Mount Kilimanjaro: 12 Amazing Facts About Africa’s Tallest and the World’s Highest Free-Standing Mountain
Updated On: June 12, 2023
Travelling to see the raw beauty of the world is an unforgettable experience. Adding mountains to your itinerary is an experience unlike anything else. Climbing them is sufficient to pump adrenaline through your body, not to mention the rewarding scenes you get to behold from the summit. If you’re looking for such an experience, look no further than Mount Kilimanjaro, the world’s highest free-standing mountain and the tallest in all of Africa.
Mount Kilimanjaro is a high volcanic mountain that has been dormant for years, located in Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro region. The mountain has always been a top attraction in Tanzania, especially for fitness gurus and expert hikers. It’s also seemed a legitimate escapade from fast-paced lives, away among some peaceful surroundings with fresh air gently caressing your face.
It’s widely known that Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa and a prominent trekking destination that people fly from all over the world to climb. Yet, there’s much more to learn about this majestic mountain that offers you an enthralling experience. Grab your boots and get ready to have the best hiking adventure of a lifetime!
Here are some interesting facts about the exalted Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the world’s best mountains to climb, that you’ll be amazed to know:
1. One of the Hugest Mountains in the World
Africa leaves no room for disappointment when it comes to bestowing the world with a plethora of natural wonders. It’s known to be home to several stunning mountains scattered across the continent, rewarding the beholders with fascinating sceneries. Yet, Mount Kilimanjaro remains the one standing tall about the rest, literally and figuratively
The majestic mountain doesn’t only earn the title of being the tallest in Africa, but it’s also the highest mountain in the world, towering at 5,895 metres. A stunning wonder earning two titles at once would definitely make the list of Tanzania’s most iconic landmarks. Its imposing beauty speaks for itself, attracting adventurer souls and hiking enthusiasts from every corner of the world.
2. A Base For All Kinds of Ecological Systems
Mount Kilimanjaro isn’t only rewarding at the peak but also unfolds new surprises with each ascent. Being the mountain with the highest peak in the continent may provoke the adventurer in you. Yet, what would genuinely captivate nature aficionados is the rare presence of multiple ecological systems all at once. Your climb to the top is an awe-inspiring journey featuring all five major climate zones.
The base pretty much resembles the African climate, being dry and desert-like, but the temperature keeps significantly dropping as you ascend. You’ll encounter a humid forest zone, a lively greenery zone, and an uncultivated moorland zone right before you reach the North Pole rugged terrain at the top. This adventure will have you feeling like you’ve travelled the world, starting from the scorching heat of Africa and reaching the unforgivingly chilling cold of the Arctic.
3. The Snow Cap is Expected to Diminish
Africa is known for its scorching heat that gives you the best sun-kissed skin, yet it can still surprise you with a beautiful contrast. Mount Kilimanjaro is known for its snow-capped summit, a typical application for high elevations, yet a little bizarre for Tanzania’s dry climate. Despite the paradox, visitors are always left spellbound by the unpredictable raw beauty of nature.
Although those glaciers at the peak are thousands of years old, they’re expected to disappear soon. Global warming has been significantly affecting the amount of snow falling, and Africa’s climate is getting much drier by the day. Sadly, the exalted sight is under threat and may completely diminish soon, so embark on this journey to witness this marvellous wonder before it’s too late!
4. It’s One of the Seven Summits of the World
Kilimanjaro is the highest summit in Africa, making the list of the world’s Seven Summits. The latter is the name of each continent’s highest peak, with each of them varying in height, topography, ecological system, and climbing levels. Mount Kilimanjaro is deemed the fourth-highest summit of the renowned Seven Summits.
Still, it’s one of the most visited summits and ranks second-most famous, after the preeminent Everest. If you happen to be among the adventurers seeking to hike all seven summits, then Kilimanjaro would definitely be on your list. But if you’re only seeking a fascinating journey in nature and the surreal experience of a lifetime, you shouldn’t miss this wondrous mountain.
5. Kilimanjaro is the Easiest to Climb
While Mount Kilimanjaro is definitely quite one of the world’s highest, it’s somewhat suitable for everyone at different ages and fitness levels. The splendid mountain is inviting for anyone with a sense of adventure, for it neither needs climbing gear nor mountaineering equipment to reach the peak. As surprising as this may sound, it actually adds to the appeal of this already captivating mountain.
Mt. Kilimanjaro is often referred to as a non-technical mountain, which means it’s easy to climb compared to plenty of lower peaks in the world. Even the steepest section of the mountain, known as the Barranco Wall, can still be mounted with no gear at all. Interestingly, the mountain was climbed by a 6-year-old, the youngest climber, an 80-something-old man, not to mention the courageous Manchester Arena bombing survivor who made it in a wheelchair.
