Kilimanjaro
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Tanzania is home to many of nature's most spectacular creations. Among them - Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's roof top and the worlds highest free standing mountain. The Ngorongoro Crater - the largest crater in the world, and a vast amphitheatre teeming with game. The Serengeti Plains - home to an estimated 3 million animals covering an area of 12,950 square kilometers.

Get closer to wildlife &local culture &explore from the Serengeti to Kilimanjaro. Tanzania is one of the world's greatest safari destinations. Known for its rich culture, and diverse landscapes, the country boasts a wildlife population that is unparalleled on the African continent. The country's game viewing experiences are widely regarded as the best in Africa.

Mt Kilimanjaro is composed of three peaks: Kibo (5895m) - whose highest peak is Uhuru Peak, Mawenzi (5150m) - which is a technical climb - and Shira (3962m). Its mass rises 4800m above a rolling plain that averages 1000m above sea level. After reaching a height of 5900m during its last major eruption 360,000 years ago, Kibo has been eroded by glaciers, rivers and landslides to its present height. It is believed that Kilimanjaro like its neighbour Mt. Kenya is losing glaciers due to global warming.

Snow-capped and wreathed in veils of clouds, Kilimanjaro rises from the vast open plains. The largest mountain in Africa and highest free standing mountain in the world, has proved a magnet to climbers, naturalists, travellers and explorers over the centuries.

Only three degrees from the equator, the Victorians believed Kilimanjaro's snow to be a flight of fancy for many years.

The mountain has been known in African legends from ancient times. The local Chagga people believed it to be the dwelling of an angry god who punished anyone who dared to climb it.

They called the two peaks, kipoo and Kimawenzi which are now known as Kibo and Mawenzi.

Kilimanjaro comes from the Chagga (Vunjo sub-region) phrase 'Kilema Kyaro'. Literally meaning 'that which cannot be conquered', or 'that which makes a journey impossible' or 'completely inaccessible' or 'where a traveller can disappear or be completely lost'. German explorers spelt the name of the mountain as Kilimanscharos, a name that was later spelt as Kilimanjaro by the Arab slavers and the Swahili speaking people.

The mountain owes its existence to the formation of the Great Rift Valley two to three million years ago, which left deep fractures in the earth crusts along its edges. Many volcanoes burst through in the Kilimanjaro region.

Nearly a million years ago, volcanic activity centered on three points - Shira, Mawenzi and Kibo. Shira was the first to become extinct - it eventually collapsed and was covered by material from the other two. Mawenzi and Kibo continued to grow, their lava intermingling to form a saddle between them.

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