Mount Kilimanjaro – We made it!

Gary, my dad and I made it to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro earlier this week. It took us exactly 4 days and 2 hours to get from the entrance of Kilimanjaro National Park to the top and back again to the entrance gate.

Especially the summit climb was quite hard. It was a freezing cold night climb in total darkness, and the higher we climbed the less oxygen there was. We left our camp 1200 meters below the top just after midnight to arrive at the crater rim at 5:30 AM, just in time for sunrise. After the sun came up it became a bit warmer (but still below zero), and we then hiked/climbed over the crater rim for 1.5 hours to Uhuru Peak where we arrived just after 7 AM.

We were the only ones climbing to the top of Kilimanjaro that night, so we had the whole mountain to ourselves. This is apparently quite unique, because climbing the mountain is becoming more and more popular.

After spending 10 minutes at the top we had to start descending. Although I felt pretty good getting to the top and could breathe quite normally, while going down I suddenly got headaches and felt extremely tired. I had to stop every few minutes to catch my breath. Very likely this was because of the high altitude, and indeed the symptoms got less the lower we got. Quite scary, especially when our guide told us every year 2 or 3 people die on top of Kilimanjaro because of altitude sickness.

I will post some more about our trip to Tanzania and the climb here over the next days, and will also upload more pictures to my Flickr account.

Write a Comment



  1. Wow, beautiful pictures! But don’t you need gear (oxygen tank) to climb Kilimanjaro?!
    Congratulations from Sweden, Joop

  2. Congrads! You should try skiing down next time.

  3. Congratulations Marc! Awesome pictures. Can’t wait to see more.

  4. Congrats Marc. Fantastic pictures. How did you organize this trip (any tips for me)? Greetings, Michael from Shanghai

  5. Congratulations. Hope to make it once in lifetime as well. Mark from Aishaniya (Estonia)

  6. Congrats with the succesfull climb Marc!
    I have read in the last edition of Quote magazine your notation in the 100% self-made men list (32th)! Also a very nice achievement:)


  7. All, thanks for the congratulations. @Joop Oxygen was not necessary at this altitude, although it is available if you need it.
    @Matt Skiing down does not bring you far anymore because of global warming!
    @Jan Everest is still out of my league, but who knows when I have a bit more time in the future
    @Michael Organizing is easy, lots of Kilimanjaro tour operators are on the internet. You can also just go to Moshi or Arusha in Tanzania and organize it locally. Might be a little cheaper, but it’s still quite expensive (at least USD 1000 per person just for the climb).

  8. beautiful pictures, looks like you had perfect weather on the top! Somehow I expected the top to be very steep and pointy, well, you know like you can only stand there with 2 people; this seems more approachable, perhaps I can convince my girlfriend now to also think about it seriously.

  9. Hi marc,

    i found your blog from ultimate kilimanjaro website.

    would you recommend them?

    thanks again

  10. @Rini We had a good experience working with Ultimate Kilimanjaro. They work with local companies who operate the tours for them, and the one that took us to the top was a good one. So yes, I'd recommend them.

  11. thank you for the quick respond ! 😀
    i would definitely consider them then .