Kilimanjaro the 7th Natural Wonder of Africa is the first landmark to greet visitors traveling by air to Tanzania. As the plane crosses the Equator, the flat, white top of the mountain is seen shimmering in the atmosphere. It’s majestic bulk evokes the words of Ernest Hemmingway in his book!
“The Snows of Kilimanjaro”, “As far as you can see, as wide as the whole World, high and unbelievably white in the sun, lies the flat peak of Kilimanjaro.”
Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, the free standing mountain in the world and one of the largest volcanoes ever to have burst through the Earth’s crest. Its complex has an enormous base of about 50 x 80 Km. It rises from the dry plains lying 830m. above sea level through the wide forest belt 2500 to 2580m. a high alpine zone of heath to an almost bare desert zone to the three peaks of Shira 3962m., Kibo at 5149m. and finally to the snow cape at an altitude 5,895m. above sea level.
In 1848 a Germany Missionary named Johannes Redman reported having seen the towering Kilimanjaro mountain with its glimmering snow cap on a visit the Chagga land (East Africa.) His report of snow at the Equator was ridiculed by the entire Royal Geographical Society of Britain. In 1889, however, Redman’s report was confirmed beyond any doubt by the German Hans Meyer and his Austrian companion Ludwig Purtscheller who succeeded in reaching the immortal snows on the mountain summit.
The mountain can be, climbed any time of the year although it is often wet in the rain forest during the rainy season in April and May. The best period is from August to November.