Kannada flag on Kilimanjaro

Travel tales

As a senior marketing executive in Bengaluru-based company, I was sent to Tanzania (Africa) for over three weeks for a project we are handling there.

From the time I got to know that I will have to travel to Tanzania, I dreamt of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro; even though it seemed impossible given my hectic schedule.

After over 15 days in Tanzania, I happened to get a week off as one of our associates had to reschedule a meeting for personal reasons. I grabbed the opportunity to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano that is Africa’s highest point and is also the world’s largest free-standing mountain.

During my stay in Tanzania, I closely observed how everybody spoke only their language Swahili; there was only a very minute English speaking population. Somewhere deep down, this made me miss home. The land, the language, and culture of Karnataka was something I missed dearly.

So when it was finally decided that I will be climbing Kilimanjaro, I wanted to celebrate the spirit of being a Kannadiga. With less than two days left for my trek, I managed to get the Karnataka flag stitched in Tanzania. I carried the flag with me all the way to the top — at a height of 19341 ft. 

I had tears in my eyes when I held up the flag at the peak of the mountain, it was an exhilarating combination of accomplishment and patriotism. I believe I am the first person to climb Mt Kilimanjaro with the Karnataka flag.

I started the trek on September 21. The trek took six days; I took the Machame route.

Fact file

How to get there :

I started my journey to Tanzania on September 3. I took an Emirates flight from Mumbai to Tanzania via Dubai (I took a domestic flight to Mumbai). I returned to India on October 1 via the same airlines and route. 

Where to stay

For a major part of the trip, I stayed at our office accommodation in Arusha itself. However, there are many hotels and lodges available that vary from economy to high luxury.

Places to visit
There are few places that one must not miss on a visit to Tanzania. Safaris in the Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire national park are something you should not miss. Apart from this, there is a local Masaai market and the cultural heritage museum that give a true Tanzanian experience.

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Kannada flag on Kilimanjaro

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