Tuesday 19th, February, 2019
Mount Kilimanjaro one of the World’s most accessible high summits
Kilimanjaro, by any name, is a metaphor for the compelling beauty of East Africa. When you see it, you understand why. Not only is this the highest peak on the African continent; it is also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, rising in breathtaking isolation from the surrounding savannah elevation around 900 meters to an imperious 5,895 meters MASL (19,336 feet).
Kilimanjaro is one of the World’s most accessible high summits, a beacon for visitors from around the World. Most climbers reach the crater rim with little more than a walking stick, proper clothing and determination. And those who reach Uhuru Point or Gilman’s Point on the lip of the crater will have earned their climbing certificates. And their memories. But there is so much more to Kilimanjaro than her summit. The ascent of the slopes is virtual climatic World tour, from the tropics to the Arctic. Even before you cross the national park boundary (at about 2700m), the cultivated foot slopes give way to lush montane forest, inhabited by elusive elephant, leopard, buffalo, the endangered abbot’s duiker, and other small antelope and primates. Higher still lies the moorland zone, where a cover of a giant heather is studded with other worldly giant lobelias.
Above 4,000m, a surreal alpine desert supports little life other than a few hardly mosses and lichen. Then finally, the last vestigial vegetation gives way to a winter wonderland of ice and snow and the magnificent beauty of the roof of the continent.
LOCATION: It’s located on the Northern Tanzania, near the town of Moshi.
SIZE: Its covers the area over 1500 sq km (557 sq. miles)
ACTIVITIES: Six usual trekking routes to the summit and other more-demanding mountaineering routes. Day or overnight hikes on the Shira plateau. Nature trails on the lower reaches. Visit the beautiful Chala Crater Lake on the mountain’s southern eastern slopes.
Best time to visit: Clearest and warmest conditions from December-February, but also dry (and colder) from July-September.
NOTE: Climb slowly to increase your acclimatization time and maximize your chance of reaching the summit. To avoid altitude sickness, allow a minimum of five nights, preferably even more for the climb. Take your time and enjoy the beauty of the mountain.