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Lifelist: Summit Kilimanjaro
Time for another edition of our Lifelist feature, in which we find
one of those things that every adventuresome soul should do before he/she dies, and we provide the who, what, why,
where, how to do it.
So, first the WHAT and WHERE:
Mount Kilimanjaro is smack in the middle of Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania. That's in Africa for the less geographically-inclined. Kilimanjaro rises from the African plain near the Indian Ocean and is the highest mountain in Africa…actually it is one of the largest free standing mountains in the world. Yes, if you are a climber or even an avid trekker, you must climb Kilimanjaro.
Most people probably don't know that the mountain is actually made up of three volcanoes. Kibo, which rises 19,340 feet, Mawenzi which is 16,896 feet, and Shira which is 13,000 feet. Kilimanjaro is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
You can climb the mountain throughout the year, but if you want the best time, then head there in the first three months of the year. January, February and September are the best months, with July, August, November and December also good.
HOW: There are several outfitters at Kilimanjaro, but in clicking arond, I found that Kilimanjaro Adventures is one of the top dogs. According to their site, they have been leading climbs since 1990. In 2004, they led approximately 7,000 climbers up and safely down the mountain. Not a bad record.
If you want to read more about climbing Kilimajaro, give
this piece from Away.com
a read. it gives a nice overview and delivers a stirring narrative of the climb. And, of course, you can always take a
look at the ever-informative Wikipedia page.
WHY: Because it's there. Duh.