Memories of Tanzania

6-22 August 2014


Kili beer

Kilimanjaro: entrance to the park

Kilimanjaro: rainforest

Kilimanjaro: sunset from Shira cave

Kilimanjaro: moorland (everwhite)

Kilimanjaro: The Peak (5895)

Kilimanjaro: sunrise from Stellar Point (5700m)

Kilimanjaro: The Glacier (5895m)


Day 1 (7th Aug 2014) – Arusha

          1. Flights Madrid – Amsterdam | Amsterdam – Nairobi (good fun watching Lego movie) | Nairobi – Arusha
            (our luggage had the pleasure of staying one night longer in Nairobi creating uncertainty pre-Kili)
          2. Day starting with Kilimanjaro briefing/payment; tour through Arusha and lunch followed by 3h siesta at best Hotel (Impala); fun dinner and karaoke-party at Via-Via
          3. First impressions from Africa:
            1. Chaotic traffic (no traffic lights), hectic city-life (everybody trading something, and hardly any tourists)
            2. Poor, need to watch out for your pocket!
            3. Disorganised, luggage chaos!

Day 2 (8th Aug 2014) – Arusha –Machame Gate – Machame Camp

After breakfast leave the lodge/hotel drive for 1hour to Machame gate, Finish the formalities and start the hiking  through the rain forest to Machame camp (3000m) in about 6hrs all meals and overnight Machame camp.

          1. Luggage pickup at airport – at least that was the plan, finally half the luggage had to be shipped to Machame
          2. Travelling to Machame Gate with our Kili crew (headed by Damas (guide) plus cook (Ali), assistant cook (Ibra), assistant guide (Paul) and 8 porters – just for us, impressive!)
          3. Kili registration and hike through the forest; meeting many many people along our way, incl. nice couple of German-Asian which we saw all throughout until Safari!
          4. Landscape: rainforest, green vegetation and some monkeys at the start
          5. Back to the experience of sleeping in a tent after sooo many years (cold night and it was only the 1st!); impressive quality of food despite for the conditions (cucumber soup and rice with meat; drinking a lot of tea!)
          6. Stories of Hans Meer (1st to climb Kili) and Laur (wild hunter)

Day 3 (9th Aug 2014) – Machame Camp – Shira Camp

Breakfast, the hike begins through the forest, cross the valley along the steep bridge going into the rock ridges and through heather. The route turns west into a river gorge, reaching Shire camp (3800m) in about 6 hrs .All meals and overnight.

          1. Nice hike and little headache due to altitude; Kili pilgrimage with many people along our side
          2. Afternoon hike to Shira Cave for acclimatation (climb higher, sleep lower) and view of Kili, beautiful  pictures (e.g. rainforest & sea of clouds; Mount Meru; Shira peak sunset, 1st views of Mt.Kili)
          3. Landscape: end of rainforest and start of moorland; camp very dry and dusty
          4. Stories of Shira cave – old sleeping place for porters and wildfires; amazing sunset and early sleep given extreme cold; altitude sickness not a problem beyond headache

Day 4 (10th Aug 2014) – Shira Camp – Baranco Camp

Breakfast , Continue with the hiking east towards Kibo  passing the junction ,then east towards the Lava Tower shortly after this you climb down to Baranco camp (3940m) in 4-5hrs  all meals and overnight  Baranco .

          1. Hike reasonably uneventful, Lava Tower at 4,600 for acclimation (some crazy people starting from there the hike through Arus glacier), landscape: Alpine desert, long descen to Baranco
          2. 1st porter drops out due to difficult conditions

Day 5 (11th Aug 2014) – Baranco Camp – Barafu Camp

Breakfast , continue with the hiking through a steep rocky , Baranco walls then ups and down  until you come to Karanga valley  and then to Barafu camp 4600m  in about 6-7hrs all meals and overnight .

          1. Exciting start of hike – climbing up Baranco wall, impressive porters jumping from rock to rock with 25kg+ each; heavy transit, long hike and beautiful landscape
          2. Lunch at Karanga (4000m) - “tortilla de patatas + ensaladilla”, reading our dreams the night before
          3. Hike to Barafu camp (4600m), early dinner (7pm) and trying to sleep (difficult due to extreme cold); recommendation to pack everything in case wind blows our tents away (mostly security driven as highlighted by BB theft thereafter)

Day 6 (12th Aug 2014) – Barafu Camp – Uhuru Peak – Mweka Camp

Very early breakfast, then start for the summit at 1:00am first to Stella point and then to Uhuru peak (5895m). It is recommended to take few minutes for Photo, and then descend to Mweka camp for dinner and overnight.

          1. Early wakeup, cookies and start of the march at 1:30am (last of the groups); watching people returning from the start is demotivating; very very cold (~ -15º C) and long long walk up to Stellar point (5,700m). Extreme psychological gaming to remain focused and motivated; finally we make it (although almost about to abandon)
          2. Amazing sunrise by the time we arrive at Stellar point (ca. 6am) and hike up to Uhuru peak (by 7am). Nice pics of the glacier and the sunrise; fully exhausted having to be supported in last 200m; landscape: Arctic zone, very dusty and loose sand
          3. Descent down characterized by extreme tiredness and exhaustion (falling asleep every 10-20m). Purpose is to go down as fast as possible, but this is not an easy task; breakfast at Barafu Camp (11am) and sleep for 1-2h.
          4. Descent down to 3,100m on the same day to reduce altitude and finally get some nice sleep; discussion of tip for crew with guide and prep for next day

Day 7 (13th Aug 2014) – Mweka Camp – Mweka Gate - Arusha

Breakfast the descend down wards  to Mweka gate for 3-4hrs , collect you diploma if you make to the summit then transfer back to Arusha in  drop off at Arusha Tourist in hotel where accommodation is booked on bed and breakfast basis.

