If you haven’t yet climbed the Kilimanjaro, then this is one massive opportunity you should grab whenever it comes around. Standing at 5,895m, this is the highest free standing mountain in the world, and the tallest mountain in Africa.
Climbing to the summit of the mountain, Uhuru Peak, gives you a one in a lifetime humbling and gratifying experience. From grand views and heroic porters to frozen water bottles and throbbing headaches, here are a few reasons why you need to climb Kilimanjaro.
Easy to Climb
Kilimanjaro is one of the 7 summits, and it’s actually the easiest to climb. You don’t need ropes or special mountaineering gear, which is a great point especially if you have not gone mountain climbing before, or if you are not the fittest person. This however doesn’t mean that you don’t have to be fit to climb to the top, or that the climb is totally risk-free. There are still rockslides and altitude issues just like in any other mountains.
A Pristine Mountain
Though the base of the mountain may be a bit spotted with trash, this mountain is commendably clean. High hygienic standards are maintained by the park rangers, with various policies employed to make sure that climbers do not leave trash on the mountain. There are no roads climbing the mountain and only seven trails that are used for climbing up the summit. This goes a long way in preserving the wild nature found here.
It’s a Natural Wonder
Being one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, the Kilimanjaro is a beauty to behold. It is covered with snow, yet it is set almost right on the equator. Climbing the mountain gives you the experience of moving from the equator to the North Pole in just 3 days! The base is very hot, while the summit is so cold that your water just freezes. All through the climb, you will get to experience the dramatic changes in vegetation and animal life day by day. You will also see the strange and unique life forms that Kilimanjaro plays host to.
It’s a Symbol of Freedom
The Kilimanjaro played a role in Africa’s ight for freedom. It belongs to Tanzania, and this was the first country in Africa to gain independence, which was in 1959. It was then that the soon-to-be first President Julius Nyerere said, “We, the people of Tanganyika, would like to light a candle and put it on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro which would shine beyond our borders giving hope where there was despair, love where there was hate, and dignity where before there was only humiliation.” This was before the country changed its name to Tanzania. The peak was then named Uhuru Peak, which is the Swahili word for “Freedom”.
About 40,000 people a year climb Kilimanjaro. People may climb for different reasons, but one feeling is for sure, personal accomplishment! People climb it to mark important transitions in their lives like graduations, marriage, retirement, divorce etc. You can even climb it just for fun, and get a story of your life!
Kilimanjaro is basically a walking mountain, so you will need to get some longer trails under your belt beforehand. This is because you will be hiking for 4-12 hours a day, for quite a number of days. Make sure you do a good preparation with your packing stuff, and keep in mind that there’s basically no showering for like 6 or 7 days! Still and experience, right?