Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro

Located in Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is the African continent’s highest peak at 5,895 meters (19,340 feet). The majestic mountain is a snow-capped volcano

Located in Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s tallest It is the largest free-standing mountain rise in the world, meaning it is not part of a mountain range.

Also called a stratovolcano (a term for a very large volcano made of ash, lava, and rock), Kilimanjaro is made up of three cones: Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. Kibo is the summit of the mountain and the tallest of the three volcanic formations. While Mawenzi and Shira are extinct, Kibo is dormant and could possibly erupt again. Scientists estimate that the last time it erupted was 360,000 years ago. The highest point on Kibo’s crater rim is called Uhuru, the Swahili word for “freedom.” The mountain is also known for its snow-capped peak; however, scientists warn that the snow might disappear within the next 20 years or so.

Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro

In 1889, German geographer Hans Meyer and Austrian mountaineer Ludwig Purtscheller became the first people on record to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro. Since then, Kilimanjaro has become a popular hiking spot for locals and tourists. Because mountaineering gear and experience is not needed to reach the peak, tens of thousands of climbers ascend the mountain each year. The climb is still dangerous, however, because of the risk of altitude sickness—a condition climbers experience if they ascend too quickly, which can be deadly if not treated right away.

In 1973, the mountain and its six surrounding forest corridors were named Kilimanjaro National Park in order to protect its unique environment. The park was named a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site in 1987. A variety of animals live in the area surrounding the mountain, including the blue monkey (Cercopithecus mitis).

 

Kilimanjaro

Located in Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is the African continent’s highest peak at 5,895 meters (19,340 feet). The majestic mountain is a snow-capped volcano.

Ten Interesting Facts about Mt. Kilimanjaro

  1. Approximately 25,000 people attempt to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro annually. Approximately two-thirds are successful. Altitude-related problems is the most common reason climbers turn back.
  2. South African Bernard Goosen twice scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro in a wheelchair. His first summit, in 2003, took nine days; his second, four years later, took only six. Born with cerebral palsy, Goosen used a modified wheelchair, mostly without assistance, to climb the mountain
  3.  Shamsa Mwangunga, National Resources and Tourism minister of Tanzania, announced in 2008 that 4.8 million indigenous trees will be planted around the base of the mountain, helping prevent soil erosion and protect water sources.
  4. The mountain’s snow caps are diminishing, having lost more than 80 percent of their mass since 1912. In fact, they may be completely ice free within the next 20 years, according to scientists.
  5.  The fasted verified ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro occurred in 2001 when Italian Bruno Brunod summitted Uhuru Peak in 5 hours 38 minutes 40 seconds. The fastest roundtrip was accomplished in 2004, when local guide Simon Mtuy went up and down the mountain in 8:27.
  6.  Almost every kind of ecological system is found on the mountain: cultivated land, rain forest, heath, moorland, alpine desert and an arctic summit.
  7.  The oldest person ever to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro was 87-year-old Frenchman Valtee Daniel.
  8.  Nearly every climber who has summitted Uhuru Peak, the highest summit on Kibo’s crater rim, has recorded his or her thoughts about the accomplishment in a book stored in a wooden box at the top.
  9. Kilimanjaro has three volcanic cones, Mawenzi, Shira and Kibo. Mawenzi and Shira are extinct but Kibo, the highest peak, is dormant and could erupt again. The most recent activity was about 200 years ago; the last major eruption was 360,000 years ago.
  10. Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain on the African continent and the highest free-standing mountain in the world.

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