          1. Early wakeup; breakfast, tipping/gifts (e.g. camera) and “Jambo Mbwana” with our guides/crew; descent down to 1,800 quickly to avoid long queues; diploma and return to Arusha
          2. Evening excursion around Arusha with our guide – disgusting food market; unsuccessful trip to buy Tanzanite; open-air BBQ at local place eating goat and local sausage; Via Via closed
          3. First shower and sleep in a decent tent after 6d




Safari: animal paintings (local streemarket)

Safari (Lake Manyara): Flamingos

Safari (Lake Manyara): elephants

Safari (Ngorongoro): Lions

Safari (Ngorongoro): Buffalo

Safari (Ngorongoro): Rhino


Day 8 (14th Aug 2014) – Arusha – Lake Manyara

Pick up at 8:00am from your Hotel in Arusha then depart for  Lake Manyara National Park, picnic lunch and game drive in Lake Manyara National Park, dinner and overnight, Jambo  Campsite/ Lodge.

          1. Uneventful trip; bananas from street market and Masais on the road (extremely poor); arrival at Lake Manyara – seeing animals in wildlife a real adventure (baboons, impalas, fisher bird, gnus, zebras, hippos, elephants, giraffes – only from far, buffalos, crazy flamingos and stocks flying all together, etc.
          2. Our guide – very interesting, experienced character with 6y experience as a ranger, 23y as a safari guide, careful driving to avoid risks with animals
          3. Sleeping in camping with Belgians

Day 9 (15th Aug 2014) – Lake Manyara – Ngorongoro – Arusha

Early breakfast and depart for Ngorongoro Crater and descend  down the Crater floor for a game drive, lunch at hippo pool  picnic site, ascend to the rim and drive back to Arusha  and  drop off at your Arusha tourist in hotel where  accommodation is booked on bed and breakfast .

          1. Early shopping for paintings
          2. Early arrival at Ngorongoro (cold) and amazing day in safari starting with elephants, gnus jackal, warthog, etc.; managed to see 4 out of 5 Big 5s’ (elephant, lion, buffalo, rhino – missing the leopard)
          3. Stop during trip back at Souvenir shop; Tanzanite crazy expensive, so as the other things
          4. Back to Arusha – Via Via closed, but nice live music for “black people” at Empire



Zanzibar - virgin beach

Zanzibar (Nungwi): fishermen

Zanzibar - local paintings

Zanzibar - beautiful sunset

Zanzibar - living the local fishermen ships

Zanzibar - Mnemba

Zanzibar - how to make local calls

Day 10 (16th Aug 2014) – Travel / Kendwa Rocks

          1. Early shopping and endless negotiations at Arusha Masai market
          2. Travel from Arusha airport:  smallest, “Lego”-like airport I’ve ever been: manual check-in, manually written flightboard, roads not paved, check-in of “Alfronzo Garcia” – but fortunately correct checkin of our luggage this time
          3. Arrival in Zanzibar: small airport with sand road, but expansion in progress to make it a big hub – and travel to the North, crazy roads and very poor surroundings
          4. All night long Party at Kendwa rocks – Black men and white women a dangerous combination

Day 11 (17th Aug 2014) – Kendwa / Nungwi

          1. Excursion Kendwa (nice resorts, incl. La Gemma dell’Est where we had to be escorted) – Nungwi (fisherman town incl. turtle aquarium); lunch in Nungwi and negotiation of snorkeling/diving for next day
          2. Beautiful sunset from Kendwa beach
          3. No party that night

Day 12 (18th Aug 2014) – Mnemba / Jambiani

          1. Boat trip with a local dhow to Mnemba and snorkeling at “Nemo’s” home with beautiful tropical fishes and many more tourists
          2. Afternoon trip to Jambiani (East); lucky enough to find an amazing live music party in our hotel the same night

Day 13 (19th Aug 2014) – Jambiani / Paje

          1. Walking excursion from Jambiani to Paje (long, 6h). Paje full of kitesurfers (>30) and sushi lunch by the beach
          2. Tide effect producing huge variations and long walk to go for a swim in the laguna
          3. Unexpected party and Real Madrid – Atletico supercup game watch with many crazy international guys (Spanish couple; boring Swedish; crazy South African Kitesurf instructor, funny Canadian dancer, Zimbabwe visiting Madrid…)


Day 14 (20th Aug 2014) – Jambiani / Stone Town

          1. Final morning swim in Jambiani and return to Stone Town
          2. Nice colonial hotel in Stone Town (Dhow Palace), funny ferry ticket office (videogames!) playing Mzungu prices (75,000 vs. 10,000 for locals), meeting the Spanish girls and huge dinner at 6º which got us all sick


Day 15 (21st Aug 2014) – Stone Town – Dar es Salaam

          1. Morning shopping and final bargaining for statues; Muslim philosopher lecturing about live
          2. Crazy taxi ride to ferry terminal (almost missed ferry due to 500m traffic jam); VIP ferry and even crazier arrival in Daar (luggage pickup and taxi rank)
          3. Dinner at Cape Town Fish market – fancy chillout by the beach


Day 16 (22nd Aug 2014) – Dar es Salaam – Doha – Denpassar Bali

          1. Trip back without visiting the city