5 Facts about Mount Kilimanjaro

16 Jun 2022

Mount Kilimanjaro at height of 5,895 metres or 19,341 feet above sea level is the highest mountain in Africa and also, the highest free-standing mountain in the world with its three volcanic cones, Kibo (the summit), Mawenzi and Shira.

Where is it?

Mount Kilimanjaro is almost on the equator in the northeast of Tanzania in East Africa. It lies just south of the Kenyan border in the Kilimanjaro National Park. The nearest town is Moshi. The mountain is about 130km from Arusha and just one hour from the Kilimanjaro International Airport. 


5 Facts about Mount Kilimanjaro that you may not have known

  1. Mount Kilimanjaro lies about 330 km south of the equator. The summit is covered with glaciers and lovely layer of snow, although these have retreated in recent years. According to UNESCO reports the mountain has lost 82% of its ice cap since 1912 and 55% of its glaciers since 1962. Around 80% of the snow has disappeared in the last 100 years.

  2.  The first people to climb Mount Kilimanjaro were Hans Meyer and Ludwig Purtscheller on October 6th, 1889. Before 1889, many different people attempted to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro but failed due to bad weather, snow and ice.

  3. Scientists estimate that the last time it erupted was 360,000 years ago. The highest point on Kibo’s crater rim is called Uhuru, the Swahili word for “freedom.” Kilimanjaro has three volcanic cones, Mawenzi, Shira and Kibo. Mawenzi and Shira are extinct but Kibo, the highest peak, is dormant, meaning there is a possibility that it may erupt again. The most recent activity was about 200 years ago.
  4. Uncounted stories, thousands of myths and legends are told about Mount Kilimanjaro. Locals on the slopes, the Chagga people, are telling us of pygmies said to be no larger than human children, and who dwelt on the mountain's caves and ravines. These ravines, which have never been explored by tourists, are said to have been inhabited by mountain pygmies who survived by hunting and gathering. Stories on Mount Kilimanjaro tell of mountain gorillas once lived inside the dense, rainforest surrounding its slopes many years ago. Tales from locals, though no scientific data yet available to ascertain this, have occupied the minds of tourists climbing the mountain today. Folklores dominate Mount Kilimanjaro as well. The awesome feature of the mountain with its snow on the peak had attracted locals to connect the mountain with heavens, believing that it was the seat of God, glorified by the whitish color of the snow.
  5. There are at least six routes to the top, Uhuru peak. You can hike between 53 and 73km depending on which route you choose.

Marangu Route – The Tourist Route.

Machame Route – The Popular Route.

Lemosho Route – The Most Scenic Route.

Shira Route – The “Poor Acclimatization” Route.

Rongai Route – The Easiest Route.

Umbwe Route – The Most Difficult Route.


Selecting a Kilimanjaro climb route is one of the most important decisions you have to make. There is no single best Mt. Kilimanjaro climb route. Which route up Kilimanjaro is the best for you depends on several factors: The time and money you have available, previous experience and fitness, the time of the year, personal preference...

Click on the following link and discover the routes that Kilidove offers you to climb Kilimanjaro with our expert team.