The one goal of climbing Kili ….. to get to the top, easier said than done! But on August 3rd 2011 that goal and dream of mine was achieved. This was one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences I have ever had the privilege of doing. Not many people can say they made it to the top of Africa’s highest mountain and I felt extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to become one of those people.
Climbing Kilimanjaro and summiting is one of the most rewarding achievements for me. After a very long, exhausting and extremely emotional 8 hours, we made it to the top of Africa! It will be a day I will never forget!
What started off as a distant thought after my dad had summited Kili for the first time, eventually became a reality. 7 years later he was back at the gates of the Machame Route with me to set off on our adventure. The Machame route is considered one of the most scenic, yet very challenging and steep routes, and boy did it live up to its expectation!! This route can be broken up into 6 or 7 days. We opted for the longer climb as acclimatization was a big yes for the group and we wanted to be sure we all made it to the summit.
Kilimanjaro is majestic in its own right, its vast terrain that changes daily as you ascend higher, the outstanding views that surround you and the amazing scenery are all very dramatic. It is by no means a walk in the park! It is definitely a mountain that plays with your emotions. Climbing Kili is slow and steady, the saying “Pole Pole” which translated from Swahili means “Slowly Slowly”, becomes part of your daily mantra with the guides keeping a close eye on your pace throughout. The motivation and enthusiasm these great gentlemen have is amazing, and their energy definitely plays a huge part in encouraging you to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Even though physical fitness is an absolute must, making it to the summit comes down to mental strength! You have to believe that you can do it. All the months of hard work you have put in shouldn’t be chucked away, because when the mountain throws everything she has at you the only thing getting you through the rest of the climb is strong willpower and determination!
Kilimanjaro is not be to be underestimated. She is one of Africa’s great adventures and is definitely an experience that will live with me forever.