Roof Top of Africa – My First Seven Summit Mountain

Mount Kilimanjaro with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, is a dormant volcanic mountain in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 5,895 meters (19,341 ft) above sea level.

Total Estimated Budget : SGD5600Elevation: 5,895 m (19,341 ft)
First ascent: 1889
Country: Tanzania

Flight Transfer : Flight Cost SGD1500 inclusive
1) Singapore – Mumbai – Singapore (Singapore Airlines)
2) Mumabi – Nairobi – Mumbai (Kenya Airlines)
3) Naironi – Tanzania – Nairobi (Precision Airlines)

Tanzania Visa on Arrival : USD50
Yellow Fever Certificate : SGD154.80 @Changi General Hospital

(Machame 7day Route) – Full board Deluxe Package
Climbing Team:
1) Vijay – (India)
2) Khoo – (Malysia)
3) Tshepo –(South Africa)
4) Vishal – (NewYork)
5) Nisha – (NewYork)
6) Jyothi – (NewYork)


Around at 9.40am Arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport. Went through customs and got my first East African Chop in Passport. Was Picked up by Hidden Valley Safari who booked all my accommodations and sorted my Climbing Trip and I was all excited for the climb. The drive from airport to Arusha was around 45mins and lots of scenic on the way. Felt like I was in India for a moment all those paddy fields and houses along the journey made me feel like at home. Arrived at Palace hotel the view of Arusha town from the hotel was so awesome. Got fresh and went out for sightseeing around the area with Khoo.
As it was a Sunday evening most of the shops around the area was closed down. We just tried to walk around the place. We chilled out at one of the Café bar nearby. The food and drinks was quite cheap. Got back to hotel and had our dinner again. We started to pack our bags, for the morning expedition all got all excited. We had a early night bed.


Woke up around 6.3o am for a early breakfast. 8.30 am met with Mr.Manasseh the operational manager for HVS. He did some briefing on the trip we had to depart for Machame gate.We were divided into 2 group of 6pax as there were like 12pax. Me and Khoo ended at Team B with the above people.
The journey to Machame gate was around 1.5hours. The moment we got to the place it was drizzling and wet over. We had to do the registration prior to the trip. But as many people were around the trip was delayed till noon. We ended up having our lunch at the park. Finally our permit was approved and we decide to start our trek.

Our guide Mr. Freddy and His Team were all excited for an adventurous trip. Freddy briefed us on the trip and all the safety measures.

Machame Gate (1828m) to Machame Camp (3020m)
Hiking Time – 7 hours
Distance – 10.8km
Terrain – Montane Forest

Around 1pm we started our journey through the forested area. Quite surprised to see all the guides and staffs were well dressed and wearing shoes. Unfortunately they didn’t allow me to hike on my sandals so had to go on shoes. As it was raining the trail was very muddy at some point. The forest seemed to be very quiet and no animals were sighted. The greenery was filled everywhere.
From gradual slope of the trail the last 2 hours seems to be bit tiring with some steep slopes. We managed to reach the camp site by 7pm. By then the porter had setup all the tents and the food was ready. There were quite fast then us. We had our dinner and went straight to bed as some of them were already tired and just wanted to get a good sleep.


Machame Camp (3020m) – Shira Camp (3847)
Hiking Time – 6 hours
Distance – 5.3km
Terrain – Moorland

A ginger tea call woke us up all around 6.30 am after a freezing night. Ready for breakfast and we packed our stuff again on a remarkable journey. Around 9am we started to walk the ground was still wet from the previous night rain. The whole area was filled with misty fog. The journey took us with a scenic route and we were above the clouds. After a 6 hours of long hike we finally reached the Shira Cave camp. And there she stood the beauty of Kilimanjaro the stunning view left us amazed. The tent was pitched had our lunch and some went to take nap. And Me sat there with on the rock for the sunset. The view above the cloud was just an amazing beauty living in a million dollar tent. When the sun went down we hit for dinner again and a rest night. That night was full of star gazing with a clear view.


