Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Here's a question: where do you get the best view of Mt. Kilimanjaro? Kenya or Tanzania?

Someone at Jamii Forums recently raised a question: where is the best view of Mt. Kilimanjaro; is it from the Kenyan or the Tanzanian side? This commentator suspects there is a conspiracy by Kenyans to lure tourists to Kenya and thus the reason why such a question has surfaced.

This question should not be asked. The view of Mt. Kilimanjaro from the Kenyan side is slightly different from the view from Tanzania. From Tanzania Kibo peak is on the left side while Mawenzi peak is on the right side. From Kenya the two peaks take opposite positions, Kibo on the right and Mawenzi on the left. If anyone prefers the Kenyan view it is outrageous to claim that Tanzania offers the better view.

Kibo peak, seen from Karanga camp on the Lemosho route.

I repeat, again, that this Tanzanian pastime of accusing the Kenyans of getting more out of Mt. Kilimanjaro than Tanzanians while Tanzanians do little more than complain provides no improvement whatsoever to our prosperity.

I believe that the visitor who has traveled from abroad for the purpose of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro cares little whether this World Heritage site is in Kenya, Tanzania, or on Jupiter. The visitor is interested in the mountain and not so much on where Kenya ends and Tanzania begins.

I have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro a number of times and the truth is that comparatively few Tanzanians climb this mountain compared to foreigners. On Mt. Kilimanjaro Tanzanians are the visitors while the foreigners can claim to be the hosts because of their large numbers. Recently on the Marangu route I even met a large group of Kenyans heading to the summit.

I would be extremely pleased to see some of these complainants don some mountain gear and join me on the next climb. Afterwards they can speak with authority and conviction on Mt. Kilimanjaro instead of complaining and asking awkward questions.

One thing they will learn is that the best views of Mt. Kilimanjaro are right on the mountain itself. But that is only my opinion.

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