Kili Weather

Kilimanjaro Factfile

At 19,340 feet, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the only one of the seven summits (highest mountain on each continent) that is accessible without mountaineering equipment and experience.

It's the highest freestanding mountain in the world and one of the largest volcanoes, dormant rather than extinct.

On the summit, the lungs can only absorb half the amount of oxygen compared to sea-level.

The summit at Uhuru Peak is more than 1,600 feet higher than Everest base camp.

Estimates vary, but around 20,000 people attempt to climb Kilimanjaro each year. Almost half fail to reach the summit.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Getting closer

D minus three, and I'm in the calm before the final storm of packing.

Spent a horrific day queueing in financial institutions on Friday, discovering too late that it's not a good idea to move money around on a Friday afternoon. Some of the time was spent sorting out my mother's affairs, but finding the best deal for US$ and travellers' cheques was no fun, either. I ended up dealing with the Post Office which promises a 'no commission' transaction with a real sting in the tail if you have to return unspent travellers' cheques. After much deliberation, I'd decided to get two thirds of the money in travellers' cheques to cover national park fees, hotel and climbing costs, and the rest in an assortment of lower denomination US$ notes. It will probably turn out to be an expensive way of financing the trip, but gives peace of mind -- I don't need to carry a frightening amount of cash, nor am I dependent on finding a working ATM that will accept my bank cards.

This time next week, I'll be snug in my tent at Simba Camp.

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