The Kilimanjaro summit sign has long been an inspiration to weary trekkers nearing the top. Seeing it from afar—perched atop Uhuru Peak, ready-made for a photo opportunity—is a great source of inspiration to take those last few steps!
But over the years, the original sign, constructed from wooden planks, became weathered and worn. Nails holding the sign together began to rust through, so that some of the planks fell down haphazardly, and the boards began to split.
Kili’s original summit sign
Photo: Thomson Safaris guest, Peter Gaylord
In January 2012, the wooden sign was finally retired, replaced with a shiny new green sign, its yellow letters crisp, clear, and uniform…
…and a little boring-looking.
Of course it still pointed people to the top, and it was still exciting to get a summit picture in front of the words “You are now at Uhuru Peak,” but public opinion was pretty consistent: people preferred the original.
The green summit sign was a dramatic departure from the original rustic, wooden sign
Photo: Thomson Safaris guests, Melissa and Andrew Blazic
That might be why, just two and a half years after replacing the decades-old original sign, the Tanzanian government has upgraded…again.
More to the point, the upgrade looks a LOT like the original, complete with a (deliberately) off-kilter plank in the middle.
New summit sign on Kilimanjaro!
Photo: Thomson Safaris guest, David Schillinger
They’ve tweaked a few things—the top bar now proudly proclaims “Mount Kilimanjaro,” something which makes those celebration photos easy to share with friends, and they’ve added the height in feet (19,341), presumably for the many American and British climbers who aren’t used to using meters as a measurement—but the overall look will bring back memories for anyone who trekked prior to 2012.
Apparently, on Kilimanjaro, everything old is new again!