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Climb Kilimanjaro

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

Mt Kilimanjaro

When climbing Kilimanjaro, The staff will carry your main bag up to a maximum weight of 15kgs plus all the tents, kitchen equipment, food, fuel, tables and chairs.

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.

At 5895 metres, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the highest peak in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world.

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.

Giraffe Africa Safari

Rhino Africa Safari

Africa Safari

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.

Kilimanjaro

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.

Get a Quote

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo Credits: Kilimanjaro from Amboseli National Park by Ninara.

    38 Comments

  1. What an amazing experience! A friend of mine did this a few years back, but his family was pretty hard-core with hiking. I can’t imagine doing it myself!

    • Trust me, if I can make it to the top, anyone can! Anyone can climb Kilimanjaro, there’s no previous hiking experience required.

      It’s more determination and willpower than physical fitness which gets you to the top. Sure, it’s obviously a demanding physical task, but you walk so slowly that it’s more endurance than technical difficulty, and it’s the lack of oxygen at the top which is the biggest hurdle.

      So if it’s something you think you would like to do, go for it! It’s hard, but it’s absolutely worthwhile :)

  2. This sounds amazing Megan! I’m really interested in doing this and its great to read all about your experience of it. I’ve had a few friends who have done it to raise money but I’d just like to do it for myself I think. Thank you, will check out this company as they sound great.

    • Feel free to hit us up with any questions you might have Claire :) So glad you enjoyed the post! Wishing you all the best with planning your adventure … it’s one of the most rewarding trips!

  3. We have yet to visit the continent of Africa yet and it’s high on our list! I want to come to Tanzania so bad! Like you said, some people are intimidated by Kilimanjaro and I am a little but after reading this and hearing about your reaction on the first plateau it makes me want to see it for myself too! Perhaps that was the little push I needed to set that goal!

    • More than happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you might have if you’re considering a trip. I absolutely cherish this experience as one of the most rewarding I’ve ever undertaken, so I’m glad we can inspire and act as the push you need to give it a go!!

  4. I haven’t made it to Africa yet, but a trek to the top of Kilimanjaro is high on my list for Africa and travel in general! I’m so moved by how moved you were – it’s truly inspiring! Thanks for sharing and giving me a dose of inspiration!

    • Thankyou Paige! I’m so glad you could connect with my experience … feel free to reach out at any stage if you’re planning a trip of your own – this was truly a life changing experience, so my hope is that I can pass on my account as inspiration for others to do the same!

  5. Kilimanjaro is definitely one of the big ones that all the climbers want to conquer. I am not much of a climber myself but would still love to visit Tanzania and do a safari one day! Congrats on completing the trek!

    • Thankyou Chantell! I still highly recommend Kilimanjaro even if you don’t see yourself as much of a climber – it’s a non technical climb, and if I can do it, anyone can!

  6. Wow — I can’t even imagine hiking Kilimanjaro. But yes — the views would be amazing in person!! I have been to Africa, but only Cape Verde so far — for a quick trip. I plan to come back someday and Tanzania would make a great spot.

    • Highly recommend Tanzania – a stunning country which has everything you could possibly want from an epic African adventure :)

  7. Loved reading this. You’re right to be so proud of yourself for conquering that mountain! You’re awesome. I don’t currently have any plans to get over to anywhere in Africa quite yet, but I definitely will in the future. I’ve book marked this post for future reference!! Would love to do a safari <3

    • Thankyou Laura! Feel free to reach out when you do have the chance to visit Africa. Always happy to help if you’re after any tips or advice :) Happy travels!

  8. What an amazing accomplishment. I am a very beginner hiker, but I would love to try to push the limits sometime for something so amazing. I’ve always wanted to do a Safari too. Just promised my cousin I would take her if she gets a masters degree…so maybe one day.

    • Thanks Stephanie! That’s the great thing about Kilimanjaro, it’s a non technical climb so even beginners can give it a go. Especially if you love a challenge and enjoy pushing your limits, this is definitely the experience for that!

      Feel free to reach out if you ever have any questions or are looking for tips and advice on making it happen :)

  9. Climbing Kilimanjaro is an amazing achievement. We were lucky to visit Tanzania for a safari and the people are lovely plus we saw some amazing wildlife

    • Fabulous to hear that you fell in love with Tanzania too Suze! Really is such a wonderful country, with lovely people and amazing opportunity for adventure :)

      Happy travels!

  10. Brilliant that this accessible to families, and a
    ‘doable’ adventure! 5 routes to Kilimanjaro is very flexible too. I’d love to do this one day!

    • Absolutely – there is a lot of choice when it comes to deciding exactly how you want to tackle the mountain. One of the easier great adventures of the world in that sense!

