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Saturday, November 12, 2011

MOUNT KILIMANJARO:- THE MAGIC/ WONDERFUL MOUNTAINS IN AFRICA AND IN THE WORLD.


Elevation (feet): 19340
Elevation (meters): 5895
Continent: Africa
Country: Tanzania
Region: Kilimanjaro Tanzania
SubRange: Northeast Tanzania
Latitude: -3.06667
Longitude: 37.35
Difficulty: Walk up
Best months for climbing: January, February, March, June, July, August, December
Year first climbed: 1889
First successful climber(s): Hans Meyer, L. Purtscheller
Convenient Center: Marangu via Moshi, Tanzania
Nearest major airport: Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), Tanzania
Kilimanjaro is composed of three distinct volcanic cones: Kibo 5,895 m (19,341 ft); Mawenzi 5,149 m (16,893 ft); and Shira 3,962 m (13,000 ft). Uhuru Peak is the highest summit on Kibo's crater rim.
Kilimanjaro is a giant stratovolcano that began forming a million years ago, when lava spilled from the Rift Valley zone. Two of its three peaks, Mawenzi and Shira, are extinct while Kibo (the highest peak) is dormant and could erupt again. The last major eruption has been dated to 360,000 years ago, while the most recent activity was recorded just 200 years ago.
Kilimanjaro. The name itself is a mystery wreathed in clouds. It might mean Mountain of Light, Mountain of Greatness or Mountain of Caravans. Or it might not. The local people, the Wachagga, don't even have a name for the whole massif, only Kipoo (now known as Kibo) for the familiar snowy peak that stands imperious, overseer of the continent, the summit of Africa.
Kilimanjaro, by any name, is a metaphor for the compelling beauty of East Africa. When you see it, you understand why. Not only is this the highest peak on the African continent; it is also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, rising in breathtaking isolation from the surrounding coastal scrubland – elevation around 900 metres – to an imperious 5,895 metres (19,336 feet).
Kilimanjaro is one of the world's most accessible high summits, a beacon for visitors from around the world. Most climbers reach the crater rim with little more than a walking stick, proper clothing and determination. And those who reach Uhuru Point, the actual summit, or Gillman's Point on the lip of the crater, will have earned their climbing certificates.
And their memories.
But there is so much more to Kili 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.

About Kilimanjaro National Park
Size: 1668 sq km 641 sq miles).
Location: Northern Tanzania, near the town of Moshi.
Getting there
128 km (80 miles) from Arusha.
About one hour’s drive from Kilimanjaro airport.
What to do
Six usual trekking routes to the summit and other more-demanding mountaineering routes.
Day or overnight hikes on the Shira plateau. Nature trails on the lower reaches.
Trout fishing.


Visit the beautiful Chala crater lake on the mountain’s southeastern slopes.
When to go
Clearest and warmest conditions from December to February, but also dry (and colder) from July-September.
Accommodation
Huts and campsites on the mountain.
Several hotels and campsites outside the park in the village of Marangu and town of Moshi.
More info on accomodation
NOTE:
Climb slowly to increase your acclimatisation time and maximise your chances of reaching the summit.
To avoid altitude sickness, allow a minimum of five nights, preferably even more for the climb. Take your time and enjoy the beauty of the mountain.
NOTE 2:
NEW RATES FOR PORTERS AND GUIDES
(JUNE '08)

Porters
USD 10 per day
Cooks
USD 15 per day
Guides
USD 20 per day
Although it is dormant, Kibo has fumaroles that emit gas in the crater. Scientists concluded in 2003 that molten magma is just 400 m (1,310 ft) below the summit crater. Several collapses and landslides have occurred on Kibo in the past, one creating the area known as the Western Breach.
Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, located in Northeast Tanzania, near the Kenya border. Kilimanjaro is an extinct volcano, and is one of the most massive in the world. It towers 15,000 feet above the surrounding arid plains, and 2.5 square miles of its surface are over 18,500 feet.
Beneath its ice dome, snow extends down long gullies that have been eroded in the mountain sides. The ice cap, which formed 11,000 years ago, has retreated significantly in recent years, as much as 80% in the last century. Scientists expect it to be gone within the early half of the 21st Century.
Kilimanjaro's summit crater, known as Kibo, measures 1.5 miles across. The highest point on Kibo's steep rim is Uhuru, the highest peak in Africa. Nestled in the center of Kibo is a smaller crater, 600-feet deep in sulfurous ashes. Mawenzi (16,893 ft), Kilimanjaro's smaller second cone, is Mawenzi the third highest peak in Africa (Mount Kenya is second at 17,057 feet).
Mawenzi is seven miles east of Kibo, separated by a long saddle. It is an older cone, jagged from erosion, with sheer faces on all sides. Despite its lower elevation, Mawenzi is the more difficult climb, and no approach is possible without rock climbing and/or snow and ice climbing skills.
The approach and climb provides spectacular diversity, from scrub-lands thick with African wildlife to lush forests to flowering alpine tundra. All this finally gives way to snow and rock above 15,000 feet.
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