Mt Kilimanjaro is not only the highest mountain in Africa but is the highest free standing mountain in the world that does not belong to a mountain range. It attracts tourists from all over the world. On climbing “Kili” many years back, and waiting the morning at the hotel to depart, it almost felt like being at Heathrow airport with so many international people waiting for the same thing. Mt Kilimanjaro (meaning shining mountain) rises to a height of 5895m and on clear days can be seen from over 320km away.
The mountain consists of three major volcanic centres: Kibo, Shira and Mawenzi. The park is a World Heritage Site and covers 756sq km of the mountain. Climbers will pass through 5 zones at different altitudes. 1) Cultivated lower slopes, 2) forest, 3)Moorland/ lower alpine , 4 ) Highland Desert/ Alpine and finally 5( Summit at the snow capped peaks, which is only ironically only 3 degrees south of the equator.
To climb Kilimanjaro is certainly a dream for many. There are several ways and routes to climb. It is not a strenuous climb for somebody with average fitness however for anybody the biggest challenge is adjusting to altitude levels so don’t be surprised when you hear your guide saying “poly poly”... slowly slowly is the best way to summit.