It feels good to be scribbling here again. I write for therapy as well as sharing insights and lessons from this journey we call life. I promised in my last article that I would be gone for a week. It’s been two weeks since I was last here. Apologies folks. Week one I was busy climbing to the roof of our beautiful continent. Week two, well let’s blame the frostbite on my fingers for not being able to write hehe.

I’m now back having ticked off a bucket list item. Over the next five Fridays, I will attempt to take you guys up the mountain hoping you will experience it as I did and glean your lessons. Let us call it, Climbing Kili – the written edition. You can also view some images on my Instagram page @lucas_maranga along the way.

I took up hiking about two years ago. Driven mainly by the love of nature and photographing it. And over the last year hiking has helped me process the death of my father. Nature truly is dawa. I can’t recall when the Kili seed was planted but as I did several hikes I’d hear guys talking about how they are preparing to climb Mt Kenya. Others boasted of how they conquered it and a few even Kilimanjaro. FOMO kicked in. I think that’s when I started flirting with the idea of doing it myself. I had also talked casually about it for a long time so I figured it was about time I walked my talk, kwanza uphill. My two fellow climbers were doing it to celebrate key birthdays, one is turning 40 this week and the other 50 next month. Me I’m still young hehe.

And Just like that, I decided that I would attempt to climb Africa’s highest mountain. I was drawn to the bigness of it. It aligned with my personal hashtag #OnlyBIGthingsgoingforward.  Plus I hoped I’d meet sir God up there and ask him why he’s not been picking up my calls lately. Or is it me dialling the wrong number? Two of my relas were already planning to summit Kili after successfully climbing Mt Kenya. I decided to join them. A short while into planning, our convener, Alex pulled out leaving three of us. I found myself engaging with the planner in Moshi, Abel of Trek and Hide safaris. Oh and if any of you plan to climb Kili, you stand a higher chance if you book your climb with Abel. He’ll do everything you need to succeed, short of climbing for you hehe. I highly recommend him. Sidebar if you need his contacts.

We locked our dates to leave Nairobi on the 27th of June to return on the 4th of July. Planning is key for such a major undertaking. We spent most of May and June shopping for gear and hiking every two weeks in preparation. The day finally arrived and my bro dropped me at the Impala shuttle in town for our ride to Moshi. It was a bittersweet farewell as he was leaving for the US later that evening with his kids so I wouldn’t see him for a long while. But the thrill of travelling to a place I had not been to was too exciting. The other agony was that my baby shark’s graduation from prep school was the following day on 28th June. I was going to miss it. Thankfully she gave granted me a visa to travel roho safi. Well, I’m still paying in kind and cash for missing it n ani sawa tu.

When boarding the bus we were settled by Wanjiku from Impala shuttles who made sure we got good seats. People with long leg problems on long travels can relate. So asante Wanjiku. She even got us a van to bring us back home after our climb, just the three of us. So I highly recommend Impala shuttles, especially booked through Irene Wanjiku. This article is starting to sound like a sponsored ad hehe.

Thanks to Uhuru and his gava the Namanga Arusha road was in good shape to Namanga and onto Tanzania. I was impressed by how speed limits are observed in Tz. I liked the self-regulation. The driver would slow down to 50kph in the middle of nowhere and drive at that speed for quite some distance. Took a bit of time to get used to that. But I also liked the fine payment procedure once caught overspeeding. Quite advanced compared to Kenya where you have to talk to a cop for hours. And if that fails he jumps into your moti and takes you to the station. GoK we have to style up and get on with the program. And we can just learn from our neighbours for free. We got to Arusha on Monday afternoon, took a short break and jumped onto another bus to Moshi. Tz is a big country and the wide-open spaces show it. That was my impression. The sunflower plantations were a new sight as I don’t recall seeing that here at home. That probably explains why cooking oil is cheaper there than here at home.

We got to Moshi safely. The cleanliness of that town was noticeable. Abel picked us up and checked us into our hotel for the evening to rest. That evening my two fellow hikers and I decided to sample a local restaurant for dinner. The roasted bananas and Kuku choma with pilipili was delicious. Followed by a Kilimanjaro beer as dessert. We called it a night after that.

There was a loud and sudden awakening at 5 am the following morning. The dossier continues next week





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8 thoughts on “The Kili Dossier. Part 1”

  1. Njoki says:

    Camping here for more..I missed hearing from you the last 2 weeks. I hope by next week, I will be motivated to do Mt. Kenya or Kili climb.

  2. Peter Mbugua says:

    Happy to reconnect with you once again Lucas, I have enjoyed the reading and look forward to read the other series of the Kili Dossier. I like the cliff hanger (suspense) at the end of the article.

  3. Ken says:

    haya , tunangojea maelezo zaidi, mlima uliupanda kweli?

  4. Mike Eldon says:

    Look forward to the next episodes!

  5. Kathleen says:

    Looking forward- I have always wondered what it would be like to climb Mt Kilimjaro without really climbing😊😊😊. Waiting…..

  6. David Kimani says:

    Congratulations Lucas for conquering Mount Kilimanjaro and thanks be to God for the safety He accorded you and your team. Thank you for sharing the dossier and look forward to the second part. Like those suspense novels and soap operas we are truly hanging there to hear what next. Reminds me of one of our school songs , “Day by day, step….and little by little you are there…”

  7. Mitch says:

    Hi Lucas,

    We look forward to you taking us to Mt Kili and back. Please start preparing for your next hike/destination so that we experience it for free through you.


  8. Anne Njenga says:

    Can’t wait to continue this ‘Kili journey’. You write so well, it feels like I am right there with you.

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