Tanzania 19 October: Marangu Gate, Foot of Kilimanjaro (1879 m) - Marangu Gate - and Kili summit!

Day Hike Marangu Gate towards Mandara Hut

Rainy start at Jackpot Safari Office in Arusha.

Mini-Kili at Marangu Gate - almost at the top!

In 2013 the Peace Run had carried our Torch up to Uhuru Peak - this year our focus was more an the East Africa Peace Run events and we did not get a climbing team together. So here the symbolical summit!

Vote for Kilimanjaro!

Even for a day hike you need to register and pay the park entry fee.

We were already quite late - and would not make it to Mandara hut anymore as planned. The drive from Arusha was longer than expected - over 3 hours, with lots of police controls, slow trucks and tuc-tucs on the Saturday roads.

African hair going european...

The conservation officer remembered our team from 2013 and was happy to see the Peace Run again.

Observe the rules! We were lucky it had rained lots. Since the trees and shrubs weres soaked we were allowed to light the Peace Torch on our hike.

We only had two hours left to go up before we had to turn back. No chance to get a glimpse of Kili.

A church choir visiting Marangu Gate in their best Saturday clothes - and eagerly holding and sharing the Peace Torch and taking selfies.

And more selfies...

Porters coming down from Kili.

Everybody just loves holding the Torch!

Into the enchanted rainforest...

A very peaceful and meditative hike through beautiful green foliage, with nice little streams accompanying us.

Manjura Sumuni, our professional mountain guide (you have to have a guide to enter the park!) - he got inspired to take the Torch all the way up to Kili on his upcoming tour. Fingers crossed it will work out! Manjura has summited Kili more than 75 times since 2007! His personal record time for the fastest climb and descent is 14 hours! (The current world record is under 7 hours for up and down!)

This rainforest is absolutely magical!

Everyone loved the hike, the nature, the selfies, and carrying the Torch and Peace Run flag.

We met many climbers coming down from the summit - and many wanted to hold the torch. This team is from Saudi-Arabia.

Climbers from England and London - and yes, they knew the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team and our Self-Transcendence races!

Fairies and other creatures among the magical trees

Fascinating lichens

serving as mustache

Strange forest beings

The beautiful green shades of the rainforest are true heart-openers.

Selfie-time at the waterfall

Learning to selfie ...

After 2 hours we stopped, observed a moment of silence and then sang our Peace Run song before turning back. We wanted to leave the park before 6 pm. (And then the battery of the camera was finished ...) Kilimanjaro remained hidden in clouds the whole day.

On Oct. 28th we got a short message and photos from mountain guide Majura with the Peace Torch at Uhuru Peak of Kilimanjaro. The photos may not look perfect, but the Torch went up again as part of the Southern Hemisphere Peace Run 2019! More details to follow. Thank you to Majura!