We all have one: a bucket list of hopeful dreams, wistful aspirations, and the ‘I’ll-do-it-someday’ adventures that begin to clutter notebooks and sit in the back of our minds, patiently waiting for us to revisit them. As the New Year begins, FlightHub wants you to reach into that bucket and commit to a project or a trip you’ve been putting off. Now is the time to get out and do the things you want to do. FlightHub’s newest bucket list adventure: Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. FlightHub Review has spent the time combing through hundreds of reviews and blogs to give you the ultimate guide of why (and how) you should climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Located in Tanzania on the East Coast of Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is the largest mountain found on the African continent. Its formation is based from the congregation of 3 major volcanos that measure over 19,340ft above sea level. It generates over $20 million dollars a year in tourism alone for the country. However, due to rapid global warming the snow that covers that mountain is receding and melting rapidly, and within 20 years Mount Kilimanjaro will be snow-less. The urgency to visit the mountain is another reason why FlightHub wants to encourage you to make the visit sooner rather than later.
Things to worry about: rock slides, altitude sickness, about 10 people die each year
Doing something like this changes your life
Like every inspiration quote says, climbing mountains is hard not only for the physical challenge that awaits you, but the mental one that can take you by surprise. Many people who’ve climbed the mountain explain that it’s the mental challenge that is the most difficult to overcome; the self-doubt, the overcoming of fears, or the mental exhaustion that ensues once you lay your head to rest at night can be overwhelming. The mountain is there to challenge you, but you need to believe in yourself in order to reach the peak. FlightHub recommends writing a compassionate note to yourself prior to your trip that keeps your motivated throughout your climb.
How to plan your trip
Climbing the designated paths up Mount Kilimanjaro can vary depending on your speed and how long you’re willing to stay on the mountain. The fastest climb on record was completed in 5 hours, but don’t expect this as an accurate way to climb to the summit. Climbs can vary between 6-7 days instead of mere hours, so plan accordingly! Seeing as all the routes lead to the Uhuru Peak, FlightHub suggests choosing a route that matches your budget, physical fitness and your timing. More established routes such as the Marangu Route allow climbers the option to sleeping in huts rather than tents.
Do you need to be in physical shape?
Altitude sickness is a very real concern that FlightHub doesn’t want you to underestimate. As you’re walking up the mountain, make sure you go slowly. There’s a lot of physical exertion happening so taking your time to get up the mountain is key to your success. Drinking lots of water is another way to combat altitude sickness, so make sure you keep well hydrated throughout the climb. Taking an extra day or night to acclimatize your body for the climb is another way to hike the mountain safely. If you’re unaccustomed to a physical lifestyle, some training may be needed prior to your trip.
How to pick a tour company
Though a solo-trek up the mountain may be for some, it isn’t for others. When deciding to climb the mountain choose a tour company that takes the time to explain their procedures, has knowledgeable staff and properly outlined itineraries. Ask about meals, how their porters and guides organize their trips, and if additional support is offered. Most tour companies and hotels at the base of the mountain offer gear for you to rent while climbing the summit. FlightHub recommends renting very warm sleeping bag (it’s better to be too hot than too cold, as temperatures can reach below -20°C to -30° at night.
Reaching the Summit
As exhilarated you may be for finally reaching the top, FlightHub suggests that you allow yourself a more introspective cheer rather than a super physical one. Take the time to reflect on the accomplishment you’ve just achieved rather than jump for joy (and inevitably getting sick on the way back down).