You’re not a real trekker if you haven’t heard of Mount Kilimanjaro. Kilimanjaro is one of the most thrilling trekking experiences for all trekkers alike, regardless of how nascent or experienced one is. The mountain’s popularity can be gauged from the fact that it hosts an annual crowd of about 45,000 trekkers. While each of them may have their own agenda of making it all the way up to the Uhuru Peak, there are broadly 5 types of trekkers one can find on Kilimanjaro.
1) Amateur Trekkers
Even if it is the first trek of your life, Kilimanjaro can be traversed without much difficulty. All you need is a little training, exposure to acclimatization and the right route. Routes like Marangu and Machame are popular amongst the amateurs. Marangu is more suited for the commercial tourists who have never trekked before. This route offers comfortable lodging and refreshment opportunities throughout the trail. Moreover, the numerous guides and porters act as a great support system, which is exactly the kind of infrastructure that newbies need!
2) Nature Lovers
Kilimanjaro is a heavenly experience to nature lovers, alluring thousands of such fanatics year after year. The mountain is nothing short of a natural wonder. To begin with, it is a dormant volcano and has been formed mainly by cooled lava from volcanic eruptions in the past. Trekkers can still make it to the rim of the crater and smell the sulphur from the lava. The trek takes you through 5 different ecological zones; namely farmland, rainforests, heather and moorland, highland desert and the arctic summit. Beautiful, stunning and photographic views along almost every route often give a strong incentive for nature lovers to visit Kilimanjaro.
Moreover, if you don’t know it yet, this might come as a surprise that Kilimanjaro is home to a plethora of wild animals, despite the range and the intensity of climate found on the mountain. To quote the numbers, you can find about 140 different species of mammals on the mountain, that includes 25 antelopes, 24 species of bats, 7 primates, 25 carnivores. Even large mammals like buffalos, bushbucks, red duiker, grey duiker and tree hyrax can be found along with primate species such as the montane forest, bushbabies, blue monkeys, etc. Hence, Kilimanjaro proves to be an amazing experience for all wildlife lovers.
3) Climate Change Enthusiasts
It is a well-known fact that Kilimanjaro has lost 82% of its ice cap as well as 55% of its glaciers since 1962, all due to climate change. This has made Kilimanjaro a hot spot for the study of climate change. Each year, a large number of scientists and environment enthusiasts make their way to the top in order to scrutinize the intensity of the changes and the exact factors that have led to this rapid retraction.
4) Achievement/Attention Seekers
Kilimanjaro is not just about conquering a mountain. Many trekkers use it as means to overcome their life’s challenges and/or commemorate the inception or conclusion of an important chapter in their life. Moreover, some trekkers have even used this feat to bring attention on important global topics such as disabilities, charities and women empowerment. For example, in 2003, celebrities Jessica Biel, Emile Hirsch and Lupe Fiasco climbed to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in order to raise awareness about the lack of clean drinking water for millions of people around the world.
Spencer West stunned the world in 2012 by climbing to the top of Uhuru Peak using just his hands. Having lost both of his legs when he was just 5 years old, this was a notable achievement for someone with such a disability.
5) Professional Trekkers
Kilimanjaro has something to offer to every trekker. Since the mountain has 7 routes to the top with varying degrees of trek intensity, it attracts a lot of professional trekkers every year. Routes like Umbwe and the Northern Circuit provide the requisite adventurous profiles to experienced and professional trekkers who are looking for another challenging trek.
These are the general types of climbers we see every year on Kilimanjaro. Are you planning to climb the highest free-standing mountain in the world? Which type of trekker are you? Share your views with us in the comment section below.
Title image credit: Pixabay