Pole Pole to the Roof of Africa!

Featured Writer: Jenna Brook

When I was at university, I had a book that I wrote little bits about life in as I learnt them. It had quotes, recipes, tickets from events I’d been to and at the back a list of things that I titles “things to do before the end”. Morbid I know, but it was my bucket list. It was constantly changing as I crossed things off and added new things. One of the things on it was climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

After getting dumped and quitting my job, I decided it was time to hot foot it overseas for a few months and picked Africa as my destination. Even in 5 months I saw nothing but a snippet of what Africa had to offer, but I did cross a couple of things off my list with the main one being making it to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Before Kili, I ventured to the top of Mt. Meru (the second highest mountain in Tanzania) and to be honest I found it a far more gruelling trek as you ascended much quicker and I was up and down inside 3 days, whereas Kili took 9 days in total. It was on Meru that I learned the practical use of the words poley poley, which translates into slowly slowly. You can do Kili much faster on different routes, but not wishing to spend my entire trek vomiting and with a pounding headache I opted for the longer option and avoided both of these things, suffering only from a drum being played inside my head and the urge to vomit when sleeping inside at crater camp inside the mountain.

It would be disappointing to go all the way to Tanzania and only see the hotel and the mountain so I’m going to include my writings from my entire stay in Tanzania which I know is only short but at least if it’s on your bucket list it might entice you to stay a few extra days (or alternatively it might persuade you to leave immediately depending on your style). Whenever I look back on my climbs I find it very hard to believe that my body tolerated so much, and sometimes (just for fun) when I’m walking my dog I try and walk as slowly as I was on the mountain and am left in disbelief that I walked like that for days on end.

The only hints of western culture in Tanzania are mobile phones and vehicles with wheels (electricity does not factor in here). Hopping off the plane in Dar es Salaam I walked straight into not only the intense humidity felt on the equator by the beach, but also another world. As I was only transiting I very quickly moved back inside the airport to take in what I had just seen and prepare myself for what was to come. After surviving what I believed to be one of the shortest finals in aviation history we landed at Mt. Kilimanjaro airport. I wasn’t actually sure that we were going to level out before landing and at one point I did suspect that our nose wheel may land first. Only after landing and seeing the huge KLM plane land shortly after did I realise the pilot was trying to beat it in (which he did do successfully I’ll admit). If that wasn’t enough for my nerves I then got a taste of taxi’s: Tanzanian style. Upon exiting the airport I was met by a young fellow who offered me a taxi to Arusha. Considering it was already well into the night and it was the only option of getting into town I followed him to the remnants of a car and prayed (and prayed) that I’d get to my hostel safely (this wasn’t the only time I prayed to arrive safely when using public transport). Travelling alone can be daunting enough sometimes, while travelling alone in Africa, after dark, 60km in a taxi that looks like it’s taken 100 too many trips up a rocky track is enough to have you pulling your own hair out. I’ll admit that it wasn’t that bad once I got to the hostel and tipped him $5 as I was so relieved to be in so-called civilisation, however the sudden left hand turn into a desolate fuel station on the way did make my heart skip a few beats until I realised he really was actually getting fuel.

I quickly (after being woken early by them) learnt that car horns are the road rules in Tanzania where they basically mean either “out of the way, I’m coming through”, or “check your blind spot, I’m about to pass, so don’t pull out”. Dalla Dallas are the local form of transport and are basically a mini bus (usually painted odd colours with my personal favourite one called ‘The Undertaker’), and are NEVER full, even if you may think they are. It took me a week or so to get the courage up to catch one of these, and it was only with the help of a local guide that I had any idea where it was going or how much it would cost. Seeing the sign in front of the driver which said “God bless these hands” did actually (honestly) have me wondering if it may be my last moments on earth. I was however pleased to see that the numerous speed bumps along Tanzanian roads worked their charm and we never did get too out of control. Most of the time though I chose taxi’s to get from point A to point B, which unlike South Africa (excluding Cape Town) are relatively safe to catch albiet far more expensive then a dalla dalla, and at one point the driver and I were even bopping away to rastafarian gospel music because it makes him “feel happy”! The Tanzanians really were a happy bunch which may be due to the combination of Konyagi (a clear alcohol bought in plastic sachets) and dagga (marajuana) consumption.

