Tanzania Journals

Destination Kilimanjaro

Best of IgoUgo

A September 2003 trip to Tanzania by Gard

Marangu Hotel Photo, Tanzania, Africa More Photos
Quote: This journal will be about my climb on Kilimanjaro (Machame route) in September 2003. Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and it stands 5895 meters above sea level. The top of the mountain is called Uhuru Peak and this was our destination.

Destination Kilimanjaro

Overview

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Like most people, I knew about Kilimanjaro in Africa, but I had never given much thought to the fact that it is possible to climb this mountain without too much effort. When Gayle (a friend of my wife Nikki) came to visit us in Norway in early May 2003, she mentioned that she was planning on climbing Kilimanjaro together with her sister Avril and her boyfriend Matt. I became interested because it sounded like a great challenge and it stuck to my mind. When Gayle left, I told her to keep me updated on when the climbing would take place so that I could maybe join them. In the beginning of July, I got a mail from Gayle saying that the climb would take place at the end of September. The only "problem" at ...Read More

Marangu Hotel

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Hotel

Marangu Hotel Photo, Tanzania, Africa
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The hotel is a former farm and it was built in the early 1900s. The hotel consists of several cottages and buildings and they were not that impressive at first sight and some of the buildings looked a bit old and worn out. I shared a room with a friend and the room was OK. In the room we found a couple of beds (a bit too hard for my likings), a little wardrobe with some hangers, a little desk and a bench, no TV or mini bar. The room was not well lit and I had trouble reading at night. There were no air conditioning, but the windows had mosquito nets so we could keep them open all night. The bathroom was tiled and had a bath tub that also worked as the shower. Sometimes the water had to run for a few m...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 4, 2003

Marangu Hotel
Slopes of Kilimanjaro
Moshi, Tanzania
(0)27 275 6594

Mount Kilimanjaro

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Attraction | "Advice from me to you"

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- Don’t underestimate the mountain. Yes, more or less anyone can get to the top here, but handling the altitude can be a challenge. - Read about altitude sickness (AMS) before you go and know about the symptoms. You don’t want to risk your life doing this. - Know what to do to prevent altitude sickness (AMS): drink lots of water, walk slowly, stay warm, eat well, and try Diamox to see if you get any side effects. - Bring walking poles! I don’t use this when I walk here in Norway, but it was really nice to have these "helpers" on the Kilimanjaro. If you haven’t used walking poles before, try them out before you get to the mountain - Bring a thin pair of gloves. Your...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 18, 2004

Mount Kilimanjaro

Tanzania, Africa

Mount Kilimanjaro

Attraction | "Conclusion from the trip"

Mount Kilimanjaro Photo, Tanzania, Africa
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Lots of people have asked me if it was worth to go to Kilimanjaro and I'm not always sure what to answer. It did cost me quite a lot of money as you can see from the budget and it was a fairly short trip (about 10 days). If you have read the "Day by day diary," you can see that the trekking was a bit harder than I expected it to be, but I guess that has something to do with my cold and the fact that I’m not used to the high altitude. It was hard work getting to the top and, when we were between Shira and Barranco and when I was on the way up to Stella Point, I did think, “What am I doing here”. At other times, I just enjoyed myself and I realized that it was quite an adventure. It was a challenge and ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 18, 2004

