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.