visa. A Tanzania visa application and information will be sent to you with your pre-trip information packet. If you do not already have a passport, APPLY TODAY! Passport applications are available at most main branch post offices. Contact your local post office to find out the nearest location with passport services available.

In addition to your passport and visa, you are required to have proof of a yellow fever vaccination upon entry into Tanzania. Ask your personal physician, travel clinic, or health department about other recommended vaccinations. (Additional health information will be provided in your pre-trip information packet.)

 
 
Q:
What health precautions do I need to take to prepare for the trip?  
 
A:
As mentioned above, a yellow fever vaccination is the only REQUIRED vaccination for entry into Tanzania. You will be provided additional health information in your pre-trip packet including the Center for Disease Control recommendations for traveling to Tanzania, recommended medications to bring with you, and tips for avoiding illness while in Tanzania.  
 
Q:
What is the weather in Tanzania like during October and November?  
 
A:

Tanzania lies just below the equator and the temperature varies little throughout the year. On the mainland, temperatures range from approximately 60F at night to upper 70's during the day. However, it can be chilly in the Serengeti and Crater at night, and on Mt Kilimanjaro the temperature may fall to minus 15F at Kibo Hut.

We will be traveling in Tanzania before the short rains begin, which usually fall in December. In the El Nino years of 1997 and 1998, there was early, heavy rain beginning in the middle of November.

The coast is hotter and more humid. Humidity averages 78% year-round. Temperatures range from 70-90F. As with the mainland, short rains fall primarily in December, but depending on the year, rains may fall earlier in November.

 
 
Q:
How much time during the trip is spent in transit?  
 
A:
When comparing the number of days a trip includes, keep in mind that it takes over a day to travel each way to Tanzania. With time differences, this trip averages two days travel to Tanzania and one day back. The Call of the Wild Mt Kilimanjaro and Serengeti Safari includes 3 days of international travel, and 14 days in Tanzania.  
 
Q:
What kind of vehicles will the group be using?  
 
A:
The very nature of a safari is to cover large territories to reach remote areas where wildlife is abundant and to search for it. For your comfort and safety, considering Tanzania's unpredictable road conditions, we will be traveling in 4x4 Land Rovers with removal roof hatches for viewing and photography. As compared to alternate safari vehicles such as vans, Land Rovers are a more reliable choice when traveling in remote locations with poor roads.  
 
Q:
How much time is spent as a group? What is the schedule like?  
 
A:
While on Mt Kilimanjaro and on safari, the group will be traveling together. Between trip segments and on Zanzibar, we have arranged the schedule to allow you time to pursue your own interests. There will be group activities planned, but you will have the freedom to select your activities. You may want time to explore on your own. Whichever you choose, your guides will always be there to help in any way possible.  
 
Q:
How are the accommodations selected?  
 
A:
Unlike many other groups that use one hotel chain (yes, even in the Serengeti!), our group will have selected accommodations based on a variety of factors, including location, services, and views. On your first night in Tanzania, we will be staying at a quiet hotel at the base of Mt Meru for a peaceful night's rest and an incredible first look at Tanzania in the morning. On our last night, we'll be staying in downtown Arusha so you are close to shopping, the post office, banks, and restaurants.  
 
Q:
How experienced are the guides?  
 
A:

Our trip combines the experience and expertise of both American and Tanzanian guides. Your American guides include Call of the Wild founding owner, Carole Latimer, who has been leading women on wilderness adventure trips for 22 years. Her experience includes over two dozen trips at high altitude on Mt Whitney, highest peak in the lower 48 states.

You will also be accompanied by African trip coordinator and guide Bonnie Bollengier. In addition to her climbing experience and wildlife training in East Africa, Bonnie has coordinated and guided international trips for up to 150 participants in countries including Canada, England, Greece, Russia and Tanzania.

Carole and Bonnie will be joined in Tanzania by certified professional mountain guides on Mt Kilimanjaro who are trained to ensure the health and safety of their clients. They will be assisted by porters who carry gear, fuel and water, and also by cooks who prepare all the meals.

While on safari, we will be accompanied by professional guides who are trained to ensure our safety as well as to share information on the wildlife and areas we are visiting.

 
 
Q:
What will the other people on the trip be like?  
 
A:

Call of the Wild trips are for women who have a spirit of adventure, the sensitivity to recognize the needs of the group, a willingness to undergo the potential hardships of the outdoors-and a sense of humor! This trip to East Africa should be challenging, interesting, and lots of fun. As far as we know, we are the only company currently offering a women-only group climb of Mt Kilimanjaro.

From our experience, there is a tremendous spirit of support and camaraderie among women in a challenging situation (such as hiking at high altitudes). The team spirit and sense of fun fostered in this environment, and an absence of competition among group members, can make for a better experience and a greater likelihood that you will achieve your goal of making it to the summit.

 

 

For any other questions, e-mail us. (Note: we will not give out your e-mail address, phone number or mailing address to others.)

For information about our Africa trip, go to the Mt Kilimanjaro & Serengeti trip and the Zanzibar optional trip.

For information on reserving your place on a trip, go to Join A Trip.

 
 
 
 
Zanzibar
trip
 

Phone: 510.849.9292
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Fax: 510.644.3811
E-mail: trips@callwild.net
Mailing address: Call of the Wild,
2519 Cedar St., Berkeley, CA 94708
Home URL: http://www.callwild.net
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