While all our clients are very important people we are nonetheless occasionally asked to customise climbs for VIPs. Travel professionals making enquiries on behalf of their VIP clients generally want the most competent and professional staffing for their clients, the most comfortable equipment, the safest movement and timings, the best chance of summitting, and the most exquisite cuisine.
It is with this genre of group in mind that we offer our Hemingway Series, which is without doubt the most exclusive and comfortable experience it is possible to enjoy while summiting Kilimanjaro.
In our experience, VIP climbers want to ensure that they're on the quietest, most successful route, and that they're not jostling with other climbers in crowded campsites.
With respect to the priorities of ensuring minimal crowds, the greatest likelihood of enjoying exclusive use of campsites along the route, and the best possible summit prospects, we offer only one route in our Hemingway Series: the TK Lemosho Route.
This route offers the following significant benefits:
Our Hemingway Series treks include the following:
There is currently only one helicopter licensed to arrange collections and evacuations from Mount Kilimanjaro. Absent any investors in the field of aviation being inspired to invest in additional aircraft, it should be understood that the possibility of chartering this helicopter on the day that we need it is far from a certainty - even where we book the service long in advance.
However, where weather and availability allow, it is sometimes possible to curtail the descent by one day and opt to use the helicopter descent service. VIPs anticipating requesting a helicopter descent should however ensure they have allowed the original extra day for the descent on foot in their itinerary, as cloud cover, high winds and the helicopter's relatively unpredictable maintenance cycle preclude this option as being something that is guaranteed to happen.
Where a climb group opts to use the helicopter to descend, pick up will usually be from high camp at approximately 4,700m, back to civilization. Each helicopter descent is able to transport two persons, with 30-60 minutes' waiting time at leisure at high camp between successive pick-ups.
*Note: a cost-inclusive alternative to the helicopter transfer from Moshi to Arusha is a vehicle transfer that takes about 3 hours.
For climbers entertaining the possibility of making a snap decision to use the helicopter to descend (subject to good weather and availability), you will need either to pre-fund to TK or else carry an 'escape fund' in cash in USD, based on the above requirements.