This is a guest post by Irina Kirilov, blogger for Thrifty Romania, a car rental agency in Eastern Europe.
Few people have ever had the experience of climbing some of the highest mountains in the world, even though it’s obvious that the moments when you are standing up there, simply looking around, being surrounded by white thick clouds, are unique, memorable experiences. Our planet has been blessed with breathtaking beauties when it comes to landforms, and the highest mountain peaks are no exception to this rule.
Mount Kilimanjaro is the beauty of Eastern Africa, being the highest among the tall mountain peaks on this continent. It consists of three volcanic cones, which are a part of the Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania. Kilimanjaro is a surprise for many mountain lovers; it is a free standing peak, not being surrounded by any other mountain chain. It simply rises to the sky, reaching 5,895 meters / 19,341 feet in altitude.
When compared to other beautiful peaks in the world, Kilimanjaro is one of the friendliest peaks, as its high summits are accessible for tourists. This is the main reason why tourists from all over the world come and take their chance, trying to climb it. Most of the adventurers are able to reach the highest peak with the help of a proper stick, proper clothes and a little bit of determination.
What is indeed very interesting is the fact that once you start your climb, you will enjoy also a climatic world tour, from the tropics to the Arctic. The vegetation and fauna is also astonishing, as you will start your ascension by seeing cultivated foot slopes, and then continue with lush forests where you will encounter elephants, maybe leopards, buffalo, antelope and primates.
Then, the landscape will totally change as you enter the moorland area, the place where giant heather and giant lobelias are at home. When you have reached 4,000 meters / 13,000 feet, you will encounter an alpine desert, where very few life forms can be found. Close to the peak there will be only ice and snow; at that point you will surely know that you are on the top of Africa.
You should plan your vacation on Kilimanjaro sometime between December and February, or between July and September, when the weather is friendlier. There are six trekking routes to the top of the mountain and some other, which are more technical. On the southeastern slopes you will be able to visit the beautiful Chala Crater Lake, while the Moraine ridges can be clearly seen on the southern flanks of the mountain. Nowadays only a small portion of the glacier is still in its place; in fact, the specialists say that if the climatic changes continue like this, the majority of glaciers will vanish during the next 20 years.
Accommodation can be found right on the mountain, as there are some huts and campsites. And since Kilimanjaro is part of a National Park, right outside the park you will find several hotels and campsites as well.
If you do plan to have the adventure of your life, you should start at a slow pace, in order to let your body easily adjust to the air pressure and temperature changes. Specialists advise to plan a minimum of five days for your climbing trip, in order to avoid the altitude sickness. And when the mountain has so many interesting things to offer, why would you rush to the peak?
As an added bonus, since Kilimanjaro is also one of the 30 regions in Tanzania, spending a couple of days at the feet of the tallest African peak will also offer you the chance to experience the unique Tanzanian culture.