We survived the first day of our 9 km walk that took us through the Montane Forest to our first sleep-out at Machame Camp. Today, we’ll walk less traveling only 7 km and I’m guessing we’ll go just as slow to acclimate to the altitude.
- Destination – Shira Camp with an elevation 3850 m/12630 ft up from our 6,000 m starting point
- Walking distance – about 7 km
- Walking time – about 5-7 hours
- Altitude gain – about 845 m/2772 ft up
We leave the rainforest temperatures of the Montane behind and travel through a botanic world called the Heath and Moorland.
Yesterday, we saw an incredible diversity of flowers, butterflies and birds under huge canopies of trees that seemed to stretch beyond the sky. At night, aardvarks and honey badgers come out, and even a few leopards.
I felt small and grateful for all of my rain gear, and enjoyed the sweet lemony smell in the air from the tropical flowers. This crested turaco is one of the most beautiful birds on the mountain.
Today’s hike is through Heath and Moorlands – a combination of grasslands and bogs. It’s much drier and cooler than yesterday, and some of the long stretches of grass are filled with bright red flowers. Most animals won’t hang out here although there are rare spottings of elephants and even lions. That said, there are tons of mice and mole-rats and buzzards flying overhead.
Messages From Rose
Day 1 was hard but today is ridiculously tough.
I have never been so tired but we are making good progress yet I can’t imagine how tough the rest of the climb is.
We made Shira Camp and it was a difficult climb up the mountain. I didn’t think I’d make it.
The porters carrying our equipment to the next camp are an example of strength, determination, patience and courage. They lifted superhuman weights.
NOTE: Click the link below to see Rose’s exact location on the map of Mt. Kilimanjaro.