Interesting facts about Mount Kilimanjaro | Discover Africa Safaris
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Interesting facts about Mount Kilimanjaro

Karl Svendsen 20 September 2017
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Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the world's highest peaks and the the world's highest freestanding mountain. Read on to learn more about this fascinating mountain.

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  • Mount Kilimanjaro, or Kili as it's more affectionately known as is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free standing mountain in the world (not part of a mountain range).
  • It is in fact a Stratovolcano.
  • It's found in the Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania.
  • Supports five different ecosystems.
  • 'Kili' is 320 km south of the equator
  • The summit is called Uhuru Peak and is 5,895 m or 19,341 feet high.
  • The temperature on the summit can go as low as -18 C and if the wind is blowing, the wind chill will make it a lot colder.
  • Mount Kilimanjaro makes up one of the 'seven summits' (the highest peaks on the seven continents).
  • The mountain is a dormant volcano, not extinct, and is made up of 3 volcanic cones, Shira, Kibo and Mawenzi. The summit stands on Kibo.
  • The last volcanic activity took place 200 years ago and the last MAJOR eruption happened from Kibo 360,000 years ago.
  • When comparing the snow caps of 1912 with today, it is estimated to have diminished by about 80%. Since 1962 its lost around 62% of its glaciers - all due to global warming.
  • 25 species of bats, 25 species of antelope, seven different types of primates and 179 species of birds have been recorded on the mountain. Only a species of lichen is found on the summit because it's too cold and dry for anything else to survive.
  • There are six official routes up Kilimanjaro.
  • Approximately 20 000 to 35 000 people attempt to climb Kilimanjaro each year, with 66% managing to summit. Altitude-related problems are the most common reasons climbers turn back.
  • The first recorded ascent was by a German geologist Hans Meyer and a porter called Lauwo (from a nearby village) in October 1889 and it's believed to have taken six weeks to accomplish.
  • The fastest ascent and decent is held by a Swiss mountain runner called Karl Egloff. He ran to the summit and back in 6 hours and 42 min in 2014.
  • The oldest person to have reached the summit is Valtee Daniel at 87.
  • In September 2014, the highest cricket game in the world was played at the Crater Camp.
  • In June 2017 the highest soccer game on record was played by 30 female footballers from 20 nations, the game was played in Kilimanjaro’s volcanic pit and lasted the full 90 min.
  • In May 2016, Pizza Hut set an official Guinness World Record when they delivered a pizza to the summit. The highest pizza delivery in the world. The pizza was kept hot in a specially built battery powered delivery and was done as part of a PR campaign. 

Contact our East Africa travel expert, Karl Svendsen to arrange the trip of a lifetime to see Kili and other Tanzanian attractions:

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