in Africa at 5,895 m above sea level regarded as the roof top of Africa. The upper slopes are protected as a National Park. Up to 2,800 m of the dense forest shelters wildlife including buffalo, monkey, elephant and leopard, though they are rarely seen. Beyond this point, high heath meadows are home to strange plants, some of which grow to gigantic proportions. Above 4,000 m (13,000 ft) there’s nothing but a desolate plateau, capped with the famous eternal snows.
Kilimanjaro is a stratovolcano, the
illuminating the Serengeti plains skies with its snow and glacier peaks. There are 3 volcanic cones on the mountain, namely
. Uhuru peak is the highest peak on Mount Kilimanjaro standing at 19,340m above sea level.
The name Kilimanjaro originates from the chagga People living around the slopes of Kilimanjaro Mountain. It is translated as the Kilima Kyaro meaning that which can not be conquered. While other peaks are extinct, Kibo or Uhuru peak is considered dormant and could erupt anytime with the last volcanic activity recorded some 200 years ago.
The mountain and national park on the mountain slopes is a UNESCO world heritage site that one of pristine ecological life with tropical jungle, savannah, desert, exotic lobelia plants and motane forests.
German Geologist Hans Meyer, Yoans Kinyala Lauwo nad Ludwig Purtscheller were the first to climb Kilimanjaro in October 1889. Mount Meru, at 14,980m is used as a training ground for many Kilimanjaro climbers. It is located 45 miles west of Kilimanjaro and has scenic views of the snow peaks on Mount Kilimanjaro.
protects the area above 2,700 m on the mountain and includes the moorland and highland zones, Shira Plateau, Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. The Park also has six corridors or rights of way through the Kilimanjaro Forest Reserve. The Forest Reserve, which is also a Game Reserve in rich in exotic flora and fauna. You have the tropical rain forests, the montane forests, the moorlands and the alpine desert regions in between. Some of the sights within Kilimanjaro National Park include elephants, lions, giraffes, zebras, cheetahs and many others
The climate of the mountain is influenced by the prevailing trade winds which bring the heaviest rainfall to the south east forested slopes during March and May and short rains in
November to December. Rainfall and temperatures normally decrease with altitude. January and February are the warmest months on Kilimanjaro safaris and are the best months of Kilimanjaro climbing.
Mount Kilimanjaro Hiking routes
There are six official climbing routes however guides are required and bookings must be made in advance with Tanzania safari and tour operator or with ant Tanzania travel website. They also arrange climbs on the Machame & Shira Routes and these are one-way ascent trails only and you descend via the Mweka Route. These trails are more challenging and much less used with less than 1500 climbers per year on the two of them.
The Marangu route on the East Side of the mountain is 34km long and the busiest of all 6 routes, most popular route to
. There are three hut complexes along this route, which provide overnight accommodations, a dining room and toilets. This is a two-way trail in that you go up and come down the same way.
Climbers are encouraged to take 6days and 5 nights as the longer climb allows for acclimatisation time and both reduces the chance of serious health problems and increases the chance of a reaching the summit. Be ware of Kilimanjaro Altutidue sickness and malaria that may shorten your determination to reach Uhuru Peak
is the most scenic route and there is camping and hut accommodation along the route. it is however is for more adventurous climbers rewarding with splendid views on the slopes and up the glaciers melting down.
Lodging and camping on Mt Kilimanjaro Mountain is limited but there is enough/ all range accommodation from the base town of Moshi. There are no huts and tents must be carried for camping. Climbers are encouraged to take 6 or more nights to reach the summit. There are a few camps and huts along some routes for overnight like Machame hut and Mweka Hut