Mt Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and rises approximately 4,900 meters from its base to 5,895 meters above sea level. The mountain is part of the Kilimanjaro National Park and is a major climbing destination. The mountain has been the subject of many scientific studies because of its shrinking glaciers and disappearing ice fields.
Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania in east Africa. Kilimanjaro rises from its base approx. 5,100 meters from the plains near the Tanzanian municipality of Moshi, making it the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. It is the highest active or dormant volcano outside South America.
Kilimanjaro is a large stratovolcano and is composed of three distinct volcanic cones: Kibo, the highest; Mawenzi at 5,149 meters (16,893 ft); and Shira, the shortest at 4,005 meters (13,140 ft). Mawenzi and Shira are extinct, while Kibo is dormant and could erupt again.
Uhuru Peak is the highest summit on Kibo’s crater rim. Uhuru, Swahili for “Freedom,” was named in 1961 when Tanganyika gained its independence.
Kibo is the largest cone and is more than 15 miles (24 km) wide at the “Saddle Plateau” altitude. Kibo is capped by an almost symmetrical cone with escarpments rising 180 meters (590 ft) to 200 meters (660 ft) on the south side. About 100,000 years ago, part of Kibo’s crater rim collapsed, creating the area known as the Western Breach and the Great Barranco.
Interesting Facts About Mt Kilimanjaro
- Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain on the African continent and one of the Seven Summits.
- From top to bottom, Kilimanjaro consists of 5 climatic zones.
- The last major volcanic eruption from Kibo took place more than 360,000 years ago.
- The last volcanic activity of Mount Kilimanjaro occurred 200 years back, resulting in the ash pit that climbers today can see from Uhuru Peak.
- The mountain stretches 5,895 meters into the sky, making it the world’s tallest free-standing mountain and at the same time, the highest point in all Africa.
- There are six different ecological systems on the mountain, as follows: cultivated land, rainforest, heath, moorland, alpine desert and arctic summit.
- Per year, more than 20,000 people try to climb Mount Kilimanjaro of which only two-thirds are usually successful. This is mostly due to altitude-related problems, forcing some climbers to turn back.
- Spanish mountain runner, Kilian Jornet, made the fastest ascent up the mountain in September 2010, at just 22 years of age. He reached the top of the Mountain in a startling 5 hours, 23 minutes and 50 seconds.
- The oldest person that successfully climbed the mountain was Valtee Daniel, aged 87.
- The youngest person to have climbed Mt Kilimanjaro is currently Keats Boyd from Los Angeles, who reached the summit in January 2008 at the age of 7.
- Almost every person to have summited the Mountain has recorded their thoughts about their achievement in a book that is stored in a wooden box at the top of the Mountain.
- It is approximated that out of every 1,000 tons of water that trickles down the mountain, 400 are directly from ice caps.