Tanzania Mount Kilimanjaro
(Tanzania, TZ, East Africa)
For enthusiastic hikers, reaching the peak of Africa's highest mountain has to be the trip of a lifetime. At 5,895 metres / 19,341 feet, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest 'walkable' mountain in the world. On the way to the top, hikers go through no fewer than five different climatic zones and Kilimanjaro sports a year-round snowcapped peak.
The most popular route to the top is the Marangu Route, which takes between five and eight days. The longest and most remote way to the summit is the Lemosho Route and this trek offers great views of big game as an added bonus.
In total there are in excess of ten different routes beginning on the mountain's lower slopes, although only three of these actually stretch all of the way to the top. Apart from the Marangu and Lemosho treks, others include the Machame, Rongai, Shira and Umbwe routes.
As you rise to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro you will pass by a variety of different landscapes, such as areas of verdant rainforest, Alpine scenery and rocky stretches, devoid of any vegetation.
At the very top are three individual volcanic cones, named Kibo, Shira and Mawenzi.
Each year, literally hundreds of people trek up Mount Kilimanjaro since there is no rock climbing involved. However, this is no small undertaking and it is important to prepare yourself for the arduous trek and allow time to properly acclimatise to the altitude. Low temperatures and strong winds can also be expected, particularly as you approach the summit.
Fees are payable upon entry to the park, with discounts available for children. Camping fees are payable per night and huts (bunkhouses) are also to hand. Additional charges are necessary for guides and porters, both of whom are compulsory.
Many charity climbs have taken place over the years, with one of the most significant being the 2009 Comic Relief trek to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. Raising more than £3 million, the celebrity participants were Gary Barlow, Cheryl Cole, Fearne Cotton, Alesha Dixon, Ronan Keating, Chris Moyles, Ben Shephard, Kimberley Walsh and Denise Van Outen.