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  • Niki Harry

Conquering Kilimanjaro - Last Day

Updated: Apr 23, 2019

Elevation: Start at 10,400 ft – end at 5,500 ft at Mweka gate, then at 3000 ft back in Moshi

Eliakim said it would be real busy trying to get out of the park and there were many groups at this campsite, so he wanted us out as early as possible to beat the rush. So we were up at 6:30, packed and breakfast done fairly quickly.

This photo is hilarious because they started tearing down the dining tent before they took the chairs and table out! They were in a rush because the porters wanted to give us another singing salute.

First a group photo of all the porters and guides.

Then the singing with Godlisen putting on his famous show. They are so awesome and funny. They were getting so into it, laughing and singing. We’d love to know what exactly they are singing about as we don’t understand a word of it, being all in Swahili.

​Like the paparazzi! But truly enjoying the show with Kilimanjaro peeking through in the background.

After handshakes and hugs and the final group photo with us in it, we said our goodbyes to the porters one last time and off we went by 8AM.

The hike was 3 hours straight down and again the paths were very wide but extremely rocky with high steps in many sections. They were trying to control the flooding and mud situation in rainy season by making the trails this way but boy is it ever hard on the inner thighs, butt and knees. After 2 hours, my knees were shot and I had a real hard time continuing but I had no choice but to press on. It was the first time I felt any soreness or pain during the whole hike. It seemed really long even though it was really pretty going through the rain forest again.

At one point through the clearing in the trees we got our final clear view of the top of Kili – it was hard to believe we were up there!

And WE DID IT!!! Back down to the gate. John and I arrived at Mweka gate at 10:45AM – just under 3 hours.

Everyone had to sign out of the park and then wait for our jeeps to arrive and take us back to the hotel. It was much closer this time, just a 30 minute ride back to Bristol cottages.

Back at the hotel, we all did a mad dash to our rooms and had the most enjoyable showers of all time! 9 whole days of no hair washing – that is certainly a record for me! The group met for lunch at the Bristol restaurant, then we had to meet up with the three guides once more to return duffel bags, rentals and fill out some questionnaires.

We then took our final “clean” photos with our amazing three guides, Eliakim, Shabani and Liberaty and it was really sad to have to say goodbye. They are three amazing individuals who became part of the group and part of the family. It suddenly felt very odd and empty seeing them leave.

​We then walked to the nearest grocery store and bought some cheese, fresh breads, munchies, and wine!

Headed back to the lobby and continued to celebrate. Mitch brought a bottle of champagne from Amsterdam and we cracked it open, cheering to our new found friendships and successes.

​We had dinner together at the restaurant and laughed, talked and re-lived the Kilimanjaro adventure.

Most of us were leaving the day after, heading back home or doing the safari as was the case for me and John. Unfortunately no one from the group was on the same safari we were going on. We were being picked up very early in the morning and our room was a complete disaster with dirty hiking gear all over the place and in desperate need of re-packing for the next adventure.

​It was very sad having to say good-bye and suddenly it was depressing. But new friendships were made with incredible memories which will stay with all of us forever.

But one never knows though… maybe one day we will have a Kili reunion but on some other crazy adventure.

Much love friends! Thanks for reading! Continue reading about our African Safari adventure.

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