Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Focus on Mt. Kilimanjaro

Sitting on top of a rock close to the highest camp on the Marangu route up Mt Kilimanjaro

Mt Kilimanjaro is the highest free standing mountain in the world and the highest mountain in Africa as well as the fourth highest of the Seven Summits. I had the pleasure of climbing Kili back in 2009 via the Marangu route; in a bit of a rush we were able to get up and down in only four days - four of the best days of my life! The mountain and surrounding areas are beautiful. As you ascend you're greeted with a wide range of environments from forest to desert. 

I've received a lot of comments about Kili from people who believe it's just a stroll in the park but It's definitely a bit more than that; there are the risks that altitude presents as well as the physical excursion  - I still think it's a great achievement for anyone and incredibly rewarding! Standing at the top of Africa at 6 am when the sun comes up was a once in a life time experience; the whole sky seemed to turn orange and red. Marangu is also the 'Coca-Cola' route of Kilimanjaro but I haven't had the chance to compare it to any of the others myself - hopefully in the future I will be able to. There are a wide range of routes to fit anyones desires. It's climbed by thousands per year from children to the elderly but it's still an achievement and the experience and enjoyment should still be the same.

Africa itself is an incredible continent full of amazing things to do and experience. I've had the chance to travel through various parts of Africa and loved it all. I'd highly recommend not only a trip to the summit of Kilimanjaro but also to the surrounding area of East Africa; Uganda is my favourite country i've visited - friendly people and beautiful scenery, people in the more popular countries of Kenya and Tanzania can hassle tourists or 'mzungu' a lot more I found.

Kilimanjaro is a must do and must see so please go and do it! I'll definitely be going back to do it again at some point. It was also the first of my seven summits and hopefully not the last! Good luck and enjoy the mountain if you get the chance!

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