Kilimanjaro is heavily regulated with daily checks on who is present on the mountain. We chose Lemosho route, one of the longest, to give us the best chance of acclimatisation. Our first surprise was to discover the support team for our group of nine was 37 - chief guide, Makeke, 4 assistant guides, the chief cook ('stomach engineer') and 31 porters / sub-porters to carry all our food and equipment for 8 days. From Londorossi (2360m) the track crossed agricultural land and rain forest for 6k to a forest glade campsite at 2900m - an easy path when dry but probably less so in heavy rain! On day 2 we soon left forest for open moorland with giant heathers and proteas, climbing steadily 8k to Shira 1 Camp at 3505m on the western lava plateau of Kili. As clouds cleared at nightfall we had a first view of the summit. A morning routine of tea in bed (!) and washy-washy in the privacy of our tent soon became second nature. Day 3 offered more acclimatisation - 10k across Shira plateau with a climb to Shira Cathedral in the fog before reaching Shira 2 Camp at 3800m. In the clearest weather yet day 4 saw us climb across a truly volcanic landscape to the plug of Lava Tower (4630m) before descending again to Barranco Camp at 3,970m - 10k in all. Lobelias and giant senecios provided an astonishing backdrop to our route. Sadly at the end of the day one of our group who had been suffering from altitude sickness had to leave us accompanied by an assistant guide and 2 porters ... an 8-hour walk to the nearest road-head!! To see the photos click here.