KILIMANJARO (5 895 m) - TravelingTunas Expedition Climbing the Highest Peak of Africa
♪ Kilimanjaro The highest peak of Africa The highest free-standing mountain in the world To climb to the top is a dream of many mountaineers and tourists. And our group of Traveling Tunas decided to make this dream come true as well. A group of young friends, athletes, travellers and adventurers. 7 days of hiking up to the altitude of 5 895 meters above sea level. None of us has been that high so far... Will we succeed? - I am getting a little headache just now.
- Hiking in the rain and fog is horrible! - Well, it is better than yesterday. - Go up there! - Good job! Let's get back to the beginning. Our whole African adventure began with arrival in Tanzania and driving to the foot of its highest mountain - Mount Kilimanjaro. We are now at the entrance gate to the Kilimanjaro National park Machame gate at the altitude 1 800 meters and this is where our climb begins. Several climbing routes lead to the top of Kilimanjaro.
We chose the 7-day Machame route. It is the most popular route, which offers a good balance between acclimatization, length of the trek, diversity of terrain and a decent success rate. Full of strength, enthusiasm and determination we are starting the climb. You can't get to the top of Kilimanjaro without an agency and so our 9-member expedition has to be accompanied by 23 other people. One is the main mountain guide, three assistant guides, one cook and 18 porters. That makes 2 porters per person.
They carry your main large backpack, that can have up to 15 kg and everything else needed for the expedition including food supply for 7 days. You carry only your small backpack with water and a jacket. - We are at about a half way of today's hike. - Now we are at the level of Gerlach peak, the highest mountain of our home country Slovakia and we are passing through the rainforest. It looks like a giant botanical garden, very lush vegetation. - Everybody eats their favourite snack, what do we have here, it is a "Horalka".
- Still running on Slovak supplies. - Chicken leg - Laco stays loyal to the lunch box. - It is good. - This is a local biscuit and local peanut butter. - It's a playful combination of flavors. After approximately 4 and half hours of easy hiking we reach our first camp, where our tents and dinner are already waiting for us.
- A luxurious dining is ready, it all begins nicely. - Here is some miraculous soup. - Yummmmmm! What is it? [Laughter] - We don't know what it is, but it looks very tasty. After leaving the camp in the morning, the tents are packed up by the porters and later during the day they get ahead of us again to prepare them in the next camp before we get there.
We appreciate this kind of service as it gives us more time to enjoy the hike. The ascent takes us through almost every climate zone. We begin in a rainforest, where temperature can easily get over 30 degrees Celsius, then with higher altitude we pass through alpine meadows and moorlands, up to the alpine desert. At the very top then is a glacier and the temperature can drop to minus 20 degrees Celsius.
You need to be equipped for all kinds of weather. And right on the second day, the first raindrops will test the resistance of our raincoats. We had no idea how often we would need them. - We are getting rain again, but fortunately we just got into our tents and unpacked. - In the afternoon we plan to do a short acclimatization hike 200 meters up and then back. - Well, and the rest of the time we can spend chilling and relaxing in our tents.
And thus we chill and wait for our favourite call for dinner: - After 10 minutes, dinner is ready! - OK, thank you! - This is our special dining tent and hot dinner is already here waiting for us. Our stomachs are well taken care of, for that we can thank to our perfect chef and his assistants. - Yes, kitchen staff. - All the stomach engineers are here. They definitely don't cut any expenses on us and every single meal is literally a royal feast.
Even at the high altitude they prepare for us exquisite kinds of porridge, pancakes, omelettes, fresh fruit, hot tea, baked potatoes, pasta with fantastic sauces, vegetables, meat and mainly a lot of rice. To make them believe that you had enough is not easy at all. - I can't hold it anymore! - Two spoons are enough for me. - We have enough more, do not worry! - After a rich dinner, it's time to go to sleep, to rest before tomorrow's difficult day. So, have a good night!
The climb itself to the top of Kilimanjaro is not technically difficult, you do not need any special mountaineering gear and any person with average fitness could do it. The only obstacle is the altitude and the lack of oxygen connected with it. - I am getting a little headache just now. Therefore, acclimatization is very important.
Its basic rules are: 1.) Climb high and sleep low. 2.) Drink enough water, at least 4 liters a day. 3.) Do not hurry. As the locals say "POLE-POLE" which means SLOWLY-SLOWLY. And just today we acclimatize properly.
We climb up to the altitude 4 600 meters to a rock tower - Lawa Tover. And weather is not really helpful. The rain is getting stronger which makes the hike quite unpleasant and the terrain gets dramatically dangerous in some sections. It should be the dry season now on Kilimanjaro, but the weather looks more like the rainy season.
