Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro Trip Report (#4085)

  • Signed By: Mike Crown
  • Date submitted: October 10, 2004

I hiked by myself with one guide and four porters provided by Zara up the Rongai Route on a 7 day trek. The Rongai Route was fantastic -- I had the whole route to myself, except for the first night when I camped with a group from Germany. There was no mud, rain, or clouds, except for those that predominate around the Kibo peak at midday. I hiked for no more than 4 hours per day (except for summit day of course), and the route was very gradual with no steep sections (except for summit day of course). I hiked down the Marangu, and was quite glad I had not opted to take that route up. It was cloudy, a bit muddy, and rarely provided a glimpse of the mountain. A few tips that may be useful for future climbers:

1. I skipped Diamox, and instead took 120mg of Gingko Biloba twice a day, which I started 5 days before I arrived. I had absolutely no symptoms of altitude sickness, except for a little difficulty sleeping at Mawenzi Tarn (about 14,200 ft)

2. If you are flying in to Kilimanjaro (JRO) from Amsterdam on KLM, EXPECT TO HAVE YOUR LUGGAGE DELAYED!!! I don't know what KLM's problem is, but upon arriving at JRO, I spent two minutes at immigration, about five minutes collecting some of my luggage, and about TWO HOURS in line with nearly everyone else on my flight reporting missing luggage. Many passengers had planned to begin climbing the next day, but could not because their gear had not arrived. Apparently, this is a routine occurrence -- my guide claimed that many of his customers have luggage delayed from Amsterdam. What was infuriating was that KLM had even supplied a list to JRO personnel of some of the luggage that was being delayed, so that they knew before the flight even took off which bags weren't on board, but didn't tell the passengers. Beware of this problem -- it could really mess up your climb. Next time, it's British Airways for me.

3. Zara guides and porters were fantastic. I initially worried about being on the mountain alone, but I was quickly put at ease by the Zara personnel. Good price, good people. My guide was Saidi -- I couldn't have asked for a better one.

Any questions feel free to ask...

Mike Crown mjcrown@optonline.net

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