Mount Kilimanjaro is a volcanic (now dormant) mountain in Tanzania. It is the highest or tallest free-standing mountain in the world and the highest point in Africa. The actual height of the mountain is 5,895 meters (19341 feet) above the sea level. There are three volcanic cones – the Kibo which is the highest point located at 5,895 meters above sea level, the Mawenzi which is situated at 5,149 meters above the sea level and the last one is Shira which is also the smallest one located at just 3,962 meters off the sea level. The highest summit of crater rim of Kibo is Uhuru Peak. The peaks of Mawenzi and Shira have now become extinct and only the Kibo is dormant which means there are chances that it can erupt again. You can call Kilimanjaro as a stratovolcano. Though the volcano is dormant, there is a continuous emission of gases in the carter. Many collapses and several landslides are a part of the past of Kibo. But one particular collapse led to the creation of an area by the name Western Beach.
The International Airport which is nearest to the peak is Kilimanjaro (JRO). A daily flight lands here from Europe (Ansterdam). Several International Airlines have launched a lot of direct flights in 2012 like the Turkish Airlines and the Qatar Airways, Kenya Airways, Condor Airways, Ethopian Airways, Precision Airways, etc. there are many shuttle buses what can offer a bus ride to the place. Many bus-rides cover routes around Arusha or Moshi.
The adventurous climbing of Mount Kilimanjaro is world famous. But apart from that, Kilimanjaro has a lot more to offer. The western area of Kilimanjaro on lemosho route, there are wildlife tours that allow day trips and game drives. You can also see Materuni Waterfalls and the Kinukamori waterfalls and many such natural waterfalls. You can watch and observe a lot of birds, monkeys and wild animals. You will also find a number of lakes formed by volcanic eruption. On such lake is the Chala lake. The residents of the mountain are the Chagga tribal people. The Chagga tribe lives at the slopes of the Kilimanjaro and you can take a cultural tour to experience and explore those areas of the mountain. Many tour operators are available who can guide you trip to Kilimanjaro and let you explore all the waterfalls, birds, wildlife, cultural life, trekking experience, etc.
Mount Kilimanjaro National Park:
The Kilimanjaro National Park covers an area of 75,575 hectors and protects the highest free-standing volcanic mountain of the world. The National Park was founded in 1973. Originally, when it was founded, it consisted of the mountain above tree line along with the 6 forest corridors till the monyane forests. Later in 1987, the pressures affected a lot of forests reserves. This led to the thinking among the members of World Heritage Committee about extending the Natinal Park. Later in 2005, another extension of National Park was decided which included more areas of the montane forests which were under the Forest Reserve of Kilimanjaro. The snow-capped peak and snowy glaciers of the mountain are due to the natural phenomenon. The five main zones of the national park of vegetation start from the lowest point on the mountain and reach till the highest point. Listed along the order from low to high, they are: the Lower Slopes, the Montane Forest, Health and moorland, Alpine desert, and the Summit. The belt which has the montane forests is much enriched with mammals some of which are on the verge of extinction and are endangered. The wildlife of Kilimanjaro is a very important property of the national park. The park is connected to Amboseli National Park, Arusha National Park and Tsavo national Park. They have been concerned about the wildlife migration.
Activities and Adventures of Kilimanjaro:
Trekking is the main activity of Mount Kilimanjaro. There are six routes sanctioned officially for climbing the Mount Kilimanjaro. These routes are: Machame, Rongai, Marangu, Lemosho, Umbwe, Shira and Mweka. The Maraungu route is popularly known by the name ‘Coca Cola route’ because it is said to be the easiest route of the climbing process and vendors from Coca-Cola sell the soft-drink at some huts. This is therefore the most popular route for climbing Kilimanjaro. It typically takes five to six days to cover the altitude of the mountain. The other route called the Machame Route is said to be the most beautiful route for the climbing adventure. It is also called the whiskey route. But this route is preferred by adventurous hikers. The Lemosho route is a little remote than the other routes. It takes 7 to 8 days to climb if you take this route. Rongai Route, on the other hand, is the route which provides the ascent up till the peak but from the north-eastern direction. There are a lot of safari centres, official tour organizers, camping instructors, trekking guides, and other service providers that will help you in your journey up the Kilimanjaro. The advice is to travel in a group always because of the forest and wildlife. Having a group of family and friends around is very important in such treks. Another thing to remember is that you must carry all the resources that can keep you hydrated on the journey of 6 days on the mountain. Also, carry packed food with you for continuous energy.
The experience would be completely out of this world and you will definitely love your stay at the Mount Kilimanjaro.