Why: Ernest Hemingway might be at a loss for words if he saw what Mt. Kilimanjaro looked like today. In his 1936 "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" short story, he writes about the square top of Kilimanjaro that is as "wide as all the world, great, high, and unbelievably white in the sun." Due to global warming, deforestation, and a drier climate, Africa's tallest mountain will likely be devoid of its illustrious white summit within the next few decades. Paleoclimatologist and professor at the School of Earth Sciences at Ohio State University, Lonnie Thompson discovered that between 1912 and 2007, the total area of Kilimanjaro's ice fields shrunk by almost 85 percent. "It's interesting to see the evolution of the landscape and the culture on the mountain," says Kirk Reynolds, whose company Discover Outdoors has been guiding Kilimanjaro trips for almost 10 years. "There are glaciers around the summit of Kilimanjaro, but they are receding relatively quickly. Standing among those glaciers at the summit is one of the most profound and beautiful experiences I've ever had."
What to do: Discover Outdoors leads a seven-day trek along the Macheme Route. DO's fundraising option makes the climb up the 19,635-foot-Mount Kilimanjaro all the more rewarding, whether you raise funds for a charity of your choice or the Discover Outdoors Foundation.
More info: tanzaniaparks.com/kili