Nearly 90 percent of Mount Kilimanjaro climbers stick to the Marangu route. This five-day round-trip to the 19,340-foot summit has become so popular that locals have dubbed it "the Coca-Cola trail" (said beverage is hawked from huts along the way). To bring an edge back to Africa’s highest peak, Abercrombie & Kent (which first led clients to the top in 1966) has launched its new Extreme Adventure Kilimanjaro climb—a nine-day trek on the Lemosho Route, the longest and remotest traverse. Armed rangers escort hikers through Arusha National Park, a little-visited gem of forests, moorlands, and volcanic crater lakes sprawled in the mountain’s shadow. "We may be pioneers of bush luxury, but adventure is how we define ourselves," says founder and CEO Geoffrey Kent. True to this split personality, A&K provides a gourmet chef, a personal porter for each climber, and a walk-in mess tent with table dining. The ascent is gradual, as much for acclimatization as for taking in the mountain’s unique ecology in the company of expert guides. But lest you be lulled by the high-end touches, remember: The trip is rated "severe" on the challenge scale, so only the confident (and fit) need apply ($5,525 per person; abercrombiekent.com).
Published: September 2008The Big Trip: 8 New Africa Adventures
All Across Africa: Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro
Wild safaris, bushwhacking treks, cultural close encounters—the new trend on the ancient continent is Africa as it was.
Photograph by Alex Ekins/Digital Railroad
Climb the Scenic Route