What animals will I see while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro? Kilimanjaro wildlife

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    Excited as to what animals you can see during your Mount Kilimanjaro climb? If so, we got you covered!

    So what animals will I see while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro? Among the animals you’ll encounter during your Mount Kilimanjaro climb are the serval cat, Jackson’s chameleon, Colobus monkey, and many more!

    In this article, we’ll guide you through each of these animals and more. But first, let’s discuss how broad Mount Kilimanjaro National Park is.

    Mount Kilimanjaro National Park encompasses 1,688 square kilometres or equivalent to 652 square miles. It was a forest reserve in 1921 and became a National Park in 1973.

    Then, in 1987, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its rare natural beauty and its unique endangered animals and plant species. So, what are the animals you can see on Kilimanjaro? Let’s find out!

    Jackson's chameleon

    Tanzania - jacksons chameleon - what animals will i see while climbing mount kilimanjaro? Kilimanjaro wildlife

    The Jackson Chameleons are native to the forests and woodlands of northern Tanzania, and they live at an altitude of 1,600 metres to 2,440 metres (5,250 to 8,010 ft). They’re known to change their colour and adapt it to their environment to protect themselves against predators.

    Typically, they change their colour based on emotions, temperature and light. Their eyes can move separately, allowing them to see two different directions at the same time.

    These chameleons possess specialized vision and the ability to eject their tongues to a range that’s twice the length of their bodies, which is their way of capturing and eating insects.

    It’s been noted that there’s a three-horned chameleon in Kilimanjaro known as the Jackson chameleon. In addition, there’s also the Dwarf Fischer’s chameleon—a smaller version of the Jackson chameleon that only has two horns.

    Colobus monkey

    Tanzania - colobus monkey - what animals will i see while climbing mount kilimanjaro? Kilimanjaro wildlife

    Colobus monkeys is one of the animals on Mount Kilimanjaro that can be viewed in the Kilimanjaro trailheads and in the rainforest part of the mountain. They have pretty black fur, whiskers, a long white mantle, a beard around their face and a bushy tail that’s two feet long.

    They have black and white colours and are distinguishable by their U-shape white hair flowing from their shoulders to their lower back. Colobus monkeys are born white and transition to black and white when they reach adulthood.

    Bush baby

    Mount kilimanjaro

    Bush babies or Galagos are some of the smallest primates you can find on Mount Kilimanjaro, having the same size as the squirrels. Their mournful cries with their cute appearance may account for their name, “bush baby.”

    They possess large, round eyes with a bat-like good night vision. Their ears are sensitive, allowing them to track their insect prey in the dark. When they sleep or jump at the thorn bush, they fold their ears flat into their heads to shield them.

    These creatures are nocturnal and possess brownish-grey to light brown coats. They’re agile and can jump from tree to tree. Parts of their diet are moths, grasshoppers, tree gums and fruits.

    Groups of thick-tailed bush babies are large and everywhere within Kilimanjaro National Park. They’re typically found throughout Eastern Africa and are able to survive well in local areas. Its habitat is savanna grasslands, woodlands and forest borders, extending across the equatorial belt of Africa.

    White-necked raven

    Tanzania - white necked raven - what animals will i see while climbing mount kilimanjaro? Kilimanjaro wildlife

    The white-necked raven is one of the raven species endemic to Southern and Eastern Africa. They can grow up to 19 to 21 inches long and weigh up to 1.6 to 1.9 pounds.

    They got their names from the large white patch feathers they have on their necks. In addition, they possess deep bills with white tips, and their whole bodies are black.

    They often distance themselves from humans, and are typically found in mountainous areas like Mount Kilimanjaro. They feed on the rotting flesh of animals and insects, as well as small lizards.

    On top of that, they also feed on vegetables, seeds and grains. You can surely see these large birds flapping their wings at the campsite, waiting for the opportunity to get food. Thus, it’s not advisable to leave your daypack alone, as these ravens are bold enough to crash into it and get your snacks.

    Blue monkey

    Tanzania - blue monkey - what animals will i see while climbing mount kilimanjaro? Kilimanjaro wildlife

    Despite its given name, the blue monkey doesn’t have an obvious blue colour. It has short hair on its face that gives the blue look, but never a vivid blue colour, like the mandrill.

    This animal on Mount Kilimanjaro has a more of an olive or grey colour—aside from the face, which is dark with some yellowish patch on the forehead. Their size ranges from 50 cm to 65 cm in length and can weigh up to 8 kg for males and 4 kg for females.

    You can see these monkeys around the Kilimanjaro’s rainforest, particularly on the Big Forest Camp, which is the first campsite on the Lemosho Route.

    Serval cat

    Tanzania - serval cat - what animals will i see while climbing mount kilimanjaro? Kilimanjaro wildlife

    Serval cats are medium-sized, slender cats that can grow to 62 cm long and weigh up to 40 pounds. They have large ears with small heads and have golden-yellow with black spots and stripes. 

    This cat has slightly the same look as the cheetah in terms of colours but is smaller and much slender in form. They also possess long legs and are good runners.

    They live a solo life and are active during the day and night. They prey on small rodents, but they eat almost anything—from wild rabbits; reptiles; insects and grass.


    Tanzania - duiker - what animals will i see while climbing mount kilimanjaro? Kilimanjaro wildlife

    Duiker is an antelope species, which is much smaller compared to the grassland antelope. They typically live in heavily wooded areas, so you won’t be seeing them on the usual safari through the savannah.

    However, don’t let this dishearten you, as you have a higher chance of seeing them in their natural habitat on the slopes of Kilimanjaro.

    Marsh mongoose

    Tanzania - marsh mongoose - what animals will i see while climbing mount kilimanjaro? Kilimanjaro wildlife

    The Marsh Mongoose comes from the same mongoose family. However, the only difference is that it’s aquatic compared to its white-tailed sibling.

    These animals like to swim in swampy areas and pretend to be sunbathing when it’s actually hunting for birds! The pinkish skin in their fur attracts birds to check them out closer.

    Once they’re close enough, the Marsh Mongoose will swiftly catch the bird and have their dinner. You’ll likely see these animals on the smoother trails of Kilimanjaro.

    Come and see the mount Kilimanjaro animals for yourself!

    Mount Kilimanjaro is broad, and there are many other animal species (not on this list) that you might encounter. If you want to see the animals listed in this article and more others, then come and see them for yourself as you conquer the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro!

    If you’re interested in climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, seeing its wildlife and experiencing the feeling of reaching its peak, book a tour today!

    Musaddiq Gulamhussein - Owner - Easy Travel Tanzania

    About the author: Musaddiq

    Meet Musaddiq Gulamhussein, owner of Easy Travel Tanzania, a tour company creating life-changing safari experiences for over 35 years. Musaddiq has explored Tanzania, developing a deep understanding of the local cultures and traditions. Follow his journey and gain insights into the African Safari experience through Easy Travel's social media and blog.

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