Mount Kilimanjaro

The major draw on this park is attempting the climb to the roof of Africa-Kilimanjaro 5,896 Meters above sea level and the world’s highest, yet the easiest accessible free-standing Mountain.

Standing only at 3 degrees south equator, its snow-peaked dome raised major controversial dialogs amongst scholars of the royal geographical society in London (1846-59) thus flooding Kilimanjaro with first ancient attempt explorers, missionaries and later opportunistic colonialist.

Besides Kili’s unique flora and fauna, it`s got 3 distinct outstanding features, the volcanic Centrex of the extinct Shira plateau – 13,700ft, the dormant craggy Mawenzi – 16,813ft and the dome itself, Kibo – 19,340ft.

Most certain climbing this world this heritage site, Mount Kilimanjaro will be a memory to be treasured for life. Children as 9 and 80+year`s elders have climbed to the rooftop of Africa.

No special skills equipment or experiment is required for the 5, 6, 7 or 8 days long expedition, exceptionally for that alpinist who might want to practice their climbing techniques on the mountains Glacier along the western breach can apply crampons and ropes, axes etc.

 Generally, any reasonably fit person can conquer what appears gigantic massive.  For those who don’t like long-distance hikes one does not necessarily have to be a mountaineer to enjoy a close-up glimpse of the beautiful views of Kilimanjaro and its environs, great views can be seen from its base in and around the Mountain boundaries.

A 4×4 jeep will ascend u as high as 12,000ft, just were the road narrows in, to Shira plateau – an extinct volcano which history says at around  2 million years ago Shira peaks towered as high as  20,000ft than Kibo!.

A 3hrs drive towards the western Kilimanjaro crossing villages of Machame, Siha, Masama, Kibong’oto, and Sanya juu plains will reward you an awesome landscape and the four scent of Coffee, Banana plantations Corn and Wheat farms, there are also cattle ranches in western Kilimanjaro.

The climate at this altitude is conducive to gentle walk through flowering vegetation’s and Kilimanjaro glaciers waterfalls that form a multitude of tinny springs additionally make this world a bird paradise, while in the lower slopes of the mounts you will be crossing in between coffee and banana plantations, passion fruit line hanging above, shaded by avocado trees.

In the rain forest encircling the mountain, you will find yourself in a world of enhancement and mystery. Birds, Monkeys  and on rare occasions Cape Buffalo (syncerus caffer)and Elephants (Loxodonta Africana)Antelope like Dik-diks, Bushbuck and  Duiker, Mongoose wild dogs, Sunbirds, Mountain rats, Chameleon and trees Hyraxes (Procavia capensis) several cats (fellis serval) range through the forest and even predators such as hyenas, lions and leopards but rear seen though they are heard of at nights, on certain occasion animals such as Zebra and Elephants migrating in search of water can be seen wandering on the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro.

The Reusch Crater; The crater lies on the left western side as you head up the summit from Gillman’s point. It derives its name from the Alpinist Rev Dr R Reusch who attempted the acme three times. Formally a carapace of ice used to cover the whole beautiful dome of stupendous proportion. More half the glaciers on Kilimanjaro have melted down furiously in the past 50 years or so.

As you approach the hilltop there is a cone of cinders and ash that the volcano had spewed out over the past several thousands of years.

The furnace that created the massif appears like a deep circular pit measuring about ½ a mile across and penetrating about 300-400 feet deep down into the mountains bowel.

The Reusch crater`s concentric terraces of different colored ash mark the most recent stages of volcanic activity. Temperatures of up to 2000 DF, produce wreaths of vapor emanates from the crater walls. This hot gas or fumaroles central from magma chambers is the main conductor from beneath the massif’s ground. Patches of lighter material deposits of Sulfur and Carbonate left by escaping gasses, a residue deposited besides the outpouring fumaroles known as IKATI by the local natives of the mountain slopes, it is found at the Reusch crater rim and can also be seen hanging under large volcanic boulders in caves and hollows as well.

This crystal clear salt like residue is a remedy for many illnesses making it a very versatile substance. Sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide in the gasses smell in its pure form, therefore highly pungent and unpleasant. Sulfuric deposits beneath bake like coal, that standing on one position for a while becomes un-bearable, which reflects Kili`s active yet silent volcano. A survey done in 1953 by the Tanganyika government and scientists from the University of Sheffield indicates that over a period of 77 days, temperatures ranged between 170 to 220 degrees on the furnaces vents mouth.

