A SHORT STORY ABOUT THE MOUNTAIN
Mount Kilimanjaro is the crown of Africa. The view of this majestic mountain’s gigantic snow-capped summit dome, rising high above the surrounding savannah is one of Africa’s classic images. At 5896 metes (19,344 ft), Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, and one of the highest volcanoes in the world, attracting trekkers and climbers from every corner of the world. The attraction is even greater because, with time and preparation, it is possible to walk all the way to the summit without technical mountaineering equipment or experience.
The Kilimanjaro massif has two main peaks; Kibo, the flat-topped dome at the center of the massif, Mawenzi a group of jagged points and pinnacles on the eastern side. The top of Kibo dips inwards to form a crater which cannot be seen from below. Although Mount Kilimanjaro lies just three degrees south of the equator, both Kibo and Mawenzi have permanent caps of snow and ice.
The highest point on Kibo and the whole of Kilimanjaro massif is Uhuru peak. Also on Kibo is the slightly lower peak of Gillman’s Point, both are goals for most trekkers. The peaks of Mawenzi are for mountaineers only Kilimanjaro has been designated as a National Park by the government of Tanzania.
From Mount Kilimanjaro, we have another second highest Mountain known as Mount Meru which is located in Arusha national parks. It has a total of 4566 (14979ft) can provide the spectacular view of Mt. Kilimanjaro and the surrounding countryside. Mt. Meru is a classic volcanic cone with dramatic horseshoe caldera/crater. The trek to the summit takes three days with two nights on the mountain either in tents or mountain huts.
ESSENTIAL Information FOR CLIMBING MOUNT KILIMANJARO AND MOUNT MERU
Seasons and weather conditions
The best time to visit Tanzania is during the dry season especially just after the rains have finished and the vegetation is lush and green. East Africa has two rainy seasons, the long rains which normally starts at the end of march and last until the June, and the short rains which normally occur in October and November. Naturally, conditions on the mountains can become very slippery in the rains and snow can become the problem on some of the routes to the summit. Dry season months of June to September and December to February can usually be counted as the best months for trekking.
Being only three degrees south of the Equator, it is the altitude which affects the temperature as the trek progresses Day-time temperatures on the lower parts of the mountain are often pleasantly warm, even hot, although a brief rain shower in the afternoon is always possible. As soon as the sun goes down the air temperatures become cold and as the trek progresses on the higher parts of the mountain the temperature often drop below freezing. Warm clothes and a warm sleeping bag are essential.
Although many thousands of trekkers successful reach Gillman’s Point or Uhuru Peak every year without any real difficult, many others do not make to the top because they suffer from altitude sickness, which is caused by the combination of the decrease in atmospheric pressure and the decreased oxygen content of the air. To avoid this it is very important to acclimatize by ascending slowly and steadily, even if you are fit, you should not try to rush up to mount Kilimanjaro.
There are different routes that are available while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Marangu Route, Rongai Route, Lemosho Route, Shira Routes, Umbwe Route and Machame Route are main Routes while trekking to Mount Kilimanjaro. Mount Meru and Oldonyo Lengai are the mountains that are easily climbed too.