Our Kilimanjaro climb is finally upon us, and in just 3 days time we will be heading on down to Tanzania to begin yet another one of our lifetime adventures!
Where the time goes, I really do not know, but the last three months seem to have passed by in a blur of training, working, and shopping for mountain gear, and while there is still a pile of stuff to get through before we leave, I can honestly say we are ready, or should I say, as ready as we will ever be!
Climbing Kilimanjaro is something that has been on our bucket list for quite some time, so after much research and consideration, we decided to take the 7-day Machame Route and planned our climb to coincide with the full moon. To give you some idea of what we are to face, here is a brief overview of our itinerary:
Day 1 – The easiest day of the trip! We arrive in Arusha at around 10am, and transfer to our hotel.
Day 2 – The journey begins… After breakfast, we drive to the Machame Village and complete the numerous forms (sign our lives away!), before starting on our six-hour trek through “dense rubber tree and giant fig forest” to Machame Camp at an altitude of 10,000 feet (3,048 metres).
Day 3 – “You will be awakened at 6:00am with a steaming cup of tea or coffee,” sounds good so far…! Today’s hike will be about six hours in length, through a savannah of tall grasses, heather, ghostly landscapes and volcanic lava. Overnight will be at the Shira Camp 12,500 feet (3,810 metres).
Day 4 – We will spend another six hours of hiking to the Lava Tower at 15,000 ft, before descending to the Barranco Camp at 13,000ft (3,962 metres). Trekking high and sleeping low is believed to be one of the most helpful ‘tools’ in beating altitude sickness.
Day 5 – “A bit of real trekking is involved today”…. travelling along the Barranco Cliff. However, we will only trek for 4-hours and will not increase in elevation.
Day 6 – Some people climb the Machame Route in 6 days, but we have added an extra day to improve our chances of reaching the summit. Today we have a short four to five our hike to Barafu Camp at 15,200ft (4632 metres). Freezing temperature is currently at 4,000 metres….Brrr
Day 7 – We have been training for this moment! Our day begins a midnight and we start our final ascent to Uhuru Peak. A six-hour hike will get us to Gilman’s Point at 18,630ft (5,678 metres) in time for the sunrise, and then we hike another two hours to Uhuru Peak at 19,340ft (5,895 metres). Phew…! We then descend a whopping 9,000ft to our last campsite on the mountain – Mweka Camp.
Day 8 – After a final mountainside breakfast, we head on down to the base of the mighty Kilimanjaro, and return to our hotel for a much-needed shower!
We look forward to telling you all about our Kilimanjaro Full Moon Climb on our return – wish us luck!