THE TELL – WHO NAMED IT SO?

… ‘A vast mountain of gold and silver in the far interior, which was guided by evil spirits’! Johannes Rebman after sighting Kilimanjaro on May 11, 1848.

When Johannes Rebman-German arrived at Machame- West Eastern of Kilimanjaro he was met by the local Chagga residents Chieftain and locals who had never seen a European/White man before. It appeared extremely perplexing to the villager`s thus most kept exclaiming in their native vernacular. Saying…. Kii…..maa…nshaa..roo?   Translated, Kii= What?  maa= Wonder if… nshaa=hunger….roo?=or  what?. The residents actually perceived that Rebman`s pale appearance had become so due to malnutrition or hunger inflicted drought during the great famine of 17-18th Century.

When Rebman glanced at the smaller neighbor peak of “Kili” pointing at it, the Chagga King exclaimed ‘Mawe-nsi’ translated ‘it`s only rocks’.

Obviously due to the language barrier the accidental missionary explorer hastily noted those words without any idea as to what the exclamations meant, he decided to reported to his superiors in England that he had seen a gold and silver dome known as Kimandcharo and Mavensi stretching above the blazing tropical sky`s in the land of the Jagga called Majame. To the natives the whole massif was known as SHIRA, which was tower-ing higher than Kibo peak at over 20,000 M above sea level before its first major eruption some 2million years ago.

The names Kilimanjaro and Mawenzi were actually accidentally fabricated by Germany`s missionary J Rebman, natives of Machame never called those names to the mountain but rather are common exclamations often uttered by the wa-machame,  and were unknown prior to the report written to the National Geographic society of London. They are simply surprise exclamation commonly uttered when excited or shocked over something. Despite such misunderstanding, I gather the missionary must have liked the Ki-Machame dialect “sounding Germanic”.

 Its obviously  absurd particularly considering that all the other high peaks of East Africa have got their indigenous meaningful names like Kilima Kegnya-Mount Kenya, Ol`doinyo Lengai, Meru, Siringet-Serengeti, Ngerengere-Ngorongoro, Lemagurut, Oldean, Tarangire, Hanang etc.

Rebman never climbed Kili despite revisiting Machame two times after that first visit in May1948, his report to the National Geographic Society of London aroused major controversies all around the Western World, they could not conceive the idea that snow can be found in the blazing African sunshine just 3 Degrees South of the Equator line.

However that argument influenced the first Explores and opportunists to voyage to East Africa in search of Kimandcharo and land.

Mt. Kilimanjaro – ‘’THE CLIMB’’

CLIMBERS GUIDANCE: Upon your arrival you’ll find that AKE Company staff has pre-arranged all your climbing requirements, such as;

  • Transfers from the Kilimanjaro Airport or J KA in Nairobi, to the mountain entry point.
  • Professional linguistic mountain guide (s)
  • Porters-‘Sherpa’s’
  • All foodstuffs, water & experienced mountain cooks.
  • Your park entry fees and all government taxes.
  • Hut/ camping fees and all other necessities for your comfortable climb

BEFORE THE CLIMB;

Usually we arrange a buffet / Ale-carte dinner at our base camp – lodges or at your hotel, followed by a full briefing by your mountain guide of what you’ll encounter the following week or so.

TIPS ON TREKKING GEAR, WHAT TO BRING:-

  1. A light rain coat. b) Cross trainers.  C) Shorts & T-shirts. D) Sun hat. E) Woolen beanie. F) Stockings G) A water bottle F) Summit gear & equipment’s H) Study leather or Thermal boots. I) Ventex or Gortex jacket & pants. J) Fleece pants. K) 2/3 pair Gortex gloves L) Long jones. O) UV-sunglasses & head torch. P) Thermal flask. Q) Rack sack/duffel bag. R) A 10 rated sleeping bag. S) A sleeping matt. T) Towel &wash cloth U) Tooth /paste & brush. V) Hair brush/ comb & soap. W) Cameras & film and extra batteries/chargers.

AS YOU START;

Normally at the lower altitude you’ll be hiking through the rain forests which showers occasionally giving back to your body the need full coolness, even though it may be a little slippery at times. The lower rain forests are less dependable on the seasonal rain. It`s advisable to were comfortable- ’used’ light climbing boots or sneakers, shorts, woolen stockings and T/shirts or flees, light water proof  raincoat, a walking stick plus your water bottle on the first day. During the hike you will carry with you a small back pack containing your camera, films and sunscreen lotions.

