Entries from Kilimanjaro
January 26, 2016
Posted by: Seth Waterfall
Jambo! All is well at Camp One, otherwise known as Machame Hut. We are already up at 10,000’ for our first night on the mountain. Interestingly 10,000’ here is still below tree line whereas back home on Mt. Rainier 10,000’ is way above the trees. That’s due to the fact that the atmosphere bulges around the equator so 10k here in Tanzania feels lower than 10k in Washington State.
The hiking today was great with just a few sprinkles of rain. My group from last week would have considered this a dry day. We did pull out some rain gear briefly but the trail through the forest was mud free and the temperatures were very pleasant.
We have a real fun group and everyone was chatting away between themselves and with the African guides who will accompany us the whole time we are on the mountain.
We spent a total of 5 hours on the trail and combined with the jet lag should make for hungry appetites and good sleeping tonight. I’ll check in again tomorrow.
On The Map
Hello from the Dik Dik Hotel. The team is all assembled for dinner and we are packed and ready to go to Kilimanjaro tomorrow.
Everyone arrived late last night and after a few hours of sleep we met up for our first meeting and then a session on packing our gear for the next week on the mountain.
We spent the afternoon napping and finalizing the preparations. Tomorrow we will get up at 6 AM and depart at 7:00. We have a five-hour hike to get to camp so it’s nice to get an early start.
The weather reports from the mountain have been good for the past three days so we are hoping for that to continue.
I’ll check in again in about 24 hours.
Hello from Seth and the last of the team. We are at the end of the road, so-to-speak. Three of the team have left the group to continue their adventure in Zanzibar, we have a person flying out in a few minutes and the final three are leaving at 10pm tonight.
We have had a great trip with basically non-stop action the whole time. What I thought was going to be a mellow day started with our safari trucks getting dragged by tractor across a rising river. (Click on Seth’s video below.) The trucks can usually handle anything we come across but our drivers thought better of chancing the crossing and called in a tractor from our safari camp. That machine made quick work of the river and hauled both our vehicles across in less than ten minutes.
After that it was a breeze through Tarangire National Park where the elephants were out in full force. We saw hundreds of them.
That was a very appropriate ending to a whirlwind trip. I can’t wait to see what the next one brings!
We have loved receiving your blogs. Thanks for keeping Derek and Karen and the rest of the team safe during so many adverse conditions. We wish you well on all your adventures. Stay safe.
Posted by: Delta and Peter Fuller on 1/22/2016 at 2:35 pm
Hey there, this is Seth checking in from the Kikoti Camp way out on the far side of Tarangire National Park. We had a good day on safari again. Within the first half hour of entering the Park, we saw lions and elephants. The elephants kept going all day long. We had lunch, a little late lunch, around 2 o’clock and right before we pulled into our picnic site, we saw about 25 mother elephants with their babies. We got some really good close-up shots of some more on the way out so the Garden of Elephants, Tarangire National Park, was sure living up to its name. It is our last night on safari and everybody is pretty psyched to get home and see their loved ones. We do have some more fun stuff planned for tomorrow before everyone catches their flights home and a few folks are going on to Zanzibar and keep going on their vacation. It’s been a great climb and safari. We’ll say goodbye to this group and then I’ll meet the next RMI group that will be checking-in in a couple of days. Ciao.
RMI Guide Seth Waterfall checks in from Tarangire National Park.
So glad the weather was in your favor for safari. You certainly deserve it. Safe travels home. We can’t wait to hear from you, Derek and Karen, when you return. XO
Posted by: Delta and Peter Fuller on 1/21/2016 at 2:34 pm
Hi! This is Seth. We are in the Ngorongoro Crater where, miraculously, I have 3G service. We are having a great day exploring the area. We got an early start and visited a Maasai village located on the rim of the crater. After that we dropped down to the crater floor and started the game drive. It started off pretty slow for the first hour but then we saw a pride of eleven lions, a single rhino and then a pair of rhinos. The last two rhinos were pretty active which was really cool. After lunch we spotted a completely different pair of rhinos making it a five rhino day. Now we’re heading back to the Plantation Lodge for another night before heading out to Tarangire National Park and Kikoti Camp tomorrow.
PS: We did not get rained on today.
RMI Guide Seth Waterfall & Team
Can’t wait to see your pictures Eileen. Have a great time taking in all of Mother Nature’s splendor!
Posted by: Mary & Charlotte on 1/20/2016 at 8:07 pm
Congrats on your Five Rhino Day :) We’re all enjoying your pictures - they’re beautiful!
Posted by: Cindy (RT) on 1/20/2016 at 9:41 am
Hello, I am emailing from our safari at Lake Manyara National Park. We are having a great afternoon of game viewing.
The day started at the Dik Dik Hotel where we said goodbye to some of our team. About half the team is either headed back home or doing their own safari.
