Out of Africa: 6 – Climbing Kilimanjaro

Out of Africa: 1
Out of Africa: 2
Out of Africa: 3 – Safari in Lake Manyara
Out of Africa: 4 – Safari in the Serengeti
Out of Africa: 5 – Safari in Ngorongoro Crater
Out of Africa: 6 – Climbing Kilimanjaro
Out of Africa: 7 – Kilimanjaro Summit
Out of Africa: 8 – Zanzibar

After wrapping up our safari, it was time to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro! We headed back to Moshi, Tanzania to meet up with the guide for our climb and to check if Rayna and Farah’s luggage had arrived yet.

No dice on their bags. They would want a disclaimer here saying that they bought really cute clothes to wear up the mountain and ended up wearing a combination of my stuff and rental gear. Luckily they carried on their backpacks and boots!

We started our hike up the Lemosho Route on Mt. Kilimanjaro at nearly 9000′ (the map below is in meters) and stayed at Shira 1, Shira Hut, Barranco, Karanga, and Barafu Camps on the way up the mountain.

[Source]

Each night our tents and a dining tent were set up at camp and we pretty much just hung out all evening until bedtime. Some of the camps were pretty crowded, which was kind of surreal.

The dining tent left something to be desired, but all in all it was better than eating outside, especially when it rained or when it was cold outside. Chris and I were spoiled with our amazing dining tent on the Inca Trail, this one pales in comparison to that one!

Except for summit day and one day of tromping through the mud, the hiking was actually not very intense. I think Chris was a little bummed about the ease of the hike since he is all into feeling hardcore.

              

On the way up, we met all sorts of interesting people as we passed them back and forth on the trail. I was really struck by the number of Americans going up the mountain, but I guess when you think about how large our population is compared to many other countries that it makes sense.

We saw many interesting sights on the way up including a guy carrying a cello and a couple that was planning to get married at the top. The cello guy had a crazy carbon fiber cello and wanted to do the highest cello performance on record. Pretty cool. Unfortunately, the bride got altitude sickness, so we witnessed their wedding at the bottom of the mountain the evening that we descended.

Summit day coming soon!

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14 comments
  1. I just read through all of your Africa posts………. AMAZING!!! I loved reading them and looking at the pictures. Thanks for sharing. What an incredible experience!! Going to Africa is a long time dream of mine…I know I will get there one day, I just don’t know when.

    • Brit said:

      Thank you for reading! I feel so lucky that we were able to take this trip, it was a once in a lifetime experience!

  2. Lisa said:

    Cool pictures! And I can’t imagine your poor friends not having their luggage the ENTIRE time. I would probably freak, but I think they look a-okay. Can’t wait to see the summit post 😀

    • Brit said:

      Thanks!

      The lost bags thing would have done a number on me, but they both had such amazing attitudes about it.

  3. Kier said:

    How fun! Your posts make me want to go do all of this stuff!

  4. At first, I read “the bride got altitude sickness” as “the BRIDGE got altitude sickness” (I was thinking about the bridge on the cello, that the strings lay on…) hahaaha. I was still thinking cello instead of weddings.

    I am interested to know what your and Chris’s version of “intense” hiking is if Kilimanjaro wasn’t it! If anything this makes you guys even more hardcore. How did you go about choosing which route to take? Are certain routes more highly trafficked than others? Are there are lot of options?

    • Brit said:

      I think there are six official routes up the mountain. We checked out typical summit percentages up each route and picked the route with the highest summit rate. There is one route that they jokingly call the “Coca Cola” route because of the huge amount of that climb that route.

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