For the President of the Swedish-Southern Africa Chamber of Commerce, Asa Jarskog, Mount Kilimanjaro is indeed the ‘cherry on the cake’!
“I have 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 Jarskog, after successfully reaching Uhuru Peak on Mt Kilimanjaro with her daughter Johanna Jarskog.
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, Jarskog, says Mount Kilimanjaro needs to remain natural.
“Tourists do not come to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro for luxury like being in Dubai. In fact, they come to take the opportunity to reflect and enjoy being in life,” Jarskog told the Business Times in an exclusive interview.
Jarskog’s concerns come at a time when the government of Tanzania has finalized 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 is aimed at primarily facilitating visits among older tourists, who are 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 the 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” she added.
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.”
Jarskog argues that Mount Kilimanjaro’s positive take away is where tourists switch off and being offline for eight days.
She 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), Sirili Akko commended Jarskog for making it to the roof of Africa.
“I hope this opens the way for the World to come and climb the Mount Kilimanjaro for a lifetime experience,” said Akko.
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.
Shrouded in grey, dark clouds and covered in mist most of the day, Mount Kilimanjaro with a height of 5,895 meters is located some 330 kilometres 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 is composed of three independent peaks of Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. The entire mountain area is 4,000 kilometres 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 the 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 to date, but people who were living on the slopes and observed volcanic eruptions connected this natural phenomenon to punishment from God.