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In October 2010 I traveled to Tanzania with the goal of conquering a mountain. And at 5,895 metres (19,341 ft), it was really, really tall. The highest mountain in Tanzania, the highest mountain in Africa, and the highest free-standing mountain in the world, if we’re keeping score.
Dominating the landscape like no other mountain, both iconic and instantly recognizable, Kilimanjaro is one of Africa’s most visited National Parks. Unlike the other parks, this isn’t for the wildlife, although it’s there. Rather, coming here is all about gazing in awe at a mountain on the equator capped with snow, and to climb to the top of Africa.
Yes, climbing Kilimanjaro is one of the best Tanzania holidays, and people from all over the world make a pilgrimage here. One of the world’s greatest natural wonders, it is “like walking from the equator to the North Pole in a week, providing dramatic changes in vegetation and animal life day by day.” You’ll ascend through thick rainforest, moorland, and an alpine desert zone. And as you stand next to the ice at the top, you’ll see glaciers turning to vapor before your eyes.
A Mountain Which Inspires Transformation
Kilimanjaro is powerful, awe-inspiring, and an experience which inspires transformation. When you stand on the roof of Africa, you see the world in a different way.
You don’t need ropes or special mountaineering gear, or even any previous mountain climbing experience. It’s a non technical climb. Around the mountain there’s surprisingly good support infrastructure – decent hotels, outfitters, gear to rent, ground transportation. On the mountain there are sleeping huts along the main route, with porters who carry and set up tents, and cook for you. All you have to worry about is the climb.
For this reason Kilimanjaro is also one of the best options for a family holiday adventure; one of the easier “great adventures” in the world. There were many families on the mountain during my climb, and I found not wanting to be shown up by a 13 year old to be highly motivational in getting to the top!
I bawled my eyes out when I got to the final plateau. I collapsed into a heap and cried my heart out. Not because I was physically wrecked – which I was – and not because I was an emotional wreck – which I was – but because I had achieved something so incredible, and everything that had previously seemed impossible in life suddenly seemed possible once more.
My tears were those which came with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment which I will never forget. It’s amazing to know that you’ve achieved something which so many people are intimidated to even try, and amazing to know that you really worked hard to finally be at the top.
And you really are at the top! Nothing and no-one can ever take that feeling away from you. The mountain top is a place for vision, inspiration, and new beginnings.
Why You Should Combine Kilimanjaro With an African Safari
Kilimanjaro is located just south of the equator, next to the Serengeti. There are many decisions to make when planning your climb, from the route, to the time frame, and whether you believe in hiking poles. But of all the options and choice, the best decision you’ll make will be to combine your climb with an African safari, another excellent Tanzania destination, which is usually the continent’s biggest draw.
You’re Already Planning to Book Your Tickets to Africa
Both the Kilimanjaro climb and an African safari are once in a lifetime experiences in their own right. The views over the clouds from standing on the highest point in Africa will absolutely blow your mind, and getting up close with iconic African wildlife is a rare and authentic experience which makes you feel as though you’re living a David Attenborough film.
You’re already in Africa, so why not complete them both! African Safaris literally pick up from where Mt Kilimanjaro climbers are dropped off. So there’s no extra transit or hassle involved.
On completing our climb of Mt Kilimanjaro, we were driven back to our hotel in Moshi (overnight on the day of your return is generally included in the price). We had the chance to unwind, shower, and unpack, before the safari bus came to us the next day.
Because it Will Save Money
Obviously, combining two holidays in one saves you the costs associated with flying back later. For someone like me who lives in Australia, flights to Africa can hit around the $3,000 mark (download the free Skyscanner app to find the cheapest flights).
Though then there are the savings you make from booking your tours as a bundle deal. Whether you’re looking to tack on a one day safari, 2-3 days, or 4 days plus, use a free service like AlienAdv.com to help you find the best priced deal.
Because After Climbing That Mountain You Deserve a Damn Good Reward
Any-one can climb Mt Kilimanjaro; it’s a non technical climb. But don’t for a second think that “non technical” translates into an easy time.
Getting to the top of Kilimanjaro remains the hardest challenge I’ve faced in my life. Throughout the more difficult parts of the journey I remember wanting to jump from the mountain and die! This is a journey which will push you to your limits both physically and emotionally, and demand a willpower and endurance beyond what you’re used to in every day life.
Though it’s the difficulty of the climb which makes reaching the top such an accomplishment. And while some might argue that the views from the top of Africa are enough of a reward, you just conquered the tallest freestanding mountain on goddamn earth – book yourself on a celebratory safari. You deserve the reward.
Booking With AlienAdv.com
AlienAdv.com are the best resource to book a Kilimanjaro holiday, and have fantastic options for combining your climb with a safari tour. They let you compare multiple routes & tour operators, and offer free quotes so you can choose your best fit at the best prices.
Using their interactive site, you can select your limitations and preferences, and have them narrow down the trip that will suit you the best. They liaise with almost all operators, cover all available price ranges, have information on spots available in groups, and don’t charge a customer fee to give you a quote.
There are 5 routes you can take for Kilimanjaro, and many different price points and options for safari, so instead of drowning in your own research, let AlienAdv.com do what they do best! Click the button below to get a free quote right now.
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Photo Credits: Kilimanjaro from Amboseli National Park by Ninara.