If you are thinking of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in 2016, now is the perfect time to book your trip. Africa’s highest mountain is now more accessible than ever before, and there are some fantastic tours available for singles, couples, families and charity groups, but not all companies are the same, and so it is advisable to do your research (Henry Stedman’s Guidebook is a great place to start), before booking your expedition.
If Kilimanjaro has been on your bucket list for years, here are 16 reasons why you should tick it off in 2016:
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, who offer direct connections from Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro, are running their annual sale. There are some flight bargains to be had between now and mid-January.
- Kilimanjaro is not a technical climb, you do not need any ropes, crampons or climbing experience. If you are physically fit and can walk for at least 6 hours per day (uphill) you have a good chance.
- There are currently 7 routes on Kilimanjaro, but most people choose the Marangu or the Machame Route. The Lemosho Route, the Rongai Route and the Umbwe Route are much less crowded (for now) – so make the most of it!
- Climbing Kilimanjaro is like walking from the equator to the North Pole in just 6 – 8 days. You will pass through five different eco-systems – and witness the most beautiful scenery on planet earth.
- Climate change is seriously affecting the glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro. We climbed in 2012 and again in September this year, and the difference in the glaciers was shocking. Scientists predict that they will be gone for good in less than 20 years.
- If you want to climb Kilimanjaro for a reason other than your own personal challenge, why not raise funds for your local charity? That way, you get to climb Africa’s highest mountain, and those less fortunate benefit from your expedition.
- Approximately 50,000 people attempt Kilimanjaro each year – just imagine the stories you will have to tell your grandchildren if you are one of them in 2016.
- If you book with a KPAP registered climbing company, your expedition will benefit the local community and give the Mountain Guides and Porters the support they need to provide for their families.
- Kilimanjaro is a great place to meet new people in an informal and friendly atmosphere. None of you will shower for a week, so you’re all in the same boat.
- If you want to get fit in 2016, training for Kilimanjaro is a great place to start!
- Kilimanjaro is a photographers dream. The landscape changes every day, and the photo opportunities are endless.
- Kilimanjaro is affordable, but not cheap. Be aware of climbing companies offering cheap climbs, as if your deal looks too good to be true, someone is going to suffer, and that person is likely to be your porters. Make a difference, and book with a KPAP registered company.
- During your Kilimanjaro tour, you will have the opportunity to camp mountainside under the stars at 4,800metres above sea level, and try new food everyday – where else can you do that?
- Kilimanjaro is perfectly located next to the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti Plains, and it is just a short hop from Zanzibar – so you can combine your expedition with a safari and a beach break.
- If you climb under a Full Moon or Lunar Eclipse, the stars at night will take your breath away.
- Finally, there is no way to describe the feelings one feels when standing at Uhuru Peak – 5.895m above sea level. As the sun begins to rise over Africa, you will be one of just a few who can say “I did it!” and that is worth every step – believe me.