Mt Kilimanjaro

This is considered the highest mountain in Africa and fourth highest of the Seven Summits. It is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, with Uhuru Peak rising to an altitude of 5,895 m (19,341 ft) AMSL (Average Meters above Sea Level).

Kilimanjaro is made up of three distinct volcanic cones: Kibo 5,893 m (19,334 ft); Mawenzi 5,149 m (16,893 ft); and Shira 3,962 m (13,000 ft). Uhuru Peak is the highest peak on Kibo’s crater rim.

Kilimanjaro is a huge and high stratovolcano that started forming a million years ago, the time lava poured out from the Rift Valley zone. Two of its three peaks, Mawenzi and Shira, are dying out while Kibo (the highest peak) is inactive and could erupt again. The last main eruption has been dated to 360,000 years ago, while the most current activity was registered just 200 years ago.

Even if it is inactive, Kilimanjaro has steam vents that emit gas in the crater on the main summit of Kibo. Scientists came to agreement in 2003 that molten magma is about  400 m (1,310 ft) beneath the summit crater.[citation needed] a number of collapses and landslides have occurred on Kibo in the past, one forming the area known as the Western Breach.

Mount Kilimanjaro aerial view Mapping
The original maps of Kilimanjaro were published by the British Government’s Directorate of Overseas Surveys (DOS 422 Y742) in 1963. These were aerial photographs carried out as early as 1959 by the RAF. These were on a scale of 1:50,000 with contours at 100 ft intervals. At the moment these are nowhere to be seen. Tourist mapping was initially published by the Ordnance Survey in England in 1989 based on the original DOS mapping (1:100,000, 100 ft intervals, DOS 522). This is at the moment not accessible. EWP produced a map with tourist information in 1990 (1:75,000, 100 m contour intervals, inset maps of Kibo and Mawenzi on 1:20,000 and 1:30,000 scales in that order and 50 m contour interval). This is usually updated and in its 4th. In the last few years, very many other maps have become accessible but of different qualities.

Physical features
Mount Kilimanjaro as seen from Moshi town, Kilimanjaro region Kilimanjaro rises [5] 4,600 m (15,092 ft) from its base, and about 5,100 m (16,732 ft) from the plains next to Moshi.

The accurate meaning and source of the name Kilimanjaro is not clear. It is believed to be a combination of the Swahili word Kilima (meaning “mountain”) and the Kichagga word Njaro, some how interpreted as “whiteness”, giving the name White Mountain. Another Swahili translation for Kilimanjaro is “Shining Mountain” The Mountain is endowed with three peaks, Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. The names are on the other hand Chagga words, Kibo from Kifwo in Chagga which stands for present, Mawenzi from Kimawenje meaning brocken and Shira is another vernacular word for war as it was a platform for fighting with the Maasai. The names predate the sighting of the mountain by German explorers. Kibo is at times hidden by clouds in the evening but can be seen in the morning. Kibo is an attraction for those travelling to and from the coast and the time they reach in Moshi, found at the foot of the mountain during the evening would not see the peak up to the morning of the following day. The local people are not able to see the peak especially in the evening but they are able to see it during the morning. Kibo for the travelers translated to the Swahili term kipo with the similar meaning it is present. Njau M. A. UDSM Tanzania
Historical map with “Kilima-Ndscharo” in German East Africa, 1888 it is not clear where the name Kilimanjaro originates, but numerous of theories exist. European explorers had taken up the name by 1860 and said that it was its Swahili name with Kilimanjaro breaking into Kilima (Swahili for “hill, little mountain”) and Njaro, whose proposed origin varies basing on the theories according to some it’s an prehistoric Swahili word for white or for shining, or for the non-Swahili origin, a word from the Kichagga language, the word jaro stands for “caravan”. The query with all these is that they can’t explain why the very small “kilima” is used as a substitute of the proper word for mountain, mlima. The name may be a local joke; referring to the “little hill of the “Njaro” being the biggest mountain on the African continent, because this is a close by town, and guides narrate that it is the Hill of the Njaro people. Another approach is to suppose that it comes from the Kichagga kilmanare or kileajao meaning “which defeats the bird/leopard/caravan”. On the other hand, this theory cannot provide the reality that Kilimanjaro was never used in Kichagga prior to the influx of Europe in the mid-1800s.

During the 1880s, the mountain, at that time spelled Kilima-Ndscharo in German after the Swahili name components, turned out to be a part of German East Africa after Karl Peters had asked the local chiefs to sign treaties (a regular story that Queen Victoria gave the mountain to Kaiser Wilhelm II is not true.  In 1889 the peak of Kibo was named “Kaiser-Wilhelm-Spitze” (“Kaiser Wilhelm peak”) by Hans Meyer, on the first attempt to climb to the summit on 5 October 1889. That name was used up to 1918, when after World War I the German colonies were handed over to the British Empire. When British-administered Tanganyika got its independence in 1961, the peak was named “Uhuru peak”, the same as “Freedom peak” in Swahili.

