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In The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Ernest Hemmingway described the mountains: “as wide as all the world, great, high, and unbelievably white in the sun, was the square top of Kilimanjaro”. It is one of the most impressive sights in Africa, visible from as far away as Tsavo National Park in Kenya. Just 80 km east of the eastern branch of the Rift Valley, it is Africa’s highest mountain, with snow-capped peaks rising from a relatively flat plain, the largest free-standing mountain worldwide, measuring 80 km by 40 km, and one of the Earth’s highest dormant volcanoes. At lower altitudes, the mountain is covered in lush rainforest, which gives way to scrub – there is no bamboo zone on Kilimanjaro – followed by alpine moorland until you get to the ice fields. Try to see it in the early morning before the clouds obscure the view. Despite its altitude, even inexperienced climbers can climb it, provided they are fit and allow themselves sufficient time to acclimatize to the elevation. Don’t be tempted by taking a short duration hike, you will be short-changing yourself in many respects – you won’t enjoy yourself so much and the chances of summiting are considerable shortened.Read more
About 22,000 climbers attempt to get to the top of Kilimanjaro each year. The altitude at Marangu Gate is 1829 m and at Kibo/Uhuru Peak 5895 m – that’s a long way up. However, it is not that easy, and estimates of the number who attempt the climb but to not make it to the top vary from 20% to 50%. The important things to remember are to come prepared and take it slowly . By taking Explore’s routes our success rate is 95%
For many people, getting up before dawn on the final day to watch the sun rise from the summit of Uhuru Peak is one of Africa’s most satisfying achievements.