Once in a lifetime

Diary of a Kilimanjaro ascent

by Rubel Zaman

I climbed Kilimanjaro with Lava Expeditions during the rainy season. I flew to Nairobi in Kenya and spent a couple of days chilling at The Wildebeest Camp (a relaxing haven hidden from the hubbub of the city) before boarding a bus for a 6 hour journey across the border into Tanzania and then onto to Arusha, a vibrant yet relatively quiet town.

I was met by a company representative at Nairobi airport who took me to my accommodation in Nairobi. This is where I met the rest of the group of whom I would spend the next week or so with. We all travelled on the bus together and Lava Expeditions too, who made sure that the immigration process of crossing borders and avoiding some of the dodgy locals ran as smoothly as possible.

Soon after, we arrived at our hotel in Arusha and met up in the evening for dinner and a few cold beverages. This is when we were introduced to more staff including Taddeus Minja, the main guide, where climbing Kilimanjaro runs through the generations of his family.

The next day the Lava Expeditions staff went through each of our kits individually to re-check that we had the correct and enough clothing for our expedition on Kilimanjaro. Only one person needed an extra fleece and a few decided that they needed a few more bars of chocolate. No-one forgot their walking boots which was a blessing.

We all set off the next day, stumbling in the rain through the beauty of the rainforest up to the heathland, where lichen literally drips from trees, all the way to the first camp where we had a glimpse of the mountain. I was in my element the next few days as the scenery was incredible and just so diverse every day. I suffered a little on summit day, not through illness but the altitude zapped my energy and I felt so tired.

The staff at Lava Expeditions was so professional and provided me with endless motivation and encouragement which in turn provided me with one of the best memories I have to date, reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro in bright blue skies with a view of the breathtaking glacier.

I felt prepared, informed, safe and excited about climbing Kilimanjaro and these feelings didn’t change throughout my trip. From the basic process of enquiring and booking my trip to my time up and down the mountain and all the way back to the UK, Lava Expeditions looked after me so well. I would definitely recommend this company to anyone wanting to climb Kilimanjaro.

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