We woke up early to eat breakfast and drive to the Machame gate, the entrance for our route to mount “Kili” as it’s sometimes belovingly called by the locals. Incidentally we got a lot of Swahili lessons by the locals that accompanied us,for example Kiliman means Mountain while Njaro means “ glistening water”. This makes a lot sense given this wondrous snow capped mountain is one of kind in the world, the only snow capped mountain in Africa. The first explorers to climb did so in the 1800s while the National Park was opened officially in the 1970s. You have to forgive my approximation of dates, but I’m recalling from memory and have no access to goggle now lol. My DH summited Mt Kilimanjaro shortly after we started dating in 2003, and sixteen years later he is bringing his wife and four young children to behold the beauty of this majestic mountain.
We had logistical things to take care of at the gate like registration and signing waivers for our young children. Incidentally the youngest official age to climb is 10yrs, and our twins are hoping to be the youngest official summiteers as their birthday will be on summit day – God willing🙏🏾. Ofcourse our youngest Amara is only 8yrs, She obviously recognizes what a big feat she’s embarking on but mostly acts as if she’s there to cheer on her brothers to get to set “the record”. Adaeze is a gentle strong sister who really does an excellent job at leading our awesome foursome. We know that we have been truly blessed by family and we are grateful.
The climb on the first day started at noon and ended around 6 pm. We go through the first zonation which is the rainforest, it looks like something out of this world with fog draping the atmosphere as part of a Hollywood screen set. We have several guides and porters who are amazing and help the pace, Baracca a young gentleman sets the pace from front while our kids line up behind him in a single file… poleh poleh which means slowly slowly, we make our way up the mountain.
We arrived our first camp site and the kids are still energetic infact stating that it felt easier than they expected while DH and myself exchange a knowing look of silent triumph and gratitude. We are so proud of them! Our senior guide had mentioned in the briefing the night before that there were four ingredients to determine 95% success on the mountain, 1) nutrition 2) hydration 3) positivity 4)cooperation and so far our kids had 💯, and we could not be more satisfied. The other 5 % he promised to share later on the mountain
We were welcomed to Ist camp with warm water for our face Wash and it felt like a piece of heaven- by now the wind had picked up and the sun was set and gone with it was it’s brilliant warmth, which made the gesture by our guides , feel all the more precious!
After we freshened up , we were invited to our dining tent where our chef Amos dazzle with his creations and presentation of various meals. How the heck did they transport all this items up the mountain so quickly in enough time to settle in and already prepare such delicious meals for us??? . I decided that was an inquiry for another day, for now we sat down and enjoyed a family dinner while our senior guide kept us company ,incidentally part of his job was to monitor our nutritional intake. Anything to keep us safe and healthy and for this and more I was extremely grateful.
I fell asleep quickly before I could write , in a tent I shared with girls while DH and the twins shared another tent next to us. DH made a loving gesture when he told the kids “mommy and the girls will have the middle tent that way they’ll be warmer because mommy gets cold easily “. Good call Babe , I slept better and warmer … well as well as one can in a tent in the mountains of Kilimanjaro.
Sleeping in the foothills of this enormous mountain conjured up feelings of respect within me , respect for the creator of such majesty and a reminder of grace. Grace that God’s love bestows on me as such a small creature compared to all the majesty surrounding me. I am truly grateful for God’s love and care.
Finally thank you for reading and coming along on the journey with us. I hope to keep documenting our experiences hiking Kilimanjaro and then onto the safari and beyond so stay tuned…hope you enjoy then pictures!