Mount Kilimanjaro is the jewel of Tanzania. It is the highest freestanding mountain in the World, one of the largest volcanoes and the highest peak in Africa. It has an altitude of 5895m and a base with a diameter of about 70km.
Its impressive formation can be seen from more than 160km away especially on clear days. It is only three degrees below the equator and its peak is covered with snow and ice. Other than Mount Kilimanjaro, the Park is home to numerous Wild animals including elephants, lions, colobus monkeys and leopards.
The surrounding rain forests influence rainfall drops and fertile soil in the lower lying countryside where the Chagga people practice different agricultural activities.
Mount Kilimanjaro is ideal for climbing all year round but rainy season isn’t recommended if you are after incredible trekking adventures in Tanzania. Some of the months that are characterized with high rainfall drops are April, May and November.
To reach the summit of Kilimanjaro is a bit challenging but worth it once you get there. From the top, views of the entire park are inspirational.
For most travelers reaching to the top of Kilimanjaro is an experience of a lifetime. The oldest person to make it was seventy eight and the youngest was seven years old.
Most Climbers prefer the great treks to the top of Kilimanjaro per year, but there are other trails off the beaten track and more technical climbs for experienced hikers.
There are five hiking trails that can lead you to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, these include Shira, Machame, Umbwe, Mweka and Marangu. Of all routes, the most popular is Marangu and it takes about five days to trek 85 kilometers to the top.
How to get there.
The best way to reach Mount Kilimanjaro National Park is by road from Moshi. It takes one hour for the drive. Other than that, you can take a flight up to Kilimanjaro national airport. From this airport it is a half hour drive to the Park.
What to do in the Park
Not only ideal for Mountain climbing, this park also has something to offer for Wildlife lovers. There are many animals to see in this Park although it isn’t much like it is in Serengeti National Park.
Some of these wild animals are elands, elephants, bush babies, baboons, Colobus monkeys, aardvark, honey badger, vervet monkey and genet cat. These animals are mostly seen in the Shira plateau plains.
This adventure isn’t just a climb but a journey from the tropics to the Arctic. It is advised to start slowly and maximize your chances of reaching the summit. With this peak, the higher you climb, the cooler it becomes and this is due to change in vegetation zones.
For great adventures, it is advised to arrange the trek for not less than five days. Reserve more time to enjoy the beauty of this natural wonder.
Kilimanjaro delights birders with a wide range of bird species. Over 150 birds are recorded in this park, some are migratory species and others are endemic to the area.
Some of these birds include resident black shouldered kite, long tailed trogon, Gabar goshawk, blue napped mouse birds, white necked Raven, blue napped mouse birds, grey horn-bill, African fish eagles, white cheeked barbet, African pygmy kingfisher. The best time for birding excursions in Kilimanjaro is from November to April when migratory birds are present.
If you are a fun of cycling don’t miss it while in Kilimanjaro National Park. The excursions offered rotate around the highest peak in Africa via the Kilema route that winds through farmlands of the chagga people.
There are three main stations where this adventure start from. It is rewarding and bikers are assigned tourist guides who are more knowledgeable about the trails to follow for best panoramic views of the entire park.
For an exclusive bush experience, don’t miss camping within numerous camp sites that are scattered along the hiking routes to the top of the mountain. These sites offer comfortable accommodation, bush toilets and piquant meals
Nature guided walks:
There are several ways to take in the Park’s beauty but nature walks are exceptional. This excursion awards travelers an opportunity to get up close with the landlords of the wild. Guided nature walks are usually conducted in the forest canopies at the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.
This excursion rewards tourists with views of primates such as olive baboons, black and white Colobus monkey and red tailed monkeys. Panoramic views of the chagga farmlands adds to the thrill.