7 Reasons to Make Climbing Kilimanjaro Your New Year’s Resolution

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7 Reasons to Make Climbing Kilimanjaro Your New Year’s Resolution

Why should you join hundreds of other people and make climbing Mount Kilimanjaro your New Year’s Resolution? Well, one reason is that it is one of the greatest natural wonders of the world and it is also one of the Seven Summits. The Seven Summits are comprised of the highest mountains on each of the 7 continents. 

Kilimanjaro is both the highest mountain in Africa and it is also the highest freestanding mountain in the world.

Surrounded by a lush, green rainforest, this snow-capped mountain is set right on the equator and is home to many. Every day is an adventure on Kilimanjaro and its scenery will gradually begin to change as you make your way up this magnificent mountain. Here, you’ll find strange and unique life forms such as the groundsel tree and elephant flower that are only found on a few other peaks in the world.

Although you do not need any technical skills to climb Kilimanjaro, the high altitude makes it a difficult mountain to conquer. You will be challenged both physically and mentally and it will give you one of the most intense workouts of your life. However, the beauty of reaching the summit will make it all worthwhile. 

We talk more about the challenges involved with climbing Kilimanjaro below, so make sure you read until the end to see just how easy (or difficult) it really is.

Here are 7 reasons to put Kilimanjaro on your list of New Year’s resolutions:

1)  Kilimanjaro has 5 unique ecosystems

mount kilimanjaro, climbing kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro is famous for its breathtaking scenery and landscapes

You won’t find many mountains in the world that contain five different ecosystems in one setting! This is a feature that makes Mount Kilimanjaro particularly unique. When you first make your way up the mountain, you will encounter farmland, villages and dry fields which eventually give way to an equatorial jungle.

As you navigate your way up the mountain, the jungle is replaced by alpine dessert and moorland zones. When you get closer to the top, vegetation and animals begin to disappear and the beautiful snow-capped summit will appear! How many people can say that they have experienced 5 different ecosystems in 8-9 days? Not many! So if you want to become one of the few people to experience these breathtaking landscapes, consider adding Kilimanjaro to your New Year’s Resolution list.

2) Mount Kilimanjaro has some of the most breathtaking landscapes on earth

kilimanjaro new year
This is just one of many spectacular views that you can see on Kilimanjaro.

There are few places as beautiful as Mount Kilimanjaro. Although many climbers talk about the challenges associated with climbing this formidable mountain; its spectacular scenery makes it worth the challenge and hard work.

Regardless of whether you prefer lush, green rainforests, tropical desserts or stunning glaciers, you’ll find it all here on Kilimanjaro. You’ll also find plenty of exotic wildlife, such as rare birds, black-and-white Colobus monkeys and blue monkeys.

3) Good infrastructure

One of the things that makes climbing Kilimanjaro more accessible to Western travellers is the infrastructure in Tanzania. Mount Kilimanjaro despite being remote, can be accessed with regular flights from Europe to the JRO (Kilimanjaro airport).

There are a range of different types of accommodation available, as well as shops where you can purchase climbing equipment and gear to rent. In addition, there are established toilet tents, campgrounds, and stalls available on Kilimanjaro itself.

4) Make new friends while climbing Kilimanjaro

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It’s easy to make new friends on Kilimanjaro

Even if you do not have a partner to travel with, you don’t have to climb Kilimanjaro alone. Around 60,000 people attempt to climb this mountain each year. Many climbers report that some of the best memories they have on the mountain is the sense of friendship they form with others they meet on the mountain.

One of the best ways to meet new people on the mountain is to join a group tour. Joining a group tour helps to keep costs down and allows you to meet other like-minded people. This aspect of a group tour cannot be understated. Many lasting friendships have been formed while climbing. Climbing Kilimanjaro is a very unique and challenging experience and the bonds you share with others who climb with you can be profound.

Group tours can reduce the cost per climber significantly. This is because tour operators are able to spread some fixed costs per climb amongst the number of participants. Other people in the group may also offer much needed mutual support and inspiration during that last summit push.

So by making Kilimanjaro part of your New Year’s Resolution, you are setting yourself up for a life-changing journey. In exchange, you’re likely to get new friends, long-lasting memories and an unshakeable sense of achievement.

5) Kilimanjaro has a variety of different routes

One of the reasons Kilimanjaro is so popular is because it is accessible. It has a variety of routes that you can climb, depending upon your skills and abilities.

The routes on Kilimanjaro vary by length, duration, difficulty, scenery, altitude profile, accessibility, and (lack of) facilities. The better a route scores on all these criteria, the more popular it is.

