The highest peak in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, has a dramatic rise from the Great Rift Valley to over 19,300 feet above sea level. It is a sacred peak to the local Maasai people, and you can easily guess why. After all, the melting snow from the top of this dormant volcano has been nurturing the land of the Maasai people for millions of years now.
The peak has also become a major destination for adventure-seekers and globe trotters over the last couple of years, mainly because of how accessible it is. Most climbers need nothing more than their hiking boots, appropriate clothing, and willpower to scale the summit. And if you have all three ready, here are a few facts to help you out.
Mount Kilimanjaro is safe to trek
It takes no mountaineering expert to scale Mount Kilimanjaro. In fact, it is said that anyone over the age of ten and below the age of seventy can climb the mountain.
However, there is always a tinge of risk in any kind of adventure tourism. Altitude sickness is the main issue people face with hiking the mountain, which is why tour operators make you fill a complete medical questionnaire beforehand. It is best to talk to a doctor before going on the trek if you have respiratory or heart conditions.
Book an experienced tour company
Your best bet is to hire an experienced company like kilivikings.com for organizing your Kilimanjaro tours. Most guides have all-inclusive packages that have other beautiful places to see, along with the trek. For a few more dollars, these tour companies might also offer you a safari through the stunning Serengeti. Besides, the knowledge of experienced local guides will help you at every step along the way.
The routes taken for Kilimanjaro treks
Though you don’t need to spend a year in the gym to get yourself ready for the trek, it helps if you stay in good shape. The distances and terrain involved make overnight stays necessary. Your chosen Kilimanjaro trekking company will provide catering and huts to you. The tours usually last anywhere between five to nine days based on the duration of the hike and the route you choose to go for.
Umbwe and Marangu routes aren’t for everyone
It is worth mentioning in this regard that the quickest ways to reach the summit, i.e., through Umbwe and Marangu, are also the steepest. These routes are so steep and short that they hardly give you much time to acclimatize to the altitude. It is only meant for the ones who are exceptionally fit, have hiked in such conditions before, and want to test their endurance and stamina. Other routes like Rongai, Machame, and Shira are better for the new hikers.
The adventure of climbing a mountain and the vistas that greet you from the summit are both enough reasons to go for the trek. So, pack your bags and get ready. You have a mountain to climb, after all!
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Am an experienced Kilimanjaro mountain guide and a safari organiser, I have been doing this work for over 15 year now.