About Mt. Kilimanjaro

MT. KILIMANJARO

About Mt. Kilimanjaro

At 5,895m, Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, so it can truly be regarded as the roof of Africa. “As wide as all the world, great, high and unbelievably white,” was Ernest Hemingway’s description. Now a World Heritage site, its outstanding features are its three major volcanic centres, Shira in the west, Mawenzi in the East and the snowcapped Kibo in the centre. The forests of the surrounding national park are inhabited by elusive elephant, leopard, buffalo, bushbuck, the endangered Abbott’s duiker, and numerous other small antelope, primates and rodents. They are however difficult to see due to the dense vegetation.

The great Mount Kilimanjaro is a metaphor for the compelling beauty of East Africa. Rising in absolute isolation, at 5,895 m (19,336 ft.), Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the highest walkable summits on the planet, a beacon for visitors from around the world. Just three degrees south of the equator, Mount Kilimanjaro’s great peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi are nonetheless covered all year round with snow and ice. Most reasonably fit and properly guided climbers can experience the triumph of reaching the crater rim with little more than a walking stick, warm clothing and determination. Those who reach Mount Kilimanjaro’s Uhuru Point, the actual summit, or Gillman’s point on the lip of the crater (Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant, but not extinct, volcano), will have earned their climbing certificates and their memories.

There is, however, so much more to Mount Kilimanjaro than the summit. A journey up the slopes takes visitors on a climatic world tour, from the tropics to the arctic. The grassy and cultivated lower slopes turn into lush rainforest, inhabited by elusive elephant, leopard, buffalo and antelope. Higher still, heath and moorland, covered with giant heather, becomes a surreal alpine desert and finally, there is ice, snow and the biggest view on the continent.

December to February are the warmest and clearest months to visit with July to September being colder but also dry. It is wet in the rainforest from April to June and during November.

Getting there: 
A two hour drive from Arusha or one hour from Kilimanjaro International Airport.

Highlights

  • SOME MEMBERS OF THE BIG FIVE LIKE THE LEOPARD, ELEPHANT AND BUFFALO.
  • ENDANGERED ABBOT’S DUIKER, AND OTHER SMALL ANTELOPE AND PRIMATES.
  • CLIMBING MOUNT KILIMANJARO

ACTIVITIES

  • Six usual trekking routes to the summit and other more-demanding mountaineering routes.
  • Day or overnight hikes on the Shira Plateau. Nature trails on the lower reaches.
  • Trout fishing
  • Visit the beautiful Chala Crater Lake on the mountain’s south-eastern slopes.
  • Mountain biking
  • Camping

WILDLIFE

Mount Kilimanjaro is inhabited by elusive elephant, leopard, buffalo, the endangered Abbot’s duiker, and other small antelope and primates. Higher still lies the moorland zone, where a cover of giant heather is studded with otherworldly giant lobelias.