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Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

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KILIMANJARO is the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest freestanding mountain known to man. It is a mountain where you can hike for more than 90 kilometers, gain 4 000 meters in altitude, traverse rain forest, moorland, alpine desert, snow fields and ice cliffs, all virtually on the equator! A truly unforgettable and fascinating adventure.

 

The Topography
Kilimanjaro rises from plains at approximately 2000 meters, right up to 5 895 meters. An ancient volcano, it now lies dormant except for some tell tale signs of fumaroles in the ash pit. Two other peaks, namely Mawenzi and Shira, flank the main peak of Kibo. These peaks form spectacular photographic backdrops when viewed from various vantage points along the routes to the summit.

The different routes to the summit pass through five ecological zones, being the cultivated lower slopes, Montane forest, heath and moorland, alpine desert and the ice capped summit.
The lower slopes of the mountain are mainly used for agricultural purposes.

The climate here is ideal for the production of coffee, an industry that Tanzania is famous for. Further up, a rain forest belt encircles the mountain up to about 2 00 meters. As you proceed higher, you pass through the heath which changes into moorland, semi-desert at altitude, progressing into total desert and finally into an alpine region with permanent ice glaciers. The higher slopes are covered with scree, loose stones resembling gravel, making it more difficult to negotiate. The main glaciers edging their way down the slopes of Kibo are Heim, Rebmann, Decken, Arrow and some smaller ones. These glaciers form the permanent ice cap of the mountain, although they are, as a result of global warming, believed to receding each year.

The Climate
Being only 3 degrees south of the equator, Kilimanjaro is influenced by the passage of the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone. There is a constant feeling of summer, and there are two rainy seasons to keep in mind. The highest rainfall occurs from March lasting until about the end of May. This is monsoon time. Slightly less rain falls during the short rainy period, which occurs from around October to November, but can extend into December. Apart from these factors, climbing Kilimanjaro remains fairly constant throughout the year.
The maximum rainfall occurs in the forest belt, where it can reach up to 2000 mm per year. At the summit, which can be, describe as a "high altitude desert", the rainfall reaches less than 100 mm per year. Rain (and snow at higher altitudes) can however be encountered at any time of the year.
The average temperatures at the foot of the mountain is 25°-30° C and on the summit, it can range from minus 10° -20° C. At 3000m the day temperatures range from 5°-15° C, and at night frost is normally encountered. Clearly a large variation, making it more interesting to summit the mountain.

Best Season to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

The warmest months with the clearest trekking days, are from mid to late December, January, February, September and October. The rains often come in April and the start of May with the possibility of some snow. 
June through to August are superb trekking months, though evening temperatures tend to be colder. The wettest months, are November and early December, where snow falls are likely. Note however, that as this is a mountain it is not impossible to get sporadic snow or rainfall at odd times throughout the year.
Many people like to arrange their summit around a full moon and Christmas and New Year are very popular.

Kilimanjaro Trekking Routes

Kilimanjaro trekking routes are; Machame route mostly 6 days, Marangu can be climbed 5 and 6 days, Londorossi/Lemosho 7 or 8 days, Umbwe 5 day or 6 days,Londorossi/Western Breach 8-10 days, Rongai 6 days , And 8 days Shira Exclusive fantastic route-through Shira Plateau from Londorossi gate is the most fascinating and scenic route up Kilimanjaro.



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