Thursday, 29 September 2016

15 Fascinating Facts about Mt Kilimanjaro

There are a couple of things most travellers will already know about Mt Kilimanjaro: the fact that it is situated in the northern portion of Tanzania, within the Kilimanjaro National Park; the fact that it covers an area of 100 metres long and 65 metres wide; or the fact that it is Africa’s highest mountain. Most adventurers will also know that Mount Kilimanjaro is made up of three volcanic cones (Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira) and is itself a dormant volcanic mountain. However, this certainly doesn’t mean you know ‘pretty much all there is to know’ about the spectacle that is Mount Kilimanjaro. So, for your reading pleasure, here are twenty facts about the majestic Mountain that you probably didn’t know.

1 Approximately 25,000 people attempt to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro annually. Approximately two-thirds are successful. Altitude-related problems is the most common reason climbers turn back.

2. Shamsa Mwangunga, National Resources and Tourism minister of Tanzania, announced in 2008 that 4.8 million indigenous trees will be planted around the base of the mountain, helping prevent soil erosion and protect water sources.

3. South African Bernard Goosen twice scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro in a wheelchair. His first summit, in 2003, took nine days; his second, four years later, took only six. Born with cerebral palsy, Goosen used a modified wheelchair, mostly without assistance, to climb the mountain.

4. The oldest person ever to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro was 87-year-old Frenchman Valtee Daniel.

5. Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain on the African continent and the highest free-standing mountain in the world.

6. The mountain’s snow caps are diminishing, having lost more than 80 percent of their mass since 1912. In fact, they may be completely ice free within the next 20 years, according to scientists.

7. The fasted verified ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro occurred in 2001 when Italian Bruno Brunod summitted Uhuru Peak in 5 hours 38 minutes 40 seconds. The fastest roundtrip was accomplished in 2004, when local guide Simon Mtuy went up and down the mountain in 8:27.

8. Almost every kind of ecological system is found on the mountain: cultivated land, rain forest, heath, moorland, alpine desert and an arctic summit.

9. Nearly every climber who has summitted Uhuru Peak, the highest summit on Kibo’s crater rim, has recorded his or her thoughts about the accomplishment in a book stored in a wooden box at the top.

10. Kilimanjaro has three volcanic cones, Mawenzi, Shira and Kibo. Mawenzi and Shira are extinct but Kibo, the highest peak, is dormant and could erupt again. The most recent activity was about 200 years ago; the last major eruption was 360,000 years ago.

11. Douglas Adams, the late famous author of the legendary Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, took part in a Mt Kilimanjaro hike dressed in a rhinoceros suit for the British charity organisation, Save the Rhino International.

12. A porter from the very first successful summit lived to see the 100th celebration of the climb at an incredible 118 years of age!

13. Out of every 1,000 tons of water that trickles down the Mountain, approximately 400 of them come directly from ice caps.

14. Virtually every type of ecological system can be found on this mountain, including cultivated land, rain forest, heath, moorland, alpine desert, and an arctic summit.

15. Spanish mountain runner, Kilian Jornet, made the fastest ascent up the mountain in September 2010, at just 22 years of age. He reached the top of the Mountain in a startling 5 hours, 23 minutes and 50 seconds.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Top 7 Reasons to Choose Mount Kenya Over Higher, More Popular Kilimanjaro

The allure of Mount Kilimanjaro is easy to understand. Its peak is the highest point on the African continent, with spectacular views from atop ancient glaciers lining an almost perfectly circular volcanic crater. Hikers are drawn to treks up Mount Kilimanjaro, snagging the opportunity to trek through four different climatic zones with porters to carry gear, fix camps, and prepare meals. Knowledgeable, multi-lingual guides show the way. The mountain lies in northern Tanzania, where security issues are minimal and tourism infrastructure leads the continent.

Also Read:- 7 Things You Need to Do to Summit Mount Kilimanjaro

A trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro can be thrilling, while strangely relaxing. Porters and cooks provide basic human needs, and a well-deserved sense of accomplishment washes over those who reach its magnificent summit. Mighty Kilimanjaro’s popularity is not undeserved. However, it is NOT the adventurous hiker’s only trekking option in East Africa.

