Kilimanjaro – The tallest free standing mountain in the world

Mount Kilimanjaro is in the northern part of Tanzania and is one of the most spectacular natural sites you will ever see. It’s a real bonus that it is in possibly the most amazing of all the African countries!

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I love Tanzania and it was only on my second visit that I got to see Mt Kilimanjaro, all I have to say is wow! I was completely blown away when I first got sight of it, I’d seen the pictures and read the books but when you get up close and personal it’s truly remarkable.

Before I set off to challenge myself and climb Kilimanjaro my research meant that I came across so many interesting facts about this amazing mountain. I wanted to share with you what I learnt and also make it easier for those of you considering visiting to access some key information without having to trawl through pages and pages like I had to do! Here are five great facts I found out:

1 – It is the highest mountain in the whole of Africa and also takes the prize for being the tallest free standing mountain on our beautiful planet. The peak of Kilimanjaro is right up at the dizzy height of 19,340 feet above sea level! That means that when you get to the top you have an amazing view of the African Plains, if you can see through the clouds!

2- It has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, over 756 square kilometres has been labelled by UNESCO. Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania, it is just inside the the northern border with Kenya.

3 – There are five main ecological zones that are supported by Kilimanjaro:

Heath

Moorland

Alpine Desert

Arctic Summit/Glaciers

Rainforest/Tropical Jungle

4 – There’s no straight forward answer as to where the name Kilimanjaro came from, no one is quite sure of it’s origin. The most popular story is that the name was created from the words Kilma Njaro, they have the literal translation of ‘shining mountain’ in the Swahili dialect – that seems like the most plausible theory to me!

5 – There are many routes that you can take to scale the mountain, some are geared towards beginners (like me) and then there are the more adventurous routes for the thrill seekers. Choose one that suits you best, make sure you do your research first!