On the first day we’re starting at the Marangu Gate, the entrance to the national park. The first important task is to register at the National Park Administration. Then we’re meeting our guides and porters for the first time. Those guys are so amazing: They’ll carry all our luggage, food and equipment for us. The only things left in our backpack are things needed for that specific day. Rain clothes, a warmer layer, some food for the day, three liters of drinking water, camera, phone and all the things you need during the day. Everything else is in a dry sack carried by the porters – and will be in the next camp once you arrive there. Remember: you’ll start climbing at +25°C and will finish at the summit at -10°C, so you have a lot of different clothing with you. All the food that is needed for three meals a day for six days will also be carried. Starting from fresh eggs, flour, chicken to coffee or hot chocolate and even fresh fruits. Just amazing.
Starting to walk “Pole Pole” our group of 11 adventure hungry people reached the first camp after more or less five hours. The whole walk today is through the dense rain forrest, so you’re climbing and climbing without even being able to see the summit.
Even today’s destination Mandara Hut is still in the wood. But don’t be fooled: Most of the climbers get their first sunburn on this very first day, as they assume that nothing can happen in the woods. The african sun at an altitude of up to 2.720m is intense, so even under the leaves of the rain forest you’ll need sunscreen.
Arrived at Mandara Hut we entered our own cabin. 10 bunk beds with mattresses and pillows were waiting for us. Thus we’ve had 20 sleeping places available for 11 persons so we’ve had enough spare room for our bags and stuff. Otherwise it can be very very cozy in there to say the least.
Fact sheet for day 1:
- starting altitude: 1.890m
- final altitude: 2.720m
- altitude gain: 830m
- distance: 9km
Altitude – distance chart:
Let’s continue on day 2 – Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut