I have just found on Youtube some footage of the fabled 1974 expedition by two Spanish guys who drove their motorbikes from Igualada in Spain to Kilimanjaro – and then drove up Kili too, with one of them making it to the summit.
I’m really chuffed to have discovered this, as this feat is one of those achievements that have taken on an almost mythical quality – with some people doubting that it ever happened. It did, after all, occur way back in the early seventies well before I started writing about the mountain – I was only 4 when it happened! And like many of these tales that occurred back then, there is little documentation or footage that it ever took place. (Another example of this is the Frenchman Daniel Valtee, who is said to have been 87 years old when he climbed Kili – which means that even today he would still hold the record as the oldest person to reach the top! Nothing, however, has ever been found to prove this and thus his record isn’t recognised.)
As for the motorbike ascent, I’m not sure I’d approve of people doing this today – I shudder at the ecological damage and the bad example they set! – but times were different then and you have to admire the skill of the drivers!
Anyway, the link is: Ascensión en moto al Kilimanjaro 1974
It lasts for only a couple of minutes but does give you an idea of just how difficult it must have been (but also how gloriously empty and beautiful the mountain was 40 years ago!)