Kilimanjaro is the greatest mountain in Africa in ~ 19,341 feet (5,895 meters), however it isn"t a mountain in a classic sense. It is a large stratovolcano that began forming around a million years earlier and is created of plenty of layers of hardened volcano ash, lava, pumice and also tephra — fragmental product that is the autumn from a volcanic eruption.

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One the the seven Summits (the highest possible peaks ~ above the seven continents), Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania in eastern Africa. (Image credit: Graeme Shannon shutterstock)

A variety of theories exist around the meaning and origin of the name. One theory is that the name is a mix that the Swahili indigenous Kilima, definition "mountain," and the KiChagga word Njaro, loosely interpreted as "whiteness." an additional is the Kilimanjaro is the european pronunciation that a KiChagga phrase meaning "we fail to climb it."

One of the 7 Summits (the highest peaks on the 7 continents), Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania in east Africa. Kilimanjaro lies within the 292-square-mile (756 square kilometers) Kilimanjaro nationwide Park. Kilimanjaro rises indigenous its base approximately 16,732 feet (5,100 meters) native the plains close to the Tanzanian municipality the Moshi, making it the tallest free-standing hill in the world.

There are three volcanic cones that comprise Kilimanjaro: Kibo is the summit; Mawenzi in ~ 16,893 feet (5,149 meters); and Shira in ~ 13,000 feet (3,962 meters). Uhuru top is the highest summit top top Kibo"s crater rim. Uhuru, Swahili because that "Freedom," was named in 1961 when Tanganyika obtained its independence . Tanganyika later joined through the archipelago of Zanzibar to form Tanzania.


While Kibo is dormant, gas is emitted into the crater, causing several collapses and landslides, with the most extensive ones creating the area known as the western Breach.

While the name Kilimanjaro has actually its origins in the KiChagga word because that "white," the is coming to be increasingly less so. While that still extended with ice cream caps and glaciers at higher levels, worldwide warming is quickly transforming the climate and also scientists expect the famed snows of Kilimanjaro come disappear sometime in between 2022 and also 2033.

Climbing Kilimanjaro


About 30,000 people climb Kilimanjaro every year and about three-quarters the those reach the summit. The is a relatively safe climb, and also most climbers who fail come summit suffer altitude-related issues or harsh weather close to the peak. Temperature at the peak have the right to be 0 degrees F (minus 18 C), and also if the winds space blowing, the wind chills with dangerous levels.

The climb deserve to be done any time that year yet the rainy winter season make the summer and also early loss a well-known time to climb.

Kilimanjaro has 5 climbing courses to the summit: Marangu Route; Machame Route; Rongai Route; Lemosho Route; and also Mweka Route. The popular Machame and Lemosho courses are scenic, if the liven Marangu is the simplest until the challenging final ascent to the rim of the crater.

In 1861, the German officer Baron Carl Claus von der Decken and also British geologist Richard Thornton made a very first attempt to climb Kibo, yet had come turn back at 8,200 feet (2,500 meters).

Von der Decken tried a second time the following year, and with rose oil Kersten gained as far as 14,000 feet (4,280 meters).

In 1887, throughout his an initial attempt to rise Kilimanjaro, German geology professor Hans Meyer got to the base of Kibo, but was not properly equipped to handle the deep snow and also ice and retreated.

On Oct. 5, 1889, Meyer, Marangu enlightenment Yoanas Kinyala Lauwo and Austrian Ludwig Purtscheller were the an initial team to with the summit. They to be the first to confirm that Kibo has a crater, which was filled with ice in ~ the time.

Honey badgers and bushbabies

Kilimanjaro incorporates a wide range of ecosystems, including tropical jungle, savannah, and also desert to montane forests, subalpine plants, and also the alpine zone above timberline.

Kilimanjaro has actually a huge variety that forest varieties that harbor 1,200 vascular tree species. Montane Ocotea forests occur top top the wet southern slope. Cassipourea and also Juniperus forests thrive on the dry north slope. Subalpine Erica forests at 13,451 feet (4,100 meters) represent the highest possible elevation cloud forests in Africa.

Another function of the forests of Kilimanjaro is the lack of a bamboo zone, which occurs on all various other tall hills in eastern Africa through a similarly high rainfall. Due to the fact that there is no bamboo zone over there is a restricted supply the food because that animals.

However, there are a number of species that flourish in the area. Blue monkeys, which are not in reality blue yet grey or black through a white throat, conference in the woodland zone ~ above the Rongai Route. Olive baboons, civets, leopards, mongooses and also bush pigs, which have actually a distinctive white stripe running follow me its earlier from head come tail, room abundant.

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There are honey badgers and also aardvarks, but visitors rarely get to view these nocturnal creatures. Noisy bushbabies, i m sorry are additionally nocturnal creatures, can be much more easily heard an ext than seen. Over there are additionally small-spotted genets v distinctive black-and-white tails, and the loud tree hydraxes the are comparable to chipmunks.