Hotels in Malaysia
Hotels in Singapore
Hotels in Thailand
Hotels in Brunei
Hotels in Korea
Hotels in Taiwan
Hotels in Indonesia
Hotels in Vietnam

Places of Interest
Outdoor Travel
Special Attraction
Food in Asia
Shoppping in Asia
General Info
Weather Check
Currency Converter
Time Zone Converter
Language Translator
Stock Index
About Us
Contact Us
Join us
Reservation Terms
Site Map

Conquering Kilimanjaro
By Kent Knipmeyer

I am a teacher, and when my school in Dar es Salaam sponsored a trip to send some of the older students up Mount Kilimanjaro, I jumped at the opportunity to be a chaperone. The trip involved much advanced planning. Many meetings were called to inform the kids on the various types of preparation needed for the journey. I found it very hard to convey to students who had lived their entire lives on the equator how it would feel to be bitterly cold. They would show me rubber kitchen gloves, and thin windbreakers asking if they would be all right to keep their hands and body warm. I would just shake my head in disbelief. We also informed the kids that only real necessities should be brought along, as anything they took would actually have to be carried up the mountain. Thus we discouraged extravagancies such as walk-mans, Nintendo game boys, etc. Later we discovered that one of the students had actually brought a sack full of coins so that he could use them in the coin operated laundry machines that he expected to be up the mountain. Not only is it ridiculous to think of people actually installing laundry machines at the top of Kilimanjaro where there is certainly not even any electricity, but when one considers that there wasn't a single coin operated laundry machine in the entire country it becomes laughable.

When we began our journey at the base of Kilimanjaro, we were actually starting in tropical rainforest. It was hot and wet and difficult to set a rhythm. It is amazing however, how quickly the fauna changes when hiking up the mountain. After three hours there was a noticeable change, and the temperature actually became pleasant. Our first night was spent just on the fringe of the rainforest. The porters (who was each carrying basically the equivalent of a small car it seemed) cooked us a dinner of goulash (a kind of stew). It was delicious.

The next day was an extremely long hike to the second camp, Hurombo. The scenery was incredible as we went from rainforest, to temperate forest, to rocky mountain trails above the tree line all in one day. It also went from warm to a very exhilarating cool temperature. Once we arrived at Hurumbo we had to stay an extra day to acclimatize to the high altitude. That first night, the porters made goulash for us, and this was followed by goulash on our second night in Hurumbo (goulash was starting to lose its charm).

On the fourth day we hiked across a vast high altitude desert. It was almost mystical as fog descended upon us causing the hikers to be faceless shadows in the intense silence. We arrived at Kibo hut in the evening where we sat down to some now very unappealing goulash. At this high altitude the students were now discovering what I meant when I said that it would feel like they have crawled into their refrigerator. That night we arose at midnight to make the final ascent so we would be able to greet the dawn on the peak of the highest volcanic mountain in the world. The actual number of hikers had decreased to six from the original 20. Students had been dropping out due to fatigue and sickness.

This is where the story takes a personal turn for the worse. Being insanely fit, I had always assumed that I would have no trouble on the mountain. I mean, I'm the kind of guy who will run 7 kilometers on the treadmill before playing a basketball game. However, altitude sickness cares not for fitness. After ascending 100 meters from Kibo, my resting pulse rate had soared to over 120. My head felt like it would explode and my stomach was queasy. I had to sit there and watch overweight, out of shape marshmallows, march on by me. It was humiliating to end the trip that way. However, in retrospect, I have to say that with some of the most incredible scenery I have ever encountered and the best sunrise of my life from Hurombo hut on day four, it was a trip well worth making.



Home l Places of Interest l Outdoor Travel l Food in Asia l General Info l Entertainment
Shopping Asia l Special Attractions


Australia l Bali l Brunei l China l Hong Kong l Japan l Korea l Macau l Malaysia l Myanmar l New Zealand
Philippines l Singapore l Taiwan l Thailand

Copyright © by Hotnet Sdn.Bhd. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Copyright and Disclaimer l Privacy Policy