sunrise kilimanjaro national park tanzania africa

Kilimanjaro National Park

This park is one of the most beautiful natural parks in all of East Africa.
Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in the whole continent, it is 5,895 meters high and is not part of any mountain range.

The Kilimanjaro is composed by three craters: the oldest, Shira, to the west with an altitude of 3,962 meters, the Mawenzi, to the east with an altitude of 5,149 meters and, among the first two, Kibo, which is the most recent and still shows signs of activity, in the form of fumaroles.
Between Kibo and Mawenzi we find a territory of about 3,600 hectares, called "the saddle of the winds", which is the largest tundra area in Africa.
The top of the volcano is covered by a perennial glacier: the Rebmann Glacier.

Crossing the park from border to border you pass from cultivated slopes to lush mountain forests inhabited by elephants, leopards, buffaloes, Abbot antelopes and other small antelopes and monkeys. There are moorlands covered with giant ivy studded with lots of Lobelia flowers.

Pecularities of Kilimanjaro National Park:

  • Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, in kiswahili it means: "mountain of light or mountain of greatness";
  • it is the only mountain in the world so close to the equator that has a glacier on top;
  • climbing the mountain represents a climatic journey that starts from the tropics to reach the arctic: the grassy slopes turn into lush rainforests up to become, near the top, a surreal alpine desert, where ice and snow reign;
  • extraordinary sunrises and sunsets;
  • breathtaking landscapes;
  • the only place where you can find snow in Africa;
  • wild animals on the slopes of the mountain;
  • Kilimanjaro is a world heritage site (UNESCO heritage).

What to do

Bird watching, climbing, parachuting and paragliding, walking safaris, camping.

Position

The park is in the north of the country, not far from the border with Kenya. The nearest city is Arusha.
Kilimanjaro covers an area of 756 km².
There are six tracks to climb the mountain: Marangu, Mweka, Umbwe, Machame, Shira and Rongai.

Getting There

It is 128 km from Arusha and about an hour's drive from Kilimanjaro airport.

When to Go

The period of the Great Rains is from March to May, that of the Little Rains from November and December.
The driest months are from August to October.
With altitude the temperatures gradually decrease, up to reach the glacier that we find on the top of Kilimanjaro.
The clearest and warmest period is from December to February, the driest and coldest from July to September.

Where to Stay

Mountain huts and campsites.
Several hotels and campsites outside the park in the village of Marangu and in the city of Moshi.

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