Dumelang Mzanzi,

My name is Travis and I am a traveling turtle. I joined Columinate in 2015 mainly to pursue my selfish need of wanting to see the world.

You see as a Turtle, I tend to move slowly. But at Columinate, they tend to move very fast. I saw this as a match made in heaven.

I’ve always had aspirations of seeing the world and this started in my early years when I was mainly white fluffy stuffing and pieces of synthetic material. After being assembled in China and seeing many of my stuffed animal friends shipped off to exotic destinations, I knew I had to see it all. Landing up in South Africa myself, I knew I needed more. You see, I also have an insatiable curiosity but I am a sceptic at heart – I don’t just take things on face value, I need the stats. Hence my other passion – market research. And specifically fast, cost-effective insightful research.  I think by this time you can see why Columinate was the perfect fit for me. Of course they had no objection to taking me on, I mean, I am a bright green Turtle – who doesn’t want me? I explained my need to travel and the humans at Columinate kindly obliged. They also gave me access to some interesting facts so I could be a knowledgeable insightful travelling Turtle. So that’s me… Travis. Let me tell you about my first expedition – Mount Kilimanjaro.

On the 22nd of September 2015 I left for Tanzania, home of the great Mt. Kilimanjaro. I was quite upset as I had been stuffed into a square bag of sorts and later stuffed into a duffel bag… but I digress.  Arriving in Moshi Town, I had a bit of a rest and then started prepping for my ascent. Luckily I had two humans to assist me with packing and ensuring I get there safe. I took the Lemosho route, it’s one of the most scenic and most difficult routes to take. It approaches the mountain from the West all the way to the East where you ultimately attempt to summit. We walked through thick rain forest, moorland, alpine desert and finally ended in a zone which you can almost call arctic (spoiler alert I made it to the top!). It took me 5 days to get to the top and 2 days down. On summit night I was woken at 10pm and started climbing at 11pm. I reached Stella point (5,685 m above sea level) at 6.30am (these humans sure took their sweet time) and Uhuru Peak (the summit at 5,895m) at 7.30am. After feeling on top of the world, I had to unfortunately get down again. That took a few more hours and a days and although my legs weren’t exactly sore, the humans started showing signs of fatigue. This was a great first trip and the standard really has been set. Next on my agenda is the U.S. of A. I’ll be attending the QRCA conference (making sure I get some mad qual skillzzz) and then I’m off to the Netherlands in December to do what people do in the Netherlands… For now, I leave you with some useful facts about Kilimanjaro and Tanzania:

  1. Kilimanjaro can only be climbed from Tanzania, many people mistakenly place Mt. Kilimanjaro in Kenya, although the park in which it is located borders with Kenya.
  2. Kilimanjaro is the highest free standing mountain in the world and one of the world’s largest Volcanoes.
  3. Many people climb Kilimanjaro every year (25 000) and of those about 66% are successful depending on which source you trust! Some stats say only 40% are successful.
  4. The glaciers on the summit are from the Ice Age. They reckon these will not be there in 20 years’ time at the rate they are melting.
  5. Many people in the surrounding area in Tanzania earn their living from being porters or guides on the mountain.

 

Travis Kilimanjaro
That’s me way on the right, along with my two Columinator humans and Mr David Kiraka, chief guide.