Kilimanjaro 2011
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Kilimanjaro 2011 - Marangu Route
RenÚ and Jacqueline Hochreiter

 | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 - Summit Day | Day 7 | Day 8 | Satellite Cell Number |

RenÚ (3rd Time) & Jacqui (1st Time) at the Peak

Mount Meru from the top of Kilimanjaro
This trip to Mount Kilimanjaro (5895 m) is RenÚ's third and Jacqui's first. We wish them an enjoyable climb and a successful summit on Day 6.

Itinerary and Daily Reports

Day 1, Saturday 9th July 2011
Fly from O R Tambo Airport to Dar es Salaam. Take a connecting flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport. Transfer to Keys Hotel in Moshi. Stay overnight.

Jacqui and RenÚ en Route from Horombo to Kibo
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Jacqui and RenÚ at Marangu Gate, Kilimanjaro National Park
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Jacqui at Mawenzi Ridge Sign
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Day 2, Sunday 10th July 2011

After an early breakfast, depart for the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate. Meet with guide and porters. Begin walk through spectacular rain forest. Reach Mandara Hut (2700 m) after approximately 4 hours of hiking. This part of the climb could be wet and muddy. Parts of the climb could be steep but generally not too strenuous. Accommodation is in dormitory style chalets. Since there are no shower/bath facilities, bowls of warm water will be provided each morning for washing.

Day 2 Report

RenÚ and Jacqui are in a group of their own. Their climb began today at 11 am. RenÚ reports that the path was not too steep, it was very dry (rain has not fallen for a while, it seems) and the walk was very pleasant with plenty of birdsong in the background. They arrived at Mandara Hut at 3 pm and chose to share a 4-man hut with two young Swedish ladies.

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RenÚ, Jacqui with Swedish Climbers at Mandara Hut
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Mandara Hut
Picture by Marc van der Chijs

Day 3, Monday 11th July 2011

Continue climb to Horombo Hut (3700 m). Begin with a steep, sometimes wet, walk through the upper part of the rainforest. This is followed by a  section of tall giant heather interspersed with large clumps of tussock grass. The walk should take a total of 5 hours after which the vegetation changes to stunted clumps of heather and short tussock grass. Lobelia and groundsels occupy the wetter areas.

Day 3 Report

RenÚ and Jacqui arrived at Horombo Hut feeling a little tired but otherwise fine with no adverse altitude effects as yet. The weather was sunny and warm and both enjoyed sitting outside in the afternoon reading and enjoying the views of Mount Kilimanjaro to the West and Mount Meru to the north.

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Jacqui in the Moorland with Mawenzi in the Background
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Horombo Hut
Picture by El To˝io

Day 4, Tuesday 12th July 2011

This is an acclimatisation day with walks out towards the Mawenzi Tarn area. Return in the afternoon for some rest and relaxation at Horombo Hut.

Day 4 Report

Jacqui reports the following: "The weather is perfect - warm and sunny. Today is a rest day so we did a quick acclimatisation walk up to Zebra Rock and back. Zebra Rock (4000 m), a small exposed cliff face, is named for its zebra-like stripes caused by weather erosion. The vegetation is Alpine and very dry at the moment. Bird and animal life consists of ravens, chats, buzzards, mice and lizards. The morning walk took us 3 hours, after which we enjoyed lunch and then settled down to read for the afternoon."

Life is tough in Africa, I would say!

Jacqui is very happy to report that the food is outstanding - delicious soups and stews, fruit and lots of carbs - important to keep the energy levels up!

RenÚ and Jacqui would like to pass on their thanks to those of you who have sent good luck messages to the satellite phone - much appreciated.

Zebra Rock (4000 m) with Guide Sabas
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Day 5, Wednesday 13th July 2011
Climb continues with a traverse to the west and then a northwards turn towards a column between Middle Red hill and the Triplets. Then, turn west for the final 3 km to Kibo Hut - Base Camp (4700 m). The weather will be cold and walking could be in the midst of clouds. It will be especially cold when stopping to rest or to have lunch. Expect some sleet on this day.

Day 5 Report

RenÚ reports from Kibo Hut (4700 m) at 6.40 pm Kili time: "I am standing out in the open in the freezing cold - the temperature  must be below zero. The full moon is rising and is really beautiful. We have just had our supper of soup, bread, spaghetti, fruit and tea. We are in a very cramped dormitory of 12 people - nice group of climbers, though. The state of the toilets is unthinkable! We are going to sleep now in preparation for our summit bid beginning at midnight tonight.  We hope to be at Gilman's Point (5690 m) within 4 to 5 hours and then summit an hour later. The weather is amazingly clear - I can see the path to Gilman's Point from here - very exciting! Jacqui and I are both fine with no symptoms of altitude sickness (touch wood)."