In fact, nearby peaks offer exciting treks with views and wildlife that trump that of "Big K". Africa’s second-highest mountain, Mount Kenya, offers everything its big neighbor does, and then some. The following are ten practical reasons to consider trekking in Kenya and climbing up Mount Kenya instead of Mount Kilimanjaro:

Also Read:- Rock Hill students climb Kilimanjaro to help cancer patients

1) Time

Mount Kenya’s trekking peak, Point Lenana, is a towering 4,985 meters (16,355 feet) above sea level. It lies 910 meters (2,985 feet) lower than Kilimanjaro, which translates to a shorter hike and fewer acclimatization issues. The trek ends up being at least one, usually two, full days shorter than a trek up Kilimanjaro. The lower peak also increases each hiker’s chance of reaching Point Lenana without succumbing to altitude sickness.

2) The Equator

It may be just an imaginary line, but this divider of the hemispheres runs right through Mount Kenya National Park. Many of the trekking routes cross the Equator, and the summit lies just a little to the south (although one would never know it by the cold and ice). Small signs and rock cairns mark Latitude Zero along the way, and guides will point them out as hikers pass by. For a great photo opportunity, there is a famous sign marking the Equator on the highway just south of the town of Nanyuki at the foothills of the mountain. Locals eagerly demonstrate the ‘water swirling test’ while tourists stand with one foot in the north, and the other in the south.

3) Accommodations

Many of the routes on Mount Kenya have basic lodges at overnight campsites. Long dining tables and rows of bunk beds offer little privacy, but the structures adequately block the wind and cold. Their communal design encourages conversations with other hikers, as intrepid travelers are always keen to swap stories.

Also Read:- How Hard Is It To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

4) Opportunity for Technical Climbing

Batian, the true summit of Mount Kenya, rises a bit higher than Point Lenana. At 5,199 meters (17,057 feet), it offers rock and ice climbing that pushes even experienced climbers to the limit. Reaching the summit often requires first traversing yet another peak, Nelion, en route to Batian. Standing on the peak is a true mountaineering feat that requires advanced skill and great effort. Climbing Batian on Mount Kenya is a thrill that Kilimanjaro simply cannot offer.

5) Wildlife

Mount Kenya is surrounded by a National Park that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bans on logging, hunting, and building have kept the surrounding forest teeming with birds, reptiles, elephants, and buffalos. Wildlife viewing on Mount Kenya is not a suitable replacement for a safari, but seeing animals is much more likely than on Kilimanjaro.

Also Read:- Comparison Between Climbing Kilimanjaro vs Everest Trekking

6) Accessibility

The easiest way to reach East Africa is by flying into Nairobi, Kenya. The country has straightforward visa criteria, and citizens of most nationalities will have little problem visiting Kenya. It even issues visas at its ports and border crossings, allowing for easy overland entry.

7) Passionate Guides

The guides and tour companies around Mount Kenya are very aware that the brighter spotlight shines on Kilimanjaro. Being the underdogs, the level of service and hospitality they offer is unmatched. It is common for guides to take guests out for dinner and beer the night before a hike, and little surprises like creek-side tea breaks make the trek extremely pleasant.

Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro each offer beautiful treks and chances for adventure. Trekkers will always be drawn to Kilimanjaro simply because it is the highest mountain on the continent. However, for its many advantages, Mount Kenya may be the perfect choice for a traveler that seeks a wild East African experience with less cost, time, and hassle. Standing on the continent’s highest peak is an experience unique to Kilimanjaro, but the overall experience of trekking Mount Kenya is, in many ways, far greater.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Climbing Kilimanjaro by Bike And Raise Funds for World Bicycle Relief

Rebecca Rusch is an endurance athlete, part-time EMT and firefighter, and full-time professional adventurer. Known as “The Queen of Pain” for her gritty attitude and perseverance under adverse conditions, she holds many trophies and titles, but she describes her March 2016 summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro as, “definitely the coolest ride I’ve ever done in my life.”

Also Read:- 7 Things You Need to Do to Summit Mount Kilimanjaro

When Rusch heard that Patrick Sweeny would be biking to the top of Kilimanjaro, she thought it would be the perfect opportunity to meld her thirst for adventure with her desire to spread some cycling love. “I’m pretty passionate about what the bicycle has done for me,” she says, “It’s allowed me to travel the world and provided amazing opportunities. I want to share some of that with others.”

To help provide better access to bikes, Rusch set a goal of raising $19,341 for World Bicycle Relief, one dollar for every foot of elevation gained on the ascent. She believes in the organization’s commitment to change. “They don’t just hand out a bunch of money,” she says, “it’s an application process, recipients sign a contract, students’ attendance and grades must improve to keep the bike. It’s really empowering people to change their lives.”

