In the first of our 21 places to visit in your lifetime, we’re taking a closer look at the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. This magnificent, dormant volcano is located in north east Tanzania and sits alone on a large plateau and its peak certainly plays an important role in African history. Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa and is now the base of a National Park, designed to preserve this historic sight and, crowned with a snow cap which will never melt, the mountain offers an awe-inspiring view for onlookers and an unforgettable adventure for explorers. While the origin of the mountain’s name is uncertain, the Swahili combination of ‘Kilima’ and ‘Njaro’ make up the phrase ‘Mountain of Greatness’, and with a name that promising, you can be certain that you will be in awe when you view this majestic spectacle on the horizon. Here, we’re taking a closer look at the history of the mountain and why you should visit.
The First Explorers
It was in the 1500s when the Portuguese first took note of the mountain’s presence, however, it wasn’t until the 1860s when the first serious attempt to reach the summit took place. With local tribes present on and around the mountain, many of whom were at war with one another for many years, reaching the summit was a dangerous and difficult task.
Since the first explorers attempted to scale the face, a broad number of celebrities have also opted to climb the mountain as part of Comic Relief and other various charity events. Some of the celebrities include Alesha Dixon, Gary Barlow, Denise Van Outen, Cheryl Cole, and Ronan Keating. Could you be the next to join the list of successful climbers?
Interestingly, Kilimanjaro is a freestanding mountain, and scaling this particular mountain does not require a high level of technical skill. In fact, anyone with a moderate level of physical fitness is likely to be able to hike this mountain, as long as your body adapts well to altitude. The mountain takes approximately five to nine days to climb, but as a result of the moderate difficulty on this mountain, it does attract a circus of tourists looking for a unique break. In fact, the mountain attracts almost 50 times as many hikers as Everest, with elaborate tents being pitched each evening up the mountain as climbers appear in their hundreds to marvel at the breath-taking view when they reach the summit. With six well-trodden routes up the mountain and the opportunity to stay in a hut embedded with bunk beds on the Marangu Route that will allow you to share stories with up to 120 other hikers, it’s easy to see why Kilimanjaro is such a popular mountain to climb. View Kilimanjaro’s ice fields and watch the first rays of the sun illuminate the plains below – the perfect reward for the mountain climb.
If you are more of a wildlife-lover than a mountain climber then Tanzania has far more to offer than just the opportunity to scale the face of Africa’s tallest mountain. The snow-capped Kilimanjaro is something to marvel at from ground level too and with fascinating cultures to explore in this country, you are certain to discover an adventurous and welcoming atmosphere. Tanzania is home to the giants and is the ideal choice for a safari. With wildebeest, hippos, elephants, chimpanzees, giraffes and crocodiles making up just a few of the incredible creatures you can watch stampede across the plains from a distance, the wildlife lovers amongst you are certain to be in awe in Tanzania. The country is also home to magical, idyllic beaches where you can immerse yourself in tranquillity as you lay back on the powdery beaches and watch the pastel colours of the sunset. Meet red-cloaked Maasai warriors, or learn the traditional dance of the locals, and admire the beauty of Tanzanian culture with your once-in-a-lifetime trip to Tanzania and Mount Kilimanjaro.
If you’re thinking of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or taking a trip to Tanzania, the expert team here at Window To Travel can provide you with a bespoke holiday package to suit your requirements.
Get in touch today to find out more.