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Monday, February 20, 2012

The Changing of the Kilimanjaro Sign

After years of cameras flashing and layers of stickers, the Tanzania National Parks decided to change their sign at Uhuru Peak on top of Kilimanjaro.  The old sign has become an icon over the years with people posing in front of it as evidence of reaching the highest peak in Africa. Now the NEW sign took its place at 5,895 m above sea level, with its green background and yellow writing. 

My honest opinion which definitely won’t change the mind of the Tanzania National Parks is that the new sign just doesn’t have the iconic properties of the old sign. It looks rather cheap and put together in a hurry. It won’t change the achievement of getting to the top, but I think more time and effort should have gone into creating the sign. I have climbed Kilimanjaro a few years ago and when I saw the wooden sign they had up there it was my sign to say I have conquered Kilimanjaro, much the same as the sight of the Eiffel Tower when you get to Paris, or the sight of the Big Ben in London, the sight of the Coliseum in Rome, etc.  I just saw it on so many pictures before that I knew this was it…I did it. Now getting to the top you might see the new sign looking like any road sign in South Africa and think…is this it? You will stand in front of it and take a picture and your friends will see your picture and think…Photoshop. 

Perhaps the new sign will also become the icon the old one was for so many years…but for me I think the old one should have stayed. They could have changed the poles and the foundations but the sign should have stayed the same. 

But what do I know? What do you think? 

Juan Nel
Kilimanjaro summit sign kilimanjaro board uhuru peak sign uhuru summit sign

A New Summit Sign for Kilimanjaro


Farzanah said...

I like the old sign better

Lisa said...

I like the old sign :)

Charla said...

Agreed!! So glad I got my photo at the summit in August! :)

Johan Vrijburg said...

at first i thought they took us to the wrong peak.. Let it be no surprise i favor the old one too

Climb Kilimanjaro Routes said...

The new one looks metallic. Somebody tell me its not.

To choose the right Kilimanjaro Climb route for you, there are plenty of variables to be mindful of.
Who: Who is climbing? The whole group's abilities must be factored into choosing a route. The rest of the party is relying on your decision. Pick a route that best fits everyone.
What: What limitations surround your climb? Are you bound by a budget? Or the number of days on your trip? There are cheap/expensive routes, and short/long itineraries.
How: How do you see your trek? Do you want the most challenging route or a less strenuous one? These answers will affect which route is for you.
Where: Where do you want to begin your climb? The routes start from all sides of the mountain. Where you begin affects cost, scenery and scenic variety.
Why: Why are you climbing? Is it very important to summit? Then choose a route with a high success rate. Do you want to take the best photos? Then pick the most scenic route.
When: If you are climbing during the dry season, great. But if you are climbing during the rainy season or the shoulder seasons, then the route you select can play into the climb's difficulty.
So Which is the best route to use to climb up kilimanjaro? Lemosho Route and Rongai Route are the most scenic routes up kilimanjaro. Mt Kilimanjaro Machame route is also a scenic and very popular route with many climbers.
The Marangu Route Climb is however the most used route since it has the advantage of sleeping in huts with bunker beds, hot showers, beverages and beers in the evenings are also available. Marangu is also the shorter route and can be done in 5 days although an extra day for acclimatisation is recommended.

Rebecca said...

I am campaigning to revert back to the old sign. Please take a look -