Nelam: Mount Kilimanjaro Trek 2018

Without a doubt, this was probably one of the most amazing moments of my life (definitely an understatement!) Climbing Kilimanjaro showed me what I am physically and mentally capable of – When you think you’ve reached your limit – you still have more to give. I am going to share with you some of my favourite moments on Kili!

Firstly, the hotel you stay at while you are in Moshi is so beautiful- it feels like paradise. If you are lucky enough, you could catch a glimpse of Kili. There is a kind of exciting buzz around the place when you arrive, either people are about to leave for the trek or they are coming back.

You will definitely experience one of the best sunsets on Kili – The one to watch is at Shira Hut. The views from this campsite are absolutely jaw-dropping. But once the sun sets, it becomes dark so quickly, but this is when you’ll get to see the stars! This is probably one of the only times in your life where you’ll be able to see the stars so clearly as there is no light pollution – If you are lucky enough you might be able to see galaxies and different planets.

I am a total foodie and one of the most important thing which is downplayed is the AMAZING food you are going to get on Kili. We were well fed the whole time, with hot breakfasts, lunches and dinners. It is absolutely crazy when they make scrambled eggs, Spaghetti Bolognese, roast chicken and chips – all on a mountain and it still tastes delicious! Still, don’t understand how they do it all. 😊 The mess tent where you have all your meals, is definitely one of the places where you’ll share jokes and make memories with your teammates.

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Barranco Wall was definitely a highlight of the trek – I have never done rock climbing before and this was definitely one of the most challenging (but thrilling) things I did on Kili. Even though we were told not to look down – I still did and you could actually see how much you walked (which is a lot at this point).

Not only will you get to know your team much (much) better whilst you are walking, you’ll also get to learn Swahili and hear amazing stories from the guides and the porters. The songs they sing about the mountain are beautiful, and on summit night when they are singing in the dead of night- it’ll provide the motivation to keep on going.

Summit Night is one of the most challenging experiences whilst on Kili – But it was totally worth it. On this day you’ll be trekking in the dark up the mountain, and by sunrise, you’ll reach Stella Point to see one of the most beautiful sunrises ever! (A few of us cried at this point) The further up you walk the views were just spectacular- Honestly, I have never seen snow formations like the ones on Kili. Also, when I mean it was cold, it was -20 freezing, plus wind chill cold – I wore all the clothes I brought with me. It was such a weird experience at the top because I was quite tired from all the walking, it was cold, but you had this stunning 360° panoramic view of the glaciers and other mountains that looked totally photoshopped – it felt totally surreal.

Honestly, raising money for the charity Aids Orphan, helping children affected by HIV/AIDS as well as having an experience of a lifetime by climbing Kili was one hell of a journey and I do not regret any of it!

Nelam enjoyed her experience so much that she’s now challenge leading the Machu Picchu Trek with her friend Dilan at SOAS. The pair have smashed their recruitment out of the park and are now looking forward to their departure next year!