The Ki- prefix in Swahili has a number of underlying meanings. The old Ka- diminutive noun prefix (found at the moment only as Kadogo – a small degree), merged with the Ki class. One of its meanings was to also explain something exclusive of its kind: Kilima, a single peak, as divergent from Mlima, which would better explain a mountain range or rolling country. A number of other mountains also have this prefix, like Kilima Mbogo (Buffalo Mountain), just north of Nairobi in Kenya. People who are hand cuffed are also placed in this class, not as popular as a diminutive idea; but an exclusive condition that they possess: a blind or a deaf person, Kipofu and Kiziwi. This prefix “Ki-” in no way shows a derogatory sense. The actual height is 5,895 m above sea level.
Trekking routes up Kilimanjaro
The way to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
There are a number of routes which you can use to climb Mt Kilimanjaro, like: Shira, Lemosho, Marangu, Rongai, Umbwe and Machame. Amongst the routes, Machame is by far the most attractive albeit steeper route up the mountain, which can be completed in 6 or 7 days. The Rongai is the easiest camping route and the Marangu is also comparatively easy, but accommodation is in huts. Because of this, this route tends to be quit busy, and ascent and moving down routes are the same.
Caution signs at the Machamé trailhead
A Notice at Uhuru peak is an indication to the climbers that they have arrived at the top. Individuals who want to climb Mt Kilimanjaro are asked to undertake the rightful research and make it a point that they are both well equipped and physically capable. Even if the climb is technically very simple, the altitude, low temperature, and rare high winds make this a complicated and hazardous trek. Accommodation is important, and even then the greatest number of people is affected by some degree of altitude sickness.  Approximately 10 climbers die from this each year, together with an unknown number of local porters – figures for these are guessed at between 10-20. Kilimanjaro summit is some how above the altitude at which high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE) can affect you.  All climbers will be affected by considerable uneasiness, typically shortage of breath, hypothermia and headaches, and even if most young, capable people can make the Uhuru summit, a considerable number of trekkers will give up on the attempt at a lower altitude.

High-altitude hiking clubs have blamed the Tanzanian authorities for charging fees for every day spent on the mountain. This can persuade climbers to move very fast to save time and money, as proper acclimatization demands that delays are set up in to any high climb.

Tanzanian Medical Services near the mountain have expressed concern of late over the current moving in of tourists that at the moment take Kilimanjaro as an easy climb. Several individuals need significant attention during their attempts, and a number of them are forced to abandon the climb. A study into the matter was concluded that tourists visiting Tanzania were usually encouraged to find groups moving up the mountain without being made aware of the major physical demands the climb makes, even if several outfitters and tour operators flaunt high success rates for arriving at the summit. The Kilimanjaro national park shows that about 40% of climbers really reach the Uhuru summit and a great number of climbers turning around at Gilman’s Point, 300 meters short of Uhuru.

Memorial acknowledging Hans Meyer as the first European to “conquer” Kilimanjaro Fastest ascent: Bruno Brunod, 5 hours 38 minutes 40 seconds.
Fastest ascent and descent: Simon Mtuy, 8 hours 27
Youngest boy to summit: Keats Boyd, 7-years old
Oldest person to summit: Karl Haupt, 79 or Valtee Daniel,
First blind people to arrive at the summit: Tofiri Kibuuka, John Opio and Lawrence Sserwambala, in 1968.
Largest Blind Team to Summit: FBC Team Kili 8 blind climbers reach the top June 29, 2009
Youngest Blind Climber to summit: Max Ashton, 13 years, 2 months June 29, 2009
First Blinded U.S. Veteran to summit: Tom Hicks, June 29, 2009

Unique vegetation
This section requires expansion.
It is a sky island, Kilimanjaro has exceptional vegetation like the water holding cabbage in the tussock grassland and additional plants like this all adapted to living in alpine conditions.

Kilimanjaro has a large contains a number of forest types over an altitudinal range of 3,000 m (9,843 ft) containing over 1,200 vascular plant species. A montane Ocotea forest is found on the wet southern slope. Cassipourea and Juniperus forests grow on the dry northern slope. Subalpine Erica forests at 4,100 m (13,451 ft) stand for the highest elevation cloud forests in Africa. In contrast to this great biodiversity, the level of endemism is low. On the other hand, forest relicts in the deepest valleys of the cultivated lower areas suggest that abundant forest flora live in Mt Kilimanjaro in the past, with limited-range species otherwise only known from the Eastern Arc Mountains. The low level of endemism on Kilimanjaro may be as a result from destruction of lower altitude forest other than the some how young age of the mountain. An additional feature of the forests of Kilimanjaro is the absence of a bamboo zone, which is found on all other tall mountains in East Africa with almost the high rainfall. Sinarundinaria alpina stands are favoured by elephants and buffaloes. On Kilimanjaro these mega herbivores are found on the northern slopes, where it is too dry for a large bamboo zone to develop. They are excluded from the wet southern slope forests by topography and humans, who have cultivated the foothills for at least 2000? Years. This relationship of biotic and abiotic factors could give more elaborations not only the lack of a bamboo zone on Kilimanjaro but also gives possible explanations for the patterns of multiplicity and endemism. Kilimanjaro’s forests can as a result serve as a outstanding example of the large and long-lasting influence of both animals and humans on the African landscape.