Climbing Kilimanjaro - photo by Zuri Safaris and Tours
There are many excellent Tanzanian tour operators who can arrange a climb of Kilimanjaro – and it does not need to cost you an arm and a leg.
This story is written by Victor Mchau of Zuri Tours and Safaris – www.zurisafaris.com
My first trekking days on Kilimanjaro were so great because we were with the best guides and they gave us their full cooperation. We used the Machame route - also known as the Cocacola route.
We trekked for six days and covered about 100km.
Day 1: We were picked up early in the morning from Moshi. From there took us about 45 minutes drive to reach Machame gate (1490 m above sea level), where we entered Kilimanjaro National Park. We went for registration – it is not allowed to enter within the National park without authorization. While we were doing this, the porters were dealing with collecting the things which we would need while trekking – such as water, food, tents, stoves and many other things. After we had completed the registration we started our climb. We soon came across heavy rain forest which we walked through for 6-7 hours, climbing slowly, stopping for lunch half way and continuing till we were at 2980 m.
Dinner and overnight at Machame camp.
Day 2: After enjoying our breakfast we climbed an hour or so to the top of the forest, then for two hours through moorland, stopping for lunch at this point. We slowly began to ascend along the “Shira cathedral” till we reached Shira campsite (3840 m). The whole day’s trek took us 5-6 hours. It was a little bit tough for me, but my guides were there to give me their full attention and told me to walk polepole (slowly). We had our dinner and overnight at Shira camp.
Day 3: We started after breakfast and climbed for 5 hours towards Lava Tower (4630m). After lunch we descended about 680 m over 2 hours towards Barranco Camp, this helps with altitude acclimatisation. We came across different rocks and plants. In that day we trekked for about 7 hours in all.
Dinner and overnight at Barranco Camp (3950m).
Day 4: As usual after breakfast we started ascending to Barafu Hut (4550 m) - about 7 hours in all.
We went to bed very early at 19:00 to try to get some sleep before heading for the summit next day.
Day 5: At midnight we woke up and took a light breakfast then we started ascending for about 6 hours through heavy scree to Stella Point (5685 m) on the Crater rim.
For those of us who had the final energy, we went on for 2 more hours to Uhuru Peak (5895 m) We did take as many photos as possible then we descended for a further 7-8 hours to Mweka hut (3100 m) for dinner and Overnight.
Day 6: Enjoyed our breakfast and descended for about 3 hours to Mweka gate after clearing and being given certificate for conquering Africa’s Highest Mountain. Then drive back to Moshi for overnight.
It was an amazing experience and I did have a lot of fun and adventure!