Kilimanjaro Uncovered

An Alternative Path to Bliss

Tag: Volcano

Mt Kilimanjaro, The Highest Peak In Africa

Tanzania boasts of hosting the highest peak in Africa, located in the northern part of the country close to its border with Kenya. The peak in question is Mt. Kilimanjaro which is elevated 19,340 ft or 5,895 meters above sea level and also ranks as the highest mountain in the world that is not part of a mountain range.

Map of Kilimanjaro location in Tanzania close to the Kenya border

Kilimanjaro located in Tanzania close to the Kenya border

Like many other mountains, Mt. Kilimanjaro formed as a result of volcanic activity over a million years ago resulting in its three volcanic cones: Mawenzi, Kibo, and Shira.

Amongst the three cones, Mawenzi and Shira are extinct while Kibo is dormant with minor volcanic activity noted less than two centuries ago. However, the cone is believed to have had a major eruption over 360,000 years ago. On Kibo is the Uhuru Peak which is the highest point on the mountain.

Over the years there has been a notable decline in the glaciers on the peaks of the mountain, and approximately in the next two decades, the ice cap on the mountain will have vanished entirely.

Kibo view from Millenium Camp - photo by Lynn Jackson

Kibo view from Millenium Camp – photo by Lynn Jackson

Occupying a position as the fourth highest of the seven summits, ascending to the top of the mountain is as much a challenging as an alluring task usually approached from seven different routes that vary in a degree of complexity determined by their individual terrains and time of the year. The routes are Marangu, Machame, Rongai, Shira, Lemosho, Northern, and Umbwe.

Mount Kilimanjaro Location—Where in Africa on the Map?

If you are wondering where the location of Mount Kilimanjaro is, you’re not the only one. Many people confuse it thinking that Kilimanjaro is located in Kenya, but actually, Mount Kilimanjaro is a volcanic mountain located in Tanzania, East Africa. Also popularly known as the Roof of Africa, the gigantic sight measures 5,895 meters or 19,340 feet above sea level. This makes it the tallest freestanding mountain in the world and attracts many professionals as well as amateurs who want to climb Kilimanjaro.

Freestanding means that Kilimanjaro is not located as a part of any mountain range (non-massif) but rises independently amidst an otherwise rather plane expanse of land. As such, on clear days, it can be seen from many miles away. In fact, situated in the north-eastern part of the country close to the long Kenya-Tanzania border, Mt Kilimanjaro forms the backdrop of many a Kenyan safari picture. Many travellers often combine their Kilimanjaro climb with a safari in Kenya or Tanzania to make the best of both experiences. It’s not only Mt Kilimanjaro’s symmetrical shape as a volcano, but also its ice-capped summit amidst and otherwise warm climate only 200 miles south of the equator, that makes the Kilimanjaro location such a picturesque sight.

Snow-capped Mt Kilimanjaro (©

Snow-capped Mt Kilimanjaro (©

Do not expect to encounter wildlife like elephants or giraffes while climbing the mountain. Most of those famous safari pictures were either taken from Kenya’s Amboseli National Park in the north, or Kenya’s Tsavo National Park towards the east of where Mt Kilimanjaro is located. Consequently, the mountain is sometimes erroneously attributed to Kenya. At quick look at the map, however, confirms its location in Tanzania.


Like much of Tanzania’s most remarkable natural heritage, the Mount Kilimanjaro location is unique and the area is a protected nature reserve with its own designated area and management, the so-called Kilimanjaro National Park. lt bestrides a surface area of 100 kilometers long and 65 kilometers wide. Also the tallest mountain in Africa, its summit features three major volcanic cones—Shira, Mawenzi, and Kibo. It is the latter, Kibo cone, that rises the highest into the air, that is capped by ice and—at times—snow, and which attracts so many tourists—both climbers and photographers alike. “Uhuru”, a Swahili word that means “freedom”, is the highest peak of this natural marvel.

Besides attracting visitors from all over Africa, in particular South Africa, Kilimanjaro is also one of the most toured places worldwide. The mountain’s inconstant weather patterns are primarily influenced by an interaction of different trade winds, with the wettest season occurring between March and May. As a result, the pinnacle is mostly snow-capped despite its proximity to the equator.

