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Summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro

Touch the Roof of Africa at Kilimanjaro
Known as “Everyman’s Everest,” the journey to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro isn’t easy but can be done by almost anyone who prepares and commits to the challenge. This beautiful trip brings travelers through five eco-zones ranging from lush to arid to glacial. I generally guide people on 7-8 days journeys on the Machame route, which is considered the most beautiful route and away from most of the crowds. Before the climb, we take cultural tours though the foothill villages to experience local lifestyle. After the climb, World Wide Trekking offers voluntourism opportunities at our Human Outreach Project in Tanzania. At the Kilimanjaro Kids Community orphanage, many adventurers choose to bring a rich humanitarian dimension to their African experience.

Quiet Time
Literally "On Top of the World", this was taken from Uhuru Peak on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania about 19, 340 feet above ground. We had been hiking for four days when we started our ascent to the top at 11pm the night before after only a few hours of sleep in a very cold tent on Barafu's base camp. Seven and a half hours later, we watched the sun rise on Stella Point and made our marks on Uhuru another 45 minutes later, our fifth day hiking the country. I was hallucinating on my way up, but the view when we finally made it was something I will never forget.

Exhilarating Journeys
There is nothing better than spending some time in Tanzania hiking Mount Kilimanjaro. Chilled mountain mornings with friends, exploring its five different zones, challenging your mental ability to push through steep heights, strong hail storms, altititude , you name it. It's an experience not to miss. As much as it is about summiting on Uhuru, this mountain, above all is about conquering yourself.

Mawenzi Peak on the night of summit assault
Mawenzi, Shira, and Kibo are the three peaks of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. The attempt to summit Kibo peak (highest peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro) started at 12 midnight. After a snowy afternoon and evening, sky cleared up and stars sparkled on deep blue horizon. Lesser known, Mawenzi peak was behind us on our quest to scale Kibo. Although more than 16,000 ft high, it was beneath us at that particular moment.

Patiently Waiting for Kilimanjaro
It's possible to spend a week in the Mt. Kilimanjaro region without ever seeing the mountain's iconic peak. You'd think the highest point in Africa would be tough to miss, but regular cloud cover means that your best chances of getting a glimpse are in the early morning and evenings.

Seeing Kilimanjaro's Uhuru Peak was a goal. I gave myself three days, stationed at the promisingly-named Mt. Kilimanjaro View Lodge (located on the side of the mountain), and vowed to set my alarm for 5 AM each morning.

But it was on my very first evening, during a walk around the lodge's base, that the clouds unexpectedly opened up to reveal a glimpse of the daunting Uhuru Peak.

It turned out to be the mountain's only appearance: after a few hours of staring in awe, the clouds rolled back in, and the peak stayed patiently hidden for the rest of my stay.

Top of Kilimanjaro
Me at the top of Kilimanjaro: I went with REI and would highly recommend them to anyone else considering climbing the tallest mountain in Africa.

Deluxe "Glacier" View
I had just reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and I descended a few hundred feet to my tent. I changed out of my sweaty clothes and took a few minutes to rest, and then opened my tent flap to see this amazing view of the "melting" snows of Kilimanjaro.