Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Kilimanjaro Challenge 2014, the journey begins.

On October 3, 2014 our team set off for Kilimanjaro.
Months of training and planning were about to come to fruition....

On 10 October 2014 the team stood at Uhuru Peak,
 raising awareness for this school and the work they do.
Educating the deaf started in King William's Town (Eastern Cape) in 1888.
The Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St Catherine of Siena
 moved their school to a property in Melrose, Johannesburg called "The Haven"
The school was named after St Vincent Ferrer, a 14th century Dominican preacher,
renowned for restoring hearing to the deaf.
The school has been educating deaf children for the past 75 years.
To find out more about the school,
visit their website:

We flew out on Rwandair to Kigali.
Climbers can also go via Nairobi, but both routes are similar in flight duration

Goodbye to Johannesburg.

The team:
L to R: Winners, Bianca and Terence

And a surprise for me...
I was upgraded to business class!

Kwandhare on his first international flight.

On the mountain, we would have a similar view of the clouds.

Coming in to Kigali

This helicopter seemed to be doing flight training.
But I could be wrong

This airport has not changed at all since I last saw it in 2006

The ride from the airport of Keys Hotel took about 45 minutes.
My room was utilitarian, but comfortable and adequate.
Except perhaps for the TV...which only had one channel and
I had to watch it through a "snow storm".
But the bed was comfortable

And the mozzie nets did not have holes to let the little buggers in.

The bathroom had a shower only.
But each room has its own geyser, meaning that there was plenty of hot water.
However, if we feel that we have power problems in South Africa,
it was worse in Moshi!
But the locals did not seem to be too concerned to eat in the dark...
(the power outages seemed to occur around dinner time)

Time to repack...

The pool was well used by many of the climbers staying at the hotel.
Keys caters specifically for climbing groups from all over the world.
When we were there the biggest group was 30 climbers from Cape Town

The soft drink bottles seemed to have been on the Banting diet

Fresh fruit at breakfast.

Ready to head out...almost

Packed and ready to leave

The whole team.
L to R: David, Winners, Terence and Bianca.
And we are all still bright eyed, bushy-tailed and CLEAN
With packed lunches at the ready

And we are off.
It was going to be a couple of hours till we got to the gate where we would leave from.

This is the itinerary for the October, 2014 Challenge...

The Rongai Route
Sunday 05 October 2014  
After an early breakfast, a senior guide will conduct your climb briefing.   
You will then be driven to Rongai Gate, where you will meet the rest of your guides and porters. 
 After the formalities at the gate have been completed, begin your ascent to the first cave en route. 
 The climb should take approximately 2 to 3 hours.  
This part takes you through the cultivated area of the mountain, 
where you can see how local farmers tend to their lands on the slopes.  
Overnight at Simba Camp (1,800m).
Monday 06 October 2014  
Early in the morning, begin trekking out past the second cave, and on to the third cave.  
This should take you approximately 6 to 7 hours.  
The climb today is relatively difficult, taking you through forest and well into the moorland.  
Overnight at Kikelelwa Camp (3,800m).

Tuesday 07 October 2014  
This is an acclimatization day - you will hike further up the mountain, 
then return to third cave for overnight.

Wednesday 08 October 2014  
Continue ascending to Mawenzi Tam Hut, which should take approximately 7 hours to get to.  Overnight camping at Mawenzi Tam Hut (4,330m).
Thursday 09 October 2014  
Depart to Kibo Hut, which should take you approximately 4 to 5 hours.  
Settle down for an early night camping at Kibo Hut (4,703m). 

Friday 10 October 2014: 
Summit Day!!   
Today you will be heading for the highest point in Africa - Uhuru Peak (5,895m).  
You will be woken around midnight to commence the 5 hour hike,
 on heavy scree up to Gillman's Point (5,686m).  
You will be walking in the dark as the ground is frozen and this makes it easier to ascend this steep section.
 As you reach the Crater Rim, the sun should be rising to display Africa in all its glory beneath you.  
The views are spectacular and it makes the entire journey worth every step!
Continue another 1 or 2 hours to Uhuru Peak, along the wide paths of the crater rim, peering down onto massive glaciers shining in the morning sun. 
Arriving at Uhuru can be quite emotional, with the strain of the summit finally behind you and Africa surrounding you! 

After a few photographs at the summit, begin your steady descent to Kibo Hut for a rest and some nourishment, then continue to Horombo Hut to camp for overnight.

Saturday 11 October 2014  
After breakfast, descend to Marangu Gate.  
You will be transferred to Keys Hotel for a well-needed shower and an evening of celebration. 
 Overnight at Keys Hotel 
Sunday 12 October 2014  
Your tour ends today after breakfast and you will be transferred from Keys Hotel to Kilimanjaro Airport.


Displaying Behind the Scenes_Master_JPG change.jpg
Publicity is being handled by Di Sparks



"Travel & Things" was an entrant in this competition.
Not a winner, but one of 24 travel Blogs that entered

All images are the copyright property of  and may not be used without permission
Follow me on Twitter: @davidbatzofin
Visit my Facebook page:
Travel & Things has it's own Facebook page:

No comments: