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Travel: Jump New Heights With The Kilimanjaro

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Why do 40,000 people a year seek to climb the world’s highest freestanding mountain–a mountain so popular it has become known as “Everyman’s Everest”? Because Kilimanjaro is technically the easiest to climb of the Seven Summits. You don’t need ropes or special mountaineering gear, or even any previous mountain climbing experience.Kilimanjaro one of the world’s greatest natural wonders: a snow covered mountain on the equator, an ocean of green forest surrounded by dry savannah. Climbing Kilimanjaro is like walking from the equator to the North Pole in a week, providing dramatic changes in vegetation and animal life day by day. Kilimanjaro is also a sky island. Its high altitudes have created habitat for strange and unique life forms found only on a few other peaks on the planet, such as the delicate elephant flower and the bizarre Kilimanjaro tree.Kilimanjaro also inspired a continent to freedom. Kilimanjaro belongs to Tanzania, the first nation in Africa to win independence from colonial powers (it was then called Tanganyika). Before independence in 1959, soon-to-be President Julius Nyerere said: “We, the people of Tanganyika, would like to light a candle and put it on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro which would shine beyond our borders giving hope where there was despair, love where there was hate, and dignity where before there was only humiliation.” Today, the summit is called Uhuru Peak–Uhuru is the Swahili word for “Freedom.” Not yet convinced to book a trip with your friends and family to Tanzania? Maybe these photos would.Photo Credit: Getty

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