Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Yes, Mt. Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania and Hans Meyer is from Leipzig

Late last year I had the best elements converge for putting together an interesting blog post and I did not find out until much later. Maybe not of interest to everyone, but certainly of interest to people who read about Mt. Kilimanjaro.

I visited the German city of Leipzig in November 2011 and my visit had a lot to do with Mt. Kilimanjaro. I visited Benjamin Leers and Maurice Housni with whom in December 2011 I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro while they filmed a documentary that is about to be released. To promote the climb and the documentary, we were interviewed at a radio station. Mt. Kilimanjaro was on the subject of most conversations during those few days I was in Leipzig.

Several months after I returned to Tanzania I discovered that the genesis of the mountaineering chronology of Mt. Kilimanjaro is rooted in Leipzig. Hans Meyer (1858 - 1929) is the first European to reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro on 6th October 1889.

The monument at Marangu Gate on Mt. Kilimanjaro in honour of Hans Meyer.
He worked at his father's publishing house in Leipzig and later became a professor at the University of Leipzig. He was buried in Leipzig.

Meyer reached the summit with Austrian mountaineer Ludwig Purtscheller. Their climbing team included nine porters, a cook, and a guide called Yohani Kinyala Lauwo (1871 - 1996). Lauwo is described in some literature as the first person to reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Next to Hans Meyer's monument at Marangu Gate is a monument that honours Yohani Kinyala Lauwo and his team of porters who accompanied Hans Meyer to Mt. Kilimanjaro's summit. 

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