Day 1: To Machame
to 10,000 ft
We were absolutely blessed to have visited Kili when we did. Most of the perennials were blooming. OK, a few lilies had passed and a few begonias as well (though at higher altitude we caught a few on their last days.) Almost immediately on the access road to the trail, we encountered yellow flowers along the gravely banks. The Kili Impatient, which I had hoped so much to see was first sighted in the first hour and graced the trail through to following days. This flower only grows in the wild on this mountain, or so we are told.
An occasional "star fire lily" makes an appearance. We saw these in Arusha national Park the day before and were looking forward to seeing them again on the mountain. The guide told me this is called a "Fire Ball Lily', or menodoxus manii. I have found nothing in all my research to confirm that, though when I looked at the Kamusi Project on the Yale website, it translated manii as "sperm" in Swahili. So perhaps the guide was pulling my leg and making up names. I think it might be a Scadoxus multiflorus which is part of the Amyrillis family.