6. It Has Three Different Cones
Climbing a mountain is an enthralling experience, yet it doesn’t compare to the added thrill of knowing that you’re willingly traversing a dormant volcano. Although it’s known that Kilimanjaro was initially a volcano, many people seem to keep forgetting about it. The splendid mountain prides itself on three different volcanic cones, each with its unique level of volcanic activity.
The volcanic cones go by the names Shira, Mawenzi, and Kibo, with the latter being the only one that isn’t extinct. Kibo is the highest cone, which has been dormant for around 200 years. Despite being calm for over two centuries, scientists believe an eruption could occur again anytime soon.
7. Home to the Rarest Species of Wildlife
Tanzania is one of the African countries rich in incredible wildlife that you will spot on your journey around the pretty lands. Observing wildlife during your adventurous trek to Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the most enjoyable activities. It will keep you occupied and awe-inspired during the journey of a lifetime.
Among the animals that you’re likely to encounter are exotic cats, monkeys, antelopes, and elephants. The best part is getting lucky enough to spot the rare species of painted wolves, the biggest wild canine in Africa, that inhabit the Kilimanjaro National Park. They also go by hyena dogs and ornate wolves and are deemed Africa’s second-most endangered carnivore.
8. It Also Houses Unique Plant Species
The wildlife you encounter while trekking the majestic Kilimanjaro Mountain isn’t the only thing unique around here, but the plant species are also staggering. Given that different climate zones are presented throughout your ascent, a whole new world of rare flora and fauna will embellish your journey. It’s yet another mesmerising appeal about this special mountain that you would love to observe for yourself.
The rainforest belt houses many tropical plant species and colourful flowers that are too beautiful to take your eyes off them. Even more interestingly, the moorland and semi-alpine heath are home to rare vegetation that are nowhere else to be found. Many of those evergreen botanical lives are able to survive the daily dramatic alteration of temperature.
9. The Origin of the Name Remains Mysterious
Kilimanjaro is a beguiling name that rolls off the tongue like sweet music. But like many intriguing names, the origin of this one remains shrouded in mystery, puzzling many of the world’s finest linguists and etymologists. Despite the exerted efforts to unravel the roots of the Kilimanjaro word, there was never a definitive answer on which all agreed.
Some have accepted it being a KiChagga phrase that translates to “we failed to climb it,” given the mountain’s fascinating height. Others believe that the Swahili word, Kilima and KiChagga word, Njaro, are coined, with the former meaning “mountain” and the latter meaning “whiteness”, producing a “Mountain of Whiteness” and reflecting its snow-capped peak.
10. It Was Featured in Popular Movies
This destination has definitely been attracting people from all parts of the world, especially capturing the attention of adventure enthusiasts who yearned to take the plunge. Not only has Kilimanjaro been a UNESCO World Heritage Centre or the most iconic symbol of Tanzania, but it has also been the focal point of blockbuster movies. The wondrous landmark has inspired the creation of several films, with the main story revolving around the majestic mountain.
Kilimanjaro has been featured in more than a few film productions, including Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa (2002), Beyond Limits (2010), Volcano Above the Clouds (2003), and more. The mountain didn’t just serve as an attractive backdrop in several scenes, but it was also the catalyst of the storyline. There’s much to learn about this world’s wonder from these numerous movies and documentaries.
11. Kilimanjaro National Park is Ideal for African Safari
Africa is home to iconic landmarks and exciting destinations, yet it’s the only continent to offer unforgettable safari experiences. African safaris are pretty compelling for curious travellers, presenting the opportunity to observe stunning creatures and be immersed in a world totally different from ours.
Undoubtedly, being up close with the wildlife is an exciting experience incomparable to zoos or documentary-watching. Kilimanjaro National Park is one of Africa’s best parks to embark on your safari journey. Not only will you live the thrill of the up-close wildlife adventure, but you’ll also get the chance to observe the awe-inspiring mountain proudly and exquisitely standing tall amidst the spacious landscapes.
12. Fast Food Chains Deliver to the Mountain’s Peak
Technology has made life easier and faster, where you can easily order your favourite meal with the touch of a button. As impressive as this has been, it was pretty hard to expect fast food delivery would reach new heights, literally and figuratively, making it to the top of the mountain but maybe not so fast. After delivering the highest-altitude pizza to Kilimanjaro’s top, Pizza Hut made it to the Guinness World Record.
The sizzling pizza was made in the new Pizza Hut branch in Dar El Salaam, took a plane to Kilimanjaro, and then carried in battery-heated packs to the top. The trekking took 3 days, and although the backpacks sealed the pizza’s heat, it was soon gone with the unforgivingly chilling temperature on the top of Kilimanjaro.
It’s time you embark on this memorable journey to the wondrous Mount Kilimanjaro. This mountain offers an unparalleled adventure and has layers of rich history begging to unfold. Grant yourself the chance of a lifetime by climbing the roof of Africa, and have an epic climb tale to entertain your family and friends with and create memories you’ll cherish for years to come.