Name ID 1650
Extract Author: Valentine Marc Nkwame
Page Number: 375
Extract Date: 25 June 2005
The German professor was the first European to scale Kilimanjaro
The descendant family of Professor Hans Meyer, from Leipzig Germany, the first European to scale Mount Kilimanjaro in 1889, is planning to make homage to the late explorer at the peak of the highest mountain in Africa.
The news is widely circulating around the Kilimanjaro area where tour guides, porters and Mountain climbers are looking forward to the German family expedition. No exact dates have been mentioned for the expedition.
The expedition news has also reached the management of the historical Kibo Hotel, in West Marangu, where Prof. Hans Meyer and his crew stayed during their Pre-historic Mountain climbing expedition, which took place on the 6th of October 1889. Kibo Hotel is one of the oldest Hotels in the Northern Zone.
Julita McNeese, the current Kibo Hotel Manager, admits to have heard of the Hans Meyer's planned family expedition, adding that it was likely to take place very soon. She however said the entourage hasn't made any reservations at the Hotel yet.
A large black and white portrait of Hans Meyer hangs at the Kibo Hotel lobby, together with that of Yohana Lauwo, his first guide. The Hotel with 35 rooms, is over 120 years old now. It was first built by a German family in Association with the powerful charismatic Chagga leader, Chief (Mangi) Marealle.
Although huge mountains had been known to exist in Northern Tanzania, no one had actually traveled inland to account for it until the 1800's. Mount Kilimanjaro had been thought to be the source of River Nile and a Mountain of mystery - the mystery being a snow capped Mountain in Africa.
Africa was by then thought to be a continent of savages, thus stories about the continent were often down played. With colonization, came European missionaries, who traveled inland to preach their religion.
In 1846, Dr. Ludwig Krapf and Johann Rebmann landed at the coast of Kenya and set up a mission at Rabai, close to the town of Mombasa. In 1849, both Krapf and Rebmann confirmed their sightings of the great Mountain on their trip inland. Reports about the Mountain were received by the Royal Geographical Society, which prompted a great debate about the accuracy, about the height and possibility of snow capped mountains in Africa.
In 1861, Richard Thornton attempted the first climb. The Mountain was new to him and thus had a difficult time penetrating through the second zone. Also the weather did not cooperate, which eventually forced him down.
In 1862, Otto Kersten and Baron Von der Decken attempted the climb. They climbed over 15,000 feet but were forced down because of what was described to be the effect of bad weather.
In 1887, a German Geologist Professor and explorer, Hans Meyer attempted the climb and was successful in reaching the Kibo peak.
In 1889, Hans Meyer again, this time with an Austrian alpinist, Ludwig Purtscheller arranged an expedition to reach the summit of Kibo. It is stated that there were over 60 people in total including porters.
Meyer and Purtscheller were successful in their climb. They named the summit Kaiser Wilhem Spitze, a record that is still displayed in many maps found in Tanzania. The country is a former German colony.
Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic
Page Number: 201a
Extract Date: 1957
So important was Moshi in my work that I normally spent about a week every month on safari in the district. I would be based either at the KNCU Hostel or the Kibo Hotel at Marangu, a delightfully old fashioned establishment run by an elderly German, Mrs Bruehl, 20 miles or so from Moshi and 6000 feet above sea level.
Marangu was one of the most beautiful places in Tanganyika and the headquarters of the Vunjo district led by Chief (Mangi Mwitori) Petro Itosi Marealle and Paramount Chief (Mangi Mkuu) Thomas Marealle, installed in 1951, who lived in Moshi itself. It was also the centre of the tourist trade - such as it then was - and the base for climbing the mountain.