The sensation you’ll experience after ais one that cannot be replicated by many other experiences on Earth. As you look down at the African scenery that surrounds you, you get a feeling that you’re a standing at the top of the world, and at 5895 metres above sea level, you nearly are. Kilimanjaro may not be one of the highest peaks in the world, but don’t let this diminish the task at hand – its highest point, Uhuru Peak, is considerably taller than at 5,895 metres. And depending on which route you take, it can take up to two weeks to reach the summit.
There are three different volcanoes that make up Kilimanjaro – the first two, Shira and Mawenzi, are often passed through on a hike to the summit, which lies at the top of the Kibo volcano. The first successful Kilimanjaro climb Kibo’s summit took place in 1889 by German geology professor Hans Meyer and Austrian Mountaineer Ludwig Purschellar. It was on this climb where they learned that Kibo was, in fact, a crater. Though no major eruption has occurred in written history, the most recent activity was just 200 years ago and even today you can smell the sulphur seeping out as you trek around Reusch Crater. In 1889, it took Meyer and Purschellar many weeks to reach the summit, but today, a Kilimanjaro climb can be achieved in five to eleven days, depending on the route taken and the number of people on the expedition. There are eight different routes up to the summit, and each one varies in difficulty.
Each day of the trek starts at around 06:00 and is followed by eight to nine hours of hiking. Many breaks are taken during the walk, to relax or simply take in the beautiful scenery. A longer break is taken in the middle of the day for everyone to eat lunch. Towards the end of the journey, the excitement will mount as you near the summit. That feeling of standing on top of the world will carry you through any exhaustion from the previous week of rigorous hiking. The starting cost for a Kilimanjaro climb is around £349, though you can also climb Africa’s tallest peak for charity. You can attract a sponsor that will support the charity of your choice. Simply by saying you are climbing Kilimanjaro, there will be people and companies that will support you and the charity you are doing the climb for. Kilimanjaro Challenge has taken over 1,000 climbers to the summit, raising over £3 million for all kinds of charities. For many, a Kilimanjaro climb is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The experiences hiking the mountain and the views from the top are memories you will never forget. If you have the opportunity, take it, and through the planning will be the thorough and long-term, and the climbing challenging, all of it will be worthwhile once you reach the top.