Climbing Kilimanjaro – the ‘mountain of Greatness’
Climbing Kilimanjaro is a demanding, challenging feat. But despite the immense height, the expedition can be successfully climbed by any reasonably fit person. No technical skills are necessary, making Kilimanjaro the highest, most accessible, “walk-able” mountain on the planet.
With its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, Kilimanjaro is an inactive stratovolcano in north-eastern Tanzania and the highest mountain in Africa. It is considered the highest freestanding mountain as well as the 4th most prominent mountain in the world.
The mountain draws over 25,000 visitors annually. However, nearly 50% of all climbers fail to reach the summit. This is mainly due to lack of thorough preparation and adherence to climbing rules, tips and guidelines.
The single most important factor in determining the success of your climb is choosing a quality guide service. To succeed on the mountain, it is imperative that climbers are guided by an experienced outfitter, with proven competence, reliability and safety.
Although several hundred tour operators offer Kilimanjaro climbs, only a handful can be considered reputable. Many fail to meet and provide strict standard of services required for successful climbing such as: professional experienced local guides, hard working team-oriented support staff, quality waterproof four-season mountain tents, roomy dining tents with table and chairs, large portions of fresh healthy nutritious food and clean purified drinking water.
They also lack in crisis management and safety procedures, fair and ethical treatment of porters and more importantly adherence to environmentally responsible trekking guidelines. If you are planning to climb Kilimanjaro, then consider outfitter and tour operators that meet the mentioned principles and surpass them. Other important hints are advance booking, ensuring physical fitness, adequate packing and wise route choice.
Being the highest peak and most famous mountain in Africa, scaling the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro is a heavy challenge, more from the rigours of altitude than the actual difficulty of the hike itself. The climb, which takes on average six days, takes hikers through thick forests and alpine grasslands, desolate rock face and brilliant white glaciers.
If there is one thing that everybody remarks about Kili, is the amazing number of stars people can see at night while climbing it. Unaffected by the light pollution that blights the Western World, the sky at night on Kilimanjaro is truly one of the great – and unsung- attractions of climbing Africa’s highest mountain.
Views of Kenya and the Masaai Steppe, the Crater Highlands, and the Eastern Arc Mountain Range expand from the summit, and unlike other comparable peaks, you don’t need ropes or climbing equipment to make it to the top. As long as you pace yourself and take it easy at high altitudes, you have every reason to think you can reach the summit, and do it.
It is no doubt that climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highlight of most visitors’ experiences coming to Africa.