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Tribe Tales: Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro

The Adventure Fund 

Every year our co-owners have access to subsidised Naturally Powered Adventures, organised and led by Go Ape (all over the world). Some previous trips have included: Rock Climbing in Spain, a multi-activity trip to Loch Lomond in Scotland and an intrepid expedition to Morocco up the highest mountain in North Africa (Mount Toubkal). 

Go Ape also offers the "Adventure Fund", which employees can use to fund their own expeditions. Everyone can send an application for their proposed adventure, and funding is allocated. 

Go Ape Instructor and co-owner, Karina Sabunaite, made great use of the fund when she went on a trekking adventure to Mount Kilimajaro.  

Over to KarinA

Trekking Kilimanjaro was by far the most challenging yet best thing I have ever done! I joined a group of 37 other students who I hadn’t met before and I definitely made friends for life. The whole trip would not have been possible without the superhuman guides and porters who cared for us like their own and most definitely made unforgettable impressions!

The trip began with us all meeting at a nearby hostel, exploring the town of Moshi and ensuring we had everything we needed for the week ahead! The next day was filled with lots of nerves and excitement as we drove to Machame gate and began the trek along the Machame route. The days got steeper, colder and harder. The mornings were absolutely freezing, and the use of the long-drop toilets never became more enjoyable! However, our reward of sharing a warm meal, cooked by the guides, with our new friends made it all worth it. It was great fun recapping the day’s events together and listening to the guides sing.

Summit day was definitely the hardest with a 1am start after only 2 hours of sleep. It was cold, steep and extremely difficult but everybody was so supportive, and the team kept each other going! We would share our snacks to boost each other’s energy and some even shared their water with me when my water bladder froze!

After a climb, where all of our legs felt like jelly, 26 of us reached the summit and it was truly the most rewarding feeling! We even got to experience a mountain-top engagement between two of our team-mates, which really did top the whole thing! 

Unfortunately, throughout the trip, a fair few people did suffer with altitude sickness and were told they couldn’t continue which was a real shame but we made sure they knew how proud we were! 

The descent was bittersweet, we were all extremely exhausted but very happy that we had made it! We all enjoyed the experience so much that we didn’t want it to end and spent the two descent days reminiscing. What made it easier was seeing the indigenous Colobus Monkeys on our way down! 

Once we reached Machame gate, it was celebrations all round – as well as a lot of appreciation for the use of a normal toilet for the first time in a week! We all sat around and enjoyed a Kilimanjaro beer before heading back to the hotel where the celebrations continued. 

We enjoyed a warm shower (finally!) and gathered for the celebrations ceremony where those who summited received a certificate and medal. (Photo attached) 

The next day some of us went off to do a Safari and some flew to Zanzibar where we were all reunited a day later anyway! This was another adventure filled week where we experienced, swimming with dolphins, riding mopeds, a boat ride next to whales, parties and unfortunately me needing stitches on my eye due to falling off a banana boat!

The highlight of this trip was definitely the first night of Kilimanjaro where we all watched the stars and even saw the Milky Way as the sky was so clear! We could see the snow-capped summit and spent hours sat outside admiring the sky while getting to know each other.

We all felt such happiness in this moment and continue to speak about it even now. The whole trip, including the fun had in Zanzibar was absolutely insane and definitely unforgettable! I’m so glad to have made friends for life and we even have another mountain trek booked for 2023!

If there’s one thing I recommend you do in life, it is definitely trekking Kilimanjaro!

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