Mt Kilimanjaro Facts

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Mount Kilimanjaro Is Composed of 3 Volcanic Cones

Mount Kilimanjaro - Roof of Africa

Mount Kilimanjaro – Roof of Africa

Of all Mt Kilimanjaro Facts, one most people are shocked to learn is that it isn’t actually one mountain as such, but is made of three volcanic cones. These are called Kibo (19,340 ft), Mawenzi (16,893 ft) and Shira (12,112 ft). Kibo’s rim is a crater – the highest point of which is known as Uhuru Peak. Kilimanjaro is also commonly known as a stratovolcano and the mountain was formed when there were many extensive lava flows. Of the three peaks Kilimanjaro has, only Kibo remains active and could erupt at any time. Shira and Mawenzi are extinct. The last time Kibo erupted was 200 years ago.

There Are 5 Unique Ecosystems on the Mountain

Another one of the many fascinating Mt Kilimanjaro Facts is that it has five different ecosystems, making it one of the most diverse places on Earth. At its lowest levels, there are villages, forests and jungles. Those who climb a little higher might start to find that the conditions change. Temperatures vary wildly from as high as 98°F degrees during the day to below 32°F at night. This is because there is little in the way of vegetation, and are instead many areas of alpine desert. As you get nearer to the summit, signs of plant and animal life become non-existent. You’ll also find the temperatures rise even higher, as Kilimanjaro is the second closest place on Earth to the sun.

Kilimanjaro Has 2 Distinct Types of Climate

Mount Kilimanjaro Location

Mount Kilimanjaro Location

In terms of Mount Kilimanjaro Facts surrounding the weather it experiences, the mountain has two wet seasons during the year. These are from March to May and then again from November to December. Of all the rain that falls on the mountain, 96% falls at below 9,842 ft. The average yearly rainfall is in excess of 90 inches, but the higher you climb, the less rainfall you will see. At the highest point (Kibo) the annual rainfall totals less than 8 inches.

However, there is also another side to the climate of the Mountain. August to October are the driest and most arid months, with January to March being the warmest time of year. The northern side of the mountain is also much drier than the southern side. Once you reach an altitude of 14,763 ft, conditions become desert-like.

At the Summit of Kilimanjaro, Nothing Can Live

At the very top of Kibo, nothing can survive as it is so dry. On the very rare occasions it does rain, the water is instantly absorbed into the ground and ends up locked away in the glaciers or simply sinks into the porous rocks there. However, one species of plant has somehow managed to evolve and carry on growing – albeit very slowly. A type of lichen known as Helichrysum Newii can survive in this inhospitable climate, but grows at a rate of just 0.02 inches every year, which leads scientists to believe the plants that are there at the moment could well be hundreds, if not thousands, of years old!

It Typically Takes Between 5 and 9 Days to Climb Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro Climbers

Mount Kilimanjaro Climbers

Statistical Mount Kilimanjaro Facts tell us that less than half of all the people who attempt to climb Kilimanjaro, actually make it up to the summit. It is referred to as a walk up mountain, meaning that the ascent itself is not tricky, but climbers have to deal with wildly differing climates, and the possibility of developing altitude sickness – which is the one factor that prevents most from completing the ascent. The biggest single challenge for those who do manage to complete the climb is adapting to the changes in atmosphere as they rise. Whilst the fastest ascent was made in five hours, most companies offering trekking holidays suggest you allow up to nine days to make the entire journey in comfort and safety.

Kilimanjaro Is One of the Famous 7 Summits Peaks

This is a famous list of seven summits, one for each of the seven continents. Kilimanjaro is the 4th highest of the summits, with Everest being the highest at 29,028 ft, and Mount Kozciusko in Australia the lowest at 7,309 ft.

Around 3-7 Climbers Die Each Year on Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro Deaths

Mount Kilimanjaro Deaths

There are some sad Mount Kilimanjaro Facts relating to people who do not survive their expeditions. The main causes of death from climbing Kilimanjaro range from acute mountain sickness (due to not acclimatizing properly or failing to take proper precautions), hypothermia (brought on by the great degrees of temperature variation), and falls.

