Feature Photo: “Kili is a shy mountain,” a local told me. I did not know what this meant. No worries, or hakuna matata—this is really said in Tanzania—I’d make the first move. I climbed the hotel stairs to a very small landing that had a doorway, which I walked through to enter the lounge. What lounge?
Mount Kilimanjaro stood right before me; I did not have to squint to see her in the distance, and so my eyes did the opposite: they widened. I do remember—and have remembered this sensation many times since—that my heart lifted, lifted beyond my preoccupations, and my very body, it seemed. Kili stood there: ancient, pristine, beautiful, and much, much closer than I had expected. And I stood there too, rendered silent. I spent most of that day looking at Kili and understood why she was considered shy: often, the mountain would be shrouded in clouds. If one were to enter the lounge during such a time, one may not realize Africa’s tallest mountain stood behind a veil of billowing white. The rooftop’s vantage points, nevertheless, allowed for spectacular vistas of Tanzania’s lush, green landscape. Further in the distance stood another magnificent mountain: Mount Meru. From the rooftop, 4,562-metre Mount Meru was part of the foreground of the most spectacular sunsets I have ever witnessed.
BIO: Tristan Marajh visited Tanzania in 2018.