“As wide as all the world, great, high and unbelievably white in the sun, was the square top of Mount Kilimanjaro”
At an altitude of 5895 meters (19,340 ft) above sea level, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, the highest free-standing mountain in the world, and one of the largest volcanoes ever to burst through the earth’s crust. The base of this immense mountain measures 50 x 80 km and the outstanding features are its three major volcanic centers; Shira in the west (4160m), Mawenzi in the east (5280m) and the snowcapped Kibo in the middle (5895m)
In the space of a few days, normally 3 days of climb and 2 days of descent, the climber can pass from the Equatorial climate to Arctic, through tropical rain forest, moorland, alpine desert to snow and ice.
The summit of Kilimanjaro can be reached by any reasonably fit person, with the assistance of a guide and porters, via the gentle Marangu Route. The youngest to make it was eleven years old; the oldest seventy-four.
Apart from its dramatic geological features and the beautiful mountain vegetation Mount Kilimanjaro is also notable for its birdlife which is plentiful in the rich forest zone. Elephant, buffalo, eland, rhino, Abott’s duiker, bushbuck, baboon, blue as well as colobus monkey and even leopard can be seen on its slopes. Kilimanjaro is also populated by a wide array of butterflies, moths and other insects.
The mountain can be climbed almost any time of the year although it is often wet in the rain forest during the rainy season in April and May. The best time to climb is between August to November. Tours of Mount Kilimanjaro and other African adventures are available from HTT Africa