Standing 5,895 meters above sea level, Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest peak of Africa and highest free-standing Mountain in the world. The mountain is an inactive volcano and is located in the northern Tanzania. It is a popular destination for hikers and mountaineers from all around the world.
As the mountain is located close to the equator, hence it does not experience weather extremes. Seasons are rather wet and dry. January, February, and September are best months to go hiking. The mountain has five major ecological zones for about 1,000m in altitude. You will find almost all types of ecosystems up on the track, like a rain forest, cultivated land, Arctic summit, etc.
The temperature keeps changing throughout the climb due to changing altitude and the time of day. The temperature of the mountain at its base is almost 27°C to 32°C when you start climbing. But due to high altitude, the mountain creates its own climate hence making it impossible to predict weather up there. Regardless what time of the year you choose to climb, keep prepared for cold and wet nights up at the peak.
The mountain climbing takes four to nine days to reach the peak, depending on what route you choose and how much time do you take to get used to the altitude. It is true that you don’t need special equipment to climb up the Kilimanjaro, but that doesn’t mean it is easy to climb. At many points on your trail, you will find it very steep and dangerous to walk. There is no dangerous animal up the mountain. Nothing can get you killed there, except lack of oxygen. Hence, acclimation of oxygen is important.
Most of the literature is about the difficulties one face during hiking but very less is described the beauty of the mountain. All along the trail, you will witness beautiful scenes. As the mountain has five trails, but among them, the Machame and Lemosho routes have more beauty than others.
Recently people have also started playing golf on the mountain. Since past few years, golf players hit golf shots off the summit into the crater.
Almost 25,000 people every year travel here to try to summit the mountain out of which two-third are successful.
The ice on the mountain tops has been melting for long. Since more than 80% have melted since 1912. According to the scientists, with this speed, the mountain will be completely ice-free after almost 20 years.
Precautions and Dangers
One thing you will need most during your journey is toilet paper. You will find long drop toilets at the camp but you’ll need your own toilet paper.
While counting on an adventure, we cannot ignore the risk factors associated with this travel. The highest peak of the continent, with five ecological zones, has variable temperature and other conditions up to its climbing track. As it is situated well above the latitude so almost 70% people report suffering from AMS (acute mountain sickness). As the human waste is not properly disposed of on the mountains, it may cause various health hazards.