Finally, Mount Kilimanjaro’s location is not very far from Serengeti—the largest terrestrial mammal migration site in the world—which increases the areas global attraction as an important tourist destination.

Why not explore for yourself? Get inspiration for your Kilimanjaro adventure or book an authentic wildlife safari with a responsible tour operator via Fair Voyage—the #1 booking platform for ethical climbs and sustainable tourism in the Kilimanjaro area.

10 Mount Kilimanjaro Facts

Most tourists can tell you that an African Safari is never complete without some time at Mount Kilimanjaro. Although the magnificent mountain is this famous, many people don’t know much about Mt. Kilimanjaro apart from the fact that it is located in Northern Tanzania, has a glacier at the top and that climbing it is a thrilling experience.

If you have climbed this mountain or if you are planning to do so, here are some interesting facts about it.

#1. Mt. Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa and is also the tallest free-standing mountain in the entire world. The mountain rises in isolation from the immediate coastal scrubland at an elevated height of about 900 meters up to 5,895 meters.

#2. The Mountain contains about five unique ecosystems. Not many mountains provide you with the ability to experience different ecological systems in one package, but Mt. Kilimanjaro has this unique feature. At the lower levels are the farms, dry fields and villages, which leads you to the mountain jungle. At higher levels, one experiences the alpine desert and the heath and moorland zones where temperatures fluctuate to high temperatures during the night and low temperatures during the day. As you climb further, vegetation and animal life disappears and the glaciated summit appears with its beautiful and captivating radiance.

#3. Mt. Kilimanjaro is a volcano with three cones: Kibo, Mawezi, and Shira. The last two are extinct, but experts say that Kibo can erupt again. However, the mountain has not experienced any eruptions except an activity that is about 200 years old and a major eruption that dates back 360, 000 years ago.

#4. The mountain is slowly losing its ice cap because of changes in climate. Recent studies have shown that the snow at the ice cap might not be in existence in the next 20 years. As we speak, 85% of this snow has disappeared since 1912 and from 2006, 26% of this snow is gone.

#5. About 60, 000 people attempt to climb this mountain ever year. Yes, numbers have sky-rocketed in recent years! Estimates of 25,000 tourists per year are long out-dated. The mountain has several trails to the summit, and its accessibility to hikers makes it a popular destination among hikers.

#6. Kilimanjaro’s weather stems from the interaction of the trade winds with the mountain’s structure. The exact winds that affect the mountain’s weather are the Southeast trade winds, which travel over the Indian Ocean with lots of moisture causing precipitation around March. The anti-trade winds, which comes from the North-east are responsible for the dry months of April to October as they carry no Moisture. The other winds that affect the Mountain and cause some light rains on the northern slopes of the mountain are the North-east monsoons, which arrive in November. As a result, the driest months to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro are January to March and June to October.

#7. The first recorded persons to successfully climb the mountain were Ludwig Purtscheller (an Austrian mountaineer) and Hans Meyer (a German geology professor), together with Mwini Amania (a local guide, cook and porter). They all climbed the mountain on 6th October 1889.

#8. The mountain attracts lots of seniors and the first oldest person to reach the summit is Richard Byerley who climbed the Mt. in 2010 at the age of 84 years and 71 days. Since then, several more seniors have successfully reached the summit, including a Canadian couple aged 85 and 84 in 2012. At the moment, the oldest person to climb the mountain is Angela Vorobyova, a Russian citizen, who climbed the mountain at the age of 86 years and 267 days.

#9. The fastest ascent to the mountain was done in 2014 by Karl Egloff, a Swiss runner and mountaineer who made it up the summit in only 6hrs 42 minutes. However, other fast ascents on the same mountain have been recorded in the past years.

#10. Kilimanjaro is among the most beautiful places on earth. Many people concentrate on the hiking experience and forget to tell you that the place is beautiful in its own way. The white glacier at the top of the summits sharply contrasts with the green vegetation and the rocky mountain giving it a breathtaking view.

Why not explore for yourself? Get inspiration for your Kilimanjaro adventure and book an authentic climb with a responsible tour operator via Fair Voyage—your #1 booking platform for ethical climbs and sustainable tourism in the Kilimanjaro area.