Mount Kilimanjaro is known to be the highest mountain peak in the continent of Africa. It is located in the northeast portion of Tanzania just close to the Kenya border. The mountain is actually an extinct volcano and one of the most enormous in our world. From the ground level, the mountain is towering for 15,000 feet above the encompassing dry plains. At the height of 18,500 feet, the surface area of the mountain is about two and a half square miles.
The total elevation of Mount Kilimanjaro is 19,563 feet or 5,963 meters. The best months to climb the mountain are January to March, June to August, and December. Below the ice dome of the mountain can be found the long gullies that extends down the mountainside due to snow erosions. The ice cap present on the mountain has been there for about 11,000 years ago but the size has decreased significantly these past years by as much as 80 percent. Scientists have expected the ice cap to be totally gone halfway through the 21st century.
Mount Kilimanjaro Craters
This enormous mountain in Africa has three volcanic cones called as Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, respectively. The summit crater of Mount Kilimanjaro is named as Kibo which has a measurement of one and a half miles across. The highest portion of Kibo’s rim is called as Uhuru and this is the highest peak all over Africa. At the center of Kibo lies a small crater full of sulfurous ashes that is 600 feet deep.
The second smaller cone of Mount Kilimanjaro is called as Mawenzi and has an elevation of 16,893 feet. Mawenzi ranks as the third highest peak in the African continent. Mawenzi is located about seven miles to the east of the cone Kibo and a long saddle has separated the two cones from each other. Mawenzi is an older cone that is already serrated from erosion exposing steep faces on various sides of the mountain. Even if the altitude of Mawenzi is much lower than Kibo, it is much more difficult to climb especially if you don’t have any skills with regards to snow and ice climbing as well as rock climbing.
Trekking the Mountain
Mount Kilimanjaro has five main trekking routes going to the summit and these are Marangu, Mweka, Shira, Machame, and Umbwe. The Marangu Route is the most famous of the five routes and commences at the elevation of 6,000 feet at the Marangu Gate. The trekking route has available facilities and huts for the climbers along the way. The rest of the trekking routes have more excellent views and stunning scenes of the glaciers on the mountainside. These routes are good for the advanced climber because the trail is more challenging and a special permit must be acquired first before you can pursue the course.