With just 82 days (that’s 1,968 hours or 118,080 minutes for those who are interested!) until we set off on our mission to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro, our days our spent training, reading up on Tanzania and the great mountain itself, and wondering what on earth we have let ourselves in for!
A journey of self-discovery and determination, it is something that has been waiting patiently on our bucket list for quite some time, and while we cannot wait to stand atop the magnificent 5,895 metre freestanding peak, we realise we have a long way to go (62 Kilometres to be exact), before we reach the ‘Roof of Africa’.
There are several routes leading to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, and after much consideration, we have decided to take the 7-day Machame Route – also referred to as the ‘Whiskey Route’, due to its reputation of being a tough climb, but one with the highest success rate.
Slightly longer and steeper than the popular Marangu Route (otherwise known as the Coca-Cola route), Machame is said to offer amazing scenery, and as we climb, we will experience a variety of different habitats from fertile rainforests to alpine deserts and glaciers, before we reach the summit of Uhuru Peak.
It is possible to climb the Whiskey Route of Kilimanjaro in just six days, but in order to provide our group with the best possible chances of reaching the summit; we have added an extra day on the mountain for acclimatization.
Day one will see us depart our hotel early morning and transfer to the Machame Gate where we will begin our 5-7 hour hike through lush rainforests. Going from 1,640m to 2,850m altitude in one day, this 11km trek will get us warmed up and ready for our first night of mountainside camping under a full moon.
Days 2, 3, 4 and 5 will see our group hike an average of 4-7 hours per day, trekking high and sleeping low to reduce the chances of altitude sickness, so that by the time D-Day (day 6) arrives, we are fit and ready to conquer the highest mountain in Africa.
After returning to mother earth on day 7, we will spend one last evening at the foot of this majestic mountain before heading over to the Spice Island of Zanzibar for some much needed rest and relaxation.
With less than three months to go until our journey of ‘Whiskey & Spice’, we are eager to hear from fellow bloggers who have completed this epic adventure, so if you have conquered “Kili” please let us know!