An almost perfectly shaped volcano rising sheer from Tanzania’s northeastern plains, Mt Kilimanjaro is one of Africa’s most magnificent sights. Snowcapped and not yet extinct, at 5896m (19343ft) it’s the highest peak on the continent.
The name of Kilimanjaro is as shrouded in mystery as the mist-enveloped summit. ‘Mountain of Light’ is one of the several possible translations, although many locals refer to the snowy peak as Kipoo or Kibo.
Daunting as it looks, it’s possible to scale the mountain without technical mountaineering skills – all you need is determination, warm clothing and a properly equipped guide. There’s no doubt you’ll go through the pain barrier on the way to the top, but the reward is unforgettable – a sunrise view over what seems like half of Africa spread out below.
From cultivated farmlands on the lower levels, the mountain rises through lush rainforest to alpine meadow and finally across a barren lunar landscape to the twin summits. The lower slopes of the mountain also offer great hiking.