Perhaps, you have heard about Mt Kilimanjaro and are eager to climb to its summit. Also known as ‘Roof of Africa’, there are few interesting facts about this mountain that is sure to leave you absolutely stunned.
Interesting facts to know about Mt Kilimanjaro
- One among the 7 summits: In Africa, it is the tallest mountain and among the 7 summits. It is also popular among first-time adventurers and experienced hikers and also among the easiest. No equipment or technical skills are necessary to climb this mountain like harness, rope, ice axe or crampons. It is actually ‘walk-up’ or ‘hiking’ peak and not climbing or mountaineering peak.
- Located on the Equator: Mount Kilimanjaro lies at a distance of 205 miles from the equator in Tanzania. Early explorers were reported to have noticed glaciers on its top, something not believable due to its equatorial location.
- Tallest free-standing mountain: Apart from being the tallest peak of Africa, it is also the tallest free-standing mountain of the world. Uhuru Point, its summit is around 19,341ft. (5,895m) above sea level.
- Created by three volcanic cones: Once the mountain had three volcanic cones, namely, Mawenzi, Shira & Kibo, with the last being the central and tallest cone formed around 460,000 years ago. Shira is no more a peak. it had collapsed, thus creating Shira Plateau to its west. There are popular trek roués here like Shira, Lemosho and Machame. Mawenzi on Northern Circuit and Rongal routes offered amazing views.
- Dormant mountain: It is rather a stratovolcano, created from rock, lava and ash. Mawenzi and Shira are extinct volcanoes. But Kibo is dormant. It was 360,000 years before that the last eruption took place and recent activity being around 200,000 years ago. Crater Camp, the highest campsite is just 2-hour round trip hike from the ash pit, where you can smell sulphur.
- The initial ascent was about a century ago: It was Hans Meyer, a German geologist, Ludwig Purtscheller, an Austrian climber and Yohani Kinyala Lauwo, a local guide was the first to climb the mountain. But his first two attempts to reach the top failed. It was only the third attempt in 1889 that they got successful. Meyer was supported by a guide, a cook, 9 porters and two local tribal leaders and reached the crater’s southern rim. Marangu route follows closely Meyer’s path.
These are just a few of the many interesting facts of Mt Kilimanjaro!!