My first port of call was Arusha which left a LOT to be desired. Besides the fact that the main street sounded like a carnival of horns from 6am to 11pm, I was left feeling a little out of place when the receptionist suggested I not walk around alone as people are getting robbed at knife point on the main street. Welcome to Arusha! I initially took heed of this advice and found myself in a taxi trying to find somewhere that I could book my climb of Mt. Meru. I eventually alighted from the cab and was very quickly spotted by a rasta guy scouting for white tourists just like me to sell safari’s and climbs to. After initially repeating “Hapana Ahsante” (no thanks) and getting nowhere I followed him towards their “office” and stopped very quickly when I caught sight of it. I was looking at a small wooden door with a sticker on it that read in faded letters ‘sunbird tours’, which was located to the side of a petrol station down a few steps. After suggesting that I might not want to follow him as I may not come out alive (I actually did say this to him), an old fellow turned up in his Sunday best and ushered me inside and up 3 flights of stairs to an office with a notebook on the table. Again I prayed. I don’t think God has ever heard from me as much as while I was in Tanzania! Long story short though I survived, got my climb booked and after a cold shower (no electricity) and a beer with an American who had just been robbed on the main street in broad daylight I left Arusha to climb my first mountain.

Meru was tough, but bearable (just!). The scenery was quite amazing and we spotted giraffe and buffalo while crossing the lowlands. After climbing above the clouds on the second day, we found ourselves moving slowly to ward off any altitude sickness that our 3000m climb in 2 days might throw upon us. Starting for the summit at midnight after an hour of sleep is not for the faint hearted, and the first 300m hurt.

Once at 3800m though, I had got myself into a routine of one foot in front of the other and up we went. The summit walk is dangerous and at more then 1 point a wrong foot would literally send you sliding a fair way down the mountain as we were walking along the very steep crater rim all night.

By sunrise, we were still not at the summit, so we watched it over Kili above the clouds which gave me a little bit of extra strength. To be honest though, by this point, the summit still seemed so far away, and with the numerous false summits along the way I did entertain the thought of turning around, only to look back and see that it was just as hard to get off the mountain! It was a game of mental toughness in all its glory! Upon reaching the summit, I was exhausted but I did enjoy the view for long enough to take a couple of photos, have a bite to eat and psych myself up enough to clamber down the rocks that I had just spent the last 7 and a half hours clambering up.

By the time I reached the gate at the bottom of the mountain, I had been walking for 16 hours that day, my feet were on fire, my knees did not know why their owner would choose to do such a stupid thing, my hips wanted to remove themselves from my body, my mind did not care that buffalo were a mere 100m away from us, nor was I amused when the guide wanted to stop and take a photo of me with the giraffes in the background, I wanted to cry at the pain I was in and I wanted to vomit. All in all it was a great warm up for Kili!

After a few days in Moshi batting off the constant barrage of people trying to sell you stuff, I caught a taxi with my rasta/gospel taxi man, and made my way to Marangu where I was to meet the group I would be climbing with. Arriving a few days early I took the opportunity to see a little of the town with a local guide called Frank who showed me the waterfalls, coffee and banana plantations, Chagga caves, markets and the blacksmiths, as well as taking me on the much anticipated dalla dalla. The hotel was a piece of luxury after my hostels and it even had power for a majority of the time!

Eventually, I met my fellow climbers who were all from Australia and consisted of a couple and their daughter, as well as another couple who were all family. After our briefing of what to expect on the climb, we set off to start the Lemosho trail but hit a rather large snag on day 1.

The truck was an old Merc and carried 29 people plus our supplies and as such failed to get out of first gear on any sort of incline which left us running late. When we did eventually arrive at the park gate it was late in the afternoon and had we gone to the start of our intended trail we would of still be walking into camp at 9 or 10 at night. Thinking better of that the guide decided we would drive as far as we could and walk straight to our 2nd camp at 3400m. Our heads certainly felt the 2000m gain for the day but I was just left feeling a little light headed. We were lucky however as we spent 2 days at the camp which was vital for our acclimatisation on the mountain. Our route had us approaching the mountain from the western side, across the Shira Plateau which was once the oldest and biggest of the 3 volcanoes, towards the southern side, before summiting from the South Eastern side. Along the way we hiked for between 4 and 7 hours a day, through some of the most beautiful scenery, going as high as 4600m but spending the first 5 days hiking mainly between 3500m and 4000m which was crucial to our lack of headaches and vomiting! We walked slow (well I walked slower then the rest), we farted…a lot (said to be a good sign of acclimatisation), I drank copious amounts of water at 5-7L per day, I ate like a dog who hadn’t eaten in a week, my socks stank, my clothes were dirty, my hair was a birds nest that I never attempted to brush, I had blisters which ankle tape seemed to sort out, the weather was beautiful, it was cold though and moving was tough. Simply walking from your tent to the mess tent left you out of breathe if you moved at anything more than a snails pace. Along the way we all got burnt, even putting sunscreen on 4 times a day was useless against the sun that high up, I fashioned a David Attenborough style hat using my trusty needle and thread, someone dropped their camera down the drop toilets along the trail (which are just a hole in the floor) and I repeatedly left my wooden walking stick behind and could always be heard saying “where’s my stick?”.

