"Day by day on Mount Kilimanjaro" Top 5 Page for this destination Kilimanjaro National Park by JulesH

Kilimanjaro National Park Travel Guide: 163 reviews and 320 photos

My diary of Mount Kilimanjaro

We chose the 6 day Machame Route trek through Tanganyika Tours. The company seemed very pleasant, but in retrospect I feel they could have done more to ensure a successful climb for the whole group. In addition, they did not appear to pay their porters a fair rate, despite what they maintained, and I believe that our tips served more as wages than tips to the poor guys who lugged our stuff up the mountain. Hence the trek cost us a whole lot more than we anticipated as the guide was very prescriptive about how much he would accept in tips. This was NOT discretionary on our part.

Unfortunately, neither myself, nor Rob made it to the summit on the 5th day, although our two friends did. Rob could not climb due to altitude sickness, and me due to sheer physical exhaustion following the long 4th day. I have included some tips on how best to avoid the problems we encountered. This kind of failure was our worst fear for this trip, and it appears that we became a self fulfilling prophesy.

But this is not a tale of failure, so please don't be put off by this account. Evey step I took above 1000 metres was an achievement for me as the highest mountain I had attempted before was Mount Snowdon. I managed to get to nearly 3000 metres relatively easily on day 1 (although that's a bit of a cheat as of course you don't start at sea level) and I was one of the first 9 people to make it to the first campsite, despite walking at a very slow speed. I have every reason to be proud of myself and I saw some amazing sights and tested my limits.

Rob insists he will return to conquer the peak within the next couple of years...I am still undecided whether I will join him though.

If you are discouraged from climbing Kili from reading the following account, then you probably aren't mentally ready for it. Yes, it will probably be the hardest thing you have ever done...but even if, like me, you don't make the summit, it will be such a worthwhile experience. I am glad I did it.

  • Last visit to Kilimanjaro National Park: Oct 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (11)

Comments (25)

  • barryg23's Profile Photo
    Oct 10, 2009 at 6:25 AM

    Great page, excellent description of the hike, and fair play to you for knowing not to go on! We're in the planning stage of a trip - one company i've looked at takes an extra day to do the Machame trip - i.e. summit on Day 6 - would you recommend this?

  • graeme83's Profile Photo
    Apr 9, 2009 at 6:34 AM

    Amazing page - your trip looks a real adventure

  • kmohandas's Profile Photo
    May 1, 2008 at 9:28 AM

    A marvellous VT page on a very unique place on Earth.

  • goingsolo's Profile Photo
    Jun 4, 2007 at 5:02 PM

    Very touching page & one that I can relate to. I hope you're both extremely proud of what you accomplished. I've been through similar thought processes at lower elevation & I'm amazed at your fortitude. Very well written too. Congrats!

  • bluedook's Profile Photo
    Apr 10, 2007 at 10:40 AM

    Great tale. We are giving it a crack in july and after reading your experiences I will try and get fit first. Your comments will certainly help motiavte me before and during the climb. Thanks.

  • christine.j's Profile Photo
    Nov 9, 2006 at 1:22 AM

    This is absolutely no tale of failure! You can be so proud of yourself!! Fantastic pictures of the sunset!!! A very interesting page!

  • DirtyRudy's Profile Photo
    Sep 12, 2006 at 5:39 AM

    i'm going to be climbing in december. i did a practice climb to 3400 m the other day and my head started pounding. i'm glad that you feel proud of yourself because you should!!!

  • DAO's Profile Photo
    Aug 21, 2006 at 3:09 PM

    I lew over it. Looked nice.

  • MrBill's Profile Photo
    Jun 21, 2006 at 5:01 AM

    Hi Jules, what an amazing adventure and interesting account with excellent descriptions of your attemot to resummit. I applaud you on your nice photos and narration and well imagine how it was? Happy Birthday from Canada! Bill

  • Sininen's Profile Photo
    Jun 18, 2006 at 10:50 AM

    Hi Jules! What an amazing adventure you had! Love your style, I could well imagine how it was. Excellent page and pictures! Happy birthday from Finland!


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