There are only just a handful of thrills greater than standing on the top of mighty Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa and the world's tallest free-standing mountain. It features on plenty of 'what to do' lists along with other African highlights, like visiting Botswana's spectacular Okavango Delta, an elephant safari, and seeing the wildebeest migration in Kenya and Tanzania.
"Success rate for clients reaching the 19,340 Uhuru ft peak is currently 98% and the secret is to choose the right climbing operator," says Aardvark co-director John Spence. "You get what you pay for in terms of professionalism and equipment. We recommend for anyone who is in good physical health and wants to rise to the challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro to look closely at the differences between a good climbing operator and a bad one."
A professional climbing operation will offer:
Â· Good quality equipment and in good condition
Â· A low climber to guide ratio
Â· Fully trained, experienced and knowledgeable guides
Â· Choosing the right route (shorter trips mean less time to acclimatize on the mountain thus reducing success rate to more like 60%+)
Â· 24-hour emergency ground support for clients and crew
Â· Climbers, guides and porters all have the same provision for emergency evacuation off the mountain
Â· Porters' loads are always within the limit set out for Kilimanjaro porters by Tanzania National Parks
Â· Strong ethical commitment; all crews are well cared for and properly equipped at all times and the porters are well paid
Â· Environmental responsibility; all rubbish is removed, and no harm is done to the mountain or its resources
The cost (exclusive of international flights) based on two people sharing a luxury specification tent on a Machame Route small group climb is from $3,650 per person to include all accommodation, tents and camping equipment, guiding and meals.
Best time of year to climb
The warmest months with the clearest trekking days, are from mid to late December, January, February, September and October. The rains often come in April and the start of May with the possibility of some snow.
June through to August are superb trekking months, though evening temperatures tend to be colder. The wettest months, are November and early December, where snow falls are likely. Note however, that as this is a mountain it is not impossible to get sporadic snow or rainfall at odd times throughout the year.
For more information or photos please contact John Spence or Victoria Langmead on Toll Free on 1 888 776-0888.www.aardvarksafaris.com.
For international stories: For travel in the United States visit In The Know Traveler USA
For USA stories: For travel around the world visit In The Know Traveler