Mount Kilimanjaro

Tanzania, Africa

precision_air_plane Photo, Tanzania, Africa
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After a normal working day I got a ride to the airport by my wife Nikki. It was strange to leave my wife Nikki at home this time. I have become so used to having the pleasure of travelling with her and it felt like something was missing when I was walking around alone at the airport. I was using KLM/Kenya Airways this time. At 5pm, I lifted off from Stavanger Airport and after a short stop in Amsterdam, I was on my way to Nairobi at about 8pm. I was lucky enough to fly in business class, so I was in pretty good shape when I landed in Nairobi at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on the morning next day after the eight-hour flight. When we were planning, we had found out that there were two...Read More
Gear check Photo, Tanzania, Africa
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Today was "inspection" day. The hotel wanted to make sure that we had all the gear that we needed for the trekking on the mountain. In the morning, a lady came over to our cottage to check out our stuff. We put all our gear on our individual beds and showed the lady want we were planning to wear, what kind of temperature our sleeping bags could take, and so on. I got through this check without any problems. But Matt, Gayle, and Avril all ended up borrowing some stuff from the hotel (everything from blankets, gaiters, day packs, water bottles, and so on). It felt a bit like an exam. We also carried out our little Diamox experiment and we took a 250mg pill each to check out which effect it would ...Read More
Porters gearing up Photo, Tanzania, Africa
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We were woken up at 6.30am and we got tea served to our room. We were pretty organized and all our stuff was packed the night before. We had also packed a couple of bags that we were going to leave behind at the hotel and we handed in our valuables that we wouldn’t need on the mountain (wallet, passports etc). The only thing you need is your passport number by the way because this is used when entering the "gates" to the mountain. After breakfast at the hotel we waited around in the courtyard and looked at all the porters preparing all that needed to be brought along on the mountain. I had packed my stuff in a US military duffel bag. Each bag was also weighed at the hotel to make sure that each...Read More
Machame camp Photo, Tanzania, Africa
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When we got up this morning the weather was beautiful and sun was shining from a blue sky. All the clouds seemed to be below us at this point. It was a bit cold during the night and there were even frost in the grass when we got up. But I didn’t have any trouble keeping warm in my sleeping bag during the night. We were woken up to a cup of tea at about 6.30am and we packed all our gear before breakfast at 7am. Once again we got a good and filling meal consisting of oat porridge, toast, omelette, sausage, and some vegetables on the side. At about 8am, we were ready for departure from the Machame camp. The trail went up and up and once again the other groups went past us pretty fast. There was no...Read More
Gard at Shira Photo, Tanzania, Africa
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I stayed warm in my sleeping bag during the night. . . I was wearing a thin fleece during the night and some thicker socks. I was not feeling great this morning (a bit nauseous), but I still managed to squeeze a litre of water in me before breakfast. For breakfast, I had another Lemsip and then breakfast itself. At 8am, we were ready for departure from the Shira campsite and from my Kilimanjaro book, we knew that we would have about 6km ascent to start with. I was wearing a long sleeved dri-fit Nike shirt covered by a Gore-Tex jacket. It was nice and sunny, but the wind was cold, so it was best to walk with the hood up. As we walked, we got higher and higher and, in the end, we were ...Read More
Morning view of Kibo Photo, Tanzania, Africa
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We got up a bit later this morning. . . according to the guide, it was better to start a bit later because it can be a bit cold here before the sun comes up. We all felt better this morning compared to the state we were in yesterday afternoon/evening. I guess the body is getting a bit used to the altitude and maybe the Diamox pills have an effect. After breakfast, we got ready to face the Barranco wall and we started walking at about 9am. I was wearing my Fjällräven trousers once again and I had the thin super underwear top under my Gore-Tex jacket. The climb up the wall was not as bad as expected. As we were coming down the campsite the day before, we looked at the path up the wall and thought...Read More
View to Uhuru Photo, Tanzania, Africa
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At 11pm, we got our wakeup call. The strong wind was gone and it was a clear night and I was just looking forward to the challenge. We started walking at midnight and Nelson and two assistants guided us. We walked slowly and I didn’t focus on much apart from keeping a steady pace. From time to time, we would stop and I would use the chance to rest on my walking poles and sip a bit of my water. After a while, we started walking in zigzags and Gayle slowed down a little. After a while, we agreed to split up the group so that Avril, Matt, and I would walk with Nelson and Gayle would walk with one of the assistant guides. It was a blessing for me when the sun rose because it m...Read More
Kibo seen from Mweka Photo, Tanzania, Africa
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As usual we were woken up at about 6.30 am. I slept very well from 9pm yesterday until we were woken up. It was actually too warm in the sleeping bag and I had to open it up to get some air. Once again we had fruit, oat porridge, omelette, toast, and sausage for breakfast. After packing up our gear, we started on the last leg of this trip. Led by Nelson, we kept up a very good pace, even if we had sore legs and knees. The trail was pretty good but steep in some places and very slippery at times. The border between the heather zone and the cloud forest is pretty distinct. Only a few minutes after we had walked out of the camp, we were back in the cloud forest surrounded by huge trees. The trail from Mw...Read More
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There is no doubt that does cost to climb a mountain like Kilimanjaro. In the table below, I have tried to summarize what I spent on this trip and I have tried to take everything into account (equipment, transportation, costs for the trekking on the mountain, etc.). We choose to go to the Marangu Hotel for a tour guide and they are not the cheapest, but I think we made a right decision. Another variable is the cost of equipment. How much stuff have you got and how much do you have to buy to be prepared for this trip? Transportation Stavanger - Nairobi $1010 Nairobi - Kilimanjaro airport $300 Transport (to/from hotel) $62 Trekking and hotel...Read More