Have you ever dream about being on a top of the world? Well, thanks to mountains, those rock-made, creations you can be! As you know Mt. Everest is the highest peak in the world, and K2 is the most demanding one to climb. Still, other peaks above 5000 meters don’t fall much behind, and one of the most beautiful is Mount Kilimanjaro, and it’s Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters).
It is the highest solo-standing mountain in the world, and it is actually a dormant volcano. Mount Kilimanjaro is actually a part of the national park that has been studied for centuries due to the appearance of shrinking glaciers and ice fields that come and go.
What is amazing about this mountain is that when it comes to its aesthetics and the beauty of the trek, it is unmatched. Unlike Mt. Everest, Mc. Kinley or K2 where the climbing route is almost the same throughout the whole adventure, with Kilimanjaro you come across 5 different environments on the road.
It has been one of the most climbed peaks above 5000 meters, and though technically less demanding than K2 or Mt. Everest physically it still carries certain requirements.
The number one and the most important must is to take it slow while climbing – or as the guides and porters would say, Polo, polo’! This is for one reason – the high altitude sickness that you can get no matter how well you are prepared, as you are climbing from 1000 base meters to 5895m in a matter of few days! Still, if you prepare well, and don’t’ rush you are sure to enjoy it, and those few thousand $ will be well invested!
Let’s take a look at the beauties and environments that you experience climbing Kilimanjaro.
All The Beauties Of Kilimanjaro Trek
On your way up, you will go through five totally different environments!
- You start off walking through a tropical rainforest, and it is likely that you will come across a lot of locals that are growing bananas, coffee plants, and all the other goodies that Tanzania has to offer. This is the part where you are most likely to see beautiful plants and diverse plans, ferns, moss-covered trees as well as a lot of monkies! All the treks begin here – Lemosho, Umbwe, Machame, Marangu, and Rongai.
This part is almost sure to remind you of the scenes from movies like Lion King or Tarzan, as most were inspired by the beautiful nature of national park Kilimanjaro. You even have one scene in the Lion King movie (while the Circle of Life’’ song goes) where animals are seen walking in front of the beautiful Uhuru Peak through the rainforest. Birds will be singing to you, and along with the porters motivating you to push forward. Surely, this part is the most colorful of the all five and the one when you should take an extra break just to enjoy everything that is served.
- After the only tropical rainforest in the national park of Kilimanjaro, the next environment you will be pushing through is the cloud forest. Though a lot quieter than in the rainforest, there is still a chance that you will come across monkeys or deer that have their habitats here. You are still going to feel like you are in the Tarzan set-up as beautiful moss-tress, and lianas accompany you on the way. This environment is present from 2200m to 4000m.
- Now, after the cloud forest, the things start getting pretty dry as you enter the so-called Alpine heat landscape. The plants and animals won’t be as common (apart from some lizards and giant groundsels), and it starts resembling the classic mountain trek.
- Once just under 5000m, you will enter the Alpine desert A lot of people have been comparing it to how the moon surface looks like, and it is true. A lot of craters, and rocks everywhere around. And just for your information, this is where the temperature significantly drops. Still, it offers an amazing view, and looking at the Uhuru Peak that will be standing right in front – it is maybe the most motivating part of the trek.
- As you come to the top, you will be going through the last and final phase called the Arctic. This is where everything becomes ice and snow, and though this phase is the hardest for a lot of people (due to the exhaustion, high altitude sickness, or simply technicalities), it is the most rewarding one as that is where you reach the renowned Uhuru Peak!
To sum it up, we think that it is wise to say that climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is a life-changing experience! After going through five different environments, and climbing over 5000m of altitude-difference, you are sure to go home with the feeling that nothing can stop you! And it is true. So go ahead, book your trip and be Tarzan for at least a couple of days!