Kilimanjaro’s Crater Camp Played Host to the World’s Highest Game of Cricket

The previous record was held by Everest Base Camp in 2009, but in September 2014, 30 cricket players from all over the world climbed to the top of Kilimanjaro, then descended to Crater Camp to take part in the a cricket match. A proper Twenty20 match was played out and the teams carried with them an extra 24 cricket balls. Balls travel much further with altitude, so this was necessary in case any were lost!

There Are 6 Official Routes for Climbers to Ascend Kilimanjaro

Of these, three – Marangu, Machawe and Umbwe – are attempted from the south. From the north east, the Rongai route is the main approach, and from the west, Shira and Lemosho are the main pathways to the summit. There is only one route used for descent, and that is called Mweka.

Kilimanjaro’s Glaciers Have Shrunk by 82% Since 1912

This is one of the shocking Mt Kilimanjaro Facts. The mountain actually has 7,217 ft of glacial ice and it is believed the reason it is melting so quickly is due to global warming. Since 1989, the ice has reduced by a further 33% and scientists are predicting that within the next 20 years there will be no ice at all on the mountain. This could have a catastrophic effect on the local communities, leading to a lack of drinking water, a decrease in hydroelectric power and less likelihood of being able to irrigate crops thoroughly.

There Have Been 2 Incredible Ascents of Kilimanjaro by Disabled Climbers

In 2012, a truly inspiring climb took place. Kyle Maynard, a quadruple amputee – born with a condition called congenital amputation, was the first person to ascend to the summit without any prosthetics. He took 10 days to reach the top, crawling up on the stumps of his arms and legs. Prior to this, in 2011, Chris Waddell, who is paralyzed from the waist down, made it to the top of the mountain on his hand cycle. It took him six days to reach the sumit and it was estimated that in order for him to reach the top, his cycle wheels would have turned 580,000 times.

The Chagga Tribe Call Kilimanjaro Home

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to visit the region, you may already have come across these peoples, who live in the foothills of the mountain. They are the second largest tribe in Tanzania and are an incredibly affluent group of people who have made their money from growing bananas and coffee in their gardens. Tanzania is estimated to bring in $60 million from these trades alone. Trekkers who visit Kilimanjaro to climb often visit the Chaggas in their homes on the lower slopes. Sometimes, the Chaggas accompany trekkers and offer to carry their baggage for them.

The Mountain Is Home to Over 140 Different Types of Mammal



When it comes to Mount Kilimanjaro Facts that relate to animals, there are many that surround the different types of mammals found on the mountain and foothills. Kilimanjaro is home to 24 different species of bat, and 25 species of antelope. There are also seven different types of primates. Three of these live in the dense forests at the bottom of the mountain: bushbabies, blue monkeys (who aren’t actually blue at all!) and black and white colobus monkeys. In addition to the mammals, 179 different types of bird have been recorded at various levels on the slopes. One of the most beautiful species is the male malachite sunbird, which has luridly colored teal blue feathers and likes to frequent the heathers and moorland of the mountain.

Kilimajaro Has Its Own Floral Emblem – The Impatiens Kilimanjari

Mount Kilimanjaro Facts tell us that this beautiful flower is found at any level between 2,600 ft and 9,186 ft in the forests. It is noted for its dazzling red and yellow petals which look like flames, and over the years has become the emblem of the mountain. The flower is frequently found by the sides of the paths people use to trek up the mountain and, more often than not, grows on the southern side of Kilimanjaro.

It Takes 5 Days Longer to Get to Everest’s Base Camp than It Does to Completely Climb Kilimanjaro

This is one of the more astonishing Mount Kilimanjaro Facts, given that Everest’s base camps are both lower than Kilimanjaro to start with. The north base camp there is at 16,896 ft and the south base camp at 17,598 ft. On average, it takes between 8 and 10 days to reach Everest’s base camps, while it generally take between 5 and 9 days to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro.

Mt Kilimanjaro Facts – Facts about Mount Kilimanjaro Summary

Mt Kilimanjaro FactsMount Kilimanjaro facts state that it is found in Tanzania, Africa. Kilimanjaro is known as a stratovolcano. Although two of its volcanic cones are extinct, the highest point – known as Kibo – is still active. It is estimated in the next 20 years that the ice on Kilimanjaro will have totally disappeared due to climate change. The mountain is home to 140 different species of animal and 179 different types of bird. Nothing can live at the very summit, bar one particular species of lichen which may well be thousands of years old.

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