OTHER CRUCIAL CLIMBING TIPS;

  1. Drink as much water as you can while ascending. B) Eat sweets, snacks, energy bars, and Lucozade Glucose juices. Optionally, Honey and fruits are a better source of Energy; Fresh Sweet Bananas, Mango, Pineapple, Apples etc. c) walk at a slow steady pace-‘pole pole’ Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) result from over speeding thus denying your body enough time to acclimatize.

Altitude acclimatization is a process of physiological changes that enables the body to adopt to reduced Oxygen availability at high elevation. The Barometric pressure at the Summit of Kili is half that at Sea level and so is the partial Oxygen pressure, which is the most vital fuel when ascending any mountain. Time is the most crucial agent that you`ll need to help you adopt to that 50% supply of Oxygen intake. You will find yourself breathing heavily in the first days on high altitude level which is due to changes in breathing control, especially during sleep, rest or during exercising when we breathe much faster and deeper without realizing it. Oxygen level is raised in the lungs and blood, counteracting the lower pressure in the breathed air. Mountain sickness risk recedes as acclimatization is in progress.  Most physical fit healthy individuals who ascend the mountain rapidly might develop AMS within a few hours to two days. The early symptoms are forehead headaches, nausea, vomiting, malaise, insomnia, irritability, and weak climbing performance .AMS condition is self-limiting lasting for 3 to five days at high altitude, then it reduces while at that same level, but might recur at a higher altitude. To some individuals there may be progression to the malignant form of AMS, High altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) a combination of the two. This condition can be fatal in a matter of hours and requires immediate treatment and a quick evacuation to a lower altitude. Any fit person can get AMS attack regardless of age or gender .Its most important for any climber to recognize and admit to the symptoms when they occur. Open up to your Guide and evacuate to a lower altitude immediately.

That’s when POLE POLE is most affective and always remembers that prevention is better than cure, and to add to the rule… ‘if you feel symptoms of any AMS, don’t go any higher and if they persist. Please just go down! Take a lot of liquid fluids to avoid dehydration and live to come another day.

A natural acclimatization is best recommended as your first aid. Drugs like DIAMOX-Acetazolamide work by increasing the breathing thus meant to improve the condition but they prove to work differently from person to person. Therefore its consumption becomes an individual matter. Most climbers having taken the DIAMOX dose complain of side effects such as tingling fingers and toes, some stomach upsets, finding the situation intolerable.

It is well advised to try the drug at sea level before commencing to the mountain. Previously a capsule dose of 250 mg was taken, two to three times a day, but nowadays half that dose is recommended as being adequate to relieve if not abolish symptoms, with less side effects.

HACE-High altitude cerebral edema symptoms are almost the same as AMS with a further development with additional brain dis-function due to liquid build up in the brain. First signs are ataxia-unsteadiness while hiking, progressing to sitting difficulties unsteadiness and walking straight up and unbalanced. Other signs are certain Eye muscles paralysis, mood changes, irrational behavior, hallucinations and coma that can lead to death if not treated within hours or couple of days.

HAPE occurs when fluids leaks into the air gaps in the lungs resulting from cold exposure, leading to short of breath, fatigue- lagging behind your climbing teammates, then a dry cough develops first followed by a frothy white sputum that show blood –tinged as conditions progresses to worse.

Using Stethoscope, crackles can be heard in the lung bases developing to babbly breathing which at that point the patients literally drowns in his awn lung fluid!!

GET THE PATIENT DOWN!

Once those conditions are realized, treatment should be applied immediately. The first most prompt action to be taken is TO GET THE PETIENT DOWN to a lower altitude of at least 300m often results in significance improvement.

a) Oxygen can be applied if available b) Dexamethasone-HACE drugs, a steroid have proved beneficial in relieving brain edema; 4-8mg is recommended while as for HAPE 20 mgs Nifedipine should be taken.

b) A portable Oxygen pressure“ Gamor“ bags should be applied, to pressurize the patient to 2 psi, this in effect should bring the patients down in altitude by almost 2000m.This treatment effects only lasts for one hour, you time to bring the patient down to a lower altitude of 300m,otherwise the good recovery effect reoccurs.

