Friday, 23 March 2007

Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa, situated on the North Eastern Tanzanian side of the Tanzania-Kenya border. Its peak stands at 5,895 metres (19,340 ft) and the mountain is actually a collection of three distinct volcanoes, evidenced by the presence of three large vents known as Shira, Kibo and Mawenzi.

The origin of the name Kilimanjaro is still a matter of debate - "Shining Mountain", "Mountain of Greatness", "Mountain of Whiteness" are some of the names derived from the Swahili and Machame dialects.

The summit was first reached by a Marangu Army scout, Johannes Kinyala Lauwo, sometime in the late 1800's (the exact date is unknown). In 1889, he also served as the tour guide for the first ascent by a German geographer, Professor Hans Mayer, and his companion Baron Van Eberstein. Although this acheivement was well documented, there was no immediate rush from others wanting to conquer this mountain; in fact, it was over 20 years later (1912) before a path from Marangu was established. The first huts were built along the mountain at Mandera and Horombo, for the newly formed German Kilimanjaro Mountain Club (Tanganyika was under German colonial rule). Kibo Hut was finally built in 1932, and that is when safaris into the mountain started to be organised by hotels and individuals.

Facts and figures

The highest peak in Africa
The highest freestanding peak in the world
The highest 'walkable' mountain in the world

1921 : forest reserve established
1973 : park established
Park HQ Opened : 1977 (by President Nyerere)
Unesco World Heritage : 1989

Northern Tanzania : East Africa
2 50' / 3 20'S : 37 00 / 37 35'E

Park : 756 sq km / 75,353ha
Forest reserve : 929 sq km / 92,906ha

Marangu Gate : 1,830m
Summit : 5,895m

Kibo Crater : diameter : 1.9 x 2.7 km
Kibo Ash Pit : diameter : 350m

Rainfall at altitudes:
Forest Belt : 1800m : 2300mm
Mandara Hut : 2740m : 1300mm
Horobo Hut : 3718m: 525mm
Kibo Hut : 4630m : 200mm

Generally falls 1C with every 200m increase in altitude
Marangu Gate : 10C to 30C
Summit : -20C to 10C


Anonymous said...

Very informative and educational facts. Good work, keep it up.

mount kilimanjaro tours said...

Climbing Kilimanjaro is a once in a lifetime experience. It is a journey that requires investment in preparation time, and money, and should be carefully evaluated.