Friday, March 7, 2008
Mt. Kilimanjaro Expedition - 2008
Sandie and I head out the door at 6 AM for our 42 hour trip (22 hours on planes) to Kilimanjaro Airport, Tanzania.
The big reasons for the trip was to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, go on a safari, and hang at the beach. We got a pretty good look at "Kili" as flew into the airport.
We stayed at the Springlands Hotel in Moshi and did a lot of napping when we arrived. The next day we headed out on our six day "Kili" hike. We had a guide and seven assistants (porters, cook, Etc.) to carry our packs and everything else, except our day-packs.
We used the Marangu Route which has huts at 9,000, 12,000, and 15,500 feet. It's all very primitive.
Here's the cooking area. Needless to say, the primary training you should do before attempting the climb is to toughen up your stomach.
That's the summit behind our guide Joseph and I. Sandie and I elected for the six day trip. Day one to the Mandara Hut - Day two to the Horombo Hut - Day three for acclimatization at Horombo with a short hike - Day four to the Kibo Hut arriving at Mid-day and trying to sleep before leaving at midnight for the summit climb - Typical times to the crater rim are six hours - Return to the Horombo Hut - Day Six hike on down to the Park entry gate.
Sandie hiked up with our guide Joseph and I hiked with his son-in-law, Frank. The top of "Kili" is a huge crater rim and there are several points on top to hike to. I hiked to the Uhuru Peak and Sandie hiked to the Gillman's Point. She made it up there in six hours. Very impressive!
Here's the view from the crater rim at sunrise. The ice wall at the top of the glacier is huge.
This is just starting down from Gillman's Point, and Sandie and the Kibo Hut are in the picture.
Congratulations to Sandie! She made it! That's the crater rim in the background.
After the climb we should have taken a rest day but left immediately for our four day safari. We visited three National Parks, Manyara, Ngorongoro, and Tarangire. After a few thousand animal sightings, I was ready for something new.
Famous Masai people village!
A "bushman" village visit was on our itinerary and I figured we'd get a "canned" tourist presentation and dance. But,,,, this was a big treat after bouncing down a rough 25 mile 4WD road. We visited the Hadzabe People and the Datoga People in their "homes". Hanging on the line was the meat from a Kudu (deer like animal) covered with flies.
The Hadzabe People don't build houses or grow anything. They live off the wild animals they kill with their bow and arrows.
They make their own bows/arrows.
When the head man strapped some bells on his ankle and started to dance and sing, I joined in. He'd sing a phrase and the rest of us would answer. Around and around, in and out, the dance went on for quite awhile. Very emotional!
Next we visited the Datoga People. They raise cattle and grow onions.
This was the head man of the family and he had nine wives. When he asked me how many I had and I said one, he offered me one of his daughters.
We saw a lot of these.
A view of "Kili" from Moshi, the town our first hotel was in.
We flew out of the "Kili" airport and landed in Zanzibar. A spice and slave trading island. Stonetown with it's very narrow streets is a lot of fun.
Two days in Stonetown and we were off to the eastern beaches to "hang" at these beach bungalows for six days.
We really worked hard at watching the sand and beautiful blue water of the Indian Ocean but we did take a break to go sailing and snorkeling on the this dhow fishing boat.
A great trip!