Mount Kilimanjaro is located in the northeast of Tanzania, Africa. A dormant volcanic mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro reaches 19,341 feet (5,895 meters) above sea level, making it the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. Kilimanjaro is a beacon light for tourists seeking adventure, drawing over 50,000 climbers a year. There are six different ascent routes available to trekkers; Lemosho, Machame, Marangu, Rongai, Shira, and Umbwe. The Northern Circuit and Western Breach options can be included into most routes to add even more variation to your trek. Kilimanjaro presents a very real challenge but with proper preparation its summit is reachable.
While Kilimanjaro is understood to be easier to summit than peaks in the Andes or Himalayas, it still presents a multitude of challenges. High altitude, low temperatures and occasional high wind can create hazardous treks for the unprepared. Altitude sickness is a real concern, so acclimatization is a crucial part of the ascent. Any sensible itinerary will have built-in periods of acclimatization to help prevent and lessen the symptoms of altitude sickness; headaches, shortness of breath, pulmonary and cerebral edema, or worse. For these reasons, Elite Kilimanjaro takes the utmost care to connect climbers with their reputable and responsible guides who have been personally vetted. All of Elite Kilimanjaro’s guides are certified in first aid and to spot and act on the first signs of Acute Mountain Sickness. Tough conditions mixed with inexperienced guides is the surest way to spoil an otherwise enjoyable trip.
A great deal of responsibility also rests on the climber to ensure their safety. Proper research and physical fitness are both prerequisites for the 6-9 day trek to the summit. There is a misconception that summiting Mount Kilimanjaro is an easy walk because it doesn’t involve any technical climbing. However, many mountaineers describe Kilimanjaro as a very physically demanding trek. According to the Tanzania National Parks the success rate for climbers reaching the summit is around 41%.
However, Elite Kilimanjaro is invested in the success and happiness of their clients so they are active in the preparation process. EK wants you to be able to enjoy the astounding natural beauty around you while making your trek, rather than focusing on the physical demands. To that end, Elite Kilimanjaro is currently working with a leading personal training app developer to add a training program specific to the trek. The program will build endurance and strengthen the stabilizer muscles to help prevent injury while trekking on the rugged terrain of the mountain. The program, complete with instructional videos, will be geared toward beginners who aren’t in the best of shape (sort of a “Couch to Kili”, if you will), but experienced and fit trekkers can also get value by adding the endurance hikes and some of the exercises into their normal routine. The program should be available within the personal training app in the Fall 2014 and Elite Kilimanjaro will provide free downloads to all of their climbers upon booking (Requires iOS or Android mobile device for use).
The realities of the trek may be surprising and startling to some, but it is crucial to the safety of the guests and the guides that everyone be prepared and aware of the challenges. Elite Kilimanjaro’s first concern is safety. Any experienced mountaineer will tell you that clear communication is fundamental to preparation. The team at Elite Kilimanjaro responds to every email personally — you will never get an automated response. Many booking agents will be quick to respond when trying to close the deal, but as soon as money changes hands, the emails slow and the communication trickles. The Elite Kilimanjaro difference is the personal touch.
Elite Kilimanjaro will answer any questions and discuss any concerns you may have. Their team has been on the other side of the line, trying to get answers out of sales reps who don’t have the first hand experience. Elite Kilimanjaro is dedicated to giving you the best experience in Tanzania possible.
Choose EK to book your trip and you won’t be disappointed!