Mount Kilimanjaro, located in Tanzania, is the tallest mountain on the continent, ascending 19,340 feet (5,895 meters) into the thin air. But you don't have to scale this beast. Mount Kilimanjaro is a mountain that you can walk up. In fact, the current world record holder ran up and down this mountain in just over eight hours. But that doesn't mean it's easy. Tour companies offer hikes that range from five to eight days. Fewer than 30 percent of people who opt for the five-day trip reach the top of Kilimanjaro, but 85 percent of those who select the eight-day trip make it all the way [source: Ultimate Kilimanjaro]. Pacing yourself, then, seems to increase your chances of becoming king of the hill. Go too fast and the altitude can rise faster than your body can adjust.
Whether or not you tend to suffer from altitude sickness, it's strongly advisable to train for up to four months prior to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. One basic way to train is simply by hiking. If you can walk on a stair climbing machine for one to two hours at a time wearing a backpack that is the same weight as what you'll carry when doing the real thing, then you're probably in shape for this adventure.
Another lofty adventure awaits on the next page.