Eventually after all of this, we made it to our final camp before the summit, Barafu Huts. Here we got our first look at Mawenzi, the second oldest of the 3 volcanoes, and which is now a series of jagged, brittle peaks. As we were all feeling quite dandy at 4600m we decided a quick acclimatisation hike was in order, so we sauntered up to 4800m and had our first taste of seeing people with altitude sickness coming down the mountain (or more accurately being dragged down the mountain by their guide). As we were sleeping inside the crater the following night we wouldn’t be setting off for the summit until the following morning, which unlike those who would be going up the mountain on an hours sleep we got a couple more before it got to cold and uncomfortable to sleep. Waking up we were able to see the trickle of head torches approaching the crater rim on their way up, and slowly started to make our way up the final leg. The best way I can describe walking at altitude is either like a chameleon where one foot goes forward, stops, then the other comes forward, and where there is absolutely no forward momentum, while the other way is like having your feet tied together and you sort of shuffle. While the rest of my crew strolled along in front I chilled out the back singing all sorts of songs and always walking slow enough so I did not have to breathe through my mouth. My favourite songs while on the mountain were The Fisherman, Hakuna Matata, Sweet Caroline, Circle of Life, as well as most other ones from the Lion King. They took my mind off the monotonous, gruelling task at hand and took me to a ‘better’ place!

Eventually we all needed a break and it was at this point that you could see the backbones starting to break, people were getting crabby, they suggested the guide wasn’t stopping enough, they didn’t bring the right snacks etc. It was at this moment that your mind starts to go ‘why are you doing this?’, ‘you know you want to turn around, come on…there’s still 5 hours to go, turn around’. It’s like having a devil and an angel on each shoulder taunting you.

At this moment my experience on Meru was invaluable and I knew that if I just kept going I’d get there, I never doubted my ability as I’d done it once before and I am so grateful for it as I watched other people doubt themselves (albeit we all got there), but not having to fight with yourself is a huge burden off your back when you’re at 5500m, there is no oxygen and it is cold. My slow and steady idea paid off as I was the first to step onto the crater rim and Stella Point where we all got a second wind and could finally see the purpose of all this madness…Uhuru Peak (I was the last to get to there though)! I must admit though I was more excited to reach this point then the actual top, as it had been our focus for the entire day and probably one of the big differences between summiting at night and during the day.

From here it was a beautiful, gruelling trudge around the crater rim passing glaciers either side and looking onto the crater floor and our home for the night. Along this path my head started to throb…and throb…and throb.

By the time I got to Uhuru Peak at 5985m, I was sure someone was playing a drum inside my head, so after a few photos, congratulations and hugs all round, I hotfooted it down to crater camp to allow the thumping inside my head to decrease.

After a good hearty meal it was off to bed and no sleep. I’m pretty sure humans weren’t designed to sleep at that altitude and as such I didn’t. My head never really did stop pounding, everytime I rolled over in my sleeping bag I wanted to vomit, however I couldn’t because I was too busy gasping in air as I couldn’t get enough oxygen by breathing through my nose. It was horrible. To make matters worse I woke up from a doze at 4am with ice INSIDE my tent and my water frozen even though it was insulated. I was sleeping in 9 layers of clothes and it made no difference.

I eventually got up to find another girl walking around as her lungs were crackling (the start of pulmonary oedema) and after crying and gritting my teeth through the pain that my hands were in from the intense cold, combined with my pounding head and the urge to vomit, I followed my guide and 2 other climbers off that mountain as quickly as possible! I have never experienced cold like that before and will be forever grateful if I never have to again.

By the time we reached 4600m, I felt like a new woman and over the next 2 days we made our way off the mountain and back to the land of running water and Amarula! My shower was amazing! I don’t know if you can fall in love with running, hot water but that day I did.

After 9 days I smelt terrible, my hair literally made the water run a shade of brown and my pores on my face were full of dirt. Looking at my feet properly for the first time was a bit scary and overall I was just a bit tired. After a good meal, a few beers and couple of Amarula’s I was off to la-la land and my first night with a pillow! BLISS!

