Mount Kilimanjaro National Park
One of the most popular parks in Africa is Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. At 19,336 feet (5,895 metres), Kilimanjaro stands as the highest mountain in Africa.
Many people attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and most of them are successful. Though the mountain does not require technical gear (ropes, pitons, etc.), it is still challenging and a test of endurance. Climbers need to be in good physical condition and prepared for the high altitudes and thin air.
There are several routes that can be chosen for the climb. The simplest of these is the Marangu Route. This route generally includes five days on the mountain and accommodations during the climb are in Alpine huts that are shared with up to five participants.
The more popular routes is the Machame and Rongai Routes which includes six to seven days on the mountain and accommodation is in small two-person tents. Porters will set the camp for you and prepare meals.
Other routes such as the Shira and Lemosho routes are more demanding physically but are not as busy. Again, these include use of tents.
The mountain offers a host of ecosystems. The farmlands at the foothills give way to lush montane forest. Here you might spot elephant, buffalo, leopard, the endangered Abbot’s duiker, and other small antelope and primates. As you continue to climb, you enter the moorland area, where a blanket of giant heather is dotted with giant lobelias. Above 4,000 metres, an alpine desert supports little life other than a scattering of moss and lichen. Finally, this gives way to ice and snow, the depth of which can vary on a daily basis.
Many travelers, not choosing to climb, can still enjoy a day hike on the mountain or a stay at one of the lodges on the foothills.