Rise and shine as we get this thing started! Wake-up time was at 6AM, get sorted and packed down to the hotel lobby for a 7AM departure. Once our group was situated, we packed into a shuttle bus that took us to the Machame Route trailhead gate outside of Moshi. Our hike today starts at the Machame Trailhead and goes up to the Machame Camp.
It had been raining all morning and continued to rain on our ride to the Machame Trailhead. Once we arrived, we all sat down and had some breakfast while our guides got our Kilimanjaro permits. Out of curiosity, I ask how much each permit cost but my guide just replied with one of those chuckles that made it obvious that he didn’t want to answer me. The best that I could find on Google is ~$800 for a 7 day trek (which I was on), Not entirely sure why he was so hush-hush about it though.
Once everything was sorted, we made our way to the trail entrance where our porters were awaiting for us with all off our camp gear. In all, we had about 40 porters in our group which consisted of item carriers, cooks, water carriers, and guides.
On a side note real quick, I just want to add in how much respect I have for these folks. These guys literally DID IT ALL with nothing but smiles on their faces and kind words. Everyday they cooked/carried our food, filled our water bottles, set up our camp/tents, carried our bags and guided us with zero complaints. I am still at awe on how this team could break down camp, pass us on the way up, and have it set up again with dinner ready before we got to the next camp. It’s very humbling but heartbreaking to see what these guys go through, especially carrying as much as they do on their backs.
Once we entered through the gates, we were all ecstatic to finally get this show on the road. It continued to rain throughout the day and gradually started to slow down. Being in Africa, even raining the humidity still made it very hot as we made our way through the jungle.
Although I must say, the peaceful tranquility that came with this made it all worth it in the end. Such a beautiful way to start a hike. Not crowded at all so we could move at our own pace with ease while admiring mother nature.
It was almost like I was hiking through some mystical forest with all the fog we encountered. The deeper we dove into the jungle, the more green our surroundings became. With this, we gained quite a bit of shade to cover us from the rain so we were able to take off our rain jackets to breath a little bit.
After half the day in and just under 8 hours of hiking , we finally made it into Machame Camp where our porters awaited us with our tents already set up with bags inside. Camp was a little crowded with other groups from other companies but we had our own little corner to ourselves. One down, 6 to go!