The highest point in Africa, for a long hike or scenic drive to the summit from there, Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, is about 330km south of the Equator and it forms part of Northern Tanzania. The park covers 1688Km² with other two dormant Kibo 5,895m l and Mawenzi 5,149m plus another extinct Shira 3,962m volcanoes. It’s of no wonder that this mountain forming the park area is world’s highest free standing mountain.
The area was given a national Park status in 1973 and it was officially opened for tourism in 1977, the park also got its World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 1987. The park was also named a Natural Wonder of Africa in 2013 with its Headquarters at Marangu which is approximately 44 Km from Moshi town and 86km from Kilimanjaro International Airport.
The park has got a nice dwelling climate suitable for everybody which is influenced by the prevailing trade winds from the Indian Ocean. The park has got two rainfall peaks with the first one in March to May which is the wettest whereby snow accumulates on its peak due the heavy rains. The dry season starts from late June through September though the nights are cool and the days completely clear.
This is the highest peak of mountain Rwenzori and it’s reached at a point of 5,895m, the peak is covered by snow throughout the year and it’s preferred by most of the climbers and most especially those who are physically fit. Even though the mountain is close to the equator, it’s the coolest due to the snow on the peak. Conquering this peak is an adventure of a lifetime.
This is a rugged peak with an elevation of 5,149m and it can only be tempered with by physically fit climbers. Only people with specialized knowledge, skills and equipment are allowed to attempt climbing to this peak but it gives a nice experience to the mountaineers who prefer hard and challenging climbs. Kilimanjaro national park has it to all to the climbers.
Shira Peak and Shira Plateau
Its believed that this is the oldest peak with a height of 3962m , its believed that it was just washed away some 750 years ago but it was the highest of the three peaks within this park, Shira formed a plateau which formed a nice stunning and fascinating nice to see plains around with an open grassland heath and moorland. It’s at this plateau where one can have a chance to see the Shira central cone and the Cathedral plus the Needle. It’s at this plateau where migratory mammals such as buffaloes, elephants and elands converge for feeding or salt licking.
Kifinika Cultural Site and Lake Chala
This site is located along Marangu route and it’s a sacred place for the local Chagga people. Historically, the site was used to perform cultural rituals and other sites found in the western part of the mountain. From this Cultural site, a visit to Lake Chala which is also located near the park is a 30 minutes’ drive from Himo town. This lake is an important geological part to the park, the lake captures it waters from the streams that originate from Kilimanjaro. This offers a nice visit before and after mountain climbing
Lauwo Waterfall and Marangu Waterfall
These are the greatest experience for the hikers, Lauwo waterfall is located along Marangu route and it’s a 2.8Kms trail, this offers a spectacular sight as one walks inside the thick montane forest. The counterpart Marangu waterfall route is one of the shortest and hikers prefer it since its offers another interesting adventure around the montane forests within the park.
The Park is a Haven to Wildlife
The park has got over 140 species of mammals, 7 primates, 25 carnivores, 25 antelopes, 179 bird species and 24 species of bat. A number of animals that reside within the forest that hikers may take a look at include the Black and White Colobus Monkey, Blue monkey, Forest Duikers plus some small mammals such as the Myosorex zinkii which is only endemic to Mt. Kilimanjaro. Elands, buffaloes, Buffaloes and elephants can be seen around Shira plateau and Rongai.
Zebra Rock and Ash Pit
This is an amazing rock and its unique only at this place, it has got strips like those of a zebra, it’s found along Horombo -Kibo which is an option trail with around 3Kms running from Horombo huts. This short walk can be enjoyed by the visitors and they get an experiential adventure at this rocks which can be part of your safari with Nature Adventure Africa Safaris Limited. On addition is the Ash pit which is a volcanic land mark and its regarded as the highest point of Africa for around 100,000years.