Photography by Jill Schneider
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Climbing to the Roof of Africa with National Geographic

Why tackle the tallest freestanding mountain in the world? Every climber has their reason for choosing to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro—and we have ten, for those who need a little nudge.

Conquer one of the world’s seven summits: Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is considered the “most accessible” of the seven summits because there’s no technical climbing involved. You won’t need to rely on harnesses, ropes, or other technical equipment—just the power of your own two feet.

Take it slow: National Geographic's Kilimanjaro expedition follows the Lemosho-Kosovo Route, which offers a gradual ascension—allowing you to acclimate to the elevation and increasing your chances of reaching the summit.

Travel through five distinct ecological zones: There’s a saying that completing the entire trek is like walking from the Equator to the North Pole. Each day, the landscape changes dramatically as you ascend from the dusty savanna through lush rain forest to alpine desert, until you finally reach the glacier at the mountain’s peak.

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A top-notch guiding team: Traveling with our team of seasoned guides, you'll hike at your own pace in the company of an experienced local climber—someone who will illuminate the ecology of the surrounding landscape, share mountaineering stories, and tell you about life in Tanzania.

“Support group” takes on a whole new meaning: While our team of guides ensures that everyone makes it to the summit safely, a legion of porters carries your gear and camping equipment so that you can focus on the pleasures and challenges of the hike itself. As you begin each day’s trek, our porters zip ahead to set up the evening’s campsite, where they greet you with songs, high fives, and best of all, popcorn and hot chocolate.

Creature comforts: Porters also transport private tents with toilets between each campsite, which may seem insignificant prior to your climb, but feels like an incredible luxury after a couple of days on the trail.

Touch the sky: As you climb higher in elevation each day, the sunrise and the stars appear remarkably vivid and—upon reaching the summit at some 19,300 feet—the views are simply breathtaking.

Bragging rights for life: Perhaps you're checking it off your bucket list, achieving a personal quest, or seeking a transcendent experience. Whatever your motivation for tackling Kilimanjaro, you will forever be able to say, “Yeah, I climbed that.”

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Go beyond the “big five”: After the trek, reward yourself with a safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, each home to an incredible variety of creatures. Spot zebras, elephants, lions, and more with our expert guides, and visit a site where early human fossils were discovered on a National Geographic–funded excavation.

Stay in stunning safari camps: Return from safari each day to your comfortable tent, where you can enjoy a glass of wine by the fire pit and watch herds of zebras stroll idly by.

Learn more about National Geographic’s active expeditions to Mount Kilimanjaro, including our 10-day Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with Optional Safari.