An early Everest climber, George Mallory, long ago laid claim to the most obvious (and snarkiest) reason to climb a high mountain: “because it’s there.”
But why climb Kilimanjaro? Well, for one thing:
1.) It’s one of the “Seven Summits”
The name refers to the highest peak on each continent, and at 19,341’ Kilimanjaro ranks as not only the highest mountain in Africa, but as the highest free-standing mountain in the world! That’s a serious achievement, whether or not you’re a hardcore climber!
2.)…but you don’t need any technical skill to climb it
Realistically, Kilimanjaro is a very long, very high-altitude hike. Anyone who’s reasonably fit can reach the summit; kids as young as 7 have done it, and an octogenarian couple—aged 84 and 85—have also reached the top. You don’t need special training (or carabiners and ropes) to climb Kili, just the desire to reach the summit!
Photo: Flickr user: IamNotUnique
3.) It’s a serious challenge
We know, we just said almost anyone can do it. And they can…but it will be a serious challenge. Reaching Uhuru Peak is an achievement you can be proud of; if it were easy, it wouldn’t be such a special feeling.
4.) You’ll see things you can see nowhere else in the world
We’ve been focusing on the destination, but the journey up Kilimanjaro is unforgettable. From the black-and-white Colobus monkeys swinging through the rainforest canopy to the giant, alien-looking groundsel plants in the moorland, Kilimanjaro is teeming with amazing flora, fauna, and scenery. Much of it can be found nowhere else on earth!
Photo: Thomson Safaris guest, Tom Rohrer
5.) The views at the top are indescribable
Have you ever heard the phrase “I feel like I’m on top of the world?”
It’s so common that we think of it as a cliché, but once you reach the “Roof of Africa,” actually looking down on the rolling banks of clouds below, you’ll understand just how meaningful—and beautiful—those few words can be. Once you reach Uhuru Peak, see its sparkling glaciers and the craggy spikes of Mawenzi floating above a cloud sea, you’ll appreciate your accomplishment even more…
…and hopefully snap a few pictures!