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Nimsdai’s first Kilimanjaro summit

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Nimsdai, aka Nims, or formally, , is an actual legend among mountain trekkers, let alone professional mountaineers. Once he has set several records and accomplished the impossible (the ascent to the top of 14 eight-thousanders seemed impossible in such record time before he took to it), Nimsdai decided to go to Africa for a short break and hike to the height of 5,895 meters (19.308 ft). No, it’s not a typo: that which the others see as a great challenge and excruciating effort, Nims takes for a day’s rest. Altezza Travel were his companions on the way to the summit.

Nimsdai and Kilimanjaro: The Beginning

This guy likes to challenge himself. Following in your brothers' footsteps and joining a Gurkha unit just to prove you're not the weakest one in the family? Sure. Becoming the first Gurkha in history to be accepted into an elite British Special Forces unit to traverse miles beneath the surface of an icy ocean? Why not? Turning yourself into a real-life Jason Bourne to participate in secret operations... At this point, Nims interrupts the story about himself, explaining that the British Ministry of Defense rules prohibit disclosing the details of the service.

Should one put everything at stake, mortgage the house, and chase the dream when the secure life of military retirement is just around the corner? Let's do that! Getting into extreme mountaineering adventures to test the capabilities of the human body? Just what one needs! Climbing the highest peaks of the planet, breaking your own Guinness Records while others are twisting their fingers at their temples? It seems that Nims is only spurred on by the impossibility of his plans and the doubts of those around him. Becoming the first man to climb K2 in winter conditions? …In short, you have already got an idea of what manner of person this Nimsdai is.

And here comes the turn of Africa’s tallest mountain. Generally, Kilimanjaro climbing tours take from 6 to 8 days. but if Nimsdai Purja sets to it, and the matter is of mere 5,895 meters (19.308 ft), why should one not ascent to the top in only several hours, not wasting days for acclimatization, rest, sleep, and other trifles? Besides, once at the summit, you may well not descend by walking but fly down on a paraglider: paragliding on Kilimanjaro is gaining popularity and is moreover one of Nimsdai’s hobbies. Now, the task appears to look sufficiently complicated and exciting. One thing left is to find a tour operator ready to organize your travel to the “rooftop of Africa”.

Which company here is considered to be the largest in terms of turnover and the best in terms of customer feedback? It is Altezza Travel, which has been organizing climbs to the African volcano for over 10 years. Moreover, reliable acquaintances have given Nimsdai good recommendations regarding Altezza Travel. Thus it was decided: Nims would go to Uhuru Peak accompanied by the best guides carrying recognizable yellow-and-black tents.

How Nims’ Expedition to the Kilimanjaro Summit Went

On August 25, 2022, Nimsdai entered Kilimanjaro National Park through the Mweka gate at an altitude of 1,640 m (5,380 ft), accompanied by three Altezza Travel guides: Baraka, Elia, and Stanley. It was decided to walk without too much luggage, at a quick pace but without exertion. The group set off at 3:00 p.m.

Several hours before that, an escort group of guides and porters approached the Kosovo camp to set up the tents where Nimsdai would rest before storming the summit. The porters were also tasked with transporting food and paragliding gear. Nims acquired a passion for paragliding and intended to fly spectacularly off the volcano top if the weather would be right. We prepared a landing site near the town of Moshi for him. In reality, the weather forecast was bad, which put the paraglider flight under question.

At 10:30 p.m. Nims and Altezza Travel guides reached the Kosovo camp at 4,800 m (15,784 ft). There was a warm dinner ready and comfortable tents to rest in. Stella Point (the paragliding launch spot) and Uhuru Peak lay close ahead as Nimsdai’s ascend was rapid. There was some time to spare before dawn which the mountaineer spent talking to our guides and porters. Interestingly, although Nims initially refused excessive luxury during the expedition, he gave his due to cozy tents and tasty food provided by Altezza Travel.

