Africa is known for many things: its stunning wildlife, a staggering variety of cultures, and jaw-dropping landscapes. One thing it’s not known for is mountains. There is one peak, however, which draws thousands of visitors each year, and it looms over the Tanzanian savanna like a slumbering giant. It’s a dormant volcano that towers nearly 6,000 meters above sea level. I’m referring, of course, to Mount Kilimanjaro.
Climbing Kilimanjaro is an epic adventure not to be taken lightly. It’s important to research the trek before you go and prepare accordingly. In case you need inspiration, here are some epic reasons to climb Kilimanjaro!
Summiting the tallest free-standing mountain in the world
Clocking in at 5,895 meters above sea level with nearly 5,000 meters of elevation gain, Kilimanjaro is a serious peak which has turned back many an intrepid adventurer. The climb takes at least 6 days, though many climbers require longer to properly acclimatize to the elevation.
In addition to being the tallest free-standing peak in the world, Kilimanjaro is the tallest peak in Africa, yet another reason to check it off your list!
A wide variety of routes to get to the top
There are seven main routes of varying difficulties to reach the summit. Perhaps the most popular and scenic is the Machame route. For a less crowded experience and the greatest diversity of terrain, try the Lemosho ascent, which starts off trekking through a lush rainforest. For those who don’t have much experience trekking, the Marangu route provides the easiest way to the top, as well as a comfortable rate of acclimatization.
A possibility of seeing wildlife en route
While not much wildlife can be found on the mountain itself, some paths offer opportunities to see fauna including leopards, elephants, and buffalo. The Lemosho route is perhaps the best option, which is why rangers accompany trekkers for the first day — just in case!
A chance to explore a number of stunning African ecosystems
Kilimanjaro has an incredibly diverse medley of ecosystems. Those include rainforest, moorland, alpine desert, and even ice caps on the summit. Diverse ecosystems mean diverse flora, and the range of plants you can see en route to the summit is astounding — from wildflowers and grassy fields to oddly shaped giant groundsels.
This amazing view from the summit
What better reason is there to climb a mountain than to gaze out from its summit? Climbing Kilimanjaro gives one a singular view out over an endless savanna or a fluffy blanket of clouds. Either way, the view from snow-capped Uhuru Peak is not one you’ll be likely to forget.
How about you? Have you ever had the chance to climb Kilimanjaro or dreamed of doing so? Have you climbed any other mountains? If so, share your experience and/or thoughts in the comments below!
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