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Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro - Can I Do it? how to climb? Costs? For Charity
Mt Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and reaches 5895m above sea level, for those of you still in feet that inches that's 19,341 ft. It is a giant stratovolcano with three distinct cones, Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira.
Shira and Mawenzi the lower of the three cones are extinct however the Kibo cone, is dormant and may well erupt again in fact the most recent activity was recorded 200 years ago. Research has shown magma to be just 400m below the summit crater of Kibo.
Beautiful Video by National Geographic on the Stunning Mt Kilimanjaro
Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro – Can I do it?
With the recent ascents by celebrities such as Chris Moyles and others you could be led to believe that climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is similar to your Sunday stroll around the woods. This is not true, more people have died on the ascent up mt Kilimanjaro than up Everest (Many more try this mountain, so it is to be expected) But it claims the lives of climbers, guides and tourists each and every year so it is an adventure which should not be taken on lightly.
However it is doable with preparation, proper equipment and a good level of fitness. There area variety of routes which can be attempted and we will discuss those later on. Some of them have dorms and tea rooms along the way whereas others give the full wilderness experience where fully catered camping is required.
So what are the routes and what are the key features.
Well they are:
Routes Up Mt Kilimanjaro
49 - 7 Days
Second most popular route. Beautiful forest, very good for acclimatization, scenic traverse to Barafu.
56 - 8 Days
Long access drive, remote, less frequented, beautiful forests, scenic traverse to Barafu, camping. Excellent for acclimatization.
64 - 6 Days
Very popular. Gentle gradients and long sections up to 4700m (2.9 mi). Beautiful forests and moorlands, comfortable but basic huts. The 6 day variant provides good time for acclimatization.
37 - 6 Days
Shortest and steepest route, very physically taxing and requires serious endurance. Beautiful forest, spectacular ridge, bad for acclimatization, scenic traverse to Barafu, camping. Dangerous route.
65 - 6 Days
Long access drive, remote, less frequented, some fine, wild, high-altitude mountain scenery, camping. Good for acclimatization.
Northern Circuit (New)
90 - 9 Days
Very low traffic, traverses nearly the entire mountain including the north side. Long route with great views.
Fully catered camping is required on all but the Marangu route. This means that you must carry all the provisions you will need during the trek this does have the advantage that you can walk as many kilometres as you like each day as long as you camp responsibly and safely.
So looking at these routes there are many that the average fitness person can successfully achieve as long as they are prepared and aware of the risks. It would be an amazing adventure and one which would enrich your life, if you are unsure read this book on climbing mt Kilimanjaro.
Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro -How much will it cost?
Now we have looked at whether you can climb it or not can you afford to climb it?
There are ways you can do it from using an experienced trekking company or booking all the elements yourself. A good quality and reputable trek with a guide will set you back anywhere between £1200 and £2500 per person, this depends on accommodation, time of year etc. A good company will provide you with everything you need, an experienced guide and will be able to answer ANY questions you may have. If they are wishy washy or unsure don't go with them.
If you do it yourself you can do it yourself for substantially less if you book flights, pay park fees, bring own equipment, however your chances of success are lower if you are not experienced trekkers, mountineers or climbers. You will need to be very organised and if you are doing this in a small group then be sure to let the guides know at the start of the treks when you are leaving and what your expected date of return is. Remember also NEVER climb alone.
I know all of this seems a bit over the top but it is important that you are prepared and ready and let people know your itinerary so that should anything, god forbid, go wrong you get help as quickly as is possible.
Charity Challenge Comic Relief
Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro for Charity
Now if you can't afford the full fees for the Trek or you are just feeling in a charitable mood then why not climb mt Kilimanjaro for a charity of your choosing!
Many firs and organisations do the trek for a substantially reduced price if you raise enough money for charity, sometimes thinking about raising £2000 for charity makes your knees tremble but if you know 200 people that’s only a tenner from each of them, so it really is worth having a go. You never know till you try.
Companies such as charity challenge or Do It for Charity have well knowna nd experienced programmes and are well worth checking out.
Whichever route you decide and whether you do it as a personal challenge or to raise money for a worthy cause I wish you the best of luck and I'd love to hear any stories you may have. Remember you never know what you can achieve until you try.