Climbing the Uhuru Peak at Kilimanjaro
Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the highest mountain in all of Africa. At 5,895 meters above sea level, it’s nowhere near the majestic height of the Everest. However, climbing up the Uhuru Peak is still a challenge for a lot of people, no matter how experienced they are when it comes to hiking.
A Very Short History of the Founding of the Uhuru
It was in 1889 when the first man reached the top of the Kilimanjaro. It took Dr. Hans Meyer no less than three attempts to get to the top of the Uhuru Peak and twenty more years before the second man followed his footsteps.
And just for your information, Mawenzi, also found in the Kilimanjaro, is the third highest peak in all of Africa at 5,149 meters. This is followed by Shira at 3,962 meters.
How to Get to the Uhuru
There are several ways on how you could reach the Uhuru Peak.
Machame is said to be the most beautiful of all, thanks to the five different climatic zones. So a camera is a must-have here. Possibly because of its beauty, this is the most-favored route of a lot of tourists.
Marangu is the easiest of all so this is perfect for beginners. However, it is considered by many as the least scenic route because the way to go up is the same way going down.
Shira and Lemosho are great for acclimatization but these two are pretty remote so you can expect to be walking for seven to eight days.
Rongai is not so scenic either and the second most difficult after Umbwe, which is so hard due to the steep ascent.
It would be advantageous for you if you knew which route you’ll be taking so that you can prepare the right gear to use and, of course, yourself.
The Impediments of Reaching the Highest Point
No one said getting to the Uhuru Peak is easy and, like Hans Meyer, it may take more than one attempt for one to actually succeed.
The whole trek up the mountain, whichever route you have decided to take, may last seven days at an average. This, of course, depends on how resolute your mind is and how durable your body is.
Aside from the length of the trip, you should be prepared for the very low temperatures. In fact, at night, it could be well below freezing. You should also get ready for symptoms of altitude sickness like headaches and nausea. Then there’s the anxiety of actually getting there.
The Joy of Being (Nearly) On Top of the World
Arriving at the Uhuru Peak is a huge accomplishment. Of the 50,000 tourists who visit Tanzania to hike on the Kilimanjaro, only 15,000 really plan to reach the summit. And out of that number, less than 40% come down with a photo showing their ecstatic faces beside the nicely angled wooden signage of the Uhuru.
But don’t worry that you won’t get to experience this. With the right training and a lot of determination, this peak is not unconquerable. You can get to the Uhuru Peak, too.