Explore’s Customer Services Executive Penny Mannion is a keen walker and here she tells us why it's not too late to trek Mount Kilimanjaro this autumn and the advice she'd give to those thinking of taking on the challenge.
"We still have limited availability on some departures so it’s definitely not too late for you - or me - to summit Africa’s highest mountain this autumn.
Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro is something I’ve always wanted to do and I consider it a real challenge. I used to have the impression that people who trekked Kilimanjaro have to be super fit types. But having now talked to colleagues who have done this trek, I feel confident that as long as a person is reasonably fit and has a positive mind set, it’s a challenge that many people can definitely rise to! It's definitely something that I want to try - I just need to find a date that works for me!
I really love walking and am often seen on the South and North downs near where I live. But the walking bug really got to me after trekking in Kyrgyzstan’s remote and wild Tien Shan mountains (on an Explore trip) a few years ago. I’ve also hiked in the spectacular national parks of Montenegro.
I’ve been told that every moment of the trip is something to savour - the experience of taking part, meeting fellow trekkers and crew, the amazing landscapes encountered along the way and, of course, the opportunity of getting to the top. Standing at 5895 metres on the ‘roof of Africa’ - Uhuru Peak - is, I am told, one of the most incredible feelings.
I know that the main concern for those considering the trek is 'am I fit enough?' But I am reassured by my colleagues that I still have plenty of time to prepare if I want to go this autumn. I recently completed a 100 km non-stop walk for charity and will be going to the gym more often to increase my fitness. I would recommend prospective Kilimanjaro trekkers do as much hill walking as possible between now and your trip. This will also give you a chance to try out any new kit you buy as well as get you in the right mind set before the big day!
So, now, the only question is, when shall we go?"
If you're inspired to give it a go, join our Kilimanjaro - Lemosho Trek this autumn.