Climbing these mountains gave my life something beautiful and ignited my spark for adventure. The beauty of adventure is that it is different for every person and as we grow up from childhood we seem to lose what makes life an adventure. When we are kids we find adventure in the smallest of things from climbing a tree to chasing frogs in the garden, and I am forever grateful to Africa for helping me dig my adventurous side out and I refuse to ever let it go again.

Live life like the adventure it should be; I’m grabbing mine with both hands by next tackling the Simpson Desert in The Long Walk Home.

Read more from Jenna Brook at http://thelongwalkhome2012.wordpress.com/

***Check out other great articles by adventurous bucket list seekers at Bucket List Publications.***

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61 thoughts on “Pole Pole to the Roof of Africa!

    • Thanks for your comment. Although I enjoy writing, it is far more enjoyable when people read it! Adventures come in many different forms, so even if you don’t climb mountains, dangle off cliffs or jump out of planes I am sure there is still adventure in your life!

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    • I’m glad it inspired you! That was my goal! It is such an amazing experience, and I hope you got a little bit of an understanding of what it is like. I will tell anyone who will listen to do Meru first and then Kili, and take the long way up. It might cost a bit more, but you’ll take many more memories from it, and probably actually enjoy the trek rather then wanting to run down to get away from the headache and nausea.

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    • I never made it across the border to Kenya, but oneday I’ll venture back! Somalia…wow! I will admit that was never on my bucket list, but how was it? Must be an extremely interesting place to visit, if you’ve got the guts to go.

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        • It’s funny how you sometimes forget that even in these countries where war and fighting is prominent that there are still beautiful landscapes to see. If they are anything like other parts of the African coast line I dare say they would be beautiful. Namibia’s coastline is one of my favourite as the dunes literally meet the ocean…absolutely amazing!

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  1. Wow! I really, really enjoyed reading your story. It was so captivating. I have to admit that sometimes when i start reading a story and if I stroll down and see that it’s super long, I will stop reading, if I think it will take up too much time. However, with your story, I was so engaged that I never even scrolled down to see how long it was because I was anticipating each following line. Your adventure was so well expressed by your writing that it had me trying to empathize through my senses each scenario and how it must have felt. Without ever climbing a mountain, through your story, I think I know how it would be. I don’t have any plans to climb any mountain though. I think small hills would be okay for me 🙂

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    • Thanks so much for your kind words. I am extremely glad that you found it captivating and in some way understood what it’s like to be up that high. It is quite amazing what the human body can handle and how far you can push it with a little perserverence. I sometimes do the same as you when posts are long, so I feel priviledged that you read it all the way to the end! When you are passionate about something words just keep on coming, so it takes a little time to work out what is relevant and what other people may find interesting. Thanks again!

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  2. Wonderful stuff! I spent 2 years in Africa (and a few other shorty trips before that). And I experienced none of this. THat is what is so wonderful about the continent. So many things to experience, and so many ways to learn and grow! I suppose it could happen anywhere, but for us non-Africans….there is something about the way it grabs you….and takes hold…

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    • Africa certainly has a lot to offer the traveller so long as you are able to get out of your comfort zone. The continent is so varied in its landscape, culture and beliefs. There are so many adventures to be had even if you visit only one country! You are right about how it grabs hold, I am constantly coming up with new ideas and things to see on my next trip. Thanks for your comment and I am glad you enjoyed the read.

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    • It’s a beautiful spot, and if you have any inclination to do then I say go for it. One thing you will never regret, and dare I say it I doubt you’d regret the experience even if you didn’t make it to the top. The scenery and experience is one you’ll never forget! Thanks for reading!

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  3. Pingback: Where it all began. | Uvumilivu – The Long Walk Home

  4. Reminds me of the time we drove up Pikes Peak (Colo) – and the petrol boiled out of the car. My fingernails went blue at the summit with anoxia. Great post, great experience.

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  5. Gotta start making my bucket list! I’ve seen people doing extraordinary stuffs in their lives and been inspired to follow through. Now, you have joined the group of inspiring people of mine 🙂 Thanks for sharing. You have such an amazing experience in Tanzania! Always great to read such great story!

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    • Thanks! My goal with this was to inspire people to take on new adventures and it’s worked! I’m sure it’s not ‘bucket list’ protocol but I sometimes add things to mine after I’ve done them because sometimes you don’t know you want to do something until you’ve done it.

