Kili Safari for one

Posted on December 16, 2005 in ClimbingKilimanjaroSport

I got a mail the other day from a former colleague of mine, Philip Grobler, who I worked with at RPC Data in Botswana. Philip left Botswana shortly before I did and made an epic journey from the southern tip of Africa (Cape Agulhas) to the northern tip of Europe (Nordkapp or North Cape in Norway). All of this is very well documented on his Cape to Cape web site where he recalls his travels to 3 continents and 32 countries over 408 days and 55,794 km.

Anyhow, it turns out Philip climbed Kilimanjaro solo in July 2004 and has documented his journey in a story entitled Kili Safari for one. His account makes really good reading and he’s provided an apt summary of the climb as follows:

“This will probably be the hardest thing you will ever have done”, I was told in the briefing. Obviously the reference was to the actual climb, although the pain of having to pay a considerable sum of money for the privilege was still fresh in my mind! Since it was not quite peak season – and I was not prepared to wait a week to join another party – this was going to be a “Kilimanjaro Safari for One”! The embarrassing thing is that the party actually consisted of seven people: myself, my guide, a porter to carry my clothes and sleeping gear, a porter to carry the tents, a porter to carry the food and kitchen, a porter to carry the tent porter’s things and finally a porter to carry the food porter’s things. The chosen Machame Route has no huts en route, unlike the more common Marangu (Tourist) Route, so does not need to be booked in advance, but consequently needs more infrastructure, hence the need for all the porters.

Every article I read on Kili provides me with some interesting new information which I’m sure will help me be prepared more for the climb and Philips recollection of events is no exception - if you’re going to attempt the climb I highly recommend you read it and take notes, it’s well summarised and to the point.

I guess this beats climbing Kgale Hill in Gaborone!!

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