At 5896m Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain and one of the continent’s magnificent sights, It has three main volcanic peaks, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. The name itself “Kilimanjaro” is a mystery wreathed in clouds. It might mean Mountain of Light, Mountain of Greatness or Mountain of Caravans.
Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highlight of most visitors’ experiences in Tanzania. Few mountains can claim the grandeur, the breathtaking views of Amboseli National Park in Kenya, the Rift Valley, and the Masaai Steppe, that belongs to Kilimanjaro. Hiking on the ‘rooftop of Africa’ — the highest point on the continent at 5896 metres — is the adventure of a lifetime, especially because, if paced well, everyone from seasoned trekkers to first-time enthusiasts can scale the snowy peak. For more information, see the ‘Mountain Climbing‘ section under ‘Things to Do.
Kilimanjaro. The name itself is a mystery wreathed in clouds. It might mean Mountain of Light, Mountain of Greatness or Mountain of Caravans. Or it might not. The local people, the Wachagga, don’t even have a name for the whole massif, only Kipoo (now known as Kibo) for the familiar snowy peak that stands imperious, overseer of the continent, the summit of Africa.
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).
About Kilimanjaro National Park
Size: 1668 sq km 641 sq miles).
Location: Northern Tanzania, near the town of Moshi.
– 128 km (80 miles) from Arusha.
– About one hour’s drive from Kilimanjaro airport.
What to do
– 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 southeastern slopes.
– Huts and campsites on the mountain.
– Several hotels and campsites outside the park in the village of Marangu and town of Moshi.
– Climb slowly to increase your acclimatisation time and maximise your chances of reaching the summit.
– To avoid altitude sickness, allow a minimum of five nights, preferably even more for the climb. Take your time and enjoy the beauty of the mountain.
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