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Look who made it to the top of Kilimanjaro this week!
January 22nd 2008.
I've received a few emails over the past couple of weeks from concerned trekkers
who have booked their Kilimanjaro climb -
The troubles started following disputes over the general election held earlier this year. Whilst Kilimanjaro is of course in Tanzania, not Kenya, its location, hard against the Kenyan border means that such concerns are legitimate.
However, from a straw poll of agencies and operators who organise treks up Kilimanjaro it appears that trekking on the mountain has thus far been unaffected by the troubles in Kenya. Most agencies have reported a slight drop in bookings for February and March, which they are blaming on the fighting in Kenya and the fact that most airlines fly via the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on their way to Kilimanjaro. But Tanzania's reputation as a safe country, particularly given the volatility of its neighbours, seems to have ensured that trekkers are still climbing the mountain. The city of Arusha has seen a slight influx of 'refugees' from Kenya, but again is largely unaffected by the crisis across the border.
Indeed, trekking agencies who have contacted me seem pretty sanguine about their prospects this summer, with bookings healthy. many also hold the belief that the troubles, while brutal in the initial stages, are but temporary and a solution is imminent. We can only hope they're right.