Best and Memorable Safaris
The world’s tallest freestanding peak has more to offer than extreme hiking trails. Shorter trails and overnight hikes offer less ambitious alternatives. The mountain with its three volcanic cones unites climatic opposites. The lower slopes of Kilimanjaro are vegetated by montane forest that eventually gives way to the moorland zone with its giant lobelias. As the ascent continues the vegetation thins into an alpine desert and the peaks are covered in thick ice and snow.
Kilimanjaro’s fauna is found mainly in the montane forest of the lower reaches. Here small antelope such as Abbot’s duiker make a living along with primates such as black-and-white colobus monkeys. Big game is rarely seen but elephant, leopard and buffalo can be found in these forests.
Overnight and day hikes provide a great alternative for those, who are still building up the courage to tackle Uhuru Peak. However, ascending the highest point of Africa is still the most popular objective with Mount Kilimanjaro National Park’s visitors. While the climb does not require any technical equipment, hikers still need to come prepared. Traversing the different climatic zones of Kilimanjaro requires appropriate clothing and equipment. Hiking for a minimum of five days to an altitude of 5 685 metres also requires some physical preparation. Even though exceptional athletic abilities are by no means essential to ascend, a higher level of fitness allows for a more enjoyable experience of the hike. Altitude sickness can be a problem but the guides are well aware of this and follow a climb-high, sleep-low strategy to aid acclimatization. Kilimanjaro has six common routes, which all have their benefits, so it is best to consult a tour operator to find the route best suited to you.
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