Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro – A Lofty Goal With Special Rewards

byAlma Abell

When you hear the name Kilimanjaro, you automatically envision the Africa of another time. The name itself is often translated to mean “Mountain of Light” or “Mountain of Caravans.” The Wachagga people call the summit “Kipoo” – a snow-covered peak that serves as a metaphor for the beauty that is East Africa.Rising through the Solitude

Not only is Mount Kilimanjaro the highest summit on the continent of Africa, it also has the distinction of being the tallest free-standing mountain on the planet. Rising through the solitude and clouds from the surrounding scrub, the mountain stands at just over 19,300 feet tall or just over 5,900 meters in height.

An Accessible Summit

Amazingly, Kilimanjaro is also one of the most accessible summits to climb, thereby making a climb a lofty yet realizable goal. Most of the climbers can reach the mountain’s crater rim with the aid of a walking stick bolstered by solid determination. If you manage to reach the actual summit of Uhuru Point, you, no doubt, will earn your climbing stripes.

Seeing the Various Landscapes

However, there is more to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro than reaching the summit. When you choose to take on this trek, you can also view various terrains and scenery. As you start out on your climb, you will be privy to lush green woods – forests that are inhabited by leopards, buffalos, elephants, primates and small antelopes.

By the time you ascend to the moorland zone, you cannot help but notice the cover of heather, all of which is accented by large lobelias. Once you reach 5,000m, you will find you have come upon an alpine desert – a landscape that supports not much more than lichen or moss. The last of the vegetation breaks way to an elevation that is home to a wonderland of white or glistening snow and ice.

A Refined Way to Climb

Therefore, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a refined activity when you compare it with other kinds of montane excursions. You won’t have to hoist yourself up ropes in order to take this climbing adventure. The trek may be a challenge, but it will involve hiking more often than it does rope and rock climbing.

The Peaceful and Memorable Lemosho Route

One of the routes that is often taken on a Kilimanjaro climb is the Lemosho Route. This is a western approach up the massive mountain, which begins at a higher altitude. It is also a longer route. Therefore, if you want to have the chance to become more acclimatized to the climb, this is the preferred path to take.

Machame Route

You may also consider the scenic Machame route, which rises in elevation much more rapidly. Defined by rainforest terrain and rich and lush green vegetation, this route generally takes less time to travel. Whichever route you take, you are definitely in for an adventure.