Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Chris Johnson, for sharing the following guest post:
Shortwave Recordings from Kilimanjaro
by Chris Johnson
Last month, I took a trip of a lifetime to Tanzania Africa to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro: Africa’s highest point and the world’s highest free standing mountain. It is also known as the “Rooftop of Africa” its summit stands at 19,341 feet or 5895 meters.
With this high elevation I figured that I could pick up a multitude of shortwave signals that I would normally not receive at lower altitudes. So I packed my Sony ICF- SW7600G to capture recordings of various signals, some common, others not so common.
Each night I unpacked my radio and extended the reel-wire antenna and scanned the bands. I came across an assortment of stations that I normally do not hear back home in the USA, but some were quite familiar such as the BBC, Radio Romania, and DW which had Africa as their target. In some cases their broadcast was targeted for Asia.
Below is a map of our trek along the Lemosho route and the camps where we stayed are listed with the recordings and the elevation (in meters) of each camp. The higher we climbed, the signals received were sometimes stronger but the surrounding mountains also limited the reception of others. I did find that the bands were congested with signals from stations that spoke Arabic, Swahili and Chinese, not surprising considering my location. For the purpose of this blog I only included the English speaking stations except for a few.
Unfortunately, the critical weight in our day packs was closely monitored and we could carry only the essentials on our climb from Barafu to the summit so I could not record at the summit of Uhuru Peak. Additionally, our time up there was limited to 15 minutes due to the lack of oxygen at that altitude. Below are selected recordings at each of the camps on the Lemosho route. Enjoy.
Mkubwa Camp Elevation 2650 meters 8 January 2017
Shira Camp II Elevation 3850 meters 9 January 2017
Baranco Camp Elevation 3900 meters 10 January 2017
Karanga Camp Elevation 3995 meters 11 January 2017
Barafu Camp Elevation 4673 meters 12 January 2017
Chris: thank you so much for taking the time to write up this guest post and share your excellent recordings and photos. Amazing!
Post readers: I don’t know about you, but I’m inspired and ready to pack my bags and do some shortwave travel!