Women-only trek up Kilimanjaro, exploring Ethiopia and more
Phil MartyTips, Trips & DealsFor nearly three decades, Wild Women Expeditions has been offering a wide variety of women-only outdoor adventures around the world. A challenging bucket-list trip in September — Savannah to Summit Kilimanjaro Expedition — will tackle the peak that lures many to Tanzania. This isn’t a trip that requires mountain climbing expertise, but it does call for a serious level of fitness and the ability to acclimatize to altitude. Over six days of trekking, the participants, led by a female guide, gain more than 15,000 feet in elevation on the way to Mount Kilimanjaro’s 19,340-foot peak. The final ascent begins before midnight and gains 4,240 feet, then there’s the trek back down, which loses 9,170 feet in elevation. Truly a challenging day. Porters lend a helping hand by toting the camp equipment and trekkers’ bags. Lodging is in tents, of course, and all meals are included. Also included is one night’s hotel lodging in Arusha before the hiking begins. Cost of the trip is $3,795 per person, and international air is extra. Info: 888-993-1222, http://tinyurl.com/ybfokfb7
Best in snow
For the second year in a row, Magic Mountain in Vermont leads the list of top overall ski areas in North America compiled for the Best in Snow Awards from Liftopia. The online site, which sells lift tickets and equipment rentals for 250 ski areas in North America, surveyed more than 10,000 skiers about their favorite resorts. Factors taken into consideration include challenging terrain, crowds, family friendliness, snow consistency and overall quality. Rankings also are listed by geographical area. See all the lists at http://tinyurl.com/yas4cl9j.
Seasoned travelers in the been-there-done-that stage of exploring the world might be intrigued by the prospect of checking out Ethiopia, a country not high on the tourism radar. Big Five Tours & Expeditions emphasizes the country’s ancient culture and natural beauty with a new tour, Historic Routes of Ethiopia. The oldest independent country in Africa also is home to nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The tour starts with a dose of city culture in Addis Ababa, the capital and home to, among other attractions, the National Museum. It holds the famous skeleton of Lucy, the hominid who lived 3.1 million years ago. At Simien Mountains National Park, there’s the opportunity to view wildlife, including the bleeding-heart baboon and lion monkey. In the city of Lalibela, Ethiopia’s Christian roots are explored with visits to churches that were carved out of rock from the seventh to 13th centuries. Outside Lalibela is Yemrehane Christos, a church built by a king inside a cave. Big Five Tours prices its trips by the day, so this 10-day/nine-night itinerary totals $7,500 per person, double occupancy. International airfare is extra. Info: 800-244 3483, http://tinyurl.com/yae2blqj.
PHOTO : Summiting Africa's tallest peak is the goal of Wild Women Expeditions' trip up Mount Kilimanjaro in September. (Wild Women Expeditions)
Phil Marty is a freelance reporter.