Mount Kilimanjaro Trip Report (#3990)
- Signed By: Olly Evans
- Date submitted: July 08, 2004
Generally a great time, but some mixed feelings about Kili. The place was beautiful and the walk (Machame route) was reasonably challenging. Our guide, Balthazar from Transkibo Travels and the porters were fantastic and I would strongly recommend both the individuals and the company.
Unfortunately the mountain is massively over-climbed. The first camp is something akin to Glastonbury, and traffic jams en route were not uncommon. Fortunately the park authorities, porters and guides seem to be doing a great job of keeping it clean - not perfect, but very good considering the volume of tourists.
I was amazed though at the number of people who turn up with all the gear and no idea - the entire North Face catalogue and enough camping furniture for a small caravan park (all carried by porters naturally). Those who took only essential kit and a healthy dose of common sense spent less time packing, unpacking, waiting for porters struggling under huge bags, and overall had a much better chance of reaching the summit. As for suggestions that porters carry oxygen tents, please go back to Disneyland - why not fire extinguishers and lifeboats too? Instead, learn about altitude sickness before you go, and know when to stop.
Respect the place and the people, take plenty of film, but be prepared to share your summit experience with plenty of others.