Our final day was an easy hike down from the Mweka camp to a village at 1400 m. We had a final glance of the mountain at one point as we descended. It looked beautiful with its fresh covering of snow.
Kilimanjaro, with a fresh coat of snow, as seen from our final descent.
We were definitely in the rain forest biome again and the lush forest surrounded us as on our first day. We also saw the elephant trunk flower, (Impatiens kilimanjarii), a semi-official logo of the mountain.
Elephant trunk flower found along the side of the trail
As we approached...
For group 1, the science group, the descent was more gradual. But for group 2, the big descent would be today. They would summit and descend most of the mountain on this day.
While waiting to leave Millenium camp, we collected data using GLOBE protocols. Following this we had a rousing chorus of African songs, and we were all invited to join in. The group was in great spirits as we began our relatively short and all downhill hike. We also passed a few other hikers as we walked -- this was an encouraging sign. We were still in the moorland biome and were...
After another cold night on the mountain (it was two degrees Celsius inside the tents) we awoke to a wonderful sight... Mt. Meru in a sea of clouds.
Mt. Meru, Tanzania's second highest mountain, in a sea of clouds as seen from Karanga Camp.
Incredible view so early in the morning and a great way to begin our day. The hike today would be a short three hours, so after a hearty breakfast we headed to Millenium camp. The terrain was very much the same, but we did see obsidian rocks (formed when the lava from a volcano cools...
GIO Director, Tony Murphy, taking water temperature in stream near Baranco camp early in the morning. Temperature was 5C.
Karanga camp, which is 10 m below Baranco camp is home for Monday night. What an adventurous day we had getting there! We began our morning taking soil moisture measurements for the SMAP campaign.
Mark Brettenny, GLOBE Africa Regional Officer, checking on a soil moisture probe before students take measurements.
Then we hiked the 'wall.' As we left camp, it was full with a human train -- lots of hikers, guides and porters making...
Measuring water temperature.
After breakfast we split into the two groups. Mark Brettenny of GLOBE Africa's Regional Office and I, stayed with group 1 to focus more on science. Our next camp site is Baranco camp, 3940m, so a lower elevation than Lava Tower and set in a magnificent glacial valley.
Lava Tower, over 100 m high and formed when the volcano was active.
During the hike we stopped and took a stream measurement. The stream was frozen, and the Omani students were excited to see it. The water flowing underneath had a temperature...