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By Jennifer Cole of Wild Frontiers
In the 27 odd years we’ve been guiding hikers to the highest point in Africa, thousands of our guests have described the life-changing adventure of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro as “one of the most rewarding yet physically and emotionally-challenging experiences” they’ve ever undertaken. Inspired by these passionate responses, we’ve put together the following Kili Top 5 on reasons, tips, and routes to get you to the top of the mountain.
1. The view from the top is mesmerizing.
2. Challenges yourself and pushes your limits, both physically and mentally.
3. Conquer the highest peak in Africa, one of the world’s Seven Summits.
4. Anyone who is reasonably fit can do it; it’s not technically a climb.
5. Mt. Kilimanjaro is a natural wonder: a snow-covered mountain set on the equator.
1. Train at high altitude with the boots you intend to climb in and a fully-loaded backpack. You’ll be walking six to eight hours a day, for five to six days consecutively, so good preparation is essential.
2. Go Pole, Pole, meaning “slowly, slowly.” The art is in acclimatizing.
3. Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is critical throughout your climb and especially on summit night.
4. Make friends on the mountain. They will motivate you to keep going when you feel like giving up.
5. Listen to your guide. They have done this countless times before and know the mountain inside and back, back to front.
1. Machame – Great for novice hikers, this beautiful route takes in the both the western and southern face of the mountain.
2. Rongai – This is a quiet route, making it less crowded and perfected for less-experienced climbers.
3. Marangu – Following the same path up and down, and overnighting in communal huts, this is considered an easier climb.
4. Umbwe – This is considered the most scenic route.
5. Lemosho – Remote and wild. For the first two days, you may well be the only climbers on the route.
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