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January 1, 2001
10:18 AM   Subscribe

'Kilimanjaro in 5 Days' is a fun article I saw in 'The Charlotte Observer' when I was back east for Christmas. Mainly, it's fun for me because I climbed it myself, back in november 92, along the same route. The climbing costs are here. Anybody else been and want to comment on this article (or not been and want to comment)?
posted by Sean Meade (7 comments total)

 
oops - the climbing costs are here


The secret to successfully climbing Kilimanjaro is to take it slow, so your body can get adjusted to the altitude.

in Swahili the phrase for going slowly, slowly is pole, pole.

the huts along the trail were built by foreign countries as aid to Tanzania to help encourage tourism.

i made it about 10 meters from Gilman's point. i had altitude sickness coming out of both ends and i was freezing. i just wanted to get down. but i'd like to try it again sometime with more money (read better equiptment and more acclimation).

it was an easy, walking climb if you're fit. that is, until the altitude sickness kicked my butt on the final ascent.

right now what's supposed to be the second part of the story is broken. check back if you're interested.

it's a lot more fun to talk to all of the multinational people climbing than to listen to 'Radio America'.

posted by Sean Meade at 10:27 AM on January 1, 2001


If I could swim, I would've tried going on a Eco-Challenge.

Neat article. At some point in my life, I would like to spend a year or two travelling Africa. (I also want to drive the distance of Trans-American Highway and become an assistant to Von-Daniken. Plans-plans-plans.)
posted by tamim at 11:00 AM on January 1, 2001


I didn't go to Kilimanjaro, but I have stood halfway up Mount Kenya (only a few dozen feet lower and couple hundred miles further north) with my mouth open gazing longingly at the top. High mountains in the tropics are amazing--climbing from hot, harsh desert through tea plantations and trout farms to the treeline and snowcap takes you through an incredible variety of climatic zones. And unlike, say, Everest or K2, people actually live on the mountain, lots of them. It's almost like a separate planet. Being there was one of the great experiences of my life.

Sean, did you get to Ngorongoro while you were there?
posted by rodii at 11:09 AM on January 1, 2001


I climbed it in Janurary of 1993 as part of a 30-day trip organized by a biology professor at my college. We took six days to do it, because we stopped for a day part of the way up (I don't remember which hut it was at). That really helped acclimate us to the altitude. It would have been a lot harder without that.

Calling it "climbing" is a bit misleading, though. It's really just walking. Some of it is fairly steep, especially at the end, but you never have to actually use your hands and feet to climb.

Ngorongoro crater was also one of our stops. It was quite an experience. I got some very close-up pictures of lions, rhinos, and elephants.

The cost seems to have gone up a bit since then. Our trip was about $5,000.
posted by Potsy at 2:41 PM on January 1, 2001



I believe Kiliminjaro is considered the easiest of the Seven Sisters, that is, the highest peaks on the various continents. That is, it's the only one that just about anyone can climb without special equipment. (Probably mentioned in the article, feh.)
posted by dhartung at 5:44 PM on January 1, 2001


i rode the bus through Ngorongoro (from Mwanza on Lake Victoria), but didn't have the money to stop and do a safari (Swahili for trip). i had to choose and i chose Kilimanjaro.

the whole trip sure brings new life to the Toto song.

i think this guy went a little more expensive than you have to, but if i ever go again, i'll try not to cut corners that might prevent me from getting to Uhuru Peak.

also, i didn't have much money at the end to tip the porters and got into a little problem there. if i go again, i'll make sure i can cover that, and know what to pay in advance.

yes, Potsy, climbing can be a misleading term. i'm sure it's the easiest climb. all the better for me. it's so beautiful.
posted by Sean Meade at 6:04 PM on January 1, 2001


Tipping .... ah yes. A tip of X amount per guide (times the number of people in your group) is expected. The professor who arranged our trip collected money from everybody and gave the tips to our guides on behalf of the whole group. I wasn't there, but I heard that when he collected all that cash together in one place in his hotel room, it looked like a huge drug deal was going down. Also, there was one guy who decided he didn't want to tip, so everyone else kicked in a little extra to make up for it. People gave him a hard time about it, since we were told in advance that tips would be expected, and how much.
posted by Potsy at 1:53 AM on January 2, 2001


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