Posted by: katieperez | July 28, 2008

Weekend at Mt. Kilimanjaro & Arusha National Park

Our weekend away was simply amazing!!!! Mt. Kilimanjaro Lodge is simply heaven on earth. It is amazingly beautiful but the people make it a truly unforgettable experience! Phillip runs the lodge.


Charles was our guide on our hikes and Flora helps manage the lodge. Flora has a beautiful voice and we constantly asked her to sing her version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star for us (I’ll try to post on the flickr page)



Upon arriving at the lodge we went for a hike into the rain forests to see the monkeys. We were very lucky and got to see quite a few- including a baby. Charles was a great sport as we trekked through the brush to try and get the best photos. I even threw myself into a thorn bush and he pulled all the thorns out for me. On the way back down the mountain we sang the Hujambo song that I just love. Charles was a great band leader and had us marching down the mountain. We returned to a warm greeting from Flora and the staff as they had set out fresh coffee for us (grown on the mountain) as well as a nice little fire since it was getting cold out. We sat down and watched the sunset.


On Saturday we set out on our hike early only to turn around due to rain. The muddy roads get quite slippery so we turned back and waited by a nice fire for about an hour until everything settled down. We hiked out to a beautiful waterfall. The entire way we were greeted by the local people and children. They showed us how they plant their crops and the children were happy to sing for us. These people have nothing. A FAMILY here lives on around 50 USD per month- that’s less then 2/per day for a whole family. They work very hard and it is very cold on the mountain at night.  On the way back up to the lodge we stopped to buy some water from a small stand. One of the children earlier had asked for money to buy an Exercise Workbook for school. While at the stand we noticed that they had pencils and exercise books. Sue and I each bought 10 of each and started to hand them out- they were gone in seconds. We got more, and sure enough that only took a few minutes. We ended up giving away over 70 notebooks & pencils. We were like the pied pipers- children in tow behind us and children in front of us running down the mountain and from their homes to come and get a notebook. While handing a notebook to one of the little boys I watched as he pulled his hand from his pocket – in it he had a pencil that was only about an inch long. He was so excited to get his new pencil. The experience of handing out the books to the kids was amazing- for about 40 cents each we were bestowed the biggest grins in the world. It was a true highlight of our entire trip!!


After returning from our hike we were treated to a wonderful song and dance session by the Chagga people who live on the Mountain.


Sunday morning we awoke to rain so we had to walk a bit down the mountain as the roads were a bit to slippery to drive on. Sue and I both slipped on the way down soit was a pretty funny and muddy experience.


We arrived at the home base, changed quickly, and headed out on a 1 Day Safari to Arusha National Park. It was amazing. We did a Canoe Ride, a Walking Safari and a game drive. We saw tons of animals: Giraffe, Zebras, Hippos, Water Buffalo, Baboons, Warthogs, Monkeys, a Rock Python, and tons of birds. You can see photos on my flickr site:

We then ended the weekend with a visit to a local Masai family. They showed us their home and sang some songs for us. The children got a huge kick of having their photo taken and then looking at it.


As you can see our weekend was pretty amazing. We can’t even being to describe how amazing out stay at Mt. Kilimanjaro View Lodge was. We just truly met the nicest people in the world. 


My cough is finally getting a bit better but I have not infected Sue so she has my cold now. We’re hanging in tough and loving every minute.


Love to you all-


Katie & Sue



  1. Sounds like you are doing well and having a good time. I hope your cold is better Sue, and is not hindering you to much. Thanks for keeping us informed of your travels via your blog.

    Love Rick and Bev

  2. Hi Sue (& Katie),
    What an amazing adventure you’re having. I hope one day I will have an opportunity like this and be brave enough to take it on. I keep thinking how an expierience like this can really change a person and give you a different outlook on life. It will be truely amazing to see how this will carry over into your personal and professional lives.

    Sue, I had a great time in Seattle. Diane had my friends and I over for dinner and then we went for a nice walk and met your “fruit man”. I wish you had been there.

    Enjoy the rest of your time there and have a safe trip back home.

    Best Wishes,

  3. Hi Sue (and I feel like I’m getting to know Katie!),
    What a life-changing adventure! And your photographs are amazing! If I haven’t missed the window of opportunity, I’d like one of the batiques from the orphanage as well. Enjoy all those children; their faces are just beautiful!
    With awe and a touch of envy,

  4. Glad to see you are having such an amazing time!

  5. I wonder if you could respond to me – I have just read your blog. My husband in currently in Arusha and I am travelling there (from New Zealand) on Sun, 14 Sep. We want to do a day trip to Kilimanjaro and your weekend sounded wonderful.

    I wonder if you could tell me who you organised your weekend with, a travel company?, and approx. how much it cost and what it included. It sounds like you had a fantastic weekend!

    Many thanks Tracy (from New Zealand)


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