The major draw on Kilimanjaro trekking is attempting the climb to the roof of Africa – Kilimanjaro (5896 m) above sea level and the world’s highest, yet the easiest accessible free Standing Mountain. Standing only at 3 degrees South of the Equator, its snow peaked dome raised major controversial dialogs amongst scholars of the royal geographical society in London (1846-59) thus flooding Kilimanjaro with first ascent attempt explores, missionaries and later opportunistic colonialist.
Besides Kili’s unique flora and fauna, it’s got 3 distinct outstanding features, the volcanic Centrex of the extinct Shira plateu – 13,700ft, the dormant craggy Mawenzi -16,813ft and the dome itself, Kibo – 19,340ft. Most certain climbing this world heritage site, mountain will be a memory to be treasured for life. Children as young as 9 years old and 80+ years elders have climbed to the rooftop of Africa.
No special skills, equipment, or experience is required for the 5,6,7 or 8 day’s long expedition, exceptionally for those alpinist who might want to practice there climbing techniques on the mountains glacier walls and the Western breach, can apply crampons and ropes ETC. Generally any reasonably fit person can conquer what appears like a huge gigantic massif from its 40 Km base.
One does not necessarily have to be a mountaineer to enjoy a close up glimpse of the beautiful views of Kilimanjaro and its environs. A 4×4 Jeep will ascend you as high as 12,000ft, just were the road narrows in, to Shira plateau – an extinct volcano which 2 million years ago towered as high as 20,000ft….higher than Kibo!.
A 3 hrs drive towards the western Kilimanjaro, crossing villages of Machame, Masama, Siha, Kibong’oto and Sanya juu, plains will reward you with a landscape full of fresh countryside oxygen and the scent of coffee, bananas plantations, corn and wheat farms, there are also cattle ranches in west Kilimanjaro.
The climate at this altitude is conducive to gentle walks through flowering vegetation’s and Kilimanjaro’s glacier water falls that form from a multitude of tinny streams, additionally making this world a bird paradise. While in the lower slopes of the mounts, you’ll be crossing in between coffee and banana plantations, passion fruit lines hanging above, shaded by avocado trees.
In the rain forest encircling the mountain you will find yourself in a world of enchantment and mystery. Birds, monkey’s, on rare occasions cape buffalo (syncerus caffer) and elephant’s (loxodonta africana), antelope’s like the dik dik, bushbuck, and duiker, mongoose, wart hogs,sunbirds, mountain rats, cameleon and Tree hyraxes (procavia capensis), serval cats (felis serval) range through the forests and even predators such as hyenas. Lions and Leopards are hardly seen though heard of at nights, on certain occasions animals such as the zebra is found wondering at the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro.