Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro has always been a dream-come-true adventure for many people. Each year, it draws about 40,000 people from all over the world to trek its grounds. In fact, the record-breaking mountain has become increasingly popular that some people already call it “Every man’s Everest.” But why is this a very popular mountain? Here are 8 good reasons to climb Kilimanjaro:
1. One of the Seven Summits
Mount Kilimanjaro, dubbed as “Roof of Africa”, is one of the Seven Summits of the world. Standing at 20,000 feet, it is Africa’s highest peak and the world’s highest free-standing mountain. Kilimanjaro is also one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world. It features lush green rainforests, snow-capped peaks and a host of wild animals in their natural habitats.
Out of the Seven Summits, Kilimanjaro is considered the easiest to climb and the most undemanding of all seven. Trekkers don’t need technical skills, special training or mountaineering gears/equipment to reach the top. You don’t even need previous climbing experience!
Realistically, Kili is a very high-altitude, very long hike. But anyone who’s reasonably fit and able to acclimatize can reach the summit. In fact, according to the Guinness World Records, the youngest person to ever climb the summit was 6 years old and the oldest was 86.
Kilimanjaro also offers great route options with varying trekking grades. This is most helpful because you can match your ability with the route you take to reach the peak. These are the routes in trekking Mt. Kilimanjaro:
- Machame: “The most popular”
- Marangu: “The only one with hut accommodations”
- Lemosho: “The most scenic”
- Rongai: “The easiest”
- Shira: “The one with the highest starting point”
- Umbwe: “The shortest, steepest, hardest”
- Northern Circuit: “The newest and longest”
3. An Extraordinary journey
When thinking of the climb up the iconic Kilimanjaro mountain, it’s typical to dream about the glacier summit. But what many people don’t know is that the journey to the peak of Kilimanjaro is an out-of-this-world experience. Like walking from the scorching Equator to the North Pole in just a matter of days, Kilimanjaro provides scenic natural wonders and dramatic changes in vegetation.
In fact, in a span of a week, more or less, trekkers will be able to experience 5 climatic zones as well as 6 ecological zones. A lush green forest in the midst of a dry savannah? Check. A snow-covered mountain on the Equator? Check.
The 5 climatic zones in Kilimanjaro are as follows:
- Cultivation: Farmlands, small villages, coffee and fruit plantations
- Rainforest: Most wildlife can be found here
- Heather-Moorland: Shrubs and unique flora are everywhere
- Alpine Desert: Barren and unique landscapes featuring volcanic rocks in varied shapes and sizes, and also extreme temperatures
- Glacier Summit: An arctic zone
4. Unique plants and animals
Wildlife in Kilimanjaro is intense. As expected, more animals can be found down in the forest zone than anywhere else on the mountain. If you’re lucky, you’ll find wild animals such as colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, honey badgers, bushbabies, and even black rhinos.
On heath, moorland and terrains above, wildlife sightings can be rare. However, the usual animals seen around are mice species, elands, duikers, bushbucks, and high-altitude spiders. Buffalos, leopards, and giraffes sometimes wander around the slopes, too.
On the Shira Plateau, lions occasionally roam around the area, and on the northern side of the mountain particularly on the Rongai Route, you can find animals especially elephants amble up the slopes from Amboseli National Park, a Kenyan park which lies on the foot of the mountain on that side.
Kilimanjaro’s high altitudes have also created a habitat for exotic life forms. Some of these can be found only on some of the Seven Summits. These include the delicate elephant flower, the groundsel plants, and the beautifully bizarre Kilimanjaro tree.
5. Indescribable way to exercise
Staying fit and getting your muscles to move is a healthy way to live life. But what could be more satisfying than trekking up an iconic mountain which offers jaw-dropping views? With an amazing flora, intriguing fauna and splendid scenery, a trek to Kilimanjaro are sure to provide an experience you will never forget… An “exercise session” you would deem the best in your life.
6. Fantastic photo opportunities
It’s not a surprise how Kilimanjaro is among the favorites of many photographers and nature lovers today. From wildlife shots to a world-class avifauna to exciting adventures and experiences and of course the killer views from above, a photo in Mount Kilimanjaro will truly be remarkable. No filter needed. Just Mother Nature in all its glory.
Plus, the mountain is very well-maintained compared to other high peaks. At Kilimanjaro, you will see that the mountain is clean and despite its influx of visitors, the Park Authority has managed very well in maintaining its wilderness vibe.
7. International access
Adventurers from all over the world can easily fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (airport code: JRO) to get to this world-renowned mountain. The airport is located between the towns of Moshi and Arusha which are about 45 minutes drive away. From Moshi or Arusha, driving time to the entrance of Kilimanjaro National Park is another 45 minutes.
Another way to reach the park from the airport is to catch a charter plane. Flight duration is usually about 30 minutes, and there are flights available every day.
What’s great about international access to Mount Kilimanjaro is that travelers have ample options to reach it. Whether they’re flying into Dar es Salaam in the south of Tanzania, Nairobi in Kenya or even Johannesburg in South Africa, local flights from these airports to Kilimanjaro are readily available!
8. Personal achievement
Successfully reaching the peak of the world’s free-standing mountain is not just a tick off the bucket list. It is a good reason to feel smug for weeks. Not only were you able to release a good amount of endorphins, but you also get to stand on top of the world.
Sparkling glaciers floating above a sea of clouds, amazing sunrises and sunsets, and your name on a notebook kept in a wooden box on the peak… Truly an accomplishment that lives on forever.
You see, there are just too many reasons to climb Kilimanjaro. If you’re interested to learn more or even to start planning your adventure, don’t hesitate to visit this page.
Check out our Mt. Kilimanjaro tours:
- 7 Days 6 Nights Roof of Africa Trekking (Marangu Route)
- 7 Days 6 Nights Roof of Africa Trekking (Rongai Route)
- 8 Days 7 Nights Roof of Africa Trekking (Machame Route)