Shira Camp (3847) – Lava Tower (4642m) – Barranco Camp (3984)
Hiking Time – 8 hours
Distance – 10.7 km approx
Terrain – Semi Desert

After our breakfast we started very early today. This was desert trail so hot along the way. The trail was gentle steep at some places but still easily manageable. It’s just long and boring not much vegetation on the journey. Finally around 1pm we arrived at Lower Tower a magnificent rock face structure form by the previous explosion. We had our lunch at the place and started to continue our journey. Ahead us was a very steep rocky slope down we had to walk very careful.
The distance to Barranco camp was around 3.7km we managed to reach there by 4pm. The view was stunning Barranco wall stood left side of us and looked awesome and we all got bit scared when guide told us we were climbing that next day. And he told us it was Easzy PeaZy. We had dinner and head back to sleep. On our tent we could see crystallize formation was so cold.


Barranco Camp (3984) – Karanga Camp (4040m)
Hiking Time – 6hours
Distance – 6 km approx
Terrain –Moorland/ Semi Desert

Right after our breakfast the Barranco wall standing still at 257m high and climbing that was a greatest adventure of the trip. All managed to climb the wall with a great safety from the guides. The guides were really awesome leading the way to all the people. The view from the Barranco wall looked awesome our previous campsite from the top seems to be so far.
There we 3 false peak in order to reach the Karanga camp do prepare your mind for this hike. One could easily experience as slight mild headace and seems to have AMS. But with a slow place and drinking lots of water could help you on the journey.


Karanga Camp (4040m) – Barafu Camp (4681)
Hiking Time – 4hours
Distance – 3.4km approx
Terrain – Alpine Desert

Judgement Day : This hike leads us to the base camp. After enjoying our last breakfast prior to our summit ascend we set our journey to Barafu camp. This route ascend up to 640m to Barafu camp. There is a steep slope down and steep slope up prior to reaching the barafu camp. The closed day to Summit and all were a bit nervous and happy also same time as we made it till here. Afte our lunch we straight head to sleep and take some rest.

Having our dinner guides prepared us and briefed us on all the safety measure while to hike at night for the summit ascent. Around 11.00pm we woke up and prepared our stuff for the climb after having our Ginger tea.

Aug 8:

Barafu Camp (4681) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Mewak Camp (3090m)
Hiking Time – 7-8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak , 6-8 hours to descent Mewak Camp
Distance – 4.5 km approx ascent and 10.8km descent
Terrain – Stone scree and ice-capped summit

Distance on Summit day :
Barafu to Stella Point : 3.3km
Stella Point to Summit : 1.2km
Summit to Bafaru : 4.5km
Barafu to Mweka Camp 6.3km

Around Midnight we were already on the way to a steep climb. Luckily the weather was in our favorable, it was not a cold or windy night. It was perfect for the climb. The worst thing was the midnight sleep which was bothering me for the climb even though my body condition was good I struggle from lack of sleep for the ascent. Somehow my friends and guide kept me awake and pushed me till the stella point we managed to reach the steep climb of stella point around 6am. And we still kept walking till the Uhuru peak finally around 6.48am we reached the Summit and tear down for our great success. The happy moments were around everyone luckily our team of 6 all successfully made it to the summit. And the best moment of all was Vishal proposed to Nisha the greatest love story on the peak. It was damn cold and felt like when I took off my gloves for the summit pic my hands was frozen like as if I had a frost bite.

Then finally spending around 30mins we started to descent down the mountain to the base came. At some point you could literally slide down like skinning. It was a great moment of fun. Finally around 9.30am we reach the camp and had a nap till 1pm. Lunch was provided and all were happy to descend to the next camp site Mewak. It was around 5pm we made to the camp and was drizzing when back to forested area. We had our dinner and went back to sleep.

Aug 9:

Mewak Camp (3090m) – Mweka Gate (1611m)
Hiking Time – 3-4hours
Distance – 8.45 km approx
Terrain – Forest

Our last breakfast in the mountain and we are all excited around us reaching the gate. We started to walk our way down and seemed like never ending steps all the way down the view was very cloudy and started to drizzle on the way. Around 11am we managed to reach the game and done our final registration, the guides had arranged a certificate giving ceremony where we were awarded. The local started to sign some songs everyone turned out to be happy. Then we departed back to our hotels.

“A Trip of a life time” – Kilimanjaro (5895m)

Some of the local Swahili language words :
Jambo – “Hello!” A friendly “Jambo”
Asante – “Thank you!”
Sana (very) Used as in Asante-sana– Thank you VERY much
Pole pole – “Slowly, slowly.” Everything is pole pole in Africa.

And also make sure to learn this song – it will keep you going on the summit day :
Jambo! Jambo bwana!
Habari gani? Mzuri sana!
Wageni, mwakaribishwa!
Kilimanjaro? Hakuna matata!

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