Kilimanjaro Environment

The Mountain

The Region

History

Mount Kilimanjaro lies on a tectonic plate line intersection 80 kilometres (50 mi) east of the tectonically active Rift Valley. The activity that created this stratovolcano dates back less than a million years. Steam and sulphur fumaroles here are indicative of residual activity.

At one stage, most of the summit of Kilimanjaro was covered by an ice cap, probably more than 100 metres (330 ft) deep. Glaciers extended well down the mountain forming moraine ridges, clearly visible now on the southern flanks down to about 4,000 metres (13,000 ft). At present only a small fraction of the glacial cover remains.

Name Origin

One theory is that the name is a mix of the Swahili word Kilima, meaning “mountain,” and the KiChagga word Njaro, loosely translated as “whiteness.” Another is that Kilimanjaro is the European pronunciation of a KiChagga phrase meaning “we failed to climb it.”

Seven Summits

Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain at 5,895m. The other six continental high peaks are (1) Asia – Everest – 8850m (2) Oceania – Carstensz Pyramid – 4884m (3) Europe – Elbrus – 5642m (4) North America – Denali – 6190m (5) South America – Aconcagua – 6960m (6) Antartica – Vinson – 4897m.

Some people may not know that Elbrus is in Russia, Carstensz Pyramid in New Guinea and Denali in Alaska.

Kilimanjaro National Park

Covering an area of some 75,575 ha protects the largest free standing volcanic mass in the world and the highest mountain in Africa, rising 4877m above surrounding plains to 5895m at its peak. With its snow-capped peak, the Kilimanjaro is a superlative natural phenomenon, standing in isolation above the surrounding plains overlooking the savannah.

Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the largest volcanoes in the world. It has three main volcanic peaks, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. With its snow-capped peak and glaciers, it is the highest mountain in Africa. The mountain has five main vegetation zones from the lowest to the highest point:  Lower slopes, montane forest, heath and moorland, alpine desert and summit. The whole mountain including the montane forest belt is very rich in species, in particular mammals, many of them endangered species.  For this combination of features but mostly its height, its physical form and snow cap and its isolation above the surrounding plains, Mount Kilimanjaro is considered an outstanding example of a superlative natural phenomenon

Serengeti

The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania was established in 1952. It is home to the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth – the great migration of wildebeest and zebra. The resident population of lion, cheetah, elephant, giraffe, and birds is also impressive. There’s a wide variety of accommodation available, from luxury lodges to mobile camps. The park covers 5,700 sq miles, (14,763 sq km), it’s larger than Connecticut, with at most a couple hundred vehicles driving around.

The Park can be divided into 3 sections. The popular southern/central part (Seronera Valley), is what the Maasai called the “serengit”, the land of endless plains. It’s classic savannah, dotted with acacias and filled with wildlife. The western corridor is marked by the Grumeti River, and has more forests and dense bush. The north, Lobo area, meets up with Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve, is the least visited section.

 

Close Menu