Location: South 04.43394, East 035.40163 (GPS at the summit)
Difficulty: YDS class 2
Climbed January 14. 2019.
How to get there:
The village of Katesh is the natural staging point. This place has one
reasonable hotel called Summit hotel, once in Katesh, there are signs, or
just ask some locals. In addition,
there are numerous (less expensive) guest-houses of somewhat
lower and perhaps variable standard.
In order to reach Katesh, drive south-west from Arusha on Hwy. T5 to the town of Babati, make a right here
onto Hwy. T14. This (paved) Hwy. will take you directly to Katesh, the place I stayed has
location S04.52165, E035.38119, elevation about 1735 meter.
This mountain is within a park and typical for Tanzania, one should have a guide
and pay some park fee in order to climb the peak. The local guide is named
Thomas Safari (Safari is his last name!). You can contact him directly or via
Summit hotel, see above.
From the gate/traailhead (where one should sign in a register), a clear
trail leads uphill through forest. After a while, notice a trail that
forks left (downhill). It is pretty obvious that one should continue uphill,
however on descent it may be useful to remember that the correct trail forks
left at this point (facing downhill).
Continue along a very nice trail as it keeps climbing and gradually breaks out
of the forest and into more open terrain. The route climbs along a pretty broad
ridge and you see the steeper slope of the ridge ahead. Continue up this slightly
steeper section always following a good trail. This part of the route tops out
at a nice viewpoint at location S04.45419, E035.38859, elevation near 3000 meter.
You have now climbed 1000 vertical meter, what remains is a nice ridge walk with some
smaller ups and downs, totalling about another 500 meter of ascent. This part of the
route is of high quality with good views both left and right. You will see the summit
ahead and eventually arrive there, a nice rounded highest point.
Both driver Sam (age 25) and cook Geoff (age 38) plus guide Thomas Safari
came along. A very nice day with clear sky and also a very nice trail mostly
following the top of a ridge with good views both left and right.
We were at the gate at 0630, registration in a climbers register. The man responsible
was most likely expecting us. We signed in and cleared the formalities, then started out
around 0645. Good going, Geoff and I reached the top of the steeper section at 0815, 1.5
hours ascending 1010 meter, about 670 vertical meter per hour. Sam could not keep up
and we waited 30 minutes for him at this nice viewpoint.
We continued as a group, thus quite a bit slower. Sam was getting tired and called for
another break when reaching 3242 meter. 15 minutes as he needed to start on his lunch box
here. The hike along this ridge with small ups and downs is indeed superb. The weather was
still perfect and the views similarly good.
We made the summit at 1045, so 4 hours up. A longer rest was called for. Photos and
more food. We finally started our return hike at 1130. Sam moved fast down the ridge,
but slowed a bit further downhill. I was back at the trailhead by 1345, total trip
time 7 hours, hiking time 5.5 hours.
The next day, we drove back to Arusha. I had noticed a p100 prominent hill along the
way and we drove some kilometer parallel to the main Hwy. on smaller, local
roads in order to visit this hill.
The previous peak on this trip was Loolmalasin,
the next peak is Shengena.