We descended down Kibo at a fairly rapid pace to make sure we can reach Kibo Hut by noon. There was a lot of ground to cover if we were to get down the mountain in 2 days. We did some “scree skiing” down the rocky slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. The process where we shuffled through the loose rocks on the side of the mountain. The dust that was kicked up during this process was quite blinding. As a result, taking out my camera was not on my mind. By the time we reached Kibo Hut, lunch was prepared for our group but we didn’t have the appetite to eat it. However, we were extremely proud of the feat we have just accomplished.
We continue to descend down the mountain via the Marangu Route. This route was also known as the “Coca Cola” route and has the highest traffic for climbs up Kilimanjaro. The trails were wider, and the facilities at the campsite was better. However, we were glad our team chose the Rongai Route instead so we can enjoy a more remote and quiet hike up. The flora and fauna between both the north and south side of the mountain was significantly different. Our ascent was much dryer but going down the Maruangu Route was significantly greener. We first started noticing the Dendrosenecio kilimanjari plants shortly after we left Kibo Hut. These plants looked like bushy palm trees and can be found throughout the entire route. As the evening neared, our team pitched tents at Horombo Hut, a campground overlooking the city of Moshi. After hiking over 15 hours and having been awake for nearly 24 hours, our team fell fast asleep.
The last day of the journey was full of lush vegetation. The Marangu Route took as through dense tropical rain-forests full of various species of birds and monkeys. There were also several waterfalls along the way to rest and enjoy. Our journey came to an end as we approached the Marangu Gate. We all celebrated our achievement and thanked the amazing crew from Team Kilimanjaro who took good care of us throughout this journey. After passing the gate, we relaxed and reflected on our hike with our guides Fred, Azizi, and our amazing cook Boniface over beer and cheeseburgers.
Kilimanjaro was definitely an experience to remember. To this day, I still reflect fondly of this hike and the amazing group of people who I shared this experience with. I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I do.
Other posts related to Mount Kilimanjaro
Part 1 – Rongai to Mawenzi
Part 2 – Mawenzi to Kibo
Part 3 – Kibo summit