MOUNT KILIMANJARO

From the acacia-dotted plains of surrounding parks to the bustling streets of Moshi, the looming mass of Mount Kilimanjaro commands an air of respect from the heights of its snow-capped peaks and glacier-ridden valleys. Its diverse slopes range from cloud, olive, and montane forest, to grasslands and alpine desert. This hub of biodiversity, home to an array of wildlife, has been the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park since 1973 – a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Climbers flock to the base of Mount Kilimanjaro – the highest mountain on the continent – in the hopes of successfully navigating any of the seven trails, before summiting Uhuru Peak – the highest point on the rim of Kibo Crater. Although impressive, mountain climbing isn’t all these volcanic profusion offers. The surrounding national park is home to farms cultivating sunflowers and coffee while the grassland and forest are home to a plethora of wildlife including elephants, buffalo, and leopards.

Apart from summiting Africa’s tallest mountain, visitors can enjoy hikes to natural waterfalls, wildlife tours, and game drives. The nearby Kilimanjaro International Airport, a little over an hour away, makes reaching this iconic location an easy task. The town of Arusha along with the Arusha National Park – both only two hours from Mount Kilimanjaro – are also worthwhile stopovers.

Highlights

  • Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain on the continent
  • The surrounding national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Diverse terrain makes for an interesting array of inhabitants from bush babies to the Kilimanjaro shrew
  • The Kilimanjaro International Airport near the park serves nearby towns such as Arusha
  • A worthwhile addition to an itinerary including the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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