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Explore Mount Kilimanjaro
on 9 October 2007
Explore Mount Kilimanjaro is a guide detailing two trails (The Marangu route and the Machame route) to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. The two routes differ in distance, roughness of terrain, degree of ascending/descending, and the type of accommodations provided at the various stopover points. In this way, individuals can hike to Uhuru Peak at the top of the mountain while taking into consideration personal physical ability levels.
Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, is the highest point on the earth that can be reached by ordinary people and without the use of special equipment. This mountain is 5896 meters (almost four miles) at its highest point. Mount Kilimanjaro was formed between 500,000 and 750,000 years ago and contains three volcanic centers. Two of these centers are now extinct, while the third continues to be listed as dormant.
The Marangu route, though still challenging, is the least strenuous and demanding of the two trails. The guide divides this route up into four sections: from Marangu Gate to Mandara Huts; from Mandara Huts to Horombo Huts; from Horombo Huts to Kibo Hut; and from Kibo Hut to Gillman's Point/Uhura Peak. This route requires daily altitude ascents between 800 and 1195 meters per day. However, an extra day for acclimatization is included on the third day of the hike. Accommodations along this trail include permanent bunk bedded huts with solar powered electricity and toilets with running water.
The Machame route is the more strenuous and demanding of the two trails. The guide divides this route up into five sections: from Machame Gate to Machame Camp; from Machame Camp to Shira Camp; from Shira Camp to Barranco Camp; from Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp; and from Barafu Camp to Stella Point/Uhuru Peak. This route requires continuous daily altitude ascents between 780 and 1295 meters per day. It is of note that some of these sections include descending and ascending portions. Accommodations along this trail include rustic shared tents.
Explore Explore Mount Kilimanjaro outlines not only the various sections of the each of the two trails to the peak (including full color maps) but also details various long walking and high altitude hiking fundamentals. These details include what types of equipment the participant should bring to complete the walk, how long the various sections of the journey will take, and how temperature and seasonality will affect the walk. There are also helpful tips especially for novices about daily mileage, feet, weight, and the right gear.