                               Rebecca Rusch and Patrick Sweeny rest after completing their extraordinary ride up Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Also Read:- Aaron Phipps Climb Kilimanjaro on hands and knees

Named one of Outside Magazine’s top 20 female athletes of the year in 2003, Rusch has enjoyed an uncannily long career in professional sports, excelling at everything from adventure racing to mountain biking to cross country skiing and whitewater rafting. She won the Leadville 100 four years in a row. The grueling course, which gains around 11,000 feet in elevation over 104 miles, required her to pick up and carry her bike over the more technical sections. It’s a skill that came in handy at the craggy, un-bikable top of the African continent last spring.

Not only did Rusch and Sweeny carry their bikes through rough sections of the trail up Kilimanjaro, they also insisted on packing their own supplies in, pedaling with sleeping bags and provisions jostling in 30-pound backpacks. Many climbers use porters to help shuffle their gear to the top, but these adventurers were determined to use as little outside help as possible, even forgoing altitude sickness medications.

Also Read:- Rock Hill students climb Kilimanjaro to help cancer patients

The ride took six days to complete: four days pedaling up and two back down. While it’s possible to cover the terrain faster, Rusch and Sweeny made an effort to keep a conservative pace. The mountain has a low summit ratio due to the extreme altitude, and being in great shape is not necessarily a ticket to the top. “It doesn’t matter how fit you are,” says Rusch. “Altitude affects people differently and you don’t know how your body is going to respond.”

Both Rusch and Sweeny overcame the odds, they made it to the top of the mountain. She says the achievement was both triumphant and surreal. “There’s something very pure about a summit, about getting to the top of the peak; it’s a clear measure of success. It was euphoric to stand up there and see the continent.”

Also Read:- How Hard Is It To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

For Rusch, the trip was yet another in a long line of amazing opportunities provided by cycling. She hopes the awareness and money raised through this expedition will enable others to transform their lives through biking, too.

Rusch continues to work toward her fundraising goal, more information can be found here:

Thanks to for sharing interview report about Rebecca Rusch and Patrick Sweeny Climbing

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Lions ROAR during Kilimanjaro Safaris at night tour in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Kilimanjaro Safari is very world famous safari. A recent Kilimanjaro Safaris - Nocturnal Encounters expedition in Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World reveals an unforgettable moment when a lion and lioness roar back and forth to the delight of guests.

Thanks to Inside The Magic Team for sharing this video :)

You can visit to get more information about Walt Disney World and much more.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Cancer Survivor Climbs Mount Kilimanjaro To Spread Message Of Hope, Survival

A cancer survivor from Utah trekked 37 miles up and down steep terrain to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Molly Froerer said she ascended 19,321 feet above sea level to spread a message of hope and survival.

“When I just went in for a routine screening and said, ‘I’ve been noticing this lump,’ and they said, ‘We should probably get that checked out,'" she said.

Froerer said that visit was the start of it all.

“So that was on Monday of spring break, and then on Tuesday I had a mammogram and biopsy, and on Wednesday I got the diagnoses that it was cancer,” she said.

Back in 2013, the Utah mother of three found out she had advanced breast cancer, and she ended up needing a double mastectomy before going through six months of chemotherapy and radiation.

Cancer survivor climbs Mount Kilimanjaro to spread message of hope, survival

“It was really hard emotionally because, you know, you're worried that you're going to die,” she said.

Now Froerer has been cancer free for 2.5 years, and she is sharing her story of survival with others by raising awareness and money with the non-profit organization Radiating Hope.

Each year, Radiating Hope goes around the world to summit the tallest mountains, and Froerer just got back from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with the group.

“I was sort of the cancer climbing mascot of the climb,” she said.

Fisher said Froerer was more like an example of what is possible when it comes to cancer.

“So to get cancer in Tanzania, it's basically a death sentence,” he said. “And if you talk to anyone in Tanzania they say, 'Oh, if you get cancer you die.' And so we wanted to bring Molly on the trip to show that, 'Hey, you can get treated for cancer, and you can survive cancer.'"

Fisher said cancer is the leading cause of death in Africa, killing more people than HIV, aids, malaria and tuberculosis combined. When he first started working in Tanzania, he said there was only one radiation machine for all 43 million people.

"We have 11 million cancer survivors here in America, and to have none in Tanzania, it just seems unfair, he said.

