home / diary / Tanzania / 18 August 2005
Mt Kilimanjaro - Day One

writes... I have always wanted to climb Kilimanjaro, my father climbed it back in the 50's and tells me he was the 128th person to summit.  As a teenager I used to look at his photographs of the glaciers and wanted to see the top.  When Debbie and Martin invited us to join them, it was a fantastic opportunity to fulfil my dream.  We arrived in Kenya and joined the team - Debbie & Martin; Ann Marie & Nigel; Lisa & myself at their base in Kenya. A more beautiful base I don't think I have ever seen!  It almost went horribly wrong the next day when playing a game of tennis and my calf exploded.  Following the RICE advice - Rest, Ice, Compression and for Elevation we went up the mountain ... think I might have misinterpreted that part!

Quick Link

Mt Kilimanjaro Video


Lisa writes...
And so the big day arrived! After a succession of buses and mini-vans, we arrived in Arusha and what was to be my first night of camping ... ever! I survived the night despite Simon's snoring, the campsite party, the dogs out on a jol ... and the farting coming from the tent next door. I awoke ready to tackle that mountain, which by the way we STILL had not seen!

All ready for the mountain, Simon's dodgy calf

Team training at Masai Camp, Arusha

Nigel writes... Some six months ago I was invited to join Debbie and Martin, firstly to visit Kenya and then climb Mount Kilimanjaro. I had never visited Africa and albeit I knew that this was a very high mountain my first reaction was thanks for the invitation but "you must be joking! why would I want to do this? no thanks."....... Two weeks later after some serious research I changed my mind and the rest is history. Here I am in an old bus heading for Tanzania from a beautiful house in Kenya (that needs to be seen to be believed), with Ann Marie and four other friends that I have just met for the first time, to  end up on the first day in a great bar in Arusha for the 'last supper' before we start our accent.

Kilimanjaro beer going down well with Nigel

First night's camping for Lisa

Ann Marie writes... Many years ago I scaled the highest mountain in the UK, so when Debbie asked me to scale Africa's highest point, I thought why not!  It was only later that I found out that Ben Nevis was 1500m and Kilimanjaro was close to 6000m. Just a bit of a difference! So here I am on Day One ... wondering what I have let myself in for.  To my surprise, there was a bar, pizzas, beers and showers - not bad after all!

Debbie writes...
This was going to be tough! We had all done our research and gathered information - perhaps too much, which was now starting to frighten us. We met our guide and he calmly discussed our proposed route and reassured us that all would be well. Julius' gentle and confident persona was soon to become the solid foundation of our Kili adventure. 

Martin writes...
After my challenging climb up Mt Kenya a few weeks prior, it was with some serious trepidation that I packed my kit and joined the 'Kili' team for the next mountain ascent...

Vice & Dani


Tusk till Dawn Truck


Travelling to the Kenya/Tanzania border (Namanga), we met two Swiss cyclists who are cycling overland ... Switzerland to Cape Town.  So what's the problem with a mere mountain climb?!?  Arriving at the excellent Masai Campsite in Arusha, we met another dynamic overland couple - Alan and Sandy in their wonderfully kitted Unimog truck. 

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