Jambo! I'M GOING TO TANZANIA! Ok, so that's not majorly big news any more but the point is, I'm actually going. I'v...

To Do Before Tanzania

Jambo!

I'M GOING TO TANZANIA!

Ok, so that's not majorly big news any more but the point is, I'm actually going. I've spent the past year fundraising and doing all that I can to raise the money I needed to go to Tanzania and climb Kilimanjaro this August. Even though I kept on saying I was going, it was all a bit up in the air. To be able to go I needed to raise the money and it was difficult. Eventually, whilst in the Dominican Republic the final deadline date came around and after persistent promotion on Facebook, I finally did it! A massive thank you everyone who donated and supported me throughout my fundraising! I'm planning a full fundraising update as a round up of everything that I did to raise money. Hopefully in the future that with help others who are planning a similar thing. In the meantime, I have a trip to plan! (Check out that post here!)

The trip I have booked with our adventure company, Rare Adventures, includes flights, the Kilimanjaro trek, plus food and accommodation whilst on the trek, and then allows time for some independent travelling at the end. I now have just over 5 weeks until I jet off to Tanzania and start the big adventure, but before then I have a lot of preparing to do. Both to remind myself and to give everyone else a little idea of what's got to be done before Kilimanjaro and Tanzania, I thought I'd do a post today with a list of things.

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1. Travel Insurance

I did this yesterday but it's been one of the main things on my mind lately. Getting travel insurance normally is very important but this time round it hasn't been as simple as Compare the Market. Climbing Kilimanjaro requires all sorts of extras similarly to extreme sports. Altitude sickness can be very common so making sure the insurance covers being above 6000ft is essential. I am fortunate that our travel company offer their own version through Endsleigh Insurance that is tailored to the specific challenge! It is a bit more on the expensive side at £81 but given the risks you are taking, it is worth it.

2. Visa

The next thing on my list to get done is sorting out my visa. Some visas are pretty simple to sort out. For example, when going to the Dominican Republic you can just fill in a short form online and send it off with a photocopy of your passport at a cost of £11 and it's sorted within the week. Both of our visas arrived at my door ready for our holidays. Otherwise you can purchase them when you arrive in Dom Rep, but the queue gets quite long. For Tanzania it's a bit different. There is an application form to print off and fill in which needs to be sent off with your passport, two passport sized photos and proof of payment which is simply you putting money into a bank account. It is all such a hassle. When doing it by mail it is said to take up to ten days to return so in case of any complications, sending it off early is key. Oh, I forgot, it's best to get it recorded delivery since your passport is in it but you also need to send a pre-paid envelope for them to send everything back in.

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3. Kit

I previously did a list of everything I will need for the trip as well as a backpacker's wishlist so there are quite a few things I am going to have to buy. Looking at the list, I do actually have a few things and luckily I was donated a large 65L back pack but I still need a new coat and probably layer clothing! Off I go shopping in the next couple of weeks!

4. Train

My fitness isn't too bad as I've played hockey throughout the year and been to the gym when I could. I also recently climbed Mount Isabel de Torres in Dominican Republic which took about 3 hours at a steep incline, which was probably a lot more than we would do in a day when climbing Kilimanjaro so I'm not feeling too bad about that. However, dare I say it, I have put on weight since I finished uni and came home. I haven't really looked after myself and I guess you could say I have eaten a lot of chocolate! Now I really need to put my foot down and make sure I am keeping my fitness up and try to loose that bit of puppy fat I've put on. I didn't really feel comfortable in my bikini on holiday this time round so I don't want the same in Tanzania!

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5. Itinerary

Finally, I have 7 days of independent travel time after the challenge for me to do whatever I want before my flight home. Within our team we have been trying to organise who wants to do what in order to stay in groups for safety reasons. There is a lot to do in Tanzania such as safaris, hot springs, big cities with museums, cultural tours, and a ferry system across to the beautiful Zanzibar! Lots to do in such a short amount of time. Here's me wanting to do it all. Of course my budget is not allowing for that at all so sacrifices will have to be made. No safari for me. Not this time anyway. Once all the groups are sorted and the full itinerary has been planned and hopefully booked, I will share with you what I shall be doing. Until then, it's very stressful when you're trying to organise about 13 people all at once and everyone wants to do something different.

I mentioned my budget. Currently I don't have one as I am skint. I honestly don't know where money goes and how it goes so quickly. Especially since I'm back home and my parents pay for things as I'm not at uni. Either way, the whole plan was to get a job as soon as I got back from Dominican Republic to tide me over until I go to Tanzania. That has proved a lot more difficult that I had originally thought as nowhere will take me on for such a short amount of time. I can't go back to my old job as they are full up and I have not been trained behind the bar. Gone are the days when you can easily get a little summer job for 6 weeks. I gave up searching and instead, through the power of Facebook, I have been able to actually get two jobs. One is at a cafe and one is at a restaurant. I never worked at anything like either of them but both owners know about my trip and are keen to help me out so I have money for spends like food and drink. I start one this weekend and then I think the other on Monday. I'm still waiting for the call to let me know my hours. I just hope that I can fit both of them in. According to opening hours, one closes at 5pm whilst the other opens at 6pm so fingers crossed it all goes well. If it does then I might just have money left over to take me to university. UPDATE - both jobs fell through. How annoying! I'm back to being jobless when I didn't even get to start either of these!

All in all, lots to do and lots to look forward to! Here's to another great adventure and my first proper backpacking trip! I am genuinely so excited and really hope it all goes well and works out ok! Things are looking up! Well they were when I had jobs to look forward to, anyway I' am still looking forward to my trip!

Fingers crossed!
- KC xx

Have you ever done a trip like this? What sort of things do you like to see in new countries?

Photos courtesy of Hull RAG of which I am a committee member of.

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