  11. What an amazing trip! I LOVE that you said that the mountain is a good family trip. Sometimes just the thought of something like that would keep most people with kids at bay. It’s nice that you thought to say something. What a feat to climb up though. Tacking on a safari afterward is definitely the perfect addition to make the entire trek complete I think. Congrats on the climb. ^^

    • Absolutely – it’s a great bonding experience for families too. Spending quality time and growing closer from having been through this kind of a challenge together. The kids would probably power up the mountain quicker than adults – I would love to know how to tap into the energy source of a child!!

      Thanks Hallie!

  12. I was stoked to see this post as I have just booked flights to Tanzania although have to confess I am going to be a beach and dive bum for nine days. I would love to climb Kilimanjaro one day but safaris just don’t do it for me. I am more a underwater animal kind of girl

    • Exciting!! Tanzania, especially Zanzibar has some of the most spectacular beaches … you could always do the Kilimanjaro climb, and then if Safari’s don’t do it for you, enjoy a luxury beach resort as your reward :D

  13. Congratulations on your climbing the Roof of Africa. You make it sound easy, which I am sure it was not.. I’d read a few articles saying how difficult and dangerous it is. Only place I have been to in Africa is Mauritius(!). I loved your article and I see the value in doing everything in one trip.

    • Thankyou Nisha! It was definitely not easy lol, but it’s always easier to look back after the fact!!! You tend to remember the highlights instead of the difficulties :D

      I would say it’s difficult, absolutely, though still absolutely achievable for a regular person. Though I wouldn’t say that it is a dangerous climb by any means. You do have to be cautious of the altitude and how it is affecting your body, but the guides and porters are very well trained for that, and the routes and itineraries have been structured in a way which prioritizes proper acclimatization.

      Highly recommend the trip!

  14. What an amazing experience you must have had! I visited Tanzania previously, but mainly for the safari tour. We saw Kilimanjaro, but did not climb it. It’s good to know that it’s a non-technical climb as I have zero climbing experience. But I can imagine that it is challenging! You must have felt SO good when you reached the top – even when at times you wanted to just jump off the mountain. Great post!

    • Definitely challenging, but absolutely achievable even if you have zero climbing experience. The main thing is endurance and being able to walk (albeit slowly) and push on for 6 hours each day. But the feeling when you reach the top is beyond incredible!! Everything else, all the pain and the tired muscles, completely fade away!

      Highly recommend the climb if you find yourself back in Tanzania :)

  15. Wow! This looks incredible! I’m so proud of you for achieving that hike, you’re amazing! While I am fairly experienced in technical climbing, I enjoy that you don’t need to be super experienced to hike this, it makes it more accessible and encourages me to go defeat this mountain as well. I clicked through to alienadv and their tour options look great! I would definitely keep them in mind when I hopefully soon make it to Africa.

    • Thankyou Susanna! Yes, Alienadv have some fantastic tour options, and make it so easy to organize a trip; definitely hit them up for a quote. Hope you have the chance to make it to Africa in 2017!

  16. I live the idea of combining the hike with the safari. It’s perfect and like you said in Africa already and a reward is deserved after the climb. Also love it is not technical so it can be done as a family.

    • Hope you have the chance to organize a combined tour for 2017! :)

  17. I absolutely love your voice! This was such a pleasure to read and it was accompanied by beautiful images too! I can’t even imagine the feeling of accomplishing something like Kilimanjaro but I’d love to attempt it someday! I totally know the feeling of making it through a few extreme hikes, and that moment when you take your final last steps before reaching the top are almost so difficult yet so satisfying! Kudos, girl!

    • Thankyou Shem :) So glad you enjoyed the post and our photos from the trip … I’m actually surprised the photos turned out as well as they did because at the time I think I was too tired to care about framing a shot lol!!

      Hope you have the chance to attempt Kilimanjaro in the near future :) Happy travels!

  18. Tanzania is one of my favorite African countries! I definitely echo your sentiments-climbing Kilimanjaro was the most physically demanding thing I’ve ever done. I have fond memories of the overall experience (other than the summit day haha)

    • Haha I’m the same way – fond memories of the overall experience despite how difficult the day to day may have been. It was an incredibly rewarding experience – but then the hardest things usually are :D

  19. This is one most informative article I have come across in many year. It is surprise to find our how many people do not know about this bountiful natural world wonderers which also are disappearing very fast. You voice here do not only show the possibility but assure a lot of people that there are many different part of Africa. Visiting this place it not only about excitement, adventure and education you also add value to this natural resource therefore insure their long team survive.

    Very good and resourceful article!

    • So glad you enjoyed the article Munis, and that the information was beneficial for you. I agree that it’s a surprise that not more people know about such a beautiful corner of the world – but we’re spreading the news pretty hard!

      Glad you enjoyed the post :)

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