In this series, we will cover ins and outs of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Other posts in this series:
- Why should I climb / trek Kilimanjaro? – This
- What is the best route to climb Mount Kilimanjaro
- Best time to climb / trek Mount Kilimanjaro and how to get there?
- How to pick a tour guide (questions to ask) – Upcoming
- How fit do you have to be climb Mount Kilimanjaro? – Upcoming
- What gear / equipment do I need for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro? – Upcoming
It was just another Friday morning in December and we were having coffee while finishing packing.
In reality, it wasn’t just another Friday morning – we were striking out on our first visit to Africa in a few hours for a full 3 weeks!
First time on this continent and we were about to scale a 19,341 ft mountain! With excitement / nervousness building up and with the song Toto-Africa on repeat in my mind, I couldn’t believe that after months of planning, the day was finally here.
Why should I climb / trek Mount Kilimanjaro?
Summiting Kilimanjaro or other serious summits is an unparalleled, life changing experience. It changes perspective to life and you realize what you are capable of – much more than you ever imagined.
Kilimanjaro is one of the seven summits – highest mountains on each continent. In that, it is unique because it doesn’t require technical mountaineering or climbing skills making it a perfect challenge for experienced hikers who want to take a step towards a serious summit.
That’s not to say that it is easy. Altitude sickness can be a killer even for experienced hikers. More on this on the section on how to prepare for and deal with Altitude sickness.
In addition to this, there are various other factors like breathtaking scenery and good infrastructure (hotels, guides, porters) that make Kilimanjaro a great hiking destination.
You can also start your trip with a wild East African safari in Serengeti before the hike and relax by the pristine beaches of Zanzibar.
This order of acclimating activities (safari), strenuous adventure (mountain summit), followed by relaxing/recuperating beach time (Zanzibar) is our preferred method of travel. Obviously, this itinerary is only possible for extended travel and not so easy when only escaping work for 7-10 days.
The safari allowed us to catch up on any jet lag, assimilate to “local-time” where everyone is chronically late, and adapt to the African menu. Once we had managed our expectations at/around sea level, this hike was much more approachable.
Of course, the exotic tropical beach getaway is always a highlight of any trip but it truly does feel more rewarding when your muscles are aching from an enormous personal accomplishment like summiting Africa’s tallest peak.
You will be hard-pressed to find a better destination for an adventurous soul!