Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
Based in Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in all of Africa, and for that reason it is also one of the most popular climbing destinations. Standing at over 16,000ft from its base point, and over 19,000ft above sea level, climbing the mountain is no easy feat. Despite this, every year it is reported that approximately 40,000 people attempt to reach its summit, although it is suggested that less than half actually succeed in doing so. So why do so many people attempt the climb despite knowing the risks and potential for failure?
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a once in a lifetime experience, and the excursion is sure to be something that is never forgotten. During the ascent you’ll have the chance to witness views unlike any other. Visually, the mountain and surrounding areas are something to behold. As you climb you’ll be able to look across the savannah, home to an abundance of wildlife, while the land beneath your feet belongs to an entirely different ecosystem. It has been said that to climb the mountain is to walk through all four seasons in just a day, and as you climb you’ll discover why. As the temperature drops, the environment on the mountain changes, becoming more green and full of vegetation until eventually plant life recedes and snow begins to fall and cover the peak in a soft white blanket. The unique environment on Mount Kilimanjaro, with its varying altitude, temperature, and sun exposure, means it is home to certain unique life forms that can only be seen on a handful of the world’s other highest mountains. You’ll have the chance to see the delicate elephant trunk flower, the bizarre giant groundsel and many other interesting organisms that can be seen scarcely anywhere else on earth.
Beyond the amazing views and sights, ask anyone who has climbed the mountain, regardless of whether they made it to the top, and they will tell you about the immense sense of personal achievement gained from their attempt. Climbing the mountain tests both your physical and mental strength as you tackle increasing levels of exhaustion, plummeting temperatures, and altitude sickness. For these reasons any feelings of accomplishment are definitely warranted. It is no wonder that many choose to climb the mountain to mark a momentous occasion in their life, such as their graduation or retirement, as the task can certainly be seen to represent the overcoming of a struggle to achieve your dream. Beyond personal achievement, many also choose to climb the mountain to raise money for charity, taking on the challenge as a selfless act to support a great cause.
It is clear that there is no one single reason to climb Mount Kilimanjaro; everyone has their own motive for attempting it. One thing that can be said for certain, however, is that to climb the mountain is a life-changing experience that will provide you with stories you’ll be telling for the rest of your life.