Mount Kilimanjaro - A must visit in Tanzania

How would you love standing on top of the world...literally? Well, Mt. Kilimanjaro's Uhuru Peak at 5895 meters above the sea level is the highest peak in Africa and the highest on a free standing mountain in the World. It is only surpassed by Mt. Everest of the Himalayan Ranges in Nepal and India. Trekking up the mountain will mean that you are on top of the world. Its peaks are the only place that has ice within 700 kilometers of Equator anywhere on earth.

The mountain is made up of 3 volcanic cones including; Kibo (whose highest peak is Uhuru Peak at 5895 meters), Mawenzi at 5149 meters and Shira at 3962 meters. The mountain is a dormant volcano situated on the Kenyan-Tanzanian border and part of the larger Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania. Ludwig Krapf, one of the earliest missionaries on the East African Coast recorded the Akamba people in Kenya as calling the mountain Kiima kyeu which is translated as the White Mountain in reference to the white snow that accumulates on top of the mountain. People in this part of the world had never seen ice and had no way of knowing what the white stuff was. The Chagga people in Tanzania called the mountain Kimawenzi which is translated as the great mountain. The Swahili word for the mountain is Kilimanjaro translated as the mountain of caravan.

The mountain has 7 major ascent and descent routes including Umbwe, Shira, Rongai (least scenic and easiest route), Mweka, Marangu (easy but very busy), Machame (most difficult but most scenic), and Lemosho. The trekkers are advised to do thorough research on their abilities to climb the mountain. Although it is not as challenging as the icy Himalayan Ranges and Andes, the ascent can get windy, very cold and the high altitude can cause Acute Mountain Sickness.

Note that the only accommodation available on your trek up is huts which are shared among all the climbers - no special treatment. The trek may take from 6-7 days and it is therefore important to carry enough food for the trek.

Make sure you carry your camera. There are hundreds of scenes to capture. In the Kilimanjaro National Park you will find wild animals such as leopards, buffaloes, baboons, bush pigs, mongooses, porcupines, and elephants. As you trek higher into the mountain, you will encounter lush, green vegetation which is quickly replaced by moorland. One of the most amazing things you will see on the mountain is Lake Chala.  It is located on a crater on the mountain and covers 1.6 square miles area. Another amazing sight is the snowcapped peaks.

Climbing the mountain is a challenging course that requires topnotch health condition. Note that solo climbs are not allowed. To be able to climb the mountain, you need to hire a licensed tour guide and an armed game ranger.


by Kennedy Runo on 02/04/2015 in Sightseeing