Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro, located in Tanzania, is Africa’s highest peak, standing at about 5,895 metres (19,340 feet). It is the world’s tallest free-standing mountain rise, meaning it is not part of a mountain range. The origin of the name Kilimanjaro is unknown, however there are several possibilities. By 1860, European explorers had adopted the name and claimed that the mountain’s Kiswahili name was Kilimanjaro. The mountain is also known as Kilima-Njaro in the 1907 edition of The Nuttall Encyclopaedia.
Kilimanjaro, also known as a stratovolcano (a huge volcano consisting of ash, lava, and rock), is made up of three cones: Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. Kibo is the mountain’s peak and the highest of the three volcanic structures. While Mawenzi and Shira are no longer active, Kibo is latent and might erupt again. According to scientists, the last time it erupted was 360,000 years ago. Uhuru, the Swahili word for “freedom,” is the highest point on Kibo’s crater rim.
In 1889, German geographer Hans Meyer and Austrian climber Ludwig Purtscheller became the first individuals to reach Kilimanjaro’s peak. Kilimanjaro has since become a popular trekking destination for both locals and visitors. Tens of thousands of climbers summit the mountain each year since climbing equipment and experience are not required. The ascent remains hazardous, though, due to the possibility of altitude sickness—a condition that climbers encounter if they ascend too rapidly, which can be fatal if not treated immediately. Kilimanjaro National Park was established in 1973 to safeguard the peak and its six adjacent forest corridors.
Geophysics of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Kilimanjaro’s volcanic interior is little known since there has been no substantial erosion to disclose the igneous layers that constitute the volcano’s structure.
The Shira centre’s eruptive activity began around 2.5 million years ago, with the final significant episode happening about 1.9 million years ago, right before the northern section of the structure collapsed. Shira is crowned by a wide plateau at 3,800 metres (12,500 feet), which might be a filled caldera. Erosion has severely eroded the remaining caldera rim. Shira might have stood between 4,900 and 5,200 m (16,100 and 17,100 ft) tall before the caldera formed and erosion began.
Mawenzi and Kibo both began erupting around 1 million years ago. The Saddle Plateau, at an elevation of 4,400 metres (14,400 feet), separates them.
Mawenzi’s youngest dated rocks are around 448,000 years old. Mawenzi is a horseshoe-shaped ridge with pinnacles and ridges expanding to the northeast, as well as a tower-like shape caused by extensive erosion and a mafic dike swarm.
Several huge cirques sliced their way across the ring. The greatest of them is located on the rim of the Great Barranco Canyon. The East and West Barrancos on the mountain’s north-eastern flank are also noteworthy. Erosion has destroyed the majority of the mountain’s eastern side. Neumann Tower, at 4,425 metres, is a subsidiary summit of Mawenzi (14,518 ft).
Kibo, the mountain’s biggest cone, is more than 24 km (15 mi) broad at the Saddle Plateau height. The present Kibo summit crater was formed by the most recent activity here, which occurred 150,000–200,000 years ago. Kibo’s crater still has gas-emitting fumaroles. Kibo is crowned with a nearly symmetrical cone, with escarpments reaching 180 to 200 metres (590 to 660 feet) on the south side. These escarpments define a 2.5-kilometer-wide (1.6-mile) crater formed by the summit’s fall.
Attractions on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Large animals are uncommon on Kilimanjaro, although can be found in the mountain’s forests and lower reaches. Elephants and Cape buffaloes are two creatures that might be dangerous to trekkers. There have also been reports of bushbucks, chameleons, dik-diks, duikers, mongooses, sunbirds, and warthogs. On the Shira plateau, zebras, leopards, and hyenas have been spotted on occasion. The Kilimanjaro shrew and the chameleon Kinyongia tavetana are two species connected with the mountain.
On Kilimanjaro, natural forests span around 1,000 square kilometres. Maize, beans, sunflowers, and, on the western side, wheat are grown in the foothills. There are also remnants of old savanna vegetation such as Acacia, Combretum, Terminalia, and Grewia. Coffee emerges as part of the “Chagga home gardens” agroforestry between 1,000 metres and 1,800 metres.
Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
In 2007, mountain hikers provided irregular and seasonal work for around 11,000 guides, porters, and cooks. Concerns have been made regarding these labourers’ terrible working conditions and low salaries.
Kilimanjaro has seven recognised hiking routes for ascent and descent: Lemosho, Lemosho Western-Breach, Machame, Marangu, Mweka, Rongai, Shira, and Umbwe. The Machame route takes six to seven days to complete, the Lemosho route takes six to eight days, and the Northern Circuit routes take seven or more days.
The Lemosho Route can also be continued via the Western-Breach, summiting via the mountain’s western flank. The Western-Breach is more private and avoids the 6-hour nocturnal trek to the peak like other routes.
The Rongai is the most straightforward of the camping paths. The Marangu is likewise very straightforward, but sometimes crowded; lodging is in communal huts. The Lemosho Western-Breach Route begins on Kilimanjaro’s western slope in Lemosho and proceeds to the summit through the Western-Breach Route.
Is it safe to hike Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania?
Though not as technically demanding as the Himalayas or the Andes, Kilimanjaro may be a difficult trip due to its high elevation, cold temperatures, and occasional strong winds. Acclimatization is necessary, and even seasoned and physically fit trekkers may experience altitude sickness.
How to get to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
In order to get to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, you will need to travel to Mountain Kilimanjaro national park. You can fly from Arusha or Moshi to Kilimanjaro International Airport. If you choose to travel by road, it takes about a 7 hours’ drive to the park from Arusha; and 8-9 hours’ drive from Moshi.
Conclusion: Mount Kilimanjaro national park earned the second-highest income of any Tanzanian national park in 2013, totalling US$51 million. According to the Tanzania National Parks Authority, the park had 57,456 visitors during the 2011–12 fiscal years, 16,425 of whom ascended the peak; the park’s general management plan stipulates an annual capacity of 28,470. In 2007, mountain hikers provided irregular and seasonal work for around 11,000 guides, porters, and cooks.