After that, Nimsdai confessed that he was impressed by the Tanzanians, their openness, inherent warmth, eagerness to smile, and uncomplicated perception of life. And, of course, their endurance: not only did our guys keep up, but they also did their job perfectly, assisting the mountaineering star in his ascent to the top of Kilimanjaro in such a short time. With their professionalism and ease of character, Altezza Travel guides earned an invitation from Nimsday to go on an expedition to the Himalayas with him. A mountain guide has to develop skills, learn about different mountains, and experience various situations in high-altitude expeditions. This is the opinion of Nirmal Purja, a professional mountaineer.

Late at night, Nimsdai moved on to the last leg of his route: ascent to Stella Point and then to the summit. Exceptional physique and experience allowed Nims to arrive on site ahead of the estimated time. He spent his spare time on a short excursion to the Kilimanjaro glaciers and explored the area to find the most appropriate place for taking off on the paraglider. The cloud coverage was above 80% and did not promise a successful outcome for his plans to glide off the mountain.

At dawn, Nimsdai reached Uhuru Peak, and since there were other climbing groups, he decided to skip the photoshoot near the famous sign on the main Kilimanjaro summit. Instead, Nims modestly put on sunglasses and pulled up the buff to cover his face and avoid unnecessary clamor. The time has come to get down to Stella Point (5,756 m (18,884 ft)) - and decide on how to descend from there.

The weather left no choice - the cloud coverage was high. It was raining in Moshi at the time. So it wasn’t safe to paraglide. Nimsday always says that extreme sports require careful risk calculation to ensure survival, and one has to stay true to oneself. This time it was decided not to fly on a paraglide but to go down on foot. The paragliding flight was postponed until the next time. Besides, the summit conqueror enjoyed Africa so much that he definitely decided to return. He also decided to arrange his own new project on Kilimanjaro.

Four hours later, Nirmal Purja reached the Kilimanjaro National Park exit at the Mweka gate - the same point from which this fast ascent began less than a day ago. There he was met by the managers and directors of Altezza Travel with some champagne, the representatives of Kilimanjaro National Park authorities who awarded him a certificate and a commemorative medal, as well as by numerous fans who found out about Nims’ expedition and wished to take a photo with the hero who inspired so many people to go to the mountains.

What’s Next?

We are pleased that Nirmal Purja chose Altezza Travel for his first expedition to Kilimanjaro. We are grateful to the Tanzanian National Park Authorities for the prompt issue of permits and their willingness to cooperate even in the most difficult projects. Our thanks go to KINAPA represented by Angela Nyaki - chief park warden of the Kilimanjaro National Park, and Charles Ngendo - her assistant. We are grateful to TANAPA represented by William Mwakilema - the Conservation Commissioner, and Beatrice Kessy - the Business Development Manager.

We were happy with how the expedition went, even though the paragliding part had to be canceled. It was a pleasure to deal with all the operational details that went into making this project possible, and we also enjoyed communicating with Nimsdai - an open and cheerful man who easily achieves challenging goals.

Moreover, we agreed on further cooperation: Elite Exped (the company run by Nimsdai and his partners) will add climbing Kilimanjaro to their offering of unique Himalayan expeditions. Altezza Travel will be the host and organizer in Tanzania. We have vast experience in running mountain climbs in Tanzania, which we are happy to organize in partnership with Nims. We are confident that the project will be first-class and that many people will climb Kilimanjaro with us and have a truly amazing experience. After all, as Nimsdai pointed out, the Kilimanjaro experience is “next level”. We can but agree with the man who has climbed so many mountains. Nims, thank you for this experience. We look forward to seeing you again!

Published on 19 November 2023 Revised on 18 May 2024
About this article
Yurii Bogorodskiy
Expert Articles: 41
Written byYurii Bogorodskiy
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Yuri, a full-time researcher and writer at Altezza Travel, has been living in Tanzania since 2019. He has explored many of its lesser-known destinations, including Kitulo and Rubondo National Parks, Lake Victoria, Zanzibar, and many other historical, natural, and archeological sites. His experiences in the Amani Forest and Ibanda–Kyerwa National Park have inspired him to become a passionate birder. Yurii is also an avid reader, delving into various volumes about Tanzanian culture and history. He regularly shares detailed articles based on his research and travels on our blog.

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1 Comment
Altezza Travel
20 Mar 2024
Truly inspiring!
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