Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
There is something special about volcanoes, even dormant ones. Most of us are well aware that life is fleeting. Volcanoes remind us that the ground under our feet is also temporary – vulnerable to the moody eruptions brimming beneath the surface of the earth.
Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro is an awesome sight. At 19,336 feet (5,895 meters), it is the highest mountain in Africa [source: Tanzania Parks]. Along the slopes of this behemoth you will encounter virtually all of Earth's biomes, including tropical lowlands, alpine woodlands, and lush green landscapes in between [source: Tanzania Parks]. Mount Kilimanjaro is also incredibly rich in biodiversity, providing a home to 179 species of bird and 140 species of mammals, including several primates [source: Mount Kilimanjaro Guide].
What's wonderful about Mount Kilimanjaro is that anyone can climb it. Well, almost anyone. Known as "Everyman's Everest," its slope is gentle enough to conquer with nothing more than a walking stick and a whole lot of determination, though reaching the summit is generally reserved for expert climbers. The amount of time it takes to reach the peak of Kilimanjaro depends on many factors, including your fitness level and the route you choose. Most trekking organizers recommend about eight days to summit and back, which allows time to acclimatize to the high altitude [source: Ultimate Kilimanjaro].
After your Kilimanjaro climb, you'll be basking in the glow of its awesomeness, but don't forget that you're in an outdoor paradise. No trip to Mount Kilimanjaro is complete without a Tanzanian safari experience, where you'll see cheetahs, leopards, lions and elephants in their natural habitat [source: Tanzania Adventure].