“It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” ― Sir Edmund Hillary.
Way out in Africa sits a mountain, the tallest one in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. Mount Kilimanjaro is located in northeast Tanzania. It is about 19,342 ft above sea level and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. It is composed of three extinct volcanoes – Mawenzi, Shiba and Kibo – with the highest peak, Kibo dormant.
Sounds intimidating, huh? Actually, it is not the hardest mountain to hike. Out of the seven summits, it is the easiest to climb. No special mountaineering gear or ropes are necessary to climb it. You don’t even need to have any mountain climbing experience. According to Business Insider, a 6-year-old was the youngest person to climb the summit while the oldest was 83 years old. See, not difficult at all!
Six routes will take you to the summit which are Mweka, Umbwe, Shira, Rongai, Machame, and the Marangu route which is the easiest and therefore the most popular. The climb can take as little as four nights or as much as 6 nights. I guess it depends on the pace taken. For me, we would need to double that amount. The turtles might actually laugh while they pass me.
The best part of the hike is passing through five different ecosystems which are:
• Alpine desert
The Cultivation zone ranges in elevation from 2,600 ft to 6,000 ft. It is comprised of many rivers, farmland, and villages. And guess what? For us coffee lovers, here’s where Africa’s best coffee comes from. Cool huh?
The Rainforest zone ranges in elevation from 6,000 to a bit over 9,000 ft. There is a rich diversity of flora and fauna. The forest is very dense. But, the colors are merely astounding and vibrant. Perfect place for snapshots.
The Heather-Moorland zone ranges in elevation from 9,000 ft to around 13,000 ft. The temperature is quite unpredictable. During the day we can experience temperatures of 100◦F (40◦), and during the night it can go down to 32◦F (0◦C) or even lower! And, not to mention we might run into gusty winds, rocky trails, less rain, and giant heathers and wild grasses. But still, if an 83-year-old was able to climb it, anyone can. Yet at this point, the views are breathtaking.
The Desert zone elevation ranges from 13,000 ft up to 16,000 ft. Rain is scarce, and barely any plants survive here. However, we will see many volcanic rocks. From here we can look at the glaciers clinging to the Kibo cone.
At last, the Arctic zone is in sight. The Arctic zone elevation begins at around 16,000 ft. Just a small push will get us to accomplish our goal. No giving up now. If you have the will, you have the power.
Interested? Are you bold enough to take the Kili challenge? For more information or booking, check it out here.