Mount Kilimanjaro is the crown of Tanzania. It’s the highest peak on the African continent and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, with an impressive snow-capped summit. It rises high above the open African plains in Tanzania to an imperious 5,895 metres (19,336 feet). Hiking on the ‘rooftop of Africa’ is the adventure of a lifetime for a lot of visitors.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is the highlight of most visitors’ experiences in Tanzania. The ascent of the slopes is a virtual climatic world tour, from the tropics to the Arctic. There are several different routes including Marangu, the easiest climb and therefore the most popular, Machame, Lemosho, Rongai and Umbwe. The shortest routes are 5-6 days. The longest ones are 7-9 days. If paced well, everyone from trained mountain climbers to first-time enthusiasts can scale the snowy peak. Enjoy the the breathtaking views of Amboseli National Park in Kenya, the Rift Valley, and the Masaai Steppe. Hiking on the ‘rooftop of Africa’ is the adventure of a lifetime. There is no better feeling than standing on the top of the Kilimanjaro watching the stunning sunrise over the African plains.
Kilimanjaro is a giant dormant volcano that began forming a million years ago when lava spilled from the Rift Valley zone. It is composed of three distinct volcanic cones: Kibo 19,340 feet (5,895 meters); Mawenzi 16,896 feet (5,149 meters); and Shira 13,000 feet (3,962 meters). Uhuru Peak is the highest summit on Kibo’s crater rim. Although just three degrees south of the Equator, the peaks of both Kibo and Mawenzi have permanent caps of snow and ice.
“Kilimanjaro” means “Mountain of Whiteness” or “Shining Mountain,” according to most linguists and etymologists who study the origins of local words. The name is a combination of two languages (“Kilima” means mountain in Swahili and “Njaro” means shining/whiteness in Chagga).