The rest of us have successfully shifted gears from mountain living to wildlife viewing. We were on the road just after 9 am and a few hours later we pulled into Lake Manyara. We had lunch just inside the park and then started the game drive. True to the nature of the trip we had 45 minutes of rain but now the clouds have parted, the top of the truck is open and there are animals everywhere.
Tonight we will stay at the Plantation Lodge, home of the best margaritas in Tanzania. We’ll check in again tomorrow.
RMI Guide Seth Waterfall and the Safari All Stars
Hi this is Seth checking in from the lobby bar at the Dik Dik hotel. Everyone is already in party mode.
We awoke to mostly cloudy skies this morning but no rain. After a french toast breakfast we enjoyed a song from our awesome crew and then hit the trail. The group shows out a little on the decent as everyone was anxious to get down but some caution was still required on the slick rocks and roots.
We had a quick lunch at the park gate and then loaded up in the truck. After driving back to the hotel everyone has cleaned up nicely and is getting ready for our celebration dinner.
I’ll send some summit pics from yesterday as well.
RMI Guide Seth Waterfall
You guys look awesome, so proud of all of you but a special shout out to my guy, Bobby!!!
Posted by: Lesle Belling on 1/18/2016 at 3:29 pm
CONGRATULATIONS!!! I’m so happy for ALL of you! I bet you never enjoyed a hot shower so much in your whole life. I can’t wait to see all of the photos and hear all of the stories and trekking experiences. Thank you, Seth, for your updates each day. All of us “back home” appreciated them more than you know. Enjoy celebrating your accomplishment and praying for safe travels home!
Posted by: Sue Sturr on 1/18/2016 at 11:54 am
January 17, 2016
Posted by: Seth Waterfall
Hello from our last camp on Kilimanjaro. I just wanted to send a quick note to say this all the climbers have descended safely from High Camp.
Our climb was warm with partly clear skies but clouds built up on our descent. As we left high camp our old friend the rain returned and stayed with us most of the way to 10,000’. We’re all getting ready for our last dinner on the mountain right now. Tomorrow we will walk to the Mweka Gate and then transfer back to the Dik Dik Hotel for celebrations!
On The Map
Congratulations Karen and JJ what an amazing accomplishment!
Posted by: Courtney Rams on 1/18/2016 at 9:02 am
Congrat!!! Steve and team. Anybody ready for a hike to the top and back a second time? (Maybe next year?) I hope you can take care of those feet, Steve.
Posted by: Phil Sturr on 1/17/2016 at 2:12 pm
8:04 pm Pacific Time
Hey, this is a Seth checking in from Uhuru Peak, the top of Kilimanjaro and the highest point in Africa. Everybody made it to the today, we had a really nice climb, good weather, warm weather I should say, there were some clouds. Everybody hung in and did awesome and everybody did make it all the way to Uhuru Peak, the tippy top. A few parties of started to head down and I’m just up here with the last folks. We’re about ready to head on down to our High Camp and then we are going to pack things up and head down at 10,000 feet where plants actually grow right out of the ground, I’ve heard. And spend one more night on the mountain and then we will be out tomorrow. I’m going to check in when we get down to 10,000, report in and hopefully all will be well, I’m sure it will be. This is Seth checking out.
RMI Guide Seth Waterfall calls from Uhuru Peak, the summit of Kilimanjaro.
On The Map
Congratulations Annie. I knew you could do it! I know how hard you worked for this. I am so happy for you. You are amazing! Now you can really enjoy the rest of your time! I can’t wait to hear all about it and see some pictures too.!
Posted by: Becky Hamilton on 1/17/2016 at 5:31 pm
Woot! Woot! Way to go Annie! What an amazing accomplishment! I am looking forward to the stories. Love you!
Posted by: Lisa on 1/17/2016 at 4:02 pm
January 16, 2016
Posted by: Seth Waterfall
Jambo and greetings from High Camp on Kilimanjaro. We are at 15,000’ and the team is doing just fine. We were even blessed with nice weather all day today.
We had another easy morning with breakfast at 8:00. Fresh fruit, eggs and bacon sure is a treat at this elevation.
After breakfast we hit the trail and had a mix of sun and clouds but no rain as we climbed the 2,000 feet to high camp. The climb was gradual all the way except for a steep bit pulling into camp. Everyone was feeling good and had a great climb up here.
It’s 12:00pm now and we are planning on having lunch soon and an early dinner. After that it is a midnight departure for the summit. Wish us luck!
On The Map
Almost to the summit! Show your spirit to the skies Eileen! Hike on!!
Posted by: Mary Segesta on 1/16/2016 at 8:40 pm
Good luck Annie! I will be thinking about you and cheering you on from back here in the states. Be strong! I know you can do it!
Posted by: Becky Hamilton on 1/16/2016 at 6:49 pm