Kilimanjaro! Few names have such a powerful resonance! It echoes like a spell, evoking awesome images on par with Xanadu, Timbuktu or Machu Picchu! Africa’s tallest mountain and the world’s highest free-standing peak stands 5,895m (19,350 ft) high. It is rarely given a second glance by mountaineers, but for ordinary people it represents a considerable challenge and has rightly been called “the common man’s Everest”. Rising as it does, straight up from the plains of Tanzania, Kilimanjaro provides climbers with all the vegetation zones in a compact area – starting with tropical forest complete with rich flora and fauna near its base, followed by heath and moorland which gives way at altitude to a highland lava desert and finally the summit zone - a vast moonscape of rock, ice and scree. Climbing Kilimanjaro is no walk in the park and presents considerable physical challenges – the oxygen level at the summit is only 50% of that at sea level, so altitude sickness is an ever present threat. The temperature at the base is 35 deg C while at the summit it can reach minus 20 deg C in a stiff wind. The summit is still ice-capped with five glaciers carrying precipitated snow down its flanks.
Our trip has been timed in a way that once you finish your climb, you can rest for couple of days and then run the famous Kilimanjaro Marathon that is scheduled for the 4th of March 2018.