Mt Kilimanjaro is “The Roof of Africa;” it is Africa’s highest mountain and the tallest free-standing mountain in the World at an astonishing 5895 meters (19,340 feet). Almost 5 km above the African Savannah, the summit of the snow-capped, dormant volcano, is still reachable without technical climbing. A challenge nonetheless, the opportunity of a lifetime lies at Uruhu Peak. The unforgettable trek passes through cloud forest, alpine moorland, high desert, and a barren summit zone before meeting the sunrise far above the clouds at Africa’s highest point. As one of the World’s coveted seven summits this journey a vigorous, exciting, and a challenge in defiance of the extreme altitude.
Kilimanjaro consists of 3 summits, Kibo (5896m), Mawenzi (5149m) and Shira (3962m). Shira, the oldest, was born as molten lava burst through the earth’s surface around 750,000 years ago pushing up part of the continent’s crust in the process; the other volcanoes formed later adding to the massif’s size. Shira and Mawenzi are classified as extinct, however Kibo still emits a distinct sulphurous smell. Lying almost on the equator, the mountain is high enough to have glaciers on its summit. The air pressure is less than half that at sea level and the oxygen content of the air correspondingly reduced making breathing very difficult and necessitating slow and careful acclimatization. Much of the mountain’s lower slopes are covered with thick rainforest and exotic vegetation unique to Kilimanjaro. All the routes travel amid stunning scenery and climb through 5 distinct vegetation zones, tropical to glacial – one of the few places on the planet where this is possible.
Routes: Machame, Marangu, and Lemosho
There are many different routes all leading to Uruhu Peak, the summit of Kilimanjaro. Each route varies in difficulty, level of comfort, and scenery. The three most common routes are Machame, Marangu, and Lemosho, are detailed in the following pages. On each route porters carry all of your equipment and supplies, and a cook prepares all of your meals. The only items you will be required to carry are personal items required each day such as your camera, drinking water, and extra layers of clothing.
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