One-Of-A-Kind, All-in-One Trek
One of the most striking features of trekking up Kilimanjaro is the sheer diversity of flora and fauna, clearly distinguished into ecological zones based on the altitude and conditions of the area. Kilimanjaro is one of the only treks that will take you through terrains resembling equatorial climates as well as polar conditions. Beginning with dusty savannahs at the based, the trek meanders into dense rainforests by the second day. The next altitude hike opens into sub-alpine deserts and relatively scanty vegetation, only to be replaced by the glacial and alpine terrain near the summit, finally challenging the climber to traverse over Scree – loose gravel and pebble like ground. Many rightly say that the trek is like a walk from the Equator to the North Pole – all in one single week!
The reward exceeds the challenge
One of the friendliest features of this trek is the fact that you do not require any prior mountain climbing training to make it to the summit. While one must not underestimate the challenge of the entire climb, what this means is that anybody determined to push themselves physically and mentally can make this historic climb. In fact, the trek gets quite challenging during the final leg where the ground is laden with Scree, making every step forward more cumbersome over time. Add to this the impact of thinning oxygen and fatigue building up over time, making the climb a bit more treacherous physically. But the reward is immensely satisfying when you stand above the clouds and watch the sun warm the cradle of human civilisation, leave alone the countless sights you will come across along the way!
Be part of a special club
Speaking about successful climbers, more than 35,000 people attempt the historic climb, but only two-thirds of the climbers make it to the summit. Not only this, making the summit means you get to be part of an age-old tradition – climbers the make the summit write their experiences of the journey in a notebook left inside a wooden box at the Uhuru Peak. Get to the top, and record your tales in a book shared by climbers for decades! The diversity of people that make their way to the Uhuru Peak is stunning, and makes for a humbling climb, with the Uhuru Peak’s special tradition being the icing on the cake!
Visual wonders unlike ever before
The entire climb is filled with awe-inspiring visuals as well as some strange attractions. Once above the forest, the snowy peak will appear in great clarity, with a setting sun right behind it. Then you approach the Barranco Valley – the home of the strange looking alien-like groundsel plants that are specific to that area, black and white clubs monkeys, along with cascading waterfalls and a sparkling glacier overhead. As you ascend higher, the Karanga camp will offer you the opportunity of a lifetime – touching marshmallow clouds while standing above them, as you marvel at Meru – Kilimanjaro’s little sister in the distance. Finally, the peak offers views of sparkling glaciers and Mawenzi’s spikes breaking through the cloud cover. Such a variety of visuals is extremely rare within the same trek – something most climbers would agree with.
Catch the Vanishing Act
While recorded history has always found Kilimanjaro’s peak covered with a glacier, that might not be the case for very long. With the glacial ice atop Kilimanjaro demising at a rate of 17 feet every year, it could well be gone very soon! It is no surprise that 26% of the ice present in 2000 had vanished by 2007. So, make that trip as soon as possible to find that glorious ice cover atop the roof of Africa!