Exploring something new is always a dream of every post-adolescent. Embarking on a long journey to tour the world on a bicycle, or crossing the Atlantic ocean on a kayak are considered to be some of the most beautiful and challenging feats to remember forever. How about hiking the tallest mountain in the whole of Africa?
Mount Kilimanjaro might be the perfect destination for those itching to dip their toes into the world of high altitude hiking. Although there indeed is no rocket science involved, be warned, it’s no walk in the park. A robust set of legs, an above average practice regime, and superior fitness are excellent attributes that will help you make it to the top. With that said, here are five reasons to start climbing Kilimanjaro:
- It’s easy to climb
Of all the seven tallest summits in the world, Kilimanjaro is the easiest to hike. And with good reason: You do not need any special mountaineering gear or any climbing experience. The oldest person to make it to the top was 83 years, while the youngest was six years old. That is not to say it’s an easy feat. Dangers abound, and that includes acute mountain sickness and around ten deaths occur each year.
- Good infrastructure
There is excellent infrastructure surrounding the mountain. The Kilimanjaro airport has direct flights from Europe. There are good quality hotels and resorts, rental places you can obtain mountaineering gear, good transport, and other outfitters. Along the hiking routes, there are comfortable sleeping huts, with porters to set up tents and cooks to provide hot meals.
- It’s a natural wonder
Kilimanjaro is a natural wonder. You don’t only marvel at the snow caps, a thick forest surrounded by savannah, but also the large animal species that inhabit the game reserves.
- Mark of personal accomplishment
People hike Mount Kilimanjaro to mark an extraordinary achievement and transition: A graduation, a retirement from employment, a marriage or even a divorce. The climb to the top is so significant that each year local newspapers are awash with accounts of locals who made it to the peak.
- For a worthy cause or charity
Some people climb Mount Kilimanjaro to draw attention to a charity event or other worthy causes: for instance, raising money to cure some disease or bring attention to a condition such as leukaemia affecting school children in a rural Tanzania village. People with disabilities have climbed the mountain not only to prove a point but also demonstrate that with enough courage, a disability should not be a limitation.
There are many other great activities you can do in Tanzania after hiking Mount Kilimanjaro. Will you just be contented after you reach the top? Why not grab the chance and tour the nearest game reserves for a vacation? Make your climb memorable by adding a safari package to view the big 5 in the wilderness of Serengeti or Lake Manyara. Then end your adventure with a relaxing visit to Zanzibar where you’ll encounter pristine beaches and azure waters of the Indian Ocean.
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