Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Kilimanjaro Day 2 - Machame Camp to Shira Cave Camp 12,300' altitude

The guys got us up at 6:30am and we did some washing up and had a good breakfast. There was always hot water for tea, coffee, or hot chocolate, and lots of fruit and millet porridge every day. I ate my fill, but I have to say that I would be happy to never see a bowl of millet porridge again. My mother used to make it when we were kids, and I didn't enjoy it then either! Then there would be some eggs and sausage and some kind of casava bread. The cook was well aware of Ruth's gluten free diet.

By 8:20am, we set off for a 5 km (3 mile) hike that would bring us up another 878 meters (3,000') in altitude.

This was probably our easiest day of trekking, although it was still hard going. We managed to do about one kilometer per hour!

A clear view of Mt. Kilimanjaro!

And a clear view looking at where we had been a week earlier, Mt. Meru!

Heading higher.

It was a beautiful day, so far!

But the weather on Kilimanjaro can change in a heartbeat. Every evening we had a meeting with our guides Kobby and Shalali and they would explain what to expect the next day, and what we needed to wear, and what we needed to carry in our day pack. Anything else would be carried by the porters in our big rental duffel bags. But anythig left in the bags wouldn't be available to us until we arrived at the next camp.

And every day, we had to have our rain ponchos, and three full liters of water each!

Ruth, following behind Kobby.

Interesting scenery.

Yes, we followed our guides advice!

Scenery along the way!

Notice that some clouds have moved in.

Pretty flower called a Mackinder's Gladiolus

More clouds.

Climbing uphill.

Stopped for a snack.

The white-necked ravens that you see in the photo above were at all of our stops, including all of the camps. They aren't shy, and if you leave anything edible close by they will snatch it!

White-necked raven.

Vegetation along the way, this is called an Everlasting Flower.

Notice that things are getting cooler!

Wow. I love this scenery!

Made it to Shira Cave Camp.

Shira Cave Camp was probably my least favorite from a scenery point of view. We arrived there at about 1:20pm and the stomach engineer (the term for our cook, Martin!) made us a nice hot lunch. After that we had a nap, and then explored some of the area.

Shira Cave Camp.

The cave!

This camp would normally have three or four times as many tents set up.

Our crew!

You don't really have much interaction with the porters with the exception of the one who doubles as your waiter. Our guy was Hallelujah. Every time he brought us food or came to our tent to wake us up he was so cheerful, and he would attach the word Hallelujah to just about everything he said. He was a real pleasure to have around, and a great part of the crew.

One of the outhouses.

Just a hole in the floor.

Generally, the facilities were in better shape than I thought they might be. It takes a bit of practice to get used to these "squat" facilities, and no, they are not the nicest. Most people are apparently not very good at squatting, and they are also not very good at cleaning up after themselves. We learned that it was best to use the facilities in the morning when things were still cold enough outside that the odor was a bit more subdued!

Outhouse with a view!

I love this shot!

Ruth, relaxing outside our tent with a view of snowy Kilimanjaro.


Night two was spent at 3,750 meters (12,300') altitude.

At this altitude, you start to notice it. Just little things like getting out of bed make you huff and puff a little bit. But we were about to go much higher!



  1. I read these posts about your climb, with bated breath! It was. Long time for me as a sofa traveler waiting to find out about each stage of your journey & how you both made out.
    Can’t wait for the next one.
    Glad you are Both back.

    1. We are so happy to hear that you are enjoying our posts and our pictures! It really has been an adventure for us, and we are happy to bring the stories right to your sofa. :-)

      Hopefully Kevin will have another post up before the end of the day.

  2. I was thinking ramshackle outhouses not ones with porcelain floors LOL Beautiful photos of the hike. What was the temperature like? Yes it looks colder higher up but you started out in shorts.

    1. The toilet facilities were only a little better than what we were expecting but they still weren't all that nice. We can't even begin to imagine what they would be like if the mountain was busy like it would normally be at this time of year.

      The temperature was cool but not freezing and not too windy either but the clouds would come and go all day long. The first two days of hiking could be done in shorts but by the time you get to the second night's camp you need to put pants on because by then it is pretty chilly out.

  3. You forgot to mention that you called millet - bird seed - when you were a kid!

    1. Millet is good for you - it doesn't contain any inflammatory lectins like oatmeal.

    2. It may be good for you but is didn't taste so good in the porridge that we were given!

  4. Tile floors on outhouses! That’s a treat compared to those with either wooden floors or unpolished concrete floors. Yep..it takes a certain skill to use those without an accident. Lol. The views are breathtaking! I can imagine the air being so crisp and clear! You’re indeed lucky to have chosen this time to climb up with so few people doing the trek...your crew looks happy! Looks like you had calm winds and clear days and the path also looks well maintained.

    1. Honestly it wasn't any better being tile floors opposed to concrete floors, they still weren't the nicest but definitely better that what we were expecting and especially much better because there weren't hordes of people on the mountain. They could certainly have been kept a bit cleaner than what they were.

      The views really were pretty, especially if we were shrouded by clouds. The air was crisp and clear and we really enjoyed the solitude up there on the mountain. Yes, most days we had very little wind which was really nice.

      Our crew was great and yes, they were a lot of fun and enjoyed each other's camaraderie.

      The path for the most part was good but if the rocks got wet then you needed to be very careful because they would be very slippery. There were also certain areas where is was hard to follow where the path actually went, so it was great having our guides there to show us the way.

  5. What were the temps like at the overnight stops you made?

    1. The first and last night's temperatures were very comfortable, probably around 10 C (50 F) the other nights it was probably right around the freezing mark or even a little lower.

  6. Replies
    1. Glad that you enjoyed them, we did too. :-)

  7. Beautiful pictures. Love reading your journey. On to day 3 (for me)!

    1. Thank you Tina, we are glad that you are enjoying our posts and our pictures! :-)


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