Forgive me doubling up here, but after extending our weekend away from 2 days to 4 days, I have a lot of catching up to do if I am to finish my A-Z of travel by 31st May!
These three letters/words go wonderfully well together, and if you dream about climbing Africa’s highest mountain one day – Mount Kilimanjaro, I can pretty much guarantee you are in for a life-changing experience.
We climbed Kilimanjaro at the end of September last year, and I still find myself daydreaming about the moment we reached Stella Point after a long, hard, cold and breathtaking (quite literally!) 7-hour hike from Barafu Base Camp to the first peak of Kilimanjaro.
Stella Point may not be the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, but if you reach the glistening green sign you will receive your certificate – and I can honestly say, it was the most welcoming sign I have ever seen in my life!
We had planned to take hundreds of photos, make a video, and jot down a few notes, but we simply stood still and watched the sun rise up over Africa through tear-filled eyes… before realising that it was not over yet, and we had another 45 minutes to go if we were to reach Uhuru Peak!
From Stella Point to Uhuru Peak, the path is relatively flat but the air is filled with jubilation rather than oxygen and the going is slow! We finally made it to the very top of Mount Kilimanjaro’s 5895-metres at around 7am, and after taking our cherished photographs (proof!), we started to make our way back down with a slight spring in our steps.
The wonderful thing about Mount Kilimanjaro is that almost anyone can climb it, the 7-Day Machame Route that we completed was not particularly steep, and if you have a good level of fitness and buckets of determination – you will make it to the top!
Whether you climb Kilimanjaro with a group, take a private tour, climb for charity, or simply do it for yourself – this mountaineering expedition may just change your life… It most certainly changed mine!