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Top 10 Facts about Mount Kilimanjaro

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    It’s not until you face Mount Kilimanjaro’s magnificent slopes that you realize how influential this dormant volcano is on the landscape. It almost seems as though the entire continent of Africa rests upon its shoulders.

    Mount Kilimanjaro is crowned in glacier. Kilimanjaro National Park there is dictated by unique weather patterns and water flows. It provides home to thousands of species of flora and fauna and contributes to the livelihood of tens of thousands. The very contours of Mount Kilimanjaro set into motion a flurry of folklore, stories, and interesting factoids. You may be wondering “How high is Mt. Kilimanjaro,” and “Is it Africa’s tallest Mountain?” as you prepare for your own life-altering ascent. Check out these 10 interesting nuggets about Mt. Kilimanjaro that may quench your thirst for information about this majestic mountain.

    Facts About Kilimanjaro

    1. Kilimanjaro’s Peak is Actually Named Freedom

    Tanzania - istock 1303073711 scaled - top 10 facts about mount kilimanjaroThe mountain’s highest point is Uhuru Peak, Swahili for freedom. It remains unclear where the name “Mt. Kilimanjaro” actually comes from. Conflicting evidence suggests that the Chagga people living upon its slopes never actually used this word, though in Swahili, Kilimanjaro breaks up into Kilima (hill/little mountain) and Njaro (white/shining). So, Shining Mountain. Seems accurate! (Source & Source)

    2. The Highest Freestanding Mountain in the World

    Tanzania - istock 108202514 - top 10 facts about mount kilimanjaroHow high is Mt. Kilimanjaro? It towers at 5,895 meters (19,341 feet). Kilimanjaro is known being the highest “freestanding” mountain in the world. This means that the mountain is not part of any contiguous range. How cool is that? Additionally, it is the tallest mountain in Africa!

    3. Not 1 Dormant Volcano, but 3 (dorman) Volcanic Peaks

    Tanzania - istock 992017146 - top 10 facts about mount kilimanjaroYes, Kili is a volcanic mountain! Because of its designation as the world’s tallest freestanding mountain, Kilimanjaro is technically a combination of three giant dormant volcanoes. The other two are named Kibo and Shira. Worry not—these triplets have been sleeping for a long time.

    4. Last Eruption? 360,000 years ago

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    East Africa has little volcanic activity, and there has been no volcanic eruption on Mount Kilimanjaro for over 360,000 years, meaning that there is no danger of eruption. The only active volcano in Tanzania is Ol Doinyo Lengai, “Mountain of God,” south of Lake Natron. This mountain is highly active and erupted within the past decade. (Source)

    5. Africa’s Tallest Indigenous Tree lives on Kilimanjaro

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    At 81 meters (265 feet), the entandrophragma excelsum was recently discovered on Kili’s slopes. It’s the sixth tallest tree on Earth and is 500-600 years old. This exceptional growth is due to Mount Kilimanjaro’s incredible, nutrient-rich volcanic soil and precipitation. (Source) This is one of many trees found along the forest belt and inside the forest corridors. Kilimanjaro National parks average temperature ranges between 21 degrees celsius (70 degrees fahrenheit) to 27 degrees celsius (80 degrees fahrenheit), making it ideal for different plants to flourish!

    6. Coffee Surrounds Kilimanjaro

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    Something else that flourishes around the lower slopes of the mountain is one of our beloved treats: coffee. Tanzanian coffee is considered by many to be the world’s best, and most of the beans are grown in the volcanic soils and higher elevations of Mount Kilimanjaro’s foothills. Before your trek you will drive past endless fields of these coffee plantations, a significant part of the Tanzanian economy. Be sure and grab a bag from the mountain of greatness.

    7. Youngest Ascent? Age 7. Oldest Ascent? Age 88

    Tanzania - istock 626511470 - top 10 facts about mount kilimanjaroTechnically there is a minimum age of ten to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, but some people bend the rules. Keats Boys summited Uhuru at age 7, while Dr. Fred Distelhorst holds the record for the oldest successful climber at 88 years old. Ambitious, right? (Source)

    8.Someone ran up and down Kilimanjaro in less than 7 hours

    Tanzania - istock 1189927602 - top 10 facts about mount kilimanjaroIt’s hard to believe, but Swiss-Ecuadorian athlete Karl Egloff went up and down the mountain in a staggering 6 hours and 42 minutes. This, to many, is an unfathomable feat of human endurance. We recommend not 6 hours but (at least) 6 days for the trek! (Source) Don’t forget to get clued up on altitude sickness that many encounter on their summit attempt up Mount Kilimanjaro.

    9.Its glaciers are 10,000 years old, and they could be gone by 2030

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    One of the most fascinating aspects of scaling to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro is finding glaciers clinging to the edges of the peak. Unfortunately a combination of warming climates and diminished snowfall at Kilimanjaro’s summit may cause these critical frozen reservoirs to vanish in the coming decades. Better get there soon. (Source)

    10. Five Unique Ecosystems on the Mountain

    Tanzania - kilimanjaro forest 1024x683 1 - top 10 facts about mount kilimanjaro

    When you begin Mt. Kilimanjaro’s summit attempt, you are committing not only a challenging and rewarding summit, but also to journey through nearly every ecosystem: cultivated land, rainforest, heather, moorlands, alpine desert, arctic summit. It’s a crash course lesson in geography, one that you’ll never forget!

    The first day of the Machame route.