Kilimanjaro Altitude can be serious due to the ease of access, thus most armature climbers plan to climb it in a shortest time as possible to allow adequate acclimatization, hence increasing AMS attack incidence, sometimes just to save up money….rather save up your life.

Follow the golden rules for avoiding AMS.

a) Go no higher when symptoms are felt.

b) Ascend as slow as possible-‘Pole pole’

c) If symptoms persist …Descend to lower camp-300m at least.

 Don’t overweigh yourself un-necessarily c) lip balms, sunscreen, and be sure that nausea & headache pills at hand during nights. d) If boots are new use them before, break them in e) use a thermal flask particularly on the summit night f) Allow video & cameras to acclimatize, thermal glove liners handle camera easier. g) Consult your physician about use of high altitude symptom tablets such as Diamox (acetazolamide).

HEALTH/ IMMUNISATION:

International health certificates are demanded for Cholera and yellow fever, at certain entre points. Other recommended vaccinations are against tetanus, polio, typhoid and hepatitis A.

It`s also essential for visitors to take a course of anti-malaria tablets commencing two weeks before traveling. OTHER RECOMMENDED MEDICATION: a) Anti malaria pills b) Headache, Colds & flu pills. C) Nausea & Diarrhea controllers. D) Liniment, Balm & Sunscreen lotion. E) Water purifies plasters and bandages.

PRECAUTIONS: DON’T CLIMB HIGHER THAN (2,700M) 9,000ft IF YOU FEEL?

  • High temperature – feverish
  • Any respiratory problems
  • A sore throat and cold or coughing
  • Nose bleeding.
  • Headache.

Rather take an extra day to relax at the mountain camp/hotel, it`s very well worth it.

RESCUE;

 Single motorcycle wheel stretchers and rescue personnel are stationed along all the trail campsites.

Helicopter landing strips are designed at most of the route campsites. This service is carried out by a hired Chopper from private companies.

Evacuation is carried out immediately once any signal symptoms are realized. Our guides are knowledgeable and practically trained on first Aid as to how to combat Acute Mountain Syndromes. So please don’t hesitate to open up to the guides about any abnormal body response that you might encounter during the ascension, and don’t ignore their advice.

ACCLIMATISING;

 That is the secret of most successful climbers! We at AAS always recommend on taking an extra day at the second campsite/hut up the mountain, between the altitudes of 3-4000M. This will help your body and muscles to recuperate and acclimatize fully to the high altitude condition of the mountain. Most experienced mountaineers practice this resulting in guaranteeing their summit bid chances.

TRAVEL INSURANCE;

AKE strongly advices travellers to affect their traveling insurance in your countries before you commence your African safari to cover up your medical costs, personal accident, baggage, flying doctors and helicopter services if required.

VISAS;

Most travellers journeying Tanzania need to acquire a valid VISA with exceptional to certain Commonwealth countries. We advise you to obtain the visa from Embassies and Consultants from your country of origin if you have the time to do so, to avoid any un-necessary inconveniences.

However depending on the issuing countries relationship with the host country ,emergency VISA can be obtained directly at the point of entry to Tanzania namely Dar es Salaam International Airport, Kilimanjaro or  and even Namanga, Taveta / Holili or Tarakea borders posts.

INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS;

British Airways flies in three times per week direct from London to Dar es Salaam or JKI Airports. Flying time is approximately 9 hours and 40 minutes.

KLM-Royal Dutch from Amsterdam flies into DSM and KIA daily.

Swiss Air flies into DSM from Zurich and Gulf, Turkish Air and Emirates also provide it`s services into Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.  Other gate ways to entre Tanzania are served by Air Zimbabwe, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways and Kenya Airways.

AIR/SEA PORTS TAX;

A $50= Departure Tax is levied at the Airports and $20= at Sea ports of Zanzibar/Tanga /Dar and other interior entry/exit border points.

TIPPING/GRATUITIES;

How much tip should I give? Is a common asked question. We at LTS strictly prohibit our staff to abstain from pressing for tips, although you also should understand that this seasonal wages are quite minute compared to the undertaking. However it is well understood that tipping is at the discretion of the individual served.

CLIMATE;

Being situated just 3 degrees South East of the Equator line, Tanzania enjoys a tropical climate (22-38Dc) that is mostly dominated by the Monsoon winds off the Indian Ocean.

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