Why do people climb Kilimanjaro? The old answer of “because it’s there” doesn’t really cover it. Our guide Aodhnait Carroll explores a few of the reasons people on her trek took on the climb.
Why do people climb Kilimanjaro?
I’m guessing that by the title of this piece you may be assuming you are about to read a document about weather and climbing conditions however, that is not what I have written about. Instead, I’ve collected the most common reasons why people chose to visit Kilimanjaro and how they came to that decision.
Some Earth’s Edge travellers are in search of a different type of holiday. Many Irish travellers have had amazing experiences of visiting partying hotspots all over the world. I’ve heard stories of visits to Ibiza and Majorca filled with late nights, loud music and lots of drinks.
One of my fellow explorers on a recent Kilimanjaro trip described how he had become tired of the headaches that ultimately follow a night out only to be repeated the following night; as a reason why he was visiting his first high altitude mountain.
Little did he know that headaches would play a part in this holiday also but for a very different reason. This client later asked me if I thought the summit night of Kilimanjaro was harder than childbirth.
He thought that it had to be! So as far as he was concerned the right time to climb Kilimanjaro is when you are ready to experience something different that will challenge you like you never knew you could be challenged.
Many climbers of Kilimanjaro see the journey on this iconic mountain as the perfect way to mark a big transition in their lives. It can act as a celebration of retirement from their career or a pivotal change in career to something new. The seven days spent on Kilimanjaro can be a positive landmark signifying change and growth.
I journeyed to Tanzania with an individual who retired only a few days previous to the departure of the expedition as well as a woman who was taking a leave of absence from her job to travel, and Kilimanjaro was the first stop.
So if it is a career change, a refocus or an ending to a forty-year career, a mountain that allows you to witness the curvature of the Earth can help you place everything in perspective and celebrate what has happened and what is to come.
In memory of a loved one
Kilimanjaro is a contemplative place and many explorers use this beautiful location to remember a loved one. I’ve spent days on the mountain with climbers who carry the pictures of the people on their minds. They tell their stories to their fellow travellers and keep their memory alive.
The beauty of the places visited on the mountain as well as the quiet of the nights is often the ideal setting to honour loved ones who are no longer with them. The hardship of the mountain also plays a part in this process for many.
Kilimanjaro provides both beauty and calm as well as challenge and discomfort. It’s through the exquisiteness of the surroundings and the adversity of the conditions that people explore loss and grief and return to the memories of joy they experienced with the people they’ve lost.
Climbing Kilimanjaro for no reason at all
What is hopefully apparent is that people travel to Kilimanjaro for many reasons. Some do indeed want to climb it because it’s there, but the mountain is many things to many people. So perhaps ask yourself if now is the right time to climb Kilimanjaro?
If you’re still left wondering about weather and climbing conditions, I recommend you call the Earth’s Edge office. They’re ready and waiting to answer any questions at all that you might have about planning your trip.
If you want to see the prices and availability for our Kilimanjaro Trek click HERE
I hope to see you out there soon and hear all about your reasons for visiting the mountain!
Earth’s Edge Guide