Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro Travel Blog

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Park entrance

In the planning for about a year, we decided that we wanted to climb Kilimanjaro. We picked the Lemosho/Shira route, via the Western Breach. There are only a handful of companies that provide this option as it is difficult and requires you to spend a night at the top. Of these companies, they are the best as they look after their porters and have all the equipment that you may need. Not to mention all of their porters have been to the top several times. This route was also one of the longest (9 days). Because none of us had been to such high altitudes, we wanted to make sure we had enough time to acclimitise, thus improving our chances to summit. Approx 50% of people that attempt Kili, don't make it. But be aware these are mainly people who do it in 4 days and via the Marangaru route (a.

All smiles at the start.
k.a. cocacola route, cause of the refuges and shops all the way up).

We went with a group called Kiliwarriors (www.go-kili.com) and they were superb. Probably the most well trained and vocal of all the groups on the moutain, we were branded the singing tour. Every morning to wake you up and warm up the body, they would sing and make you dance before you were on your way. During the day they would dismantle the camp, walk/run past you to set up the next camp, just in time to sing and dance as you walked in. I can't explain how much they were a support and encouragement to continue heading up and up.

One of the biggest decisions that we had to make was to use or not use Diamox. Diamox is a drug which helps in the acclimitisation process.

The porters and their large backpacks.
It can also mask the effects of altitude sickness if you don't have an experienced hand that knows about these things. I had decided not to take it long before arriving in Tanzania, but the guides were persistent that in a low dose it would help. I decided to stick to my original plan and not take it, and I can tell you that on the top, I could really feel the effects of the altitude.

My friends did take it and did not experience as strong an effect as I did. The jury is still not out on this one, but I can give you more reading material for anyone interested.

To be honest, climbing Kili is not difficult. The thing that is the most difficult is the altitude. No one knows how you will react to it, and that poses the biggest problem, no matter who you are or how fit you think you are.

Our tents.
Our group ranged from mid 20s to over 50s, from very fit to not very fit. Yet everyone made it. It all about being smart, positive and listening to your guides. They have seen it all before so they know.

More and more people are climbing Kilimanjaro. With this comes exploitation. When you book please make sure that the tour opeator looks after their guides by having a porter policy in place and registered with one of the main porter protection groups. There are no weekly bin collections, so if you don't eat it, then bring it back with you.

This was a fantstic experience and I consider it to be one of the few achievements that is possible by almost anyone. So if you've always wanted to chanllenge yourself, this is the perfect way.

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Park entrance
Park entrance
All smiles at the start.
All smiles at the start.
The porters and their large backpa…
The porters and their large backp…
Our tents.
Our tents.
Last push to Summit.
Last push to Summit.
Global wamring? Whats the massive…
Global wamring? What's the massiv…
The Summit!
The Summit!
The next morning. Sunrise from the…
The next morning. Sunrise from th…
The final dancing.
The final dancing.
Some of porters.
Some of porters.
All of the porters.
All of the porters.
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photo by: sarahsan