Mount Kilimanjaro

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Mount Kilimanjaro is situated entirely within the borders of Tanzania, although is situated close to the border of Kenya. It is situated 3 degrees, or about 340 km, south of the Equator. To the west lies the Great Rift Valley created by the tremendous tectonic forces which also created a string of other volcanoes.

Climatic conditions Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and fourth highest of the Seven Summits. It is among the tallest freestanding mountains in the world, with Uhuru Peak rising to an altitude of 15,100 feet (4,600 m) from base to summit. Kilimanjaro is a giant stratovolcano that began forming a million years ago when lava spilled from the Rift Valley zone. Mount Kilimanjaro is composed of 3 distinct volcanic cones: Kibo (5895 metres), Mawenzi (5149 metres) & Shira (3962 metres). 

Volcanic conditions Although it’s dormant, Kilimanjaro has fumarole (an opening in the earths crust) that emits gasses in the crater on the main summit of Kibo. Molten magma is just 400 metres below the summit crater. A number of landslides have occurred in the past creating an area called the Western Breech.

The last known eruption was approximately 360 000 years ago, but the most recent volcanic activity took place approximately 200 years ago. Interesting facts about Mount Kilimanjaro:

  1. The oldest person ever to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro was 87-year-old Frenchman Valtee Daniel. 
  2. Almost every kind of ecological system is found on the mountain: cultivated land, rain forest, heath, mooreland, alpine desert and an arctic summit. 
  3. Because of Global warming the mountain’s snow caps are diminishing, having lost more than 80 percent of their mass since 1912. In fact, they may be completely ice free within the next 20 years. 
  4. The fasted verified ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro occurred in 2001 when Italian Bruno Brunod summitted Uhuru Peak in 5 hours 38 minutes 40 seconds. The fastest roundtrip was accomplished in 2004, when local guide Simon Mtuy went up and down the mountain in 8:27. 
  5. Approximately 25,000 people attempt to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro annually. Approximately two-thirds are successful. Altitude-related problems is the most common reason climbers turn back. 
  6. South African Bernard Goosen twice scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro in a wheelchair. His first summit, in 2003, took nine days; his second, four years later, took only six. Born with cerebral palsy, Goosen used a modified wheelchair, mostly without assistance, to climb the mountain. 

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Mount Kilimanjaro. (2017, Sep 24). Retrieved September 26, 2022 , from
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