“As wide as all the World,great high and unbelievable white in the Sun, was the square top of mount Kilimanjaro” so wrote Ernest Hemingway (The snow of Kilimanjaro).At an altitude of 5,895 metres above sea level,mount Kilimanjaro is the highest in Africa, the highest free standing mountain in the World and one of the largest volcanoes ever to burst through the earth crust. The base of this immense mountain measures 50 x 80 km and the outstanding features are Shira in the west (4,260m) ,Mawenzi in the east (5,280m) and the snow capped Kibo in the middle (5,895m).
In the space of a few days,normally 3days of climb and 2 days of descent,the climber can pass from the equator to arctic through tropical rain forest,moorland alpine desert to snow and ice. Any reasonable fit person can reach the summit of Kilimanjaro with the assistance of a guide and porters. The youngest to make it was eleven years old the oldest seventy four.
Apart from dramatic geological features and the beautiful mountain vegetation, mount Kilimanjaro is also notable for its birdlife, which is plentiful in the rich forest zone. Elephant, buffalo, eland, Abbott’s duiker, bush buck, baboon, blue as well as colobus monkey and even leopard can be seen. There is also a wide array of butterflies ,moths and other insects. The mountain can be climbed any time of the year although it is often wet in the rain forest during rainy season in April and May.The best perion is from June to November and again from January to mid March.
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