Kilimanjaro Diaries

The Kilimanjaro Diaries – Part IV: Homeward Bound

In August 2023, Earth’s Edge content creator Arianna travelled to Tanzania to climb the iconic Kilimanjaro. In her Kilimanjaro Diaries series, she details the entire experience – so read on to follow her journey from Dublin to the summit of Africa’s tallest free-standing mountain!

In Part IIII, Ari looks back on her time in Tanzania after experiencing the highs of the summit…

Read Part I, Part II and Part III!

Homeward bound

Day 7: During our strenuous six-hour trek to Mweka Gate, we had the delight of spotting Colobus monkeys hanging from the surrounding trees, and sharing stories with our team about their summit night experiences. It was a moment of pure accomplishment as we finally reached the conclusion of our arduous journey. We had some lunch, and boarded the bus back to the lodge for a well-deserved rest.

Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

We had our first hot shower in several days (which felt amazing!), and then gathered as a group for dinner. It was during this meal that Goodluck presented us with our certificates for conquering Kilimanjaro – I have never treasured a piece of paper so much in my life!

The remainder of our trip was devoted to rest and recuperation for our weary legs. Some of the group headed out on a thrilling safari ride through Tarangire National Park and explored the vibrant Masai market for souvenirs. We also enjoyed a celebratory dinner which provided the perfect conclusion to our action-packed adventure.

Safari in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

Reflections on climbing Kilimanjaro

Climbing Kilimanjaro was undoubtedly an experience of a lifetime. For me, the highlights of the expedition were the ever-changing landscapes and the fact that no two days on the mountain were ever alike. The memory of the daily sunrises and sunsets is etched in my mind forever. Most importantly though, I will never forget the extraordinary Earth’s Edge Team in Tanzania. They are nothing short of remarkable, and their impact on our expedition cannot be overstated. Their exceptional qualities and dedication elevated our journey to unprecedented heights.

Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

First and foremost, their positivity was a constant source of inspiration. Throughout the entire trek, they radiated an infectious enthusiasm that was so uplifting. Even in the face of challenging conditions, they maintained a relentless optimism that spread like wildfire among the group. Their unwavering smiles, even during the most gruelling stretches of our climb, reminded us to find joy in the journey and to keep pushing forward.

But it was more than just their positivity that made them exceptional. Their selflessness was truly awe-inspiring. They consistently went above and beyond to ensure our well-being. From offering snacks, helping us with our bags, ensuring we had enough water, to warming up our frozen hands, their acts of kindness were ceaseless. They anticipated our every need and were always ready with a helping hand, making us feel safe and cared for in an environment that often tested our limits.

Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Their support was not only physical but emotional as well. They cheered us on, offering words of encouragement when the going got tough. Their belief in our abilities and their commitment to our success instilled in us all a newfound confidence. They were the backbone of our journey, offering guidance and reassurance every step of the way.

Their meticulous care and attention to every detail was extraordinary. Whether it was setting up camp, preparing meals, making sure our poles were the correct length, or ensuring our safety, they left no stone unturned. Their competence and professionalism were evident in every aspect of our expedition, allowing us to focus on the adventure without worrying about the logistics.

Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

In the end, the Earth’s Edge Team in Tanzania were more than just guides and porters; they were our heroes. They created an unforgettable experience, making every single day, every challenging ascent, and every moment on the mountain truly magical. Without them, our journey to Kilimanjaro would have been incomplete, and their extraordinary qualities left an indelible mark on our hearts. Their presence transformed an already incredible adventure into an experience of a lifetime, and for that, I am forever grateful.

Have Arianna’s adventures in Tanzania inspired you to climb to the top of Africa’s tallest mountain yourself? You can visit the Kilimanjaro expedition page for dates and availability!

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