A Finland Swede in Bavaria

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Attempting the Kilimanjaro

Starting tomorrow, I will attempt the Kilimanjaro. I just wrote an email to my colleagues so they know I'm away for a good eight days. The email had an addendum about the details of the trek. I got so carried away by the planning that I'm sharing the plan here in my blog.

In brief: The start is tomorrow Wednesday late afternoon by train from Munich to Frankfurt. Flight with Ethiopian Airways via Addis Ababa to Arusha. First night on 890 m in a lodge, in which I will leave my laptop and other seemingly superfluous equipment. On Friday 3,5 hours in a jeep to the starting point, Rongai, on 2020 m. Then a 2-3 hour trek 800 vertical m to the first night in a tent on 2820 m.

The second trekking day means 3-4 h, 1000 vertical m to 3800 m. The third day, appropriately a Sunday, we rest and try to get adjusted to the height. On Monday again 3-4 h of trekking, 1000 vertical m to Kibo Hut 4703 m.

On Tuesday 24.2.2009 we get serious at one hour past midnight. Pitch dark, head torches on. We have 1000 vertical m already to Gilmans Point on 5715 m. Then it's more flat to the top, Uhuru Peak on 5895 m. It's one of the Seven Summits, let's see whether we make it. And then we'll have to walk more than 2000 vertical m down to Horombo Hut on 3720 m. Those huge amounts of vertical metres hurt my knees at least when descending Mt Blanc.

Wednesday we have botanics on the schedule, 5 h of walking 2000 m down to 1720 m. Forest, moor, jungle.

The PDF from the German Alpine Association is good to browse at


Wed 18.2.2009: Leave
- 16:50 Train leaves München Hbf for FRA airport
- 20:20 Arrival FRA airport (with backup time for delays)
- 22:40 Ethiopian Airways leaves for Addis Ababa

Thu 19.2.2009: To lodge, 890 m
- 07:45 Arrival in Addis Ababa
- 10:00 Ethiopian Airways leaves for JRO = Arusha, Tanzania
- 13:50 Arrival in Arusha
- Transfer 30 min to Ameg Lodge at Moshi, 890 m

Fri 20.2.2009: From Rongai 2020 m to 2820 m
- leave laptop at lodge
- jeep transfer 195 km / 3,5 h to Rongai, 2020 m
- the porters start carrying (15 kg/porter)
- walk 2-3 h, 800 m upwards, to tents at 2820 m

Sat 21.2.2009: From 2820 m to 3800 m
- walk 3-4 h, 980 m upwards
- "pole, pole!" (= Swahili: Walk slowly)
- "drink a lot!" (= English: Stay hydrated; water, not salmiak vodka)

Sun 22.2.2009: Acclimatisation
- sleep, rest
- walk around

Mon 23.2.2009: From 3800 m to Kibo Hut 4703 m
- walk 3-4 h, 900 m upwards
- pole, pole, drink a lot
- no more vegetation
- enjoying our own tents, as Kibo Hut is always full

Tue 24.2.2009: From Kibo Hut to the Summit 5895 m
- walk 10-12 h, 1200 m upwards, 2200 m downwards
- 1:00 Trek starts one hour after midnight
- snow
- Gilmans Point 5715 m is already 1000 m upwards
- Uhuru Peak 5895 m (one of the Seven Summits)
- descent through Marangu to Horombo Hut, 3720 m

Wed 25.2.2009: From Horombo Hut to Marangu 3720-1720 m
- walk 5 h, descent 2000 m
- botanic experience, forests, moors, jungle
- transfer 1 h / 40 km to Maeg Lodge
- Shower, fresh clothes, a beer

Thu 26.2.2009: Flight home starts
- transfer to JRO = Arusha
- work on photos
- 16:30 Ethiopian Airways leaves for Addis Ababa
- 20:15 Arrival in Addis Ababa
- 23:50 Ethiopian Airways leaves for Frankfurt

Fri 27.2.2009: Home
- 5:15 Ethiopian Airways lands in Frankfurt
- 5:55 (or 6:36) Train leaves from Frankfurt Airport to Munich
- 9:30 (or 10:04) Scheduled arrival in Munich Hbf


  1. [...] If you’re interested in the schedule, take a look at my blog entry “Attempting the Kilimanjaro“. [...]