So far, Radiating Hope has raised enough money over the last seven years to donate two more radiation machines to Tanzania.

Froerer said, if she's learned anything, it’s that the hard work will continue to pay off.

“We can do hard things, and that's sort of been my theme as I’ve gone through my cancer treatment,” she said. “Just that I've always thought that I could do hard things, and cancer made me know that I can do hard things.”

She had this message for others battling cancer: “It's hard and it's tough, but you can do it, because you can do hard things too."

Friday, 24 June 2016

Comparison Between Climbing Kilimanjaro vs Everest Trekking

Are you planning a trek and trying to decide between either Everest Base Camp or Kilimanjaro? I have been to both and wanted to put together a bit of a comparison of the experience on each. This comparison looks specifically at the Kilimanjaro’s Marangu Route which is the quickest and also one of the most popular summit approaches. The other routes to Kilimanjaro’s summit take more time and give trekkers a better chance to acclimatize.


There are several different routes for summiting Kilimanjaro, some are shorter and steeper, while others are longer and have less of a grade. I choose the latter trail to better cope with the elevation change. The specific route I took was the Lomosho route, which took about 8 days from the start to the end.

As for Everest Base Camp(EBC), there really isn’t much variation in the route to the base camp. We started our trek from Lukla after we landed at the notoriously extreme airport.

There are other points of interest in the Everest Region such as summiting Island Peak(Imja Tse), which would add days to your itinerary than trekking to EBC and back down. On Kilimanjaro, there are other points of interest such as crater camp, which I didn’t do.

 View of Mount Everest

Everest or Kilimanjaro: The Scenery and Trekking Experience

Kilimanjaro and Everest both offer vastly different trekking experiences. The scenery on the Everest Base trek is incredible once you pass Namche Bazaar on the third day the views of the peaks are spectacular. The trail passes below the base of Ama Dablam (the Matterhorn of the Himalayas) and the trek offers views of 4 of the world’s 14 eight thousand meter peaks which include; Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Makalu and of course Everest. Kilimanjaro is a free standing peak and can’t offer the same mountain scenery but still provides an interesting experience as you traverse through the different eco-zones. The trek to Kilimanjaro starts off in the lowland rainforests at the base of the mountain which gradually thin and transition to cloud forest (heath zone) where bearded mosses and lichens covers the short stubby trees in the moist and often misty air. Leaving the Heath Zone one enters the Mooreland Zone which is a unique zone of vegetation well known for its Giant Lobelia and Groundsels (See photo).

 Mount Kilimanjaro Route

The actual trekking experience also varies quite a bit. Kilimanjaro offers a mountain hut system on the Marangu Route and camping on other routes. The huts which are run by the national park service are comfortable and in the lower camps each small room is shared between four people. The huts provide a mat to sleep on and lighting but no electrical outlets. The “Tea House” experience in Nepal is quite a bit different and I think the hospitability of the Sherpa culture is part of the trekking experience that can’t be replicated in a hut system run by a national park service. On the Everest trek you will be hiking through small village’s dependant on tourism for their livelihood and offering the visitors a range of restaurants, lodging options and shops selling everything from souvenirs to snacks

 Tengboche Monastery Everest Trek

Everest or Kilimanjaro: When to go  + Weather and Seasons

Everest Base Camp can be trekked anytime from October until June. The Everest Trek can be quite cold during December and January but it is one of my favorite times of year as the crowds are completely absent and you have the mountain to yourself. Kilimanjaro has two seasons and is good climbing from June to September and during January and February. The busiest month on Kilimanjaro is September and January is the least busy month with typically good weather conditions.


If you want a little cultural on your trek, definitely go with the EBC trek. Each teahouse along the trek resides in villages where locals live year round. This gives you an opportunity to meet locals and their children. On Kilimanjaro, it’s virtually all tourist that congregate at the campsites. There are no local villages on the mountain, thus leaving no opportunity to interact with locals other than your guide and porters.

View of Everest an and Lhotse from Namche Bazar


The facilities found on the EBC is much more comfortable than camping on Kilimanjaro. I roughed it and had sleeping pads and a sleeping bag. Some other guide companies actually have taller standing tents with cots. So it all depends on how much you want to pay. On the EBC trek, all my accommodations were in tea houses where we slept indoors on foam mattresses with sleeping bags.

