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Top Ten Treks in The World - #10 - Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Mount Kilimanjaro TrekOn every top ten list one item must be at the bottom. Selecting which of the ten best treks would be the so called worst wasn't easy. In the end it was the trek to the top of Africa's rooftop, Mt. Kilimanjaro that bottomed out our list. The free-standing snow covered peak of Kilimanjaro towers above all else in Africa. With numerous routes to the top every would-be mountaineer can find their path to summit the highest peak in Africa. Whether you choose the “Coca Cola” route and sleep in huts, the more traditional route and camp in tents, or choose a technical approach with cramp-ons and ropes, the peak of Kilimanjaro is attainable by any fit individual with an iron will.

However, with the lure of a non-technical hike to the summit comes some drawbacks. The summit of Kilimanjaro attracts hordes of hikers, so you can forget about finding solitude on the mountain. Indeed, there were many times were we felt like cattle being horded. However, the lure to reaching the peak and climbing 4,405m / 14,452’ while passing through dense jungle, barren wastelands and a sunrise framed in a breathtaking glacier is a reasonable payment for the dealing with the masses.

A former international competive race walker I can tell you while the peak is doable, it's quite an effort. Unfortunately, the final push is from midnight to sunrise, so you don't get to see anything while you trudge up the final steps of the mountain. This was one of the most dissappointing parts of the hike for me. Call me crazy, but I want to see what's around me. Sure you can see it all on the way down, but there's something just not right not getting to see it on the way up.

Once you've finished you can reward yourself with a safari into Africa’s national parks where the sights, sounds and smells of lions, elephants, giraffes, are just a taste of the variety of life unshackled by zoos and man’s contamination. Adding a safari to the end of the trek creates an umatched experience for the adventerous traveller.

You can read a more complete story of our hike at our sister site www.greattreks.com or purchase our book A Journey Along the World's Great Treks.

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