The Himalayas of Nepal are a dream destination for mountaineers, hikers and climbers worldwide. Every year, countless mountain enthusiasts make their way to the (around 5,400 m) to see the world’s highest mountain. On a different continent further west, an equally spectacular trek awaits: Kilimanjaro or simply“Kili” at almost 5,900 meters above sea level. The so called Roof of Africa is not only the highest mountain in Africa, but also the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Located in Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro has its own charm, surrounded bybreathtakinglandscapes and unique wildlife. Himalayas or Kilimanjaro – both sound fascinating. But which one is the better destination for you? Read on to find out more about the differences, set your mind and get ready for your big adventure.
The altitude difference between the Everest Base Camp (5,400 m) and Kilimanjaro (5,900 m) is 500 meters. What may seem “not that much” at first glance actually matters a lot. You should also know that, on your way to Everest Base Camp (EBC), the incline is rather gradual.The EBC trek takes twice as long as the Kili trek, and you will spend more time in higher elevation. The advantage with EBC is that your body has more time to acclimatize. On the other hand, stayingin high altitude for an extended periodof time can bestressful for your body. The Kilitrek is shorter, but the last stretch to the summit is more challenging.After the first few days in relatively low altitude, you will have to tackle a good amount of vertical meters in just one go.
The trek to Everest Base Camp takes around 2 weeks, while the Kilimanjaro Trek is rather short (7 days, more or less). The EBC trek is a beautiful long distance trailallowing you to take your time. The spectacular Himalayan scenery, historic monasteries and traditional villages invite you to fully enjoy the moment. Many hikers take oneor even two days to acclimatize and discover the local surroundings. All along the way, tea houses offer accommodation and provide the perfect setting for a break. The Kili trek, on the other hand, is a more intense adventure takingyou straight up to the “finish line”. Since you will stay in tents on most routes, you don’t spend much time in the same spot. However, camping is an exciting opportunity to live an adventure in the heart of nature.
The Everest Base Camp trek offers unique views of Mount Everest and other giant peaks.Kilimanjaro awaits with different kinds of landscapes that are just as beautiful. On your way to the top of Kilimanjaro, you will pass all climatic zones from rainforest to the snow-capped summit. But the adventure doesn’t have to end with your trek.After your Kilimanjaro climb, don’t miss a safari through the world famous Serengeti National Park. In addition, Tanzania is a perfect destination for a relaxing beach holiday. Nepal, on the other hand, captures the hearts of its visitors with its colourful history, traditions and culture.Kathmandu, for example, is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Bashantapur and Bhaktapur. And, if you need even more thrill after your trekking adventure, head to Pokhara for paragliding, bungee jumping or rafting.
Kilimanjaro: Pros and Cons
On Kilimanjaro, you can choose between seven different routes, depending on your personal requirements. Amongst the Seven Summits, Kilimanjaro is considered to be the “easiest” one. On Kilimanjaro, you can witness unique flora and fauna while walking through different climatic zones. Also, depending on the route, you can see the Shira Plateau (the highest plateau in the world)and the Lava Tower with rocks formed from magma. From a cultural point of view, Kilimanjaro is not as varied as the Everest Base Camp trek.It’s also important to know that accommodation on your Kilimanjaro adventure will be in a tent on most of the routes. If you really love nature and don’t mind skipping your shower for a while, this is your trek. However, if you do appreciate a little bit more comfort, the EBC trek offers a good choice of accommodation in tea houses and lodges.
Everest Base Camp: Pros and Cons
The greatest highlights ofthe Everest Base Camp trek arethe fantastic views of Mount Everest and other eight-thousanders. Another advantage of the EBC trek is that you can discover monasteries, villages and the local culture along the way. No doubt, the trek is challenging, but you can take your time to reach your goal. However, you should know that the Everest Base Camp trek is not a round trip. That means, the ascent and descent are on the same trail. You should also consider that you might encounter many other trekkers in high season. But, there are alternatives to the classic EBC Trek, for example the Gokyo Lake trek or the Three Passes trek. Accommodation on the EBC trek is in tea houses, so you can sleep more comfortably than in a tent.