Popularity is great if you like to share your experience with many other climbers and make lots of new friends. It's also great if you're looking for an affordable climbing package. If solitude and wilderness are what you're looking for, then the most popular routes may not be your best choice.

The Machame Route on Kilimanjaro is a very scenic route with an ideal altitude profile for acclimatization (high hike, sleep low). Its starting point is easily accessible within a short drive from Kilimanjaro airport and Moshi. Scenic highlights of the Southern Circuit include the forest, Lava Tower and Barranco Wall. As the Machame Route ticks all the boxes for an ideal hiking route to climb Kilimanjaro, it has naturally also become the most popular route on the mountain.

 

6) Kilimanjaro does not require a great deal of technical skill

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Kilimanjaro group tour – happy climbers and guides having fun together

Standing on the rooftop of the world will be one of the greatest achievements of your life. Almost anyone can do this. One travel blogger, known only as Christina, wrote in detail about her experiences of climbing Kilimanjaro on her blog ‘Travel Fearlessly’.  In it, she talks about the way travellers can prepare for their climb. In terms of the technical aspects of ascending a summit, Mount Kilimanjaro is not a difficult mountain to climb. Its slopes are mostly gentle, and its paths are well-trodden.

You can walk up to the summit without any expertise or mountaineering skills required. Tour operators organize climbs, while porters will carry your gear, supplies and personal items.

Despite the relative ease on the technical side, many people find Mount Kilimanjaro very difficult to climb due to its high altitude. The difficulty varies from person to person and will depend upon how you acclimatize to the thin air at high elevations.

7) Why climbing Kilimanjaro should be the first New Year’s resolution on the list

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A spectacular view of Mount Kilimanjaro

So now we’ve convinced you to make climbing Kilimanjaro your New Year’s resolution! But there’s more. It should also be the first New Year’s resolution you cross off your list. Why? Well, the best time to climb Kilimanjaro depends upon the season.

There are two dry seasons in Tanzania. The long dry season is from June to October and the short dry season is from January to mid-March.

January brings clearer skies and warm temperatures and you will generally find fewer crowds than you would in the long-dry season. This makes the start of January an ideal time to plan a last-minute adventure to Kilimanjaro.

How much does it cost to climb Kilimanjaro?

A typical Kilimanjaro climbing package costs anywhere from about US $1,500 on a short 5-day low budget climb in a group to US $5,000 and more on luxurious offers with high-end services and equipment. For a reasonable mid-range offer, you'd be looking at around US $2,000 to 3,500.

In addition to your tour price, you will have significant additional costs for tipping of your mountain crew, flights, medical costs and insurance, gear rentals or purchases, and more. Altogether, your entire trip will easily cost US $3,000 even on a very low budget tour, and usually around US $5,000 and more for mid-range travellers.

Here are are a few things to consider when comparing prices on a Kilimanjaro tour:

Budget tour companies that offer very low prices usually do so either illegally or at the expense of the porters who help to carry your luggage and supplies up the mountain. Some of these companies are able to offer cheap tours because they do not compensate their porters fairly, nor do they give them adequate equipment or preparation to prepare for a climb on Kilimanjaro. This means that tourists may be pressured into giving bigger tips than they ordinarily would in order to make up for the shortfall.

For example, a 6-day climb, the mandatory Kilimanjaro National Park fees alone amount to over US $800 per person. So when you add up all the costs incurred by a tour operator (including paying fair salaries to the mountain crew, park fees, equipment, food, transfers, etc), there is in fact only a small margin left for the tour operator, which is why ethical tour operators charge more for their prices.

Where is Mount Kilimanjaro located?

Mount Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania, East Africa. Situated in the northern part of the country near the border to Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro is sometimes erroneously attributed to Kenya. The Mount Kilimanjaro area, starting from its surrounding rainforest—or remainders thereof—at its base all the way up to its peak, is a protected nature reserve, the so-called Kilimanjaro National Park. The entire park covers a surface area of 100 kilometers long and 65 kilometers wide.

Are you ready to take the Kilimanjaro climbing challenge?

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The feeling you get when you reach Uhuru Peak is indescribable

Climbing Kilimanjaro is one of the most rewarding and exciting challenges you can undertake. It requires a lot of work, determination and stamina to reach the summit, but with the right type of preparation, this bucket list goal will be possible for all of us.

Kilimanjaro is one of the most beautiful places on earth and its flora and fauna are among the most diverse of any landscape. So with many compelling reasons to go to Kilimanjaro, why not put it at the top of your New Year’s resolution list?

Are you going to do it? Let us know on our Facebook page.

 

About the author

Janine is a travel content writer and blogger, with a background in marketing and journalism. She loves travelling and uses her writing to share her passion for responsible travel with others.
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