A Brief History Kilimanjaro (often called Kili) is the largest free standing mountain in the world, meaning that unlike Everest it is not part of a mountain range. In technical terms it is a dormant volcano, it is made up of two extinct volcano cones (peaks) and one dormant cone. These cones are called Mawenzi, Shira and Kibo. Kibo is where the highest point of Kilimanjaro is, Uhuru Peak. Uhuru Peak will be the main goal of anyone climbing Kili and it reaches a height of 5895m.
The 1st summiteers of Kili were two Germans called Hans Meyer, Ludwig Purtschelle and a local called Lauwo, in 1889. Although it is often thought that locals could have summited Kili before this date, however this is the first time it was recorded. If this story fascinates please read this article, it’s a great read!
Why? This is probably the question I get asked most about Kili why did I do it! So for me it can be broken down into two components.
1. It has been a bucket-list item since I climbed the second tallest mountain in Tanzania when I was 16 years old. The mountain itself is called Mt Meru which is a very doable climb. This ignited my love for adventures and the indescribable feeling of getting to the top!
2. There was an amazing charity that was advertising a trip within my university. The whole trip was being run by two very good friends so everything just seemed to fall into place. The charity itself is called Dig Deep, I could type paragraphs about the amazing work this charity does but heres a brief synopsis. Their main aims are; to provide clean water, toilets and education about menstruation in Kenya. Please, please read more on their website.
The Route There are 6 established routes to climb Kili, they vary in difficulty and the time it takes to summit. General school of thought suggests that the longer it takes to reach the summit the less you are affected by altitude sickness. This topic is touched on more in my How To Get To The Top of Kilimanjaro post. The route we undertook is the Machame Route, which is used by approximately 50% of people who climb Kilimanjaro. It is known for its beautiful views and for being a relatively (!) easy route. It is 62km long and normally takes 6-7 days, we did it in 6. For more information please read this article!