Macs Adventure, Trekking

Kilimanjaro Climb Diary – Day 3

28 Jan , 2010  

Day 3: Kilimanjaro Climb – Shira Camp (3840m) to Barranco Camp (3950m)

A beautiful cold, clear morning, a delicious breakfast, good company and a day of walking ahead. Does it get any better than this?

Everyone was adapting to the altitude well and it was all smiles as we started on our trek to Barranco Camp via Lava Tower. I still smile as I recall an amazing morning of walking to Lava Tower. Kibo loomed ahead, wearing her necklace of shiing glaciers while Meru rose out of the African plateau behind us, providing the perfect backdrop for group portraits.

As soon as the Lemosho/Shira route joined us the increase in traffic was noticeable. Thankfully it thinned out again as we headed to the Lava Tower (4600m), while the porters sensibly took the lower route direct to Barranco Camp.

A steep descent from Lava Tower soon had Ian’s hips complaining and we spread out as we descended to Barranco Camp. Unboutably the most scenic and spectacular campsite on the Machame Route and according to those in the know one of the best on the whole mountain. Tucked in under Barranco Wall in a vast natural amphitheatre with a sprinkling of the characteristic Senecio kilimanari, a wonderful plant that John seemed to develop a worrying attraction to.

We enjoyed a spectacular campsite, set away from the main camp, thanks to Msuri sending a porter from Shira Camp at 5.30 to bag the best spot. He earned his money that day because it was perfect.

Dinner conversation was dominated by the looming Barranco Wall. Rising sheer above us it did appear to be a formidable barrier to our progress to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Another point of conversation was our rather unique starter of a boiled egg balanced on a orange and covered in a coleslaw like substance. Not to every one’s taste but David and I happily scoffed the extras.

Early to bed and dreams of Barranco Wall and day 4 of our Kilimanjaro Climb…


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Founder and Chief Adventure Officer of Macs Adventure. With a passion for adventure and active travel, I firmly believe that the very best way to discover a country, its landscape, culture and people is under your own steam. I have travelled extensively in Southern and East Africa, Australasia, Europe and Asia and spend my time walking, climbing, mountain biking and kite-surfing in Scotland and around the world. I love living in Glasgow with my wife, son and daughter, although I am trying unsuccessfully to convince them to move closer to my favourite kite surfing spot in Troon.