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Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro

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Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa (5895 meters or 19,340 feet), standing tall and majestic in the country of Tanzania. The within a forest reserve above the foothills.  In 1987, this was declared a United Nations World Heritage Site and expanded in 2005 to include the entire tropical forest that surrounds the mountain. The lower slopes are still farmed by the indigenous Chagga People. Apart from a few stone bowls, you will find no traces of these early settlements on trek tours of Kilimanjaro. The mountain was a landmark for Arab and Chinese traders making their way around the continent.

In order to hike the Kilimanjaro you will need to hire a guide, as solo climbers are not allowed depending on the type of climb you have in mind and which of the six available routes you take. The easiest climb is via the Marangu Route, which takes five to six days to get you to the summit. The Machame Route takes about the same time but is more scenic and more rustic, as well as more strenuous. Hiking time varies from three to eight hours per day and you will need to be in good shape as these hikes will take every ounce of energy from your heart, mind, and soul.

But for the fainter of heart Mount Kilimanjaro National Park also has a rich variety of both small and big game. The park itself is a moorland zone, which means you’ll find lush vegetation with plenty of rainfall. Even at ground level, you’ll still be higher than sea level, so you might have some trouble breathing and adjusting to the altitude. Easy hikes are available on the moorland, and you might need to hire an armed park ranger to reach some areas because of the potential danger from leopards, buffalos, and other large animals. A trek will also allow you to see baboons, bush pigs, mongooses, elephants, and several other animals.

Mount Kilimanjaro has a little piece of magic called Lake Chala you will find it inside a high crater rim on the mountain. The lake covers an area of 1.6 square miles and is one of the park’s most famous sights because of its incredible waters, which range in colour from turquoise to emerald green depending on the time of the year. Lake Chala Safari Camp is the only accommodation available near the lake, where visitors can rest or choose to join a tour of the area.

Travellers can also join hiking tours that explore the lower levels of the mountain, around the Shira Plateau. Most hikes take three days and require you to sleep in mountain camps. Expect steep trails and lots of climbing over rocks and tree roots, as these are not well-maintained, smooth trails. Hikes will take you to see craters, giant ferns, wildlife, and plenty of scenic views.