MOUNT KILIMANJARO CLIMBING
Towering nearly 6,000 meters (19,700 feet) above the surrounding rainforests and savanna, Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa and the fourth most prominent mountain on Earth. Kilimanjaro is 19,341 ft high and thus the highest mountain in the continent of Africa. The top of the mountain is covered with snow and ice. This is also the only place where ice and snow are found in Africa.
Known as Uruhu to the locals, which means “freedom” in Swahili, Kilimanjaro is composed of three volcanic cones – Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira – and rises high above the rest of the Eastern Rift Mountains near Tanzania’s border with Kenya. Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing will take you through five different landscapes. The climb starts with the tropical rainforest where you can see a variety of tropical birds and monkeys, including the black and white colobus monkey. Then you walk through a savanna landscape, followed by ‘alpine moorland’, a so-called moon landscape of sand, stone with some cacti, lobelias and proteas here and there. Then follows a desert landscape, followed by thick ice walls and plains with snow.
The dormant stratovolcano is widely considered to be the easiest of the world’s Seven Summits to climb, requiring no technical abilities on the easiest routes. As a result, it is the most frequently climbed peak in Africa, with roughly 30,000 hikers and climbers heading to its summit each year. Despite its mark as the easiest of the Seven Summits, Kilimanjaro boasts plenty of challenges, with the chief among them being the altitude. With an elevation differential of 5,885 meters (19,308 feet) from base to summit, acclimatization is key. The vast majority of the roughly 10,500 people who do not make it to the top each year fail to do so because of altitude sickness.
Being in excellent physical condition before heading out on the climb helps ensure a fun and successful ascent, which culminates with a sublime sunrise over the eastern savannah. Being in shape, especially in terms of cardiovascular strength, also helps with acclimatization. Picking an appropriate route further helps ensure success. Overall, six major routes lead to the summit of Kilimanjaro: Lemosho, Machame, Marangu, the Northern Circuit, Rongai and Umbwe.
Of these, the Marangu route is the shortest and one of the easiest, making it the most commonly used. However, the route is quite steep and does not allow for the same acclimatization as the other routes do. The Machame route is considered the easiest, though it takes a longer trail to the summit and is a bit more expensive than the Marangu route.
Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing requires a pre-dawn start and a long, steep ascent alongside the mountain’s summit glacier to reach the top by mid-morning. With proper preparation and route selection, climbers can experience the breathtaking sunrise over the eastern savannah on this remarkable adventure.
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