The lush rainforests on Lemosho!
Our first night on Mount Kilimanjaro was thankfully pretty easy-going and unspectacular. 🙂
Apart from the heavy rains during the night, some bothering monkeys around the camp and a completely muddy and slippery way to the “toilet”, we slept very well. The short ascent on Day 1 from Londorossi Gate to Big Tree Camp wasn’t exhausting at all, we had a surprisingly good breakfast and therefore a good and encouraging start into the day and our further climb on the beautiful Lemosho route.
There was another mere 2 hours walk in dense rainforest before the trees slowly got smaller and we finally reached the aerial zone where only bushes are still growing. The walk through the woods was absolutely stunning as the morning sun brought them to an unrealistic glow in beautiful colors. The group separated and we walked for hours alone or in pairs of two or three and inhaled the sheer beauty and fresh air. Shortly after we left Big Tree Camp, the first porters already overtook us on their way to the place where we would have lunch.
Kilimanjaro forest route
When we reached the treeline, we had a breathtaking view over the beautiful width of Mount Kilimanjaro Nationalpark for the first time. As far as the eye can see there is nothing apart from nature.
This day our guide taught us a lot about the native flora and fauna one can find especially on the Lemosho route and showed us many plants the Tanzanian people use for medicine, tea and food. The trail was never really steep or difficult and we only slowly gained height .
The moody weather on Kilimanjaro…
We had a short lunchbreak at Shira Camp 1 and then kept on climbing the Lemosho Route to reach Shira Camp 2, where we spent the second night. Starting from Shira 2 it started raining and got, compared with the morning temperatures, quite cold. And that`s what you learn quickly on Kilimanjaro – the weather is absolutely unpredictable and can change within minutes! That`s why you always have to have all sort of clothes in your daypack – from raingear to sunglasses. And it was basically the same everyday – the mornings were cloudless with beautiful sunshine and at around 11am the clouds came in. It eventually started raining after lunch at around 3pm everyday, but thankfully we had almost everyday already reached our overnight camp…
Tales from “bearded forests” 🙂
After passing some deserted stony areas, we came into a strange looking forest-like area where all the tree and bushes looked like they had ”beards” on them. 🙂 That`s why we called this part of the climb the “Bearded Forest”.
With the rain and a lot of mist it was a surrealistic landscape and felt like being on another planet!
Walking so slow (to get the best acclimatizcation), it were somehow depressing hours till we reached Shira 2 Camp. Thanks to our great McKinley raingear and hardshells, we had no issues with the rain and didn`t get wet like many others. But still, the forever ongoing, almost flat track, was seomhow (when not physically) exhausting. We tried to kept up the good mood till and had at least some rainfree hours in the Camp, where we spent the second night on ~3900m. 🙂
Continue to read about Day 3 on Kilimanjaro! 🙂