Africas Tallest Mountain
It is unknown where the name “Kilimanjaro” comes from however it is believed to mean “Mountain of Light” or “Mountain of Greatness”; meanings that are quite possible when the vast scale and magnitude of the mountain if seen by the naked eye. Regardless however, it is an astonishing symbol of the compelling beauty of Africa – no picture or story will ever do it justice, you simply need to see it for yourself while on Africa travels to understand the true power of its iconic stance on the landscape.
Kilimanjaro stands proud at 5, 895m above sea-level. It is composed of three volcanic cones, the tallest of which is Kibo, the only one of the three volcanoes that is not dormant, where hikers can ascend to Uhuru Peak, or Gillman’s Peak, the highest point on the crater’s rim. It also has 2.2 square kilometres of glacial ice that is quickly melting due to global warming; it’s believed that the mountain might be completely ice free in 20 years’ time – dramatically affecting the crop irrigation, local drinking water and even hydroelectric power in the local area.
The Kilimanjaro National Park surrounds the mountain and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Covering 756 square kilometres, this is one of the only places on Earth that every ecological life from can be seen, including savannah, tropical jungle, to desert and montane forests, subalpine and alpine. The ascent to the summit has been described as a “virtual world tour, from the tropics to the Arctic”. Hikers can take one of five routes up the mountain, journeys that can take them through the lino, elephant and buffalo inhabited territory of the savannah and montane forest to the otherworldly mosses and lichen of the moorland and alpines zones.
Climbing Kilimanjaro is an incredible experience and a true accomplishment to achieve. With right amount of determination, many tourists and locals have made their way to the summit and flown their flags next to the submit post. While the climb doesn’t require hard core equipment, a good level of fitness is essential to ensure that you make it to the top and have an enjoyable way there. All journeys have to be taken with an experienced and professional guide, and several huts and campsites can be utilised to rest your weary bones after a long day of climbing.
An exhilarating experience unlike any other and a truly inspiring and empowering achievement, climbing Kilimanjaro is an adventure every tourist going on African travels should consider enjoying. While it takes preparation, courage and mental strength, you’ll have an unforgettable time and will accumulate unique and exciting stories to tell. See staggering views, enjoy each of the world’s ecosystems in just seven days and outdo yourself with this uplifting triumph.