Kilimanjaro Expedition Travel Journal Entry 3

Forest Camp to Shira 1 Camp
7,998 to 11,499 feet
Rain Forest to Heath Zone

We woke early today, around 6:00 AM Arica Time. Our porters brought us a pan of hot water so we could wash up before breakfast. Before breakfast we pack our gear into our duffel and set our bags outside of our tent for the porters. While we are eating, the porters strike the camp and set off for the next camp site.

We had a great breakfast. The cooks do a wonderful job. Breakfast consisted of eggs, some meat and fruit. We had plenty of hot water for tea, or hot chocolate.

Our guides are great! They get us moving, keep us moving, and are encouraging us along the way. “Pole, pole” (pronounced with a long “o” and a long “a”, as in “polay”), that’s the greeting we hear from our guides and porters as we are walking. Pole, means “slowly”. The trick to climbing this mountain is to take it slowly… slowly, but keep moving. We are drinking lots of water and everyone is eating well. Today will be moving from the Forest Biome to a Heath Zone. The trees will be much shorter and there won’t be as much moisture.

What is it like where you live?

Student’s Experience

Saif – Oman Student at Big Tree Camp

I noticed new plants and animals that I don’t usually see in my home country of Oman. In Oman we have a desert climate and today we traveled through a rain forest, a place that receives more water than we ever see. There were many more plants than just the palm trees that we have back home. Today during the hike I noticed that my preparation of staying in good shape has paid off. There was a wonderful atmosphere of song and dance to welcome us to the mountain today and that energy carried over on our hike. I am also excited about sharing the photos and videos I have taken with family and friends back home.

Teacher’s Experience

Jayme Sneider – Middle School Teacher, Colorado

As we left the hotel with all of our gear on the roof, the atmosphere in the bus was full of excitement. The Omani team is full of energy that shows through loud, fun songs. During the drive to the park gate, we could not see the massive volcano. High peaks tend to develop their own weather, thus the mountain was “shy” today and hiding in the clouds. In addition, since we arrived in Tanzania, it has been hazy due to wildland fires on Mount Meru (~15,200 ft), 40 miles to the west. This displaced a herd of zebras to the valley between the two volcanoes. Fortunate for us, the zebras were calmly grazing right on the side of the dirt road that we were on as we neared Lemosho gate where we greeted our porters and signed into the national park. The bumpy road was dry and dusty and suddenly became darker and rockier. This transition signaled that we were now on the flanks of the massive stratovolcano, Kilimanjaro. The fertile volcanic soil led to more vegetation, including wild pumpkins that climbed trees to get sunlight.

Do you see this where you live?

Have you ever experienced hazy weather and poor air quality as a result of a natural disaster that could be miles away?

Jessie Lubbers – Middle School Teacher, Colorado

As we adventure up Kilimanjaro to the summit we will get to experience the six different biomes on the mountain.  The start of our trip today took us through the rainforest on the southwestern side of the mountain.  The rainforest is unlike the forests we have in Colorado. We were able to see pine trees, these trees grow in both the forests of Colorado and the jungle of Tanzania.  Everywhere we looked we could see luscious green vegetation.  We would see green vines winding up the trees, ferns and moss growing all over the ground, and thick bushes and vines that would make large walls between the trees as we climbed the mountain.  When we stopped to listen to the jungle, we heard sounds that were different from the sounds of Colorado’s forests.  Listening we could hear different birds with their haunting calls and the monkeys as they jump between trees.   Looking carefully we were able to see the Colobus Monkeys high up in the trees.  Our porters told us that if we were to come back in the spring and are really quiet we could see elephants and buffalo wander through the jungle.

Virtual Field Trip
October 8 | 1:00 PM ET

Students can also get involved by participating in a virtual field trip once the Expedition has returned from Tanzania. Don’t forget to submit your classes questions by tweeting @DiscoveryEd with the hashtag #DiscoverKili – your class may get their questions answered live on air!


Learning Objectives

Discover lesson starters and content collections about the biomes of Mount Kilimanjaro online at


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