And so, we may have water in our shoes, but at least we will not get a heat stroke. - After a whole day of hiking in heavy rain we finally reached Baranco camp. While arriving in the camp, the sun decided to show up for a while and we got a chance to dry our soaked clothes. - Hiking in the rain and fog is horrible! - Well, it is better than yesterday. - All we need now is to meet a porcupine at night.
- Right from the morning, the steepest part of the whole route, so called Baranco wall. Baranco wall is a rock wall, with a narrow, exposed path, which will test our physical and mental abilities. - POLE-POLE! - Slowly-slowly! - Go up there! Any mistake on the wall could have disastrous consequences. In addition, you have to be extra careful with crowds of tourists and porters. However we managed the situation with ease and some even managed the morning hygiene while climbing.
- From here it should be just a stroll to the next camp - It will be very easy. It's like a chocolate. - So we take a short break and move on. - Successful day no. 4, we reach Karanga camp - It is starting to rain again! - Typical weather for this mountain.
- But it could be worse. Once in a tent, we don't mind the rain anymore, so we fall asleep hoping for better tomorrow. The next morning, the weather finally calmed down and Kilimanjaro showed itself in its full glory. The mountain is getting closer and our journey as well is nearing its finale. Today we plan only a short hike directly to the base camp.
- The fifth day of ascent is successfully done, we all reached Barafu camp at the altitude 4 673 meters. - This is our highest camp and from here we will start in the next morning to the top of Kilimanjaro, which is right now somewhere in these clouds. In the evening we have one last "battle council" with our guides before we attempt to climb to the summit. They have our huge gratitude and praise for the whole organisation. - Everything is ok?
They helped us as much as possible and even during difficult moments they always supported and motivated us. - Good job! - Good job!! - Good job, my friend!!! They kept us in good spirits and our camp was full of optimism. - And here it is! - We fought for 5 days...
and now the sixth day is come, when we are all tired, but we will finnish it, we will make it and tomorrow we will take a picture together on Uhuru. - I have a little headache. I hope it will not get any worse. - I hope we will all make it to the top to Uhuru. - I hope we can all make it tomorrow and we will take a picture on the top in our tunas T-shirts. - I believe that we will make it tomorrow even with a headache. - Something positive? I am looking forward to relaxing in a camp when we get back from the top of Kilimanjaro.
- Let's go up! - I think that Laco has enough medicaments for everyone to handle it. [Laughter] - The weather is getting better, so the performance will also get better and we will all get there. - I believe that tomorrow we will see each other on the top.
[Alarm sound] - Here it comes! - The summit push begins. [Prayer] - Amen! [Applause] - Now, we can go. - 5 hours of climbing is behind us.
- If anyone thought that it would be walk in a park, then it was a big mistake. - Congratulations! You are now at Stella point. Stella point is a crucial point of the summit push. The steepest sections are behind us now and in front of us is only the finish line and the last 100 altitude meters of ascent. - It is done. - We made it! - After six days of effort we finally stand on the highest peak of Africa and enjoy the sweet feeling of victory.
♪♪♪ However we only spent less than 10 minutes on the top, we have an experience for our whole life. And as a reward, we get the most beautiful views of the crater and the surrounding glaciers that we could wonder at while descending from the roof of Africa. - And here is the end of your expedition. - We all made it to the top. - After a 100 percent success, it is time to celebrate accordingly.
♪♪♪ [Song Kilimanjaro (Swahili)] Jambo! Jambo bwana! (Hello! Hello sir!) Habari gani? Mzuri sana! (How are you? Very well!) Wageni, mwakaribishwa! (Guests, you are welcome!) Kilimanjaro? Hakuna matata! (Kilimanjaro? No trouble!) Jambo! Jambo bwana! (Hello! Hello sir!) Habari gani? Mzuri sana! (How are you? Very well!) Wageni, mwakaribishwa! (Guests, you are welcome!) Kilimanjaro? Hakuna matata! (Kilimanjaro? No trouble!) Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro, mlima mrefu sana. (Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro, such a high mountain!) Na Mawenzi, na Mawenzi, Na Mawenzi, mlima mrefu sana. (Also Mawenzi, Mawenzi, Mawenzi, such a high mountain!) Ewe nyoka, ewe nyoka! Ewe nyoka, mbona waninzunguka. (Like a snake you wrap around me.) Wanizunguka, wanizunguka, Wanizunguka, wataka kunila nyama. (You wrap around me, you wrap around me. Trying to eat me like a piece of meat.) Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro, mlima mrefu sana. (Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro, such a high mountain!) Na Mawenzi, na Mawenzi, Na Mawenzi, mlima mrefu sana. (Also Mawenzi, Mawenzi, Mawenzi, such a high mountain!)
Ewe nyoka, ewe nyoka! Ewe nyoka, mbona waninzunguka. (Like a snake you wrap around me!)