Tag Archives | Tanzania

The Whispers of Mt. Kilimanjaro

 

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

 

Her name, so utterly foreign yet bitterly familiar, still invokes Dickens’ ostensible opposites. To reproduce it from my lips freshens my mind with rivaling sensations of joyful enthusiasm and painful failure. Kilimanjaro. This is the story of my fight with her.

 

We met at Machame camp in Tanzania – our first date was a steep climb through lush rainforest was complete with monkeys, vines, and the two interacting in a natural manner. Though it was challenging, I was vigorous and her beauty and charm were intriguing. As our day’s journey slowed to an end, a taste of what to was to come arrived in the form of an eerie aberration – the landscape transforming from thick and green to misty and moss-strewn. Nonetheless it still had a strange allure, and camping just below the cloud layer offered a romantic sense of vulnerability. I admired her.

 

The second day brought an initial victory – plunging through a dense layer of fog, any temptation to attempt a retreat changed from the prospect of a leisurely downhill path, to a seemingly impenetrable floor of clouds. It was easier to go on. She was ruthless and uncaring as the slope sharpened. Plant life was sparse and the air thin as we crossed through 12,000 feet. I found myself out of breath – not only in awe of her splendor, but also aghast of her cruelty. By the time we arrived at Shira camp, I wasn’t interested dinner – African hot dogs and semi-fresh vegetables, preferring instead to rest. If she had embittered me with her heartless grind throughout the day, I forgot it altogether when she rewarded me with the most brilliant sunset these eyes have ever beheld. I loved her.

Given the austerity of the scenery on the third day, I should have known she would eventually break my heart. I may as well have been on the moon. There was a cold, fierce wind. Vegetation went from scarce to non-existent, along with oxygen, and my aching muscles were letting me know. My heart in particular, having to beat at twice its normal rate to oxygenate my blood, literally felt like it would beat right out of my chest. I trudged in the shadow of the peak – she, staring down on me with contempt, yet I, at her in admiration. By the time we arrived at camp it was dark – a blessing. Had I seen what the next morning would bring, I would never have awakened.

Barranco wall engulfed the entire panorama – not saying “good morning,” but saying, “I’m insurmountable.” I believed her. Lines of porters, like ants, weaved their way to its crest; identifiable only by the white bags they carried on their heads. I set out, no longer greeting fellow climbers with a cheery “Jambo,” but with a disgusted sigh. At the top of Barranco I felt no joy, only the obligation to continue. If I allowed myself, I could feel satisfaction – even a thrill, but I couldn’t. I felt anguish. It was an endless cycle of descent before inevitable ascent. Torment. The climb to Barafu, the final camp, I made only with the motivation of cursing her through clenched teeth. I hated her.

 

With only a few hours to rest before we began the summit at midnight I had little sleep. Donning arctic winter gear and headlamps for our final encounter, I set out in conquest with a shard of hope. The altitude was taking its toll and nausea set in along with muscle cramps. I wretched. Still, I pushed along for 3 hours in the dark, each footstep barely ahead of the last, progress coming at great cost. My body was revolting. When I could push no longer, at 1700 vertical feet below the summit, I stared up at the moon and collapsed. I despised her.

And though she conquered me, stole from me all that I could offer, and left me hungry and wanting… I love her still. She respects me still. And neither of us will concede that we’ve seen the last of each other.

Guest Post by Brad from World Wanderlusting.    Brad climbed Kilimanjaro in September of 2010 with friends and co-workers on the Machame Route with Zara Tours (www.climbingkilimanjaro.com). He and his brother, Sheldon, write a travel blog: www.WorldWanderlusting.com.

1000Fights: Brad is a great friend and like minded traveler.   What a great post!  Poetry!  Please check out Brad’s blog and follow him on Twitter @worldwanderlust!

 

8

A Zanzibar Holiday!

Why to choose a Zanzibar beach holiday?

Beach holidays are an essential part of many people’s year. They give you a chance to relax, unwind and soak up some beautiful weather by stunning scenery. Beach holidays are ideal for those with children, couples, groups of friends or even solo travelers.

Zanzibar is a beach holiday resort rapidly growing in popularity. Zanzibar is part of the United Republic of Tanzania in East Africa set by the Indian Ocean. The Island has become incredibly popular due to its fabulous beaches and stunning coral reefs.

 

One of the key criteria any holiday maker looks for is gorgeous weather.

Zanzibar is set near to the equator meaning it has a warm climate all year round. Unlike many other beach holiday destinations, Zanzibar does not get uncomfortably hot during the summer months. The islands hot weather during its summer is cooled by a refreshing breeze meaning holiday makers can comfortably sunbathe and visit tourist attractions during the day.

Zanzibar has some of the most glorious beaches in the world. Beaches throughout the island are white, sandy and clean making them ideal for sunbathing and exploring. A trip to the beach is a tranquil and peaceful affair as beaches are largely untouched and unspoilt by tourists. A visit to the beach is also an ideal way of experiencing some East African culture.

Between beaches are quaint, picturesque fishing villages where the locals live life at a relaxing pace. Locals are friendly meaning you can immerse yourself in the culture of the island. The waters of Zanzibar are an ideal diving destination with fantastic coral reefs and warm waters. If you fancy mixing a relaxing beach break with some scuba diving adventure, Zanzibar is one of the best locations you will find.

Zanzibar beach holidays are accentuated by the fantastic local food on offer in the region. In Zanzibar you can relax and take in the rays during the day then go out for a mouth-watering meal in the evening. Local food is mostly based around seafood and you can find a large number of delicious seafood buffets across the island. Ingredients are sourced locally; often you will see men and women on bikes delivering freshly caught fish.

Zanzibar beach holidays are often combined with Kenya safari holidays. Kenya safaris make a trip of a lifetime. Kenya is home to some of the most magnificent wildlife in the world. Game drives are regularly scheduled and hosted by knowledgeable local guides. You can stay in a range of accommodation from luxury lodges to eco friendly tents.

You can find tours starting with Kenya safaris and ending in a well deserved break at a Zanzibar beach resort for very reasonable prices. This is a perfect way to combine wildlife and adventure with the relaxation of Zanzibar beaches. Both are highlights of any trip to Eastern Africa and can comfortably fit into one trip to the area. . Most Kenya safari holidays and Zanzibar tours last for approximately 12 days meaning you can easily fit them in to a hectic work schedule. Zanzibar beach holidays make a refreshing change from typical beach holidays packed full of tourists. Combine your beach holiday with Kenya safaris for a trip you will never forget.

1