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    • No worries! It was a pleasure to write and a pleasure to experience (albiet it was slightly uncomfortable sometimes). I believe there is no point in writing about experiences if you take out what makes it an adventure. For me personally, and somewhat selfishly, I write about my experiences so that when I go back and read them I can vividly remember what it felt like and what it was really like. So much so that when I read a book I put together from my trip to Africa I still find myself with butterflies in my stomach and laughing at little things as I remember them. Thanks for reading!

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  6. Wow, you really overcame some great ordeals there. I mean short of getting really sick and catching something that could have caused some serious harm and avoiding being attacked by anyone that was willing to steal something from you i gotta say, you really added a intense adventure to a chapter in your already fascinating life that could solidify that biography one day that I’m sure will be some kind of best seller. Who knows maybe you even get a movie or something. Did any one say peter jackson or james cameron? -,o

    http://wp.me/2aAA8

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    • Wow! Thanks for your comment, I feel very priviledged that a piece of my writing has been shown to so many people, and am very grateful for the comments made. Not sure about the movie though, that might be taking it a little far, but hey wherever the wind blows I suppose 🙂 It is so great to read comments like this and I appreciate you taking the time to read it.

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    • A brilliant experience! I wouldnt change it for the world…every painstaking step and deep, gulping breath I took was worth it. The feeling of getting back down and taking in what I had achieved is a feeling I wish I could bottle. Definately add it to your to-do list if you have any interest in it. Just make sure you take the longest way up you can afford and use a reputable company to climb with. Also, if you are feeling really adventurous take a look around the rest of Tanzania and get back to us with your tales, there are lots more wonderful places to visit and I’d love to hear about them.

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    • I’m not sure if this is directed at bucketlist publications or mine at http://www.thelongwalkhome.com.au, but I’ll go with bucketlist publications and say I agree with you! Being a novice at blogging I am constantly amazed at blogs like these with so many people following it. It is a whole other world this cyberspace! And thanks for reading about my Tanzania trip…it was fabulous in every sense of the word!

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  7. Ahhh. Thank you for sharing this! Lemosho is my dream route as it’s typically considered to have the most beautiful scenery, but it’s typically more expensive. What tour company did you go through? From reading it, it sounds like you summited during the day; one of the tour companies I looked at began their ascent at midnight like your Mount Meru trek then immediately turn around and come back down after sunset. Thanks for sharing – it sounds like an amazing trip!

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    • Hello!
      Although we missed the typical Lemosho route beginning through the forest due to our African transport issues, the length of time spent on the mountain was crucial to our success. The beautiful thing about the Lemosho route is that you cover almost all the different areas and terrains on the mountain, from the Shira plateau, climbing to the top of Cathedral peak, crossing the saddle, before joining with the Machame route and onto the Barranco Valley. Personally, I found this valley was the most beautiful part of the mountain. It is so amazingly eerie being up so high that when you look down the valleys, you look onto the top of the cloud layer, which typically sits around 3000m. You also get to descend through the rainforest which is stunning!

      As we spent the night in the crater camp we began our summit bid at around 7am and eventually got there at about 4pm. Very few people spend the night inside the crater (as you read it is quite unpleasant), but it is memorable, and because of this most companies begin at midnight, and summit some time during the morning and then return back down to Mweka Huts (Lemosho, Umbwe and Machame routes descend via the Mweka Route). Obviously sleeping in the crater is an experience in itself, and also by summiting after lunch we had the peak to ourselves unlike those who summit in the morning and who have to fight for photo positions. I guess the only draw back depending on how you see it, could be that you can see how far you have to go and you can actually see how slow you are going, rather when it is dark you don’t know how far you have to go. Weird I know, but on Meru it got a lot harder once the sun came up as the mental challenge really began when the false summits started making an appearance.

      In terms of price, the lemosho route is typically the most expensive for a number of reasons including the fact that it is a couple of hour drive to the start and that you are on the mountain for longer meaning more porters to carry the supplies, more food and ultimately bigger tips at the end. The longer you are on the mountain though, the more chance you have of succeeding and quite frankly the more enjoyable you will find the climb because you won’t have a pounding headache and be vomiting the whole time.

      Going with a reputable company will also generally make the price increase but in my view this is a no brainer, as it is the guides and porters who make the trek what it is and they need to be looked after appropriately. I climbed with an Australian company called No Roads Expeditions http://www.noroads.com.au, and I couldn’t say a bad word about them. The service was excellent, their Tanzanian outfitters were great, and all the porters and guides got a free shirt which makes you feel a little better about having them carry your bag to the top 🙂

      Now that I’m babbling I’ll just say thanks for reading, and I hope you get the chance to make it to the top oneday too!

