Getting to the top of Africa's highest mountain, at 5,895 metres is the challenge of a lifetime. Although often referred to as a climb, it is actually a 7 - 8 day trek which can be undertaken by most people who are reasonably fit and prepare themselves with a suitable training programme.
The principal enemy to success is altitiude sickness arising from ever decreasing levels of oxygen in the air the higher one goes. There is no relationship between age, sex or physical fitness and the likelihood of experiencing it. Some people are susceptible to it and others are not. A daily schedule which recognises the need for acclimatisation is crucial.
The total cost of a Kilimanjaro trip will be between £2,000 and £3,000. This includes travel to Tanzania, entry visa, insurance, Park fees, licenced guides, porters, food and accommodation. So as not to waste such a large sum it makes sense to use operators who can provide training guidelines, kit requirements (you will start the trek in tropical conditions and arrive at the top in polar connditions) and have a proven success rate in getting trekkers to the summit through rates of ascent which allow for acclimatisation. On the following pages Kids Aid Tanzania describes the Marangu Route the Lemosho Trail the Rongai Route and the Machame Trail with three operators which meet these criteria.
Your trip will be in one of the poorest countries of the world with over 1,000,000 children orphaned as a result of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and with many thousands of street children. By getting your relatives, friends and workmates to sponsor you in your climb you can raise money to help Kids Aid Tanzania provide food, care, education and improvements to health and living conditions for these impoversihed and vulnerable children. You can learn more about Kids Aid Tanzania, and see videos of iits work, by clicking here.