The tropical rain and unexpected European – African service. Ukraine from the mountain top of Africa

Photo report from my ascension with my sons to the mountain top of Africa (Kilimanjaro 19340, 6Ft) within the action “World without orphans” and incredible details about what was escorting us from the very footstools up to the top.

Having gathered in Nairobi we headed towards Tanzania since Kilimanjaro is in the territory of this country and in 6 hours we were already in the town called Arusha. We were especially impressed by national Masai coloring ( since we were passing by their territory) and also by the border between Kenyan and Tanzanian states which was passing through a puddle in huge clay pit that made it so hard even for our specially equipped cars to pass through. Already at the territory of Tanzania we could see first mountains but it was not our goal yet. We are going to get there tomorrow but today we are meeting our guides. It is prohibited to ascend the African mountain top without guides. We had a good sleep in a hotel that as Andrey noticed looked like a prison with inner court but we are the mountaineers without ambitions so it was good enough for us. We woke up and had some breakfast, packed and were ready to board the coach that will take us to the footstools of Kilimanjaro. Here we were waited of a serious and admittedly very pleasant surprise. 5 guides will go with us and the company who hosted the expedition gave us some porters! It turned out it is all included in the payment for the service but I wasn’t wrong when presumed we would have to pay generous tips. In two hours we were at the start point. The so called gates of Kilimanjaro – Marangu gate – 6070Ft. We got registered; take out our raincoats since we had been met by the real tropical rain! It was impossible just sit and wait till it ends so we started moving ahead. May God help! The hike to the next stop lasted for 5 hours – the height there is 9022 Ft. We move quite easily since the team has been rather skilled ( the boys and I have behind our shoulders ascension on Elbrus ( 18510 Ft) Ararat ( 17014 Ft) and the highest and the most dangerous volcano of the US Reiner ( 15748 ft) plus the rest of the team – Ruslan and our doc Sergey and Alexey and Brad are all “deep files”. This is why none of us would let the mistake of a dilettante – to start fast to show off. All of us realized very well that the most serious part will start really only in 4 days. All the first part of the ascension was through fantastic jungles. It inevitably reminded of childish associations from “Robinson Crusoe” and “Treasure island”. Fantastic trees, thicket, lianas and the noise of the streams of canyons – like a fairy tale! But it is only in the first day – tomorrow the picture promises to change abruptly. The night stay was surprisingly rather comfortable (by the mountain camp standards of course) – quite good wooden houses, toilets ( not too European for sure) and nice dinner that was cooked for us by the guys from our guide team. What is worth to mention is that the route and place for the stay were very clean. Our Elbrus in comparison with Kilimanjaro is full of trash. Almost all of us had some dizziness. We went to bed early. It was just a first step. It is going to be much harder tomorrow. When we were going to bed we had no idea that this very night we were waited by a shock. Of course we followed news about what is going on in Ukraine when we were leaving for Africa and we thought that the situation was going more and more stable so soon there will be solution found to get out of this long and seemingly dramatic crisis. But for us as for millions of Ukrainians this night has become the start of horrific days. We heard about the shocking “wipe out” of Maidan already after the midnight and this news surely brought some extra tension and dramatic shade. But as I promised I am going to tell about all the details step by step.