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      • Thank you so much for all that information – babbling was definitely not a bad thing! Climbing Kili and seeing Ngorongoro is my dream trip, so the more information, the better! I’ve already committed to a volunteer trip in South Africa, but I will definitely look into that tour company – they sound great. I will probably still look around a bit though for midnight summits since the cold sounded awful lol. And it sounds like you made it through pretty well considering Lemosho is touted as one of the harder routes! I just couldn’t imagine spending all that money and doing something so fantastic and not taking the route I wanted, so I guess I’ll be saving up my money for Lemosho and a great tour company. Thanks again 🙂

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        • Enjoy South Africa, I spent 2 months there volunteering in a wildlife reserve. Brilliant stuff! Haha, yes the cold was awful but glad I made it through to the end. Yep, I’d hang about until you can do it the way you want and with a great tour company. NRE were excellent.

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    • I’m so glad it inspired you! That’s a fantastic comment. I read a book while I was over there called “Blood River” about a man who followed in Livingstone’s footprints across the Congo. Very interesting read. Now that would be an adventure. Thanks for reading!

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    • Keep it on your list! It’s a big mountain, but slow, steady and some sheer determination will get you to the top. Just remember the slower you go the more chance you have! That way it’s only gruelling, exhausting, breathtaking (literally) and big, rather then impossible 🙂

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  8. Because I had read this, I added more things to my bucket list about Africa. I’m reading a fictional book that takes place in South Africa and one of the languages that I really want to learn is Swahili. I also do lots of research on it. One could say that I have a small obsession, maybe it’s because I am African American…follow me at matthewsbucketlist.wordpress.com!

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    • Thanks for reading! Swahili is a beautiful and simple language. Everyone there told me that within 3 months you can be fluent. In only a couple of weeks, I could say all the pleasantries in conversation so I imagine it is true. Lala Salama (meaning sleep well) was a favourite of mine as it just rolled off your tongue. Also add to your bucket list Namibia if it’s not already on it. The most amazingly beautiful country even though it’s practically covered in sand. If you check out my blog at http://www.thelongwalkhome.com.au you’ll see it’s called Uvumilivu meaning perserverence in Swahili!

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      • I just saw the Lion King the musical and it was spectacular! The narrator was named Rafiki which I think means “friend” and Simba means lion. I don’t know if Mufasa means anything or Nala but I loved the music and the swahili terms that they incorporated. At one point Rafiki was speaking Xhosa the clicking language and I was ecstatic because I tried to learn it but it was too hard. You should follow me!

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  9. What a fabulous account of a tough couple of climbs!! Pure magic! Climbing Kili is a fantasy of mine. I’m a South Africa and feel it’s one of those African things one needs to try to accomplish. Thanks for sharing your tale of gritting it out.

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    • Thanks for your comment. Glad you enjoyed the read. I spent 3 months in South Africa before this. It is quite a remarkable country, and one that seems to continually be adding things to my bucket list. Goodluck at making your fantasy a reality!

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  10. Eeeee, i’m off to Africa this week and finishing my trip by climbing Kili! Thanks for the insight into your trip. Sounds terrible… but in a fantastic way! Can’t wait to get going! Stay safe,
    Kazza =D

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  11. This is great but I must say I have been challenged am from Kenya but never been to Kilimanjaro makes me think how I take things for granted yet someone from a different part of the world travels all the way to come experience the beauty we have. Next thing am doing Mount Kilmimanjaro and yes we say pole pole for slowly hahaha this was great reading

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  12. I like the zeal you have for life, that zeal is in my bucket list. Having said that, I am always amazed at the things westerners see in this side of the world. I am amazed that for some reason westerners hardly see anything to celebrate bout this side. The statement “the only hints of western culture in Tanzania are mobile phones and vehicles with wheels (electricity does not factor in here)” is very disheartening. I am not naïve to the fact that Africa has issues. But having lived in the ‘western’ world for a few years, such statements always manage to surprise me. It never fails to make me wonder if the intention of any African visit is always with a preconceived mindset, see the poverty period. The statement “the Tanzanians really were a happy bunch which may be due to the combination of Konyagi (a clear alcohol bought in plastic sachets) and dagga (marajuana) consumption” makes me wonder if you absolutely ticked something in your bucket list but missed the point

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