Mount Kilimanjaro — Ultimate Guide
Mount Kilimanjaro stands tall in the north of Tanzania near the border with Kenya. In fact, this is Africa’s tallest mountain. It is in every sense awe-inspiring with its snowcapped peak.
And so, it is the ambition of many a mountaineer to trek its steep sides to the very highest peak known as Uhuru Peak. But the journey which could take many days to the top is filled with challenges. Steep climbs, thinning air and change in landscape have seen a few would-be climbers defeated.
This, however, should not leave you in doubt as there are many who reach the top to marvel at its awe-inspiring beauty and sheer size.
You will not be alone when you make the climb as Kilimanjaro sees over 20,000 tourists and visitors aiming to reach the peak annually. You will also be in the company of guides, cooks, and porters to help you carry your luggage and to help make the climb a successful one.
The terrain changes with the rise in altitude. Form lush green rainforests where you can spot monkeys and other big game to desolate landscapes that would rival that of the moon. Make sure you not only bring the right equipment but the right attitude as well as this will go a long way to helping you reach Kilimanjaro’s 5895-meter peak.
There are seven routes that you can choose to trek up the mountain. The most common are Machame and Marangu but there are also the Lemosho, Rongai, Shira, Northern, and Umbwe routes.
One of the ways you can acclimatize for a successful climb is by heading off to Kilimanjaro national park. To get here you can take a flight to the Kilimanjaro international airport and then take a taxi to the town of Moshi near the park.
As you make the climb, and it gets dark, you will sleep in a tent so make sure you are already used to this. Many people have their first night out in a tent when making the climb. As a result, they can’t find a wink of sleep and get up tired which drastically affects their success of reaching the top.
As for the toilet facilities, you will find basic latrines at the campsites but that is about it. And taking a bath, well, you can kiss that goodbye until you are down the mountain.
The guides will prepare the food you need to keep your body energized for the trip. Hope you enjoy meat stews and rice.
Beware of altitude sickness. You can be quite healthy and fit and still get affected by it so ascend slowly and also go down gradually. Many people try to rush through and as they reach higher, they get altitude sickness, since oxygen is less as we go higher and higher. Also, if you are prone to altitude sickness or if you are afraid of heights or if you have any other illness, you should consult your doctor before you try mountain climbing, only if the doctor approves of your climb you should go for it.