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Best of Durham

Kilimanjaro 2019

Dispatch #9

Greetings from Team Pumba!

We’ve had three great days on the Safari so far! The first day we spent at Lake Manyara where we saw lots of birds including the African pink flamingo, our first Cape Buffalo, elephants, lots of monkeys and baboons (Anne's favorite—not), and unexpectedly, lions which are rare to see in that area.

We had a beautiful evening at the Lake Manyara Hotel, then we headed for the Serengeti where we saw lions mating and hunting, three groups of cheetahs including some babies, the evasive leopard, one in a tree and another with a cub on top of a rock formation.

We've seen so many warthogs (our mascot) gazelles and antelopes, Dikdiks (last year's mascot), hippos, giraffes, elephants, & zebras- you name it we saw it. Secretary birds, jackels, hyenies, the serval (a cat), and a rare sighting of the bat-eared fox.

Tonight we're staying at the Serengeti Safari Lodge- a gorgeous glamping experience (We've all enjoyed the private outdoor showers). We had a delicious BBQ dinner last night and right now we're watching the most amazing sunset by the pool while sipping Serengeti beers. This afternoon while napping, baboons ransacked Anne's back porch. She ran them off. They left her a puddle of urine. Ironic that she is the one who hates baboons. Coincidence???

Tomorrow we head for the Ngorongoro Crater.

Love to all our friends and family!

Dispatch #8

Team Pumba is happy to report that we have reached the summit at 19,341 feet! After a long trek back down the mountain, we're excited to get back to our hotels to celebrate with some cold beers and hot showers. We could not have done it without the help of Tom, Tomas and and Rama. It’s been a long day so we’re all pretty tired.

Apologies in advance for any delay in dispatches, friends and family should be hearing from their loved ones via text, email or phone.

Stay tuned!

Team Pumba

Dispatch #7

Team Pumba had an easy climb this morning to Upper Barafu Camp, otherwise known as Kosovo Camp. Camp Kosovo is about an hour closer to the summit than previous sites that the WAG Team has used, so we’ll be able to sleep in a bit before our climb in the morning. Everyone is staying hydrated and fueled up as we prepare to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro! Barbara and Shane send a special shout out to Bear, Henry & Sophie back home in North Carolina.

Wish us luck and stay tuned for an update from the summit!

Dispatch #6


Everyone did fantastic today as we conquered the challenging Barranco Wall earlier this morning. Following the climb we made our way to Karanga Camp for a relaxing afternoon filled with naps, card games and hot tea.

We just filled up with a hearty dinner and we’re currently resting up for tomorrow’s climb to High Camp.


Team Pumba

Dispatch #5

Team Pumba has made it to Barranco Camp!

After a quick four hour climb to Lava Tower, we found ourselves enjoying a leisurely lunch in order to fuel up for the hike to Barranco Camp. Although it was windy, we made it to Barranco Camp in just under two hours. As we enjoy our dinner, Anne says “bonjour maman,” while the rest of us from the WAG Team say hello and wish us luck as we conquer Barranco Wall tomorrow morning.


Team Pumba

Dispatch #4

Today’s trek began in the rainforest followed by beautiful skies once we were above the clouds. We made it to Shira Camp in outstanding time- just under five hours! We’re looking forward to a restful afternoon enjoying the scenery and fueling up for tomorrow’s climb.

Everyone says hello to friends and family.

Anne sends a special shout out to her friends in New Jersey.


Team Pumba

Dispatch #3

Team Pumba has made it to Machame Camp!

Greetings from Machame Camp. There was a bit of rain on the way but fortunately it has cleared up as we enjoy a hearty meal. Everyone has done a phenomenal job so far for sure! Speaking of, Dave says hello to Karen; and Rachel, Anne and Barbara say hello to Rana and Celine.

Wish us luck!

The WAG Team

Dispatch #2

This morning we are off to start our climb. As usual it is a hurry up and wait to start trekking. All our camping gear and supplies need to be weighted by the Kilimanjaro Park rangers and it just takes time.

We are all anxious to get started. Today it will take between 5-6 hours to each our first camp the Machame camp. We have decided our team name will be Pumba. Pumba is the loveable warthog from the Lion King. Go team Pumba!

The. WAG Team

Dispatch #1

Jambo Friends and Family. Our 2019 Kilimanjaro Climb and Safari has begun. It’s great to be back in Moshi, Tanzania with our old friends. It feels like coming home. Anne, Rachel, and Jon arrived at the airport on time and in good spirits.

Dave took a bit longer to get here after several canceled flights and a few delays, but also in good spirits. Today we’ll rest, pack, have a briefing about our climb tomorrow, and meet our local guides and team.

We will be doing the Machame route over the next seven days. It’s a beautiful route that takes us through five eco systems and nearly completely circumnavigates the mountain.

We’ll try to post a dispatch every day, but please keep in mind they are dependent on our satellite phone connection and if we miss one it is not an indication of a problem. Everyone says hello to folks back home and thanks for following along.

The WAG Team