Kilimanjaro Facts

 

  • Rising 19,340 feet above sea level, Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa and the world’s highest free-standing mountain.

  • Kilimanjaro lies 205 miles South of the equator and stands on Tanzania’s northern border with Kenya.

  • The structure is composed of 3 volcanoes: Kibo (19,340 feet), Mawenzi (16,896 feet), and Shira (13,000 feet).

  • Kilimanjaro supports 5 major eco-zones: rainforest, heath, moorland, alpine desert and glaciers.

  • With the exception of the summit zone, wildlife is potentially encountered throughout the lower parts of the climb. You may see elephants, buffalo, and eland on the northern slopes; black & white colobus monkeys, Sykes monkeys, and tropical boubou in the forest belt; and birds such as sun birds, augur buzzard, mountain hawk eagle, lammergeier and white-naped ravens.

  • The name Kilimanjaro has no certain origin, but one of the most popular theories is that it came from KILMA NJARO meaning “shining mountain” in Swahili. The shiny snow on the peak led nearby residents to believe that evil spirits guarded the mountain. This myth could also explain why some referred to NJARO as a demon that caused cold.

  • Because they saw fellow tribe members attempt the climb only to disappear or to return deformed from frostbite, the Chagga people—who live at the base of the mountain—for centuries had no desire to climb the mountain they believed was full of evil spirits.

  • In 1889, German geographer Hans Meyer and Austrian mountain climber Ludwig Purtscheller were the first to climb Kilimanjaro.

  • Today, about 15,000 people attempt to climb Kilimanjaro each year, as a spiritual journey or as a personal challenge
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