Leave No Trace principle to a cleaner Mount Kilimanjaro, Explained
Cleaning Kilimanjaro

Leave No Trace is an ethics code that outdoor enthusiasts must follow when spending time in nature. This principle applies to any place visited, regardless of whether the wilderness or not. However, it also has social implications on the people who call these wildernesses home. To leave no trace, one should plan and prepare for their visit by researching the environment, wildlife, and climate.

Travel during the shoulder season or off-season to minimize the impact on a place and understand the people who live there. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain, is home to some of the oldest lichen in the world, which is fragile and takes hundreds of years to grow. Travel and camp on durable surfaces, such as trails, sidewalks, or roads, to avoid erosion and contamination of water systems. Camp away from water sources, especially rivers and streams, and walk single file to minimize new damage and preserve the trail.

Dispose of waste properly, packing it in and out, as this is the literal translation of Leave No Trace. Instead of burning trash and pooping on lawns, consider digging holes and taking toilet paper with you. This will help preserve the aesthetics and purity of a campsite and prevent the spread of waste.

Leaving no trace in nature is essential for everyday travellers and hikers. By planning ahead, researching the environment, travelling in the shoulder season or off-season, understanding the people, and disposing of waste properly, one can leave a lasting impact on the environment and the people who call these wildernesses home.

Leave No Trace is a simple and effective way to practice environmental conservation. Instead of dumping leftovers in lakes or glacial rivers, wash dishes on land away from the water source and scatter the dirty water. This is an easy and effective way to leave no trace.

To minimize campfire impacts, use stoves for cooking meals and have a campfire after cooking. Do not burn live trees or big trees, as they don’t burn anyway. If you can’t break a log with your body, it doesn’t need to be burned. Put it out before starting the hay. Use a fire pit, keep fires small, use a stove to cook, and make sure you put it out.

Respect wildlife by not feeding the monkeys near the Kilimanjaro gates, birds, or insects. Don’t feed wildlife, keep your distance, and protect your food. Be considerate of others by treating others the way you want to be treated. For example, don’t leave trash for others to find at a clean campsite or bring your Bose Mini Soundlink on a 6-day Kilimanjaro trip.

In summary, leave no trace by practicing these simple practices, staying on the trail, taking only pictures, using stoves, respecting wildlife, and being considerate of others. By following these simple rules, you can create a more sustainable and eco-friendly outdoor experience.

The Leave No Trace Principle

When venturing into the great outdoors, adhering to the principles of “Leave No Trace” is essential. This ethical code emphasizes minimizing the impact of human presence on natural environments. While it may be challenging to leave absolutely no trace, the goal is to reduce our footprint as much as possible. Here’s how these principles apply to Kilimanjaro:

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare: Before embarking on your Kilimanjaro trek, research the environmental concerns of the area, such as endangered species and fragile ecosystems like the ancient lichen found on the mountain. Be aware of the weather conditions and cultural norms of the region.
  2. Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces: Stick to designated trails and campsites to minimize erosion and damage to the mountain’s terrain. Avoid camping directly next to water sources to prevent contamination and erosion of the banks.
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly: Pack out all trash, including toilet paper, and avoid contaminating water sources with human waste. Wash dishes away from water sources and scatter dirty water to minimize environmental impact.
  4. Leave What You Find: Preserve the natural landscape by refraining from rearranging rocks or building structures. Take only photographs and leave natural objects where you found them.
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts: If you choose to have a campfire, use a stove for cooking to minimize wood consumption and fire impact. Avoid burning live or large trees, and always fully extinguish the fire before leaving.
  6. Respect Wildlife: Keep a safe distance from wildlife and refrain from feeding them. Store food securely to prevent attracting animals, and ensure your pets are under control to avoid disturbing wildlife.
  7. Be Considerate of Others: Treat fellow hikers and guides with respect, and leave campsites clean for the next visitors. Avoid loud noises that may disturb the natural soundscape.

By following these principles, you can minimize your impact on Kilimanjaro’s delicate ecosystem and ensure that future generations can enjoy its natural beauty. Remember, leaving no trace is a collective effort that requires mindfulness and responsibility from all visitors to the mountain.

Is there Litter or Trash on Mount Kilimanjaro?

Littering is forbidden and within Tanzania’s National parks including Kilimanjaro National park, it is strictly prohibited to leave any trash behind. The park rangers and guides who accompany tourists are responsible for ensuring that this legislation is followed exactly. For the most part, climbers are responsible for transporting anything they have taken with them when they leave the park premises. As a whole, Kilimanjaro Park, which encompasses both the mountain peaks and the terrain that lies near to them, is kept clean.

See also, how to keep clean on Mount Kilimanjaro

Despite this, there is occasionally a tiny amount of rubbish left behind at resting sites and near famous tourist areas. The majority of the time, the litter is comprised of pieces of empty packaging and various personal care items. There is a possibility that these little pieces of rubbish will be swept away by the wind and dispersed across Kilimanjaro National Park. During the past several months, we had begun to observe trash in various locations whenever we went on hikes with climbing groups. As a result, we were delighted to accept an invitation from partner groups and become a part of the campaign to clean up the slopes of Kilimanjaro.


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