A journey to Mount Kilimanjaro is an exploration, not merely a climb. For some the appeal is simple: it is the highest mountain on earth whose summit is accessible to any committed walker without technical skills or experience. A well-prepared city-dweller may be able to reach 'the roof of Africa'. This is the allure of the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
However, each walker faces a personal gamble, and the stakes are high: altitude symptoms are unpredictable. No amount of preparation can guarantee success. The only certainty is that everyone who takes up the challenge will reach deep down inside themselves during the ascent.
Reaching the summit is not the only goal: success lies rather in the quality of the attempt. Living a lot closer to nature than you are used to, you will explore your own motivation and recognise your dependency on others. On return from Kilimanjaro, whether you 'succeed' or not, you will know more about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, and your fellow humans, than when you set out.
For anyone interested in the natural world, exploring this mountain is fascinating. In a landscape formed by ice and fire, the ascent takes you from tropical rain forest to arctic conditions among the summit glaciers - contrasts that at sea level would be six thousand miles apart. On Kilimanjaro, you walk from equator to arctic in four days.
In temperate latitudes, each season takes months to give way to the next; high on Kilimanjaro, winter drives out summer every night. This is a wild place, full of contrasts and extremes. Plants and animals struggle to survive, in severe conditions of drought, arctic cold and blazing sunshine. Your climb is a journey backwards in time, where life-forms become simpler, species are fewer and the struggle to survive is harder.
The mountain rises over three miles above the plain on which it stands, making it an outstanding landmark. Your journey to Kilimanjaro may become an unforgettable personal landmark in your life.