Why tackle the tallest free-standing mountain in the world? Every climber has their reason—and we have 10, for those who need a little nudge.
1. Conquer one of the world’s seven summits: Kilimanjaro is considered the “most accessible” of the seven summits because there’s no technical climbing involved.
2. Take it slow: The Lemosho route offers a gradual ascension, which allows you to acclimate to the elevation and increases your chances of reaching the summit.
3. Travel through five distinct ecological zones: There’s a saying that completing the entire trek is like walking from the equator to the North Pole. Each day, the landscape changes dramatically as you ascend from the dusty savanna through lush rain forest to alpine desert, until you finally reach the glacier at the mountain’s peak.
4. A top-notch guiding team: Hiking with a team of guides ensures that everyone can climb at their own pace in the company of an experienced local climber—someone who will tell you about the ecology of the surrounding landscape, share mountaineering stories, and tell you about life in Tanzania.
5. “Support group” takes on a whole new meaning: While the team of guides ensures that everyone makes it to the summit safely, a legion of porters carries your gear, camping equipment, and food so that you can complete the trip in relative comfort. As you begin each day’s trek, they zip past you to set up the evening’s campsite, where they greet you with songs, high fives, and best of all, popcorn and hot chocolate.
6. Toilet tents: Porters transport tents with toilets between each campsite, which may seem insignificant prior to your climb, but feels like an incredible luxury after a couple of days on the trail.
7. Touch the sky: Once you climb above the clouds, the sunrise and the stars appear remarkably vivid, and the views are simply breathtaking from the rooftop of Africa.
8. Bragging rights for life: Everyone has a reason for tackling this climb. It might be on your bucket list, you may be on a personal journey, or you could be seeking a transcendent experience. No matter what your motivation, you and your fellow travelers will forever be able to brag, “Yeah, I climbed that.”
9. Go beyond the “big five”: After the trek, reward yourself by going on safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, each home to an incredible variety of creatures. Your guides expertly spot wildlife—and they do everything in their power to make sure you do, too.
10. Stay in stunning safari camps: Return from safari each day to your comfortable tent, where you can enjoy a glass of wine by the fire pit and watch herds of zebras stroll idly by.