Planning to hike Mt Kilimanjaro? One thing is guaranteed. You are going to have one of the most rewarding treks that you will ever embark upon. Hiking Kilimanjaro will be an experience the memories of which you will carry with you for the rest of your life. The trek is placed right up there with some of the highest peaks and the best trekking routes in the world. It is considered at par with the treks to Everest Base camp and the Annapurna.
Mount Kilimanjaro (5,892 m) is a mighty mountain and a worthy test for an enthusiastic trekker. The Mount Kilimanjaro hike is well suited to all kinds of adventure junkies, whether they be experienced trekkers or novices in the field. Everyone will find something or the other to keep them engaged during the entire trek. Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in the continent of Africa and thus, the trek represents an obvious challenge for people who want to experience a dramatic climbing experience. Its three peaks are separate volcanic cones called Shira, Kibo and Mawensi, with the icy Kibo reaching the furthest into the sky. That combined with the thrill of climbing a dormant volcano makes it an experience like no other.
Kilimanjaro lies 205 miles south of the equator and stands on Tanzania’s northern border with Kenya. It supports 5 major eco-zones: rainforest, heath, moorland, alpine desert and glaciers. While you hike Kilimanjaro, what you will not be expecting is the wide variety of flora and fauna that the region has been blessed with. You can gain a rare experience of the African wild while on the trek. Those that climb Kilimanjaro above the tree-line (at around 2,700 metres) will trek through the mountain’s National Park zone, chosen by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, with the lower region designated a game reserve.
With the exception of the summit zone, wildlife is potentially encountered throughout the lower parts of the climb while the Arusha National Park is situated nearby. While here, you can expect to sight many of birds and animals like giraffes, buffaloes, zebras, klipspringers and dik dik, which are a species of tiny antelope. You may see elephants, buffalo, and eland on the northern slopes; black & white colobus monkeys, Sykes monkeys, and tropical boubou in the forest belt; and birds such as sun birds, augur buzzard, mountain hawk eagle, lammergeier and white-naped ravens.
Kilimanjaro lies within the 756-square-kilometer Kilimanjaro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is one of the few places on earth that encompasses every ecological life zone including tropical jungle, savannah, and desert to Montane forests, subalpine plants, and the alpine zone above timberline. Climbing Kilimanjaro is easy and requires no technical climbing or mountaineering experience.
Reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro will be one of the most fulfilling and satisfying experiences that you will ever have in your entire lifetime. Just one look at the amazing view from the top will make the entire effort worth it!
Paul is a seasoned trekker who has conquered the summit of Kilimanjaro many times. In order to help others achieve the feat, he runs an organization called Private Kilimanjaro that organizes custom made treks to climb Kilimanjaro through many scenic routes.