Posted on February 29th, 2012 1 comment
After a successful climb of Kilimanjaro the team said goodbye to Caleb, John, and April. Caleb and John began their journey home. SMI guide April Mayhew stayed behind in Moshi to run in the Kilimanjaro Marathon. Three days after standing on top of Kilimanjaro April placed a very respectable second among female non-Africans then caught up with the rest of the group for the last three days of safari. Congratulations April! The rest of the team took off on a game viewing safari to see up close some of the most fascinating animals on our planet.
Over the course of five days the team visited Lake Manyara, the Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park, and the great Serengeti Plains. In addition to seeing a wide range of exotic wildlife our safaris are also a rich cultural experience. We spent some time with kids at a local orphanage as has become traditional on our trips. We also visited a local Masai Village where we were treated to traditional Masai dancing ceremonies, saw the mud huts they live in, and we were given the opportunity to purchase jewelry items. We also visited Olduvai Gorge which is rich in archeological history. Bones of many extinct animals have been found in this area. It is also the sight where the archeologists Tom and Mary Leakey discovered the oldest homonid footprints.
Wildlife was prevalent throughout our safari. Below are a few pictures. The entire photo gallery can be found here:
Posted on February 26th, 2012 1 comment
SMI guides April Mayhew and Kurt Wedberg just returned from Tanzania where they led another successful climb of Kilimanjaro. Team members included Rhonda Bellevia, Caleb Fiske, Jackie Hammitt, Janet Lacey, and John Lafaro. Several team members used this climb as a fundraiser for Big City Mountaineers (www.bigcitymountaineers.org). The money raised will help this well respected organization bring underprivileged and inner city youth on 7 and 8 day backpacking trips this summer.
The team met in Moshi, Tanzania where we spent one day to relax after the long flights, pack our gear for the climb, take a hike in the forest near our hotel, and eat a traditional Chagga meal of banana soup. On February 18 the team took off for Kilimanjaro National Park and the gate at the start of the Umbwe Route which would be our ascent route of the mountain.
Kilimanjaro is the only place in the world where one can pass through five different temperate zones over a 5-day period. We start in a jungle environment at 6000′/1829m and by the time we’ve reached the summit at 19,348′/5895m we’re in the alpine zone. Along the way we were met with every type of weather possible from warm sun to rain, foggy white out conditions to clear days, and we even had some snowfall at the higher elevations. The team adapted beautifully to the changing conditions keeping a great attitude throughout.
For all team members (besides the guides) climbing Kilimanjaro would be a new personal altitude record. It was a joy watching this group of people who came from California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas mold into a super fun, supportive, and efficient climbing team over the course of this 7-day climb.
Congratulations everybody on a job well done!!
A few pictures are below. The entire photo gallery can be found here:
Posted on July 1st, 2011 1 comment
As has become customary on our Africa trips we pay a visit to at least one orphanage. HIV and AIDS is still a very big issue in Africa and orphanages are overflowing with kids who’s parents have fallen victim to this epidemic. What little SMI can do to bring a little cheer into these kids lives we feel very humbled and honored to be able to do. Sarah MacDonald and Steve Schumm joined SMI guides April Mayhew and Kurt Wedberg for this visit. As we did with our visit in February we brought with us hand made dolls courtesy of Cindy Simon and a group of talented ladies who sew these to distribute to kids all over the world. A big thank you to Cindy and all the ladies who help make possible delivering these special dollies to the kids.
A few pictures are below. The entire photo gallery including some video can be found here: