Kilimanjaro Facts & Links
 

 

The pictures are organized into seven categories for each stage of the Mount Kilimanjaro Machame route. Click on the stage you are interested in to see a list of pictures and a short personal account of the stage.


START DAY 1

There are seven official starting routes or gates on Mount Kilimanjaro. Starting from the west there is the Londorossi Gate which can be driven up to the Shira Plateau. Then there is Machame Gate, Umbwe Gate, Mweka Gate, Marangu Gate and Rombo Gate in Kenya. Unofficially Umbwe is regarded as the most difficult because it is fast. There are more challenging ways to climb Mount Kilimanjaro especially the steep face at Arrow glacier but they are not considered routes.


DAY 2

Machame camp is located just off to the side of the Machame trail. It appears as soon as you break through the forest. We reached it under darkness. The following pictures were taken at sunrise - soon afterwards the view was clouded over as misty clouds rolled in. A run down outhouse is located directly to the photographers right, northwest). A stream can be found to the photographers left down a hill back towards the forest and to the east.


DAY 3 & 4

Shira camp is a barren plateau of rock, grasses and short shrubs. The picture faces west looking towards Mt. Meru and Arusha. The mountain range to the photographers right was formed from the volcano Shira. One of the three volcanoes, (Mawenzi and Kibo the other two) which formed Mount Kilimanjaro. Shira was the first to become extinct then Mawenzi and Kibo last. This is the reason why Kibo is the highest. 


DAY 5

Arrow Glacier camp is located at 4900 meters and is the final camp before climbing the Western Breach and summiting to Uhuru peak. The view here is looking north up the Western Breach wall. The top portion is of the crater rim. What appears to be snow is actually the last remnants of the Arrow glacier. This is an exciting place because of the views - that is, if you have any energy left to site see.


SUMMIT DAY

Reaching the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro is an extremely exhilarating moment. The cold is gone due to the bright sunshine and exposed skin sunburns very quickly. The views are spectacular - directly behind the photographer is the crater which can be seen from above looking down from Uhuru peak. There is little time to take it all in but worth exploring if time allows and if the individual is fully acclimatized. 


THE WAY DOWN

As soon as we were finished taking our pictures, which took about fifteen minutes, we began to descend. It would have been nice to stay up there and explore a little. The descent takes about six to eight hours so in order to get to Mweka Hut before sunset it's important not to waste time descending. Most of the descent is quite steep and the path is very loose gravel, (scree). Your basically sliding all the way down slipping onto your butt and lying there in order to nurse a pounding headache. After about three hours the headache began to subside and the path  becomes less steep and more solid.


HOMEWARD BOUND

Mweka Hut is located at 3100 meters and is a large camp. Food is available for purchase as is pop, beers and water. The prices are triple what you would find in Arusha and there is no price negotiation - monopoly rules. Just bring money and be happy you can buy some refreshing drinks. There are many groups of people camping there either returning from the peak or on their way up. I searched very long for a stream but was unable to find it even though there supposedly was one.
 
 
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