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Mount Kilimanjaro National Park

Description of Mount Kilimanjaro National Park

Only three degrees from the equator, Mount Kilimanjaro's peak is covered in snow, the Victorians believed Kilimanjaro's snow to be a flight of fancy for many years. With an altitude of 5895m (19 340ft), it is the highest peak in Africa, the highest freestanding mountain in the world, and one of the largest volcanoes. Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa's highest peak. The mountain, a dormant volcano, has two peaks - Kibo and Mawezi, which are surrounded by dense forests full of dazzling variety of flora and fauna.

The base of the immense Mount Kilimanjaro has a diameter of about 70 km. On a clear day his impressive formation can be seen from more than 250 km away, and although it is only three degrees below the Equator, iKilimanjaro's peak is permanently covered with snow and ice.

Animals to be seen in Mount Kilimanjaro National Park

Elephants, leopards, lions and colobus monkeys are among the residents of the park. The encircling rain forests ensure the fertility of the lush, lower lying countryside, where the Chagga cultuvate their coffee, maize and bananas.

Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Activities - Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed most of the year, although it is inadvisable during the rainy season, which is April and May, and during the short rains in November. The summit of Kilimanjaro is definitely a challenge, and there are risks involved, but it can be reached by any reasonably fit person who enjoys hiking, and reaching the summit will be an experience of a lifetime!

There are five principal trails up the mountain: Marangu, Mweka, Umbwe, Shira and Machame. These are all hiking routes. The most popular route is the Marangu route. It takes about five days and involves walking about 85 kilometres.

There is so much more to Mount Kilimanjaro than her summit. The ascent of the slopes is a virtual climatic world tour, from the tropics to the Arctic.  Even before you cross the national park boundary (at the 2,700m contour), the cultivated footslopes give way to lush montane forest, inhabited by elusive elephant, leopard, buffalo, the endangered Abbot’s duiker, and other small antelope and primates. Higher still lies the moorland zone, where a cover of giant heather is studded with otherworldly giant lobelias.

Above 4,000m, a surreal alpine desert supports little life other than a few hardy mosses and lichen. Then, finally, the last vestigial vegetation gives way to a winter wonderland of ice and snow – and the magnificent beauty of the roof of the continent.



 

 
 
 
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