Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, Rombo, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

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Memorable climbs and treks to Mount Kilimanjaro are featured within various Kilimanjaro Climbing itineraries featured in this site. We have a wide range of carefully designed climbing treks to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania that will reveal to you the true meaning of Mountain Climbing in Africa. Your safari consultant will always be at your assistance should you need a tailor-made holiday to this location. For more information regarding this attraction,
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Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Kilimanjaro is a Maasai word meaning Large Rock. Kilimanjaro is 340 km south of the Equator, 280 km from the Indian Ocean and just over 400 km from Lake Victoria. It is about one hour’s drive from Kilimanjaro airport. It lies on the eastern side of the eastern branch of the Great Rift Valley, and north-north east of the Maasai steppe, the great plain of north-eastern Tanzania renowned as the homeland of the nomadic Maasai cattle-herders. Kilimanjaro has three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawensi, and Shira, and is an inactive stratovolcano in north-eastern Tanzania. Although it does not have the highest elevation, Kilimanjaro is the tallest free-standing mountain rise in the world, rising 4,600 m (15,100 ft) from its base, and includes the highest peak in Africa at 5,895 meters (19,340 ft), providing a dramatic view from the surrounding plains.

Kilimanjaro, by any name, is a metaphor for the compelling beauty of East Africa. When you see it, you understand why. Not only is this the highest peak on the African continent; it is also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, rising in breathtaking isolation from the surrounding coastal scrubland – elevation around 900 metres – to an imperious 5,895 metres (19,336 feet).

Mt. Kilimanjaro – Accessibility
Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s most accessible high summits, a beacon for visitors from around the world. Most climbers reach the crater rim with little more than a walking stick, proper clothing and determination. And those who reach Uhuru Point, the actual summit, or Gillman’s Point on the lip of the crater, will have earned their climbing certificates. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Tantalising glimpses of the magnificent snow-capped summit from the plains below belie the unique combination of eco-climatic zones which hikers will experience; rainforest, montane forest, heath and moorland, alpine desert and then, finally, snow and ice.
Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
One of the most amazing aspects of the mountain in the present day is the accessibility of its peak to climbers with no mountain climbing equipment or real previous experience of scaling such heights. Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain that regular tourists can climb, although it remains a considerable feat of human endurance! The breathable oxygen at the top is

less than half the amount than is common at sea level, and climbers cover at least eighty kilometres on nothing but their own two feet over the five days it takes to reach the top and return. The one-way Machame Route climbs up the southwest of the mountain. This is a more challenging, but less frequented trail than the busier Marangu Route and offers more of a wilderness experience. Kilimanjaro climbers should be fit and well exercised. The best months for the climb are July to September (cold but dry) and January to mid-March (clearer and warmer). While thousands of people scramble to the top of Kilimanjaro each year, there are also trails off the beaten track and some technical climbs for the experienced mountaineer. There are five principal trails up the mountain: Marangu, Mweka, Umbwe, Shira and Machame. These are all hiking routes. The most popular route is the Marangu route. It takes about five days and involves walking about 85 kilometres.

Overall Fitness Required to Climb Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro climbs can be arranged for a variety of different routes and with various options for accommodation. It is really well worth spending time in the planning stages! Although it is possible to simply trek a route to the pinnacle of Kibo without relying on professional climbing equipment, it remains a hard and serious endeavour that requires a level of physical fitness, stamina and a realistic awareness of the potentially damaging effects of high altitudes. AfriChoice recommends that clients consult a doctor before attempting to scale the mountain, and have a physical check-up for overall fitness.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Mt. Kilimanjaro Climbing Phases
First Stage: Tropical Forest
With most of the old lowland forest now cultivated and settled, the first experience of the mountain environment begins with the dense vegetation of tropical montane forest between 1850m and around 2800m. Cloud condensation mainly gathers around the forest, so this area is usually damp or drenched with rainfall, creating an intriguing mass of plant life and running rivers between endemic tree species. The area of heath just beyond the tree line also enjoys a relatively misty and damp environment as cloud clings around the density of trees. This is covered with heather and shrubs such as Erica Arborea and Stoebe Kilimandsharica, and a number of dramatic looking Proteas.
Second Stage: Open Moorland
From around 3,200m a wide expanse of moorland extends beyond the heath and the cloud line, so that here the skies are generally clear, making the sunshine intense during the days and the nights cool and clear. The climbing incline remains gentle, but thinning oxygen provides less fuel to energise the muscles and can dramatically slow the pace of walking. Hardy endemic species of Giant Groundsels (Senecio) and Lobelia (Deckenii) towering up to 4m high thrive in this moorland zone and give the landscape a strangely primeval atmosphere.
Third Stage: Alpine Desert, Sparse Vegetation
Even higher, beyond 4,000m, this sensation intensifies as the landscape develops into a more bizarre alpine desert, with sandy loose earth and intense weather conditions and temperature fluctuations so dramatic that barely any plant species survive other than everlasting flowers, mosses and lichens. Only the odd lichen survives beyond 5000m, after Kibo Huts and beyond the Saddle, where the landscape is predominantly rock and ice fields. Here, climbers experience the final steep push to the summit.

Final Stage: Saddle to Summit
The easterly routes, Marangu, Mweka, Loitokitok and Rongai all converge west of the saddle near Gillmans Point, between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo. Kibos crater is roughly circular with an inner cone extending to 5,800m, (100m lower than the summit at Uhuru Peak). At the centre an inner crater with walls between 12 and 20 m high contains another concentric minor cone, the centre of which falls away into the 360m span of the ash pit. This is the 120 metre deep central core of the volcano, and casts sulphurous boiling smoke from its depths despite the frozen, snowy outskirts.

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