We wish our intrepid climbers all the very best and look forward to a satellite SMS from the summit in the morning.

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Kibo Hut at Midnight: Start of Summit Bid
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Mount Kilimanjaro (5895 m)
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Day 6, Thursday 14th July 2011
Summit Day

This will be a long and strenuous day which begins just after midnight when the summit climb begins. There will be approximately 4 to 5 hours of climbing up scree which usually entails 3 steps up and 2 steps down! Feet and toes will get VERY cold indeed so hand and foot warmers are recommended, as well as plenty of pairs of socks and gloves. At sunrise, the group should have reached Gilman's Point (5690 m) at the top of the crater. From here, continue along a path around the crater rim up to Uhuru Peak (5895 m), the highest point in Africa.

After reaching the summit, take a quick photo or 2 and then descend immediately to Horombo Hut for a well deserved night's rest.

Day 6 Report

Jacqui reports: "Hard morning to the peak, very cold hands, no major trouble."

RenÚ adds: "Left at midnight and got to Gilman's Point at 5 am. Summited at 6.45 am. Very cold! Both got headaches but we are on our way down now and are feeling much better."

Congratulations and very well done to RenÚ and Jacqui.  We are very proud of you - sounds as if it wasn't an easy run to the top! Many thanks to all those who have sent congratulatory messages. I have passed these on to RenÚ and Jacqui.

Later in the Day: RenÚ reports that the trip down the scree was awful, as usual. Once they reached Kibo Hut, they had an hour and a half's sleep and then enjoyed a welcome meal. They then set off for Horombo Hut, which took 3 hours. They arrived feeling quite tired but elated that all had gone well!

RenÚ paid tribute to their guides, Honest and Sabas, who had been outstanding during the summit bid. Honest has a diploma in Game Management and has climbed Kili 150 times. Our pair couldn't have been in better hands!

There will be an early start tomorrow as it is expected that the trip to the Gate will take about 6 hours.

Sabas, RenÚ, Jacqui and Honest at Uhuru Peak (5895 m)
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Day 7, Friday 15th July 2011

Descend for 3 to 4 hours through the rainforest to the Park Gate. Transfer to Keys Hotel and enjoy an evening of celebration where certificates will be presented.

Day 7 Report

Jacqui reports: "Left Horombo Hut at 8 am to goodbye songs. Both Daddy and I were feeling fairly stiff after our long downhill walk yesterday. We enjoyed a gentle ("pole pole") walk in fine weather to Mandara Hut although the clouds came in a little as we descended to Marangu Gate. We arrived at the gate at 2 pm where we enjoyed a thirst quenching coke and signed for our certificates."

RenÚ adds: "We enjoyed a welcome lunch of chicken, cheese sandwiches, boiled egg, biscuits and cake on our drive back to Keys Hotel. On our arrival, we were officially presented with our certificates by our guides, Honest and Sabas - two wonderfully professional and truly caring guides.

Tomorrow our transport to Kilimanjaro International Airport leaves at 6 am. We fly to Nairobi where we have a fairly long wait for our connection to Johannesburg. We will be driving in to Nairobi to dine at the Muthaiga Country Club and are really looking forward to this!"

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Rain Forest En Route To and From Kilimanjaro
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RenÚ and Jacqui at the Top
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A Beautiful View of Mount Kilimanjaro
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Day 8, Saturday 16th July 2011

Transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport for flight to Nairobi. Enjoy lunch in Nairobi and depart for Johannesburg at 4 pm, arriving at O R Tambo at 7.15 pm.

Day 8 Report

 From RenÚ: "We had a superb buffet luncheon in Nairobi at the Muthaiga Country Club whose clientele seems to consist of mostly very English ladies and gentlemen. We had a chance to visit my old school, Nairobi Primary, and also the hotel my Dad used to run, the Pan Afric - now a fabulous 5 star hotel. The traffic in Nairobi was horrendous and we just made it to the airport to catch our flight home."

RenÚ and Jacqui arrived at O R Tambo safe and sound at 7.15 pm, tired and very happy to be back in South Africa. Welcome home!


Satellite Cell Number

Whilst RenÚ is away, SMS him from your cell at 0088 216 21120895 (160 characters maximum).
Alternatively, a 160-character SMS may be sent directly from to RenÚ's satellite phone number 21120895.
Please note that Kilimanjaro is one hour ahead of South African Standard Time.

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Website designed & updated by Gail Hochreiter
Page updated: 02/08/2015