- Despite being the highest free-standing mountain in the world and taller than Base Camp of Everest; Kilimanjaro is actually a simple climb. The youngest person to reach the summit was six years old, and the eldest (as of 2011), was 83. You don't need technical training or a spotless health record but what Kili lacks in complexity, it makes up for in sheer adventure.
- Kilimanjaro is kept natural despite its popularity. While the base camp of Everest is strewn with trash, Kilimanjaro National Park is surprisingly clean. Park Rangers weigh all the bags coming on and off the mountain and trekking companies pay heavy fines if the bags come down light. This greatly reduces dumping on the trail. There are only seven trails up to the summit, and no roads. As a result, despite relatively attracting lots of people, the mountain has retained its wild nature.
- You'll see things you can't see anywhere else on the planet. Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s greatest natural wonders: a snow covered mountain on the equator, an ocean of green forest surrounded by dry savanna. Climbing Kilimanjaro is like walking from the equator to the North Pole in a week, providing dramatic changes in vegetation and animal life day by day. Look up in the early rainforest stages of the hike and spot some Colobus monkeys swinging through the trees!
Kilimanjaro is also a sky island. Its high altitudes have created habitat for strange and unique life forms found only on a few other peaks on the planet, such as the delicate elephant flower and the bizarre Kilimanjaro tree.
- Go now before it changes forever! Kilimanjaro is a hot spot for studying climate change. Al Gore showed photos of its rapidly shrinking glaciers in An Inconvenient Truth. Ice cores show the glaciers to be 11,700 years old—and yet they will all be gone in the next 10-15 years. Teams of scientists are working on the ice to better monitor and understand exactly why this is happening. One researcher said: “You can stand next to the ice and see the glaciers turning to vapor before your eyes."
- Kilimanjaro inspired a continent to freedom. Kilimanjaro belongs to Tanzania, the first nation in Africa to win independence from colonial powers (it was then called Tanganyika). Before independence in 1959, soon-to-be President Julius Nyerere said:
“We, the people of Tanganyika, would like to light a candle and put it on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro which would shine beyond our borders giving hope where there was despair, love where there was hate, and dignity where before there was only humiliation.” Today, the summit is called Uhuru Peak; Uhuru is the Swahili word for “Freedom.”
- People climb Kilimanjaro to mark a personal accomplishment. Individuals climb the mountain to mark important transitions: their graduation, their retirement, a marriage or a divorce. The event is significant enough that every year dozens of local newspapers write the story of a town resident who makes the journey to the peak. Write your own story and scribe it with an adventure of a lifetime!
- The phrase 'I feel like I'm on top of the world' actually comes true and the feeling is indescribable. Standing on the roof of Africa while looking down at the rolling clouds beneath you among the glistening glaciers is a sight you'll hold close to your heart forever.
Kilimanjaro inspires transformation. When you climb to the Uhuru peak, you see the world a different way. What seemed impossible in your life might just be doable. The mountain top is a place for vision, inspiration, and a new beginning. As the famous song by Juluka goes: “I’m sittin’ on top of Kilimanjaro, I can see a new tomorrow. I’m sittin’ on top of Kilimanjaro. I cast away all my sorrows.”