Mount Kilimanjaro is ‘cherry on the cake’ and needs to remain natural
For the President of the Swedish-Southern Africa Chamber of Commerce, Ms Asa Jarskog, Mount Kilimanjaro is indeed the ‘cherry on the cake’!
“I’ve an adventurous personality. I’ve been in Rwanda to see the gorillas, Victoria Falls and Caves in Zimbabwe, but climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was the cherry on the cake,” says Ms Jarskog, after successfully reaching Uhuru Peak with her daughter Miss Johanna Jarskog recently.
Rising majestically above the African plains, the 20,000-foot Mount Kilimanjaro has beckoned to climbers since the first recorded summit in 1889.
An influential lady, with 30 years of experience working with business development in Africa, Ms Jarskog, says Mount Kilimanjaro needs to remain natural.
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“Tourists do not come to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro for luxury like being in Dubai. In fact they come to take opportunity to reflect and enjoy being in life” she explains in an exclusive interview with the Business Times.
Her comment comes amid the reports that Tanzania plans to install a cable car on Africa’s highest Mountain, as a strategy to attract more visitors and boost tourism numbers.
The cable car would be aimed primarily at facilitating visits among older tourists, who may not physically fit enough to climb the mountain, which, at its peak, stands 5,895 meters tall.
Instead of the familiar views of snow and ice, this cable car would offer a day trip safari with a bird’s eye view, contrary to the eight-day hiking trip.
“Respect nature. I can tell you majority of tourists climb Mount Kilimanjaro because they understand that one could develop as a person when he or she gets in touch with nature” Ms Jarskog notes.
She added: “Mount Kilimanjaro is physically very challenging in many ways and you become an exaggerated version of yourself. This pushes you to go back to your core values”.
Ms Jarskog further argues that Mount Kilimanjaro’s positive take away is where tourists switch off and being offline for eight days.
She also implores tourists to be responsible when it comes to dispose-off the wastes if the Mount Kilimanjaro is to remain as beautiful as it is.
The business leader underlined the need for tour companies to brief their clients before climbing the mountain on how to manage the wastes.
Chief executive officer of Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), Mr Sirili Akko commended Ms Jarskog for making on roof of Africa.
“I hope this open the way for Global celebrates to come and climb the Mount Kilimanjaro for a lifetime experience” Mr Akko explains.
Covered in mist, full of legends and mystery, Mount Kilimanjaro otherwise known as the roof of Africa stands to attract tourists from all corners of the world, the reasons behind its nomination to contest for listing in New Seven Wonders of Nature.
Shrouded in gray, dark clouds and covered in mist most of the day, Mount Kilimanjaro with a height of 5,895 meters is located some 330 kilometers south of Equator, giving an awesome and magnificent inspiration hundreds of miles away.
Kilimanjaro is one of the leading single and freestanding mountains in the world, and it composed of three independent peaks of Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. The entire mountain area is 4,000 kilometers of the earth surface.
Formed some 750,000 years through volcanic eruptions, Mount Kilimanjaro took several geological changes for 250,000 years, and the present features were formed during the past 500,000 years after a number of upheavals and tremors took place to cause formation of 250 volcanic hills and crater lakes including the magnificent Lake Chala down its slopes.
The last volcanic activity occurred about 200 years ago and created a symmetrical cone of ash around Kibo peak, and since then, Mt. Kilimanjaro was at peace until today, but people who were living on the slopes and observed volcanic eruptions connected this natural phenomenon to punishment from God.
When Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s jewel today, earlier occupants of its slopes took this glorious and glamorous mountain to a place on not going in fear of reprisal from God because it was his almighty seat.
In 1861, Richard Thornton attempted the first climb. The Mountain was new to him and had a difficult time penetrating through the second zone. Also the weather was too bad and forced him down. In 1862, Otto Kersten and Baron Von der Decken attempted the climb. They climbed over 15,000 feet but were forced down because of bad weather.
On October 5, 1889 that German Geologist succeeded to reach the Kibo peak, the highest point on the African continent. He named this loftiest spot in Africa Kaiser Wilhelm’s Peak.
Mount Kilimanjaro represents the worldwide image of Africa and its towering, snow capped symmetrical cone is synonymous with Africa.
Internationally, the challenge of learning about, exploring and climbing this mysterious mountain has captured the imagination of people throughout the world. To many, the chance to climb this mountain is an adventure of a lifetime.
Until today, mount Kilimanjaro has been a symbol of various national and international activities, business and even politics. Business companies and various social clubs have their registrations bearing Mount Kilimanjaro name to portray their majestic existence.
In 1961, the flag of the newly independent Tanzania was carried up the mountain to be flown on top of the mountain, and the freedom torch was lighted on the peak to stir up political campaign for unity, freedom and fraternity.