Mount Kilimanjaro and the national park surrounding it epitomizes the wild mesmerizing yet charming spirit of the African safari vacation sojourn. The tallest mountain on the continent rising above the clouds and with magnificent glaciers dominates the safari landscape for miles. It's inspiring grandeur is a characteristic attraction found mention in almost every African safari holiday package focused on Tanzania. A trek of this highest free-standing mountain in the world unveils a spectacular landscape, a virtual world climate of six biodiversity regions, and the most amazing view of national parks around.
At 19,341 feet (5,895 meters), Mount Kilimanjaro is aptly called the roof of Africa. Formed of hardened molten rock and sediments that followed volcanic eruption millions of years ago, the mountain is located in northern Tanzania on the border with Kenya. Last major eruption of the volcano occurred 360,000 years ago and the mountain and the area around are now safe for Tanzania safari holiday tours.
Three snow-capped volcanic craters – Mawenzi on the western side, Shira on the east, and Kibo on the center – from the top perimeter of Kilimanjaro. Uhuru Peak, the highest point on the rim of the Kibo crater is the summit and an attraction for avid hiking lovers on African safari holiday. The peak received its name meaning freedom in English following the independence of Tanzania in 1961.
The summit of Mt Kilimanjaro is approached through seven different routes – Machame, Marangu, Umbwe from the south, Rongai from the north, Shira, Lemosho, and Northern circuit from the west. The descent is through Mweka. The Marangu route with its huts at camps is the most tourist friendly while Machame is the ultimate dream of many opting for long-endurance Mt Kilimanjaro climbing packages.
The fertile slopes and savanna plains spread around the volcanic massif is home to the Kilimanjaro National Park, a beautiful montane forest belt with lively wildlife. It receives an overwhelming number of foreigners on Tanzania safari holiday and drawn by the biodiversity of this world heritage site. Bordering scenic, huge maize, coffee, beans, and sunflower farms, the ecosystem hosts both large and small wild animals.
The Kilimanjaro National Park boasts a variety of birds, blue monkeys, colobus monkeys, rodents, reptiles, nocturnal animals, antelopes, and other mammals. Elephant herds, a regular yet attraction inviting foreigners on Tanzania safari holiday package frequent the land between Namwai and Tarakia rivers.
Tree hyrax, mongooses, the Kilimanjaro shrew, sunbirds, leopards, and bushbucks are often seen along the Kilimanjaro trek routes. Zebras are a common sight at interspersing mountain plateaus while cape buffaloes are regular in the forest parts.
Challenging, exhilarating and breathtaking, Mount Kilimanjaro is on the agenda of both trekkers and nature lovers on African safari holiday. You have the option of exploring the highest free-standing mountain on the earth from a variety of routes exploring the breathtaking natural scenery and stupendous diversity in the landscape, wildlife, and vegetation.
It is biodiversity that entices many to combine safari tour and Mt Kilimanjaro climbing packages on Africa vacation. From the slopes to its summit, the mountain hosts six different types of vegetations – even unique for African safari vacation tourists exploring the continent – only visible when you explore the entire landmass between the equator and the arctic. At the summit, the exotic scenery of surrounding national parks, Mt Meru and Mt Kenya, and grassland enthrall anyone.
Key attractions: Mt. Kilimanjaro trek, adventure holiday during African safari vacation, biodiversity, natural scenery, geological formations, variety of landscape, summit view, wildlife
Getting there: African safari vacation tourists fly to the Kilimanjaro International Airport from many Asian, African, and European cities to start their package tour. Arusha city – about an hour drive – has a domestic airport and some of the best hotels in Tanzania. Moshi, about 20 minutes drive from Kilimanjaro, is the nearby tourist hub connected with many Tanzanian and Kenyan cities by road.
Things to know
Location: Kilimanjaro Region, northern Tanzania
Height: 19,341 feet (5,895 meters)
Highest Summit: Uhuru (Freedom) Peak
Last Eruption: 360,000 years ago
Epithets: Roof of Africa, World’s tallest free-standing mountain, Mountain of light
Hiking Routes: Eight – seven for ascending Machame, Marangu, Umbwe, Rongai, Shira, Lemosho, and Northern circuit and one Mweka for descending.
Best Time To Visit: Dry summer from December to February and dry winter from July-September