“When I look up and see the sun shining on the patch of white clouds up in the blue, I begin to think how it would feel to be up somewhere above it winging swiftly thought the clear air, watching the earth below, and the men on it, no bigger than ants”. – Eddie Rickenbacker
There is something absolutely magical about being above the clouds and there was no place on the mountain that the view of the ever-changing clouds was more spectacular than at Shira Camp.
Shira Camp lies nestled high above the treeline at 12,600 feet (3,840 m) affording awe-inspiring views of the cloud-covered forest below. It is by far one of the most beautiful camps on the entire mountain and thankfully I arrived to have the entire afternoon to watch the clouds move, change, form and change colors with the setting sun. Besides the climb to the summit itself, watching the clouds hover over the landscape far below was the most amazing part of the entire hike.
I already featured some of my most beloved photos from my evening at Shira Camp in this post “Close Up in the Clouds of Kilimanjaro“. Yet this place was so unbelievably beautiful I felt I had to share the rest. I literally sat outside my tent and took photos for hours.
I had purchased a SIM card upon arrival in Tanzania in hopes of staying in touch with my family during the climb but I was only able to get an internet connection once and it took an hour of trying. I was told to go where the porters go as they always know where the hotspots are. Typically it can be found on the highest rock at the camp. I climbed up onto my perch and waited.
I never did get through to my husband until a few days later when I broke down and sent him a text. I desperately wanted to share my experience with my family but unfortunately it would have to wait.
I spent the afternoon and early evening reading, writing in my journal and taking photos. The camp site was becoming alive with noise of the jet black ravens and the incoming porters and climbers. The views of the constantly changing clouds felt surreal. They seemed to float up into the sky like big puffs of white cotton candy or whipped cream.
I think this is one of my most favorite pictures from the trip. The campsite enveloped in clouds.
I also was fascinated by the changing colors upon the summit of Kilimanjaro. From Shira Camp, it was another three days up yet it looked so close.
“The more often we see the things around us – even the beautiful and wonderful things – the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds – even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less”.
Little did I know that the next camp would be equally as stunning. Stay tuned…