Kilimanjaro Challenge. Another day closer to Uhuru.

On 10 October 2014 the team stood at Uhuru Peak,
raising awareness for this school and the work they do.
Educating the deaf started in King William’s Town (Eastern Cape) in 1888.
The Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St Catherine of Siena
moved their school to a property in Melrose, Johannesburg called “The Haven”
The school was named after St Vincent Ferrer, a 14th century Dominican preacher,
renowned for restoring hearing to the deaf.
The school has been educating deaf children for the past 75 years.
To find out more about the school,
visit their website:
At this time of year there is a lot of colour on the mountain.
Admittedly, there is only one flower here
but it does distract from the severity of its surroundings
A picture of the mountain without a toilet is almost impossible.
They are one of the icons of every route

A White necked Raven…
a regular at most of the camp sites and noisier that a Hadeda!

I only took one item with to read…
Luckily there were several items in this magazine that kept me entertained.

The winds that swirl across the top of Kilimanjaro
make for interesting cloud formations

I did try to keep my tent “neat”.
Invariably whatever I was looking for was always hiding in the bottom of the bag.
Meaning that I had to unpack everything.
I am not sure how I managed in 2006 when I had to share a tent.
I would suggest that if “single” is an option, take it.
Especially if you are uncertain if your tent mate snores…or worse.

Almost full moon…

Our second night on the mountain.
Very cold, but I took time to do some long exposure photographs.

With clear skies and an almost full moon,
the stars were spectacular

This particular vegetation could be found at almost every altitude.

Many thanks to Rembrandt Butchery in Linden for the dried wors.(sausage)
As a source of pure protein is was a great snack

These “cairns” could be found alongside every pathway.
Seeing I will not be back on this route I added my stone to several of these

Our camp site at 2nd Cave

Before the rains came…
The green structure to the left of frame is our private toilet.

Water was collected from various places on our route.
Often the porters had to man handle the containers up and down steep inclines.
All the water was “filtered” through a strainer.
I then added purification tablets and an energy powder
to take away the taste of the chlorine.
The locals are able to drink the water “as is”…


Luckily we did not have to climb THIS!
Mount Mawenzi…we spent most of the climb in the shadow of this peak

My snack of choice…
Nougat…but I did not take enough and had to ration myself.

Biltong( beef jerky) from Komatie Butchery in Greenside.
Another source of protien

On more than one morning we woke to this stunning sight.
Pictures really do not do the size justice.

This was the itinerary for the October, 2014 Challenge…

The Rongai Route
Sunday 05 October 2014  
After an early breakfast, a senior guide will conduct your climb briefing.   
You will then be driven to Rongai Gate, where you will meet the rest of your guides and porters. 
 After the formalities at the gate have been completed, begin your ascent to the first cave en route. 
 The climb should take approximately 2 to 3 hours.  
This part takes you through the cultivated area of the mountain, 
where you can see how local farmers tend to their lands on the slopes.  
Overnight at Simba Camp (1,800m).
Monday 06 October 2014  
Early in the morning, begin trekking out past the second cave, and on to the third cave.  
This should take you approximately 6 to 7 hours.  
The climb today is relatively difficult, taking you through forest and well into the moorland.  
Overnight at Kikelelwa Camp (3,800m).

Tuesday 07 October 2014  
This is an acclimatization day – you will hike further up the mountain, 
then return to third cave for overnight.

Wednesday 08 October 2014  
Continue ascending to Mawenzi Tam Hut, which should take approximately 7 hours to get to.  Overnight camping at Mawenzi Tam Hut (4,330m).
Thursday 09 October 2014  
Depart to Kibo Hut, which should take you approximately 4 to 5 hours.  
Settle down for an early night camping at Kibo Hut (4,703m). 

Friday 10 October 2014: 
Summit Day!!   
Today you will be heading for the highest point in Africa – Uhuru Peak (5,895m).  
You will be woken around midnight to commence the 5 hour hike,
 on heavy scree up to Gillman’s Point (5,686m).  
You will be walking in the dark as the ground is frozen and this makes it easier to ascend this steep section.
 As you reach the Crater Rim, the sun should be rising to display Africa in all its glory beneath you.  
The views are spectacular and it makes the entire journey worth every step!
Continue another 1 or 2 hours to Uhuru Peak, along the wide paths of the crater rim, peering down onto massive glaciers shining in the morning sun. 
Arriving at Uhuru can be quite emotional, with the strain of the summit finally behind you and Africa surrounding you! 

After a few photographs at the summit, begin your steady descent to Kibo Hut for a rest and some nourishment, then continue to Horombo Hut to camp for overnight.

Saturday 11 October 2014  
After breakfast, descend to Marangu Gate.  
You will be transferred to Keys Hotel for a well-needed shower and an evening of celebration. 
 Overnight at Keys Hotel 
Sunday 12 October 2014  
Your tour ends today after breakfast and you will be transferred from Keys Hotel to Kilimanjaro Airport.



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