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Sunday, 28 September 2008

Reaching the Summit of Mount Kilimanjaro - Page 5

Written by Carolyn Bonello
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There is something about volcanoes that fascinates me, and finds me craving to conquer their summits to be able to satisfy my curiosity and peer down their crater rims. Having climbed Mount Etna (3350m) in Sicily and Gunung Agung (3142m) in Bali, (Cotapaxi (5897m) in Ecuador was weeks away but the trip was cancelled at the last minute), the time had come for something African – Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania was the next conquest. At an altitude of 5895m, it is the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, and I promised myself that one day soon I would have my picture taken at the summit, Uhuru Peak.


The last hour’s walk to Uhuru peak was not quite the walk- in- the- park as described in some guide books, but the breathtaking views of the glaciers and distant peaks made it bearable. I thought I was hallucinating when the famous sign I had been dreaming of for the past six days finally came into view –

‘Congratulations – you are now at Uhuru Peak, Tanzania, 5895AMSL, Africa’s highest point, world’s highest free-standing mountain, one of the world’s largest volcanoes. WELCOME’

Reaching the Summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, travel Africa, travel tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro climb, Tanzania, Uhuru Peak, Marangu Hotel, Moshi, Shira plateau, Machame camp, Barranco Camp, Barranco wall, Karanga valley, Barafu camp, Stella Point, Mweka camp,, Carolyn Bonello

Back to decent showers and toilets

The way down was a long, dusty route, skidding on scree and rocks, and very tough on the knees, but the thought of being able to sip a chilled beer at the end of the day, had us almost sprinting down. We spent the last night at Mweka camp and the next morning had a two hour walk through the rainforest to Mweka gate, where we were transported back to the lovely Marangu Hotel.


A beautiful ceremony followed, where we were proudly presented with our certificates, looked on by our heroes – the guides and porters who harmoniously sang and clapped to the beat of their traditional song ‘kilimanjaro’ – the shining mountain that had welcomed us so graciously!

©Carolyn Bonello

(Page 5 of 5)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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