KILIMANJARO -THE PRIDE OF TANZANIA
Standing at 5985m above sea level, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free standing mountain in the world, hence it is appropriately referred to as the "peak of Africa".
THE FORMATION OF KILIMANJARO
Mount Kilimanjaro was formed about 3 million years ago during the formation if the Great Rift Valley, Many volcanoes busted through in the Kilimanjaro region. Then nearly a million years ago volcanic activities centered on the three points, Shira, Mawenzi & Kibo. Shira was the first to become extinct, eventually it collapsed and was covered from materials from the other two. Mawenzi and Kibo continued to grow ..later on Mawenzi became dormant but in an enormous explosion the entire eastern rim gave way forming a very spectacular gorge. Lave later on seeped through the cracks, which after much erosion, helped to give Mawenzi its jagged outline.
Kibo continued to grow. About 100 000 years ago, a huge landslide from the summit breached the southwest crater and formed a magnificent precipice. Eventually magma retreated from the central vent of the volcano, but a final puff of smoke deposited a perfect cone of ash around the rim. Kilimanjaro remains a dormant but not Extinct Volcano.Ice was well as fire has helped shape the summit of Kilimanjaro.
Kilimanjaro was known since the ancient times by the African legends. The
local Chagga people believed it to be a dwelling of an angry god who
punished anyone who dared to climb it.
They called the two peaks, Kipoo and Kimawenzi which are now known as Kibo and Mawenzi.
Kilimanjaro come from the Chagga phrase 'Kilema Kyaro'. Literally meaning "that which can not be conquered" or "completely inaccessible" or "where a traveler can disappear or be completely lost".
Later on German explorers spelt the name of the mountain as Kilmandscharos, a name that later on was spelt by the Arabs colonial masters and Swahili speaking people as "Kilimanjaro".
CLIMBING THE MOUNTAIN
The best time to climb the mountain is from August to November. The summit of
mount Kilimanjaro can be reached by any person who is reasonably fit.
The youngest ever person to climb the mountain was an 11 year old, the oldest person being a 74 year old.
The easiest way to climb the mountain, is along the Marangu route. The route
begins at the Marangu gate at 1860m above sea level and then passes through the
rain forests to Mandara Hut at 2725m. The nest stop through alpine meadows with
giant heather trees is Horombo hut at height of 3780m. From here onwards the
landscape turns into more rugged and rocky landscape.
The path skirts Mawenzi and then crosses the desert of the saddle towards the last hut that nestles below Kibo at 4740m above sea level.
The final ascent usually begins well before dawn and is the most demanding part needing some five hours to reach Gilman's point in the crater rim at 5685m. Next is the highest point of the mountain which is "Uhuru Peak" at 5895m, an hours walk along the crater's rim.
Descending the Mountain takes two days, with an overnight stop at Horombo hut. A variety of Flora and Fauna can be enjoyed in the protected areas of the park such as, white colobus monkey, mountain hyrax, elephants & leopards.
back to top