Updated: Jan 29
As 2019 draws to a close, people around the world are making new year's resolutions for the new decade. Undoubtedly millions of people will commit to eating less cake and going for an occasional run, before promptly hooking into a chocolate and salted caramel mud cake in the first week of January.
What if we told you you could make a truly epic new year's resolution and eat your cake too? Here are the top 10 reasons we think you should make climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro your 2020 new year's resolution:
1. It's the tallest free standing mountain in the world! At 5,895m tall Kilimanjaro is the world’s tallest freestanding mountain, the highest summit in Africa and one of the world’s seven summits. Much more exciting than signing up for your local 10k fun run!?
2. The view from the top is epic – watch the sun rise over the Serengeti from the highest point in Africa, wake up in your tent above the clouds and see the milky way and shooting stars without a city light in sight.
3. It's one of the world’s natural wonders – Kili offers incredible natural diversity. Colobus Monkeys, Honey Badgers, Aardvarks and Silvery-Cheeked Hornbills are amongst the hundreds of animals found in the Kilimanjaro National Park. As you climb the mountain you pass through 5 distinct climate zones. Hiking through coffee and bananas plantations, lush rain forests, harsh moorlands, an alpine desert and finally through to the artic zone at the summit. The different climate zones are beautifully captured in Lawrence Hill’s award winning short film (6:31) below.
4. The glaciers atop Mt Kilimanjaro may not last until the next decade - Despite being closer to the equator than Bali, due to its extreme altitude and low temperatures Kili has several glaciers which are over 10,000 years old. Of the ice cover present in 1912, 85% has disappeared and 26% of the ice present in 2000 is now gone. Despite their rapid retreat these magnificent glaciers are still incredibly beautiful and a highlight of the climb to the summit.
5. With the right training and preparation, you can make it to the top - Kilimanjaro is the most achievable of the world's seven summits. Whilst climbing Kilimanjaro requires proper preparation and planning just about anyone can make it to the summit with the right training.
Anne Lorimor set the record for the oldest person to reach Uhuru Peak at 89 years and 37 days and despite a minimum age of 10 years old being required to receive a climbing permit Keats Boyd set the record for the youngest person to reach the summit at 7 years old.
The fastest ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro was by Spanish mountain runner, Kilian Jornet in September 2010. He reached the summit in a record time of 5 hours, 23 minutes and 50 seconds! We take you up over a much gentler 5-6 days to allow proper acclimatisation to the extreme altitude.
6. Climbing Kili is the challenge you need to get fit in 2020 – Whilst reaching the peak is achievable, it’s a true challenge. Research has proven setting attainable yet challenging goals is the key to improving your fitness. The hours you spend in the gym strengthening your legs and the time you spend on local training hikes will not just help you successfully reach the summit they will also help to really boost your fitness.
7. You'll have an incredible support team who will help you to reach the top – The amazing porters who help to carry your bags, set up your tents, cook your food and ensure you have a warm cuppa after a hard day's hiking truly make trips to the summit possible.
8. For the sense of achievement after you conquer the mountain – summiting Kilimanjaro is something to be incredibly proud of, you won’t be able to wipe the smug grin of your face for weeks and it sure beats doing a tough mudder with John from accounting in the rain.
9. Kilimanjaro is only a 1 stop flight from most Australian capital cities - Qatar Air have flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth via Doha direct to Kilimanjaro International Airport.
10. From Kilimanjaro all of Tanzania is on your doorstep - Kilimanjaro is the gateway to the Ngorongoro conservation area and Serengeti National Park, both UNESCO world heritage sites and amongst the world's best destinations for safaris. Within 2 hours you can experience the magic of Zanzibar to explore the local history and culture or relax on an idyllic tropical beach to unwind from reaching the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro.
On Track Expeditions has been one of Australia’s leaders in remote and adventure trekking since 2010. We lead expeditions all around the world, but Kilimanjaro is one of our favourite places. Our friendly and highly-trained staff will ensure that climbing Kilimanjaro is the trip of a lifetime.
So this year, make a new years resolution you actually want to keep. Climb one of the worlds highest Mountains and join us on a journey to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro – the roof of Africa.