Climbing to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania was a highlight of my life. In honor of my dad's 60th birthday, my family and I hiked up the Machame Route to Uhuru peak (19,341 ft). This is the highest point in Africa, nicknamed the Roof of Africa.
Our route took us from Moshi, where the mountain looms large over the city below and where you can explore the local markets, up & down Kili in 10 days. Listening to the stories and songs of our guides and porters was as much a highlight as the stunning vistas in every direction.
On the 2nd night we slept near Shira Plateau (12,480 ft). This was the view from my tent, and the structure pictured above is an outhouse. At each camp I was struck by the juxtaposition of these buildings of necessity perched precariously on the edge of awesome natural scenery. Something about the fresh air, sunrise glowing off the distant peaks, and striking color of the outhouse roof made me stop to capture the moment. I couldn't take my eyes off the outhouses!
This trek isn't for everyone, and that's why it is so special. We went with Tusker Trails because of their safety record, gear standards, and that they helped organize the union for porters on Kili. There are lots of operators, but we were thrilled with our experience (3 hot meals/day and hot water to clean up with at the end of each dusty day!). To arrive, you fly into Arusha Intl airport. Truly a trip of a lifetime in a country of natural beauty.