 Sleeping conditions on Everest Base camp

 sleeping conditions on Kilimanjaro Base camp

Side-by-side Comparison
Number of Climbers: 40,000 Kilimanjaro
Number of Trekkers : 45,000 Everest Base Camp
Number of Days to Everest Base Camp: 10 Days
Number of Days to Kilimanjaro Summit: 5 Days
One Way Elevation Gain EBC: 4200m / 13900feet
One Way Elevation Gain Kilimanjaro Marangu Route: 4000m / 13100ft
Kilimanjaro Marangu Route Roudtrip Distance: 70km (42 miles)
Everest Base Camp Roudtrip Distance: 122km (76 miles)


The end point of EBC is kind of anti-climatic with a vista that’s not entirely self-rewarding. It’s essentially a rock with prayer flags marking the general area where Everest summit expeditions setup camp.

Contrast this to the Kilimanjaro trek, the summit provides a view of the sunrise(assuming you depart for the summit at night). Though, it was too cold to stay at the summit and enjoy the scenery. Despite taking a better part of 8 hours to, I only ended up staying at the summit for 15 minutes.

Here’s a few pictures showing the end point for Kilimanjaro and Everest 

Top of the Mount Kilimanjaro

Top Of Mount Everest

Hope this information will be helpful to all of you :)

Source for the images:- 

Thursday, 23 June 2016

How Hard Is It To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

The most popular trail for climbing Africa's highest mountain is dismissively known as the "Coca Cola route". It has comfortable huts for tourists to sleep in, food and drink is for sale and the paths are thronged with climbers.
  1. Kilimanjaro has very little "technical climbing"
  2. But altitude sickness is a major problem
  3. Walking very slowly, having acclimatisation periods and drinking lots of water are key
But while it's fair to say that climbing the nearly 6,000m Kilimanjaro is not akin to climbing Everest or K2, it's still something to be approached with care.

Also Read:- 7 Things You Need to Do to Summit Mount Kilimanjaro

Altitude is the key, who as well as leading trips up the mountain holds the record for the quickest ascent and descent, managing in eight-and-a-half hours what takes the tourists six days.

"It is a very high mountain. Normally people take five or six days. Travelling 1500-2000m in a day is a lot for one person who lives at sea level." 

And the consequence of climbing too high, too quickly, is altitude sickness.

Climbers get headaches, suffer vomiting and struggle with their digestive system.

Comparision between Mount Everest and Mount Kilimanjaro

Image Source

You have got to walk so incredibly slowly; imagine an arthritic 90-year-old walking backwards - that's probably too fast

Of those who make the trip with Mtuy, 60-70% suffer strong symptoms and everybody feels something.

The essence is not bounding ahead enthusiastically, says Jon Garside, training officer of the British Mountaineering Council, who led a party of teenagers up the mountain in 2002.

"It is nothing that a reasonably fit person shouldn't be able to do. The path is a pretty gentle gradient. It is not technically challenging.

"But you get very high very quickly. That affects the body. You have got to walk so incredibly slowly. Imagine an arthritic 90-year-old walking backwards - that's probably too fast. 

"If you exert your body at altitude the body will find it really hard to get its breath back."

Some people take aspirin or diamox, a drug to treat the symptoms of altitude sickness, although this is not always recommended. People must always drink plenty of water.

The Comic Relief party are doing the ascent and descent in eight days meaning they are likely to find it a bit easier than the tourists who try to do it in five and struggle to acclimatise.
  • Hiking boots
  • Cold weather gear
  • Large quantities of fluids
  • Appropriate food
On Kilimanjaro there's none of what mountaineers call "technical climbing" - moments where you find yourself rummaging for an ice axe as you cling on to an overhang. But despite this many of the tourists fail to complete the ascent.

Mr Mtuy runs expeditions using the Lemosho trail which take seven days up and four days down and says with this gentle programme he manages to achieve a 95% success rate.

Mount Kilimanjaro View From Flight

And whichever route you're doing whether it's the touristy Marangu route, the more scenic Machame, the longer Lemosho or any of the others the key thing is mental strength.

A regular part of the BBC News Magazine, Who, What, Why? aims to answer some of the questions behind the headlines

"No matter how strong you have to be prepared mentally," says Mr Mtuy.

"Sleeping on the ground for five or six days is hard. You need the determination. You have a head ache your body is aching, you are struggling."

And of course if you do make the ascent, as well as the layers of wildly differing vegetation you are guaranteed a spectacular view.

"It is really amazing when you get to the crater rim and you see this lunar landscape. It is a very beautiful mountain to climb," says Mr Garside.