Thursday, July 19, 2012

Good Reasons To Book A Kilimanjaro Safari

By Rick Baugh

Africa's tallest mountain is Mt Kilimanjaro. A Kilimanjaro safari will offer you a holiday unlike any other. Thousands of tourists visit the area annually. There is a range of tours to choose from. The mountain is Tanzania's main attraction and is a dormant volcano. If you want to climb Kilimanjaro, you will need to allow sufficient time to become acclimatised.

Some visit the area to see the wildlife; others go to climb Kilimanjaro; most want to combine the two. Because the animals are accustomed to vehicles and cameras, it is possible to take some fantastic images. Elephants, lions, cheetahs, leopards, rhinoceros and giraffes are some of the main attractions.

Climbing the peak is quite a challenge. To reach the summit, there are six alternative routes. These vary in length, difficulty and scenic beauty. The amount of traffic also differs with each. The longer western routes allow better acclimatisation and you will be able to start off at a more reasonable hour for the last assault on the summit.

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) or altitude sickness is frequently encountered on the climb. Climbing can only be done with an organized group, which must stay on one of the designated tracks. Research tour companies before your trip. If considering signing with the cheapest operator, check out their credentials and referrals beforehand. Pack light but remember that there will be quite some variation in temperature. You will probably be able to hire some gear and porters will carry most of your equipment.

Reliable tour companies will have medical supplies available en route to the summit. Radios, recompression bags and oxygen allow prompt treatment of anyone suffering signs of altitude sickness. If you suffer disorientation, shortness of breath, hypothermia, nausea or headaches while climbing, these could be symptoms of AMS. Tell your guide immediately. AMS and lack of fitness are the main reasons why trekkers have to give up their climb before reaching the top.

Climbing the mountain should not be regarded as an easy task. A high level of fitness is required if you want to reach the top. The surroundings are so flat and Kilimanjaro so high that, from the summit, you can view the greatest area of the earth's crust that is possible without taking to the air.

Peak seasons are January to March, and September to October. As far as climbing is concerned, weather conditions will be safest during these months. You should get fit before you go. Be sure to take out travel insurance that includes medical cover. It is possible to take medication which will help prevent altitude sickness. With careful planning, your Kilimanjaro safari will become a wonderful memory in years to come.

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