Kilimanjaro: Facts about Africa’s Highest Peak
Did you know that one of Mount Kilimanjaro’s three volcanoes might erupt again, even though it’s been dormant for more than three hundred thousand years?
People have been climbing Africa’s tallest mountain for more than one hundred and thirty years. Despite how special it is, there are many fascinating things that most people don’t know about Kilimanjaro.
To help you understand what makes it such a unique place to visit, we’ve broken down the top Mount Kilimanjaro facts. Keep reading, and we’ll tell you what’s important to know.
People Started Summiting it in the Late 19th Century
It was a German adventurer by the name of Baron Carl Claus von der Decken and a British geologist named Richard Thornton who were the first to survey the mountain back in eighteen sixty-one. Their goal was to become the first people to measure the mountain’s height.
About twenty years later, a man named Hans Meyer was the first person to climb to the summit. It took him two attempts to get there. He set out on his first attempt alone and had to turn back at around eighteen thousand feet because he ran into an immense wall of ice that he couldn’t get past.
A few years later, he returned with a skilled alpine climber named Ludwig Purscheller, a guide named Yohani Lauwo, and a large team of porters.
Kilimanjaro Is One of the World’s Most Unique Free Standing Mountains
One of the reasons why Mt. Kilimanjaro is one of Africa’s top ten destinations is because it is the world’s tallest free-standing mountain.
The majority of other tall mountain peaks are parts of larger ranges, such as Mount Denali in North America and Mount Aconcagua in South America. These mountains exist because of plate tectonics. The corners of these plates press up against each other, which forces huge sections of rock into the sky.
Mount Kilimanjaro, on the other hand, came into existence because of volcanic activity. When lava erupted and dried on the earth’s surface, it began to pile up. After many years, Mount Kilimanjaro was formed.
The mountain has several large glaciers and ice fields. Sadly, experts project that these will completely disappear by two thousand and thirty-five because of climate change. In fact, more than eighty percent of the mountain’s glaciers disappeared in the twentieth century alone.
Kilimanjaro Is Located at the Equator
The equator divides the Northern and Southern hemispheres. This area is hit by huge amounts of solar radiation and the climate doesn’t change much throughout the year.
To get to the mountain, you need to go to Tanzania. The country is filled with many wilderness areas, which makes it a popular tourist destination for those who like to go on safaris. If you go to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro, you’re likely to see wild animals such as elephants, lions, and rhinos.
Nobody Knows When (Or If) The Dormant Volcano Will Erupt Again
Mount Kilimanjaro is what is called a stratovolcano. It’s made mostly of lava, ash, and jagged rock. The mountain has three volcanoes, but two of them are now extinct. The third volcano, called Kibo, is dormant and could erupt again.
The last time that Kibo erupted was around three hundred and fifty thousand years ago. To visit the ash pit that this eruption created, all you need to do is walk for about an hour from the mountain’s highest campsite, called Crater Camp. When you visit this ash pit, you’re likely to notice the smell of sulfur in the air.
People Still Don’t Know the Meaning of “Kilimanjaro”
By eighteen sixty, explorers from Europe had already started referring to the tallest mountain in Africa as “Kilimanjaro.” They reported that the word came from the Swahili language.
An old text from the early twentieth century known as “The Nuttall Encyclopedia” explains that the original name for the mountain was Kilima-Njaro. In Swahili, kilima means mountain. The word njaro is said to come from the Chagga language, which means whiteness.
Only Half of the People Who Attempt to Climb Get to the Top
Around thirty thousand people try to climb the mountain every year, yet only around half of those people make it to the top. Despite this, expert climbers don’t consider Kilimanjaro to be a difficult peak to climb in comparison to other popular peaks such as Mount Everest and Mount McKinley.
There are several reasons why so many people don’t reach the top. The most common reason is altitude sickness. Others fail to reach the summit because they’re not experienced as backpackers and don’t know how to prepare for the trip.
Most of these people choose to take the Marangu Route, which is the shortest way to get to the top. But experts say that it’s actually easier to get to the summit by taking a longer route. This is because the longer routes give hikers more time to acclimatize to the high elevations.
If you want to make a visit to Mount Kilimanjaro, it’s therefore important that you know how to prepare for making the trek. You can do this by doing plenty of training before you start climbing the mountain. It’s also essential that you choose the right gear.
Kilimanjaro Facts: One of the World’s Greatest Mountains
If you’re interested in climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, it’s important to be aware of the top Kilimanjaro facts. As Africa’s highest mountain, many people come from across the world to climb it every year. Only about half of those who try to reach the peak actually get there.
Are you ready to climb Mount Kilimanjaro? If so, Roam Wild Adventure is here to help you make your dream a reality. Please contact us today to find out about the tours that we lead.