The most commanding information to be aware on climbing Kilimanjaro “the roof of Africa”
At 19,341ft Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain. Yet with no mountaineering skills necessary to reach the summit, even non-climbers can experience the thrill of climbing one of the world’s greatest peaks. Includes full practical details – getting to Tanzania, town guides and maps to Arusha, Moshi and Marangu. More details go through our itinerary Routes covered all walking times are indicated along with points of interest and gradients.
Kilimanjaro contains five unique ecosystems
Kilimanjaro is much more than just a mountain: it’s five delicate ecosystems all rolled into one. At its two lower levels you will find farmland, villages, jungles, and forests — all of which benefit from healthy amounts of rainfall. As climbers move higher up the mountain into the heath and alpine desert zones, vegetation begins to fade and temperatures start to fluctuate. During the day it can reach well over 370C , while at night temperatures can plummet to below freezing. Once climbers reach the summit zone almost all signs of vegetation and animal life have disappeared, as surface water is nearly non-existent at this height. Don’t skimp on the sunscreen, either: Kilimanjaro’s summit is the second closest point on earth to the sun – only the summit of Ecuador’s Mountain Chimborazo is closer.
Kilimanjaro is the world’s tallest free-standing mountain
Measuring in at 19,341 feet (5,895m) tall, not only is Mount Kilimanjaro the tallest mountain in Africa, but it is also the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Japan’s highest free-standing mountain, Mt. Fuji, stands at 12,388 feet (3,776m) by comparison. Fact within a fact: freestanding mountains such as Kilimanjaro and Fuji are usually volcanic in nature. If visiting Kilimanjaro, don’t worry, though: it’s been at least 360,000 years since its last major eruption.
Above 25,000 people attempt to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro each year
Reaching Kilimanjaro’s peak isn’t nearly as exhilarating as the climb, and that’s why over 25,000 climbers flock to its slopes each year. Of those 25,000 climbers, roughly 75% make it up to the peak, 25% are evacuated. The main cause of failing is an altitude sickness. At Kilimanjaro’s peak there is roughly half as much oxygen in a breath as you would find at sea level. Due to this, climbers begin to experience symptoms like headaches, nausea, exhaustion, and swelling as early as 3,000 meters (9,842 feet) up. The lesson in all of this? Don’t underestimate the dangers of the mountain, take things slow, and be sure to acclimatize!
Indomitable spirits thrive here
Scaling Kilimanjaro is an accomplishment regardless of who performs it, but the fact that disabled climbers are increasingly using the mountain as a way to shatter perceptions about handicaps is truly amazing.
The Chagga people call Mt. Kilimanjaro home
Chances are that at some point during your time on Kilimanjaro you will run into members of the Chagga tribe. The Chagga people, who are the third largest ethnic group in Tanzania and one of the richest due to their close relationship with the mountain, entrepreneurship spirity and its fertile soil. A lot of that affluence can be chalked up to bananas: each Chagga family owns their own home-garden in the middle of a banana grove, known as a vihamba, where they grow bananas alongside coffee, maize, beans, sugarcane, and maletta. Many visitors to Kilimanjaro begin their journey by visiting with the Chagga at their vihambas in the foothills of the mountain. Also, when it is time to climb, look no further than the Chagga for help: they have proven to be excellent porters, carrying the large sacks of personal equipment on top of their heads.
Hans Meyer was the first man to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
Many people have made a successful journey up Mount Kilimanjaro, but who was the first? That distinguished honor (probably) belongs to German geographer Hans Meyer, who, along with Swiss alpinist Ludwig Purtscheller and their Chagga guide KinyalaLauwo, reached the summitin 1889.