10 interesting facts about Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro is no ordinary mountain. Not only is it Africa's tallest mountain, it can also make many other interesting and surprising claims we better you never knew!
1. Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the world's Seven Summits
Mount Kilimanjaro is the fourth highest of the Seven Summits.
2. You can hike Mount Kilimanjaro without climbing gear
The fact that you can climb one of the Seven Summits without being a mountaineer is a real treat. It makes a great challenge far more accessible.
3. Mount Kilimanjaro is the world's tallest free-standing mountain
Mount Kilimanjaro has a prominence of 4,900 m. For comparison, the prominence of Table Mountain in Cape Town is just 1,055 m.
4. Mount Kilimanjaro is a volcano, and it has three cones
Kibo , 5,895 m (19,341 ft) – dormant Mawenzi , 5,149 m (16,893 ft) – extinct Shira , 3,962 m (13,000 ft) – extinct
Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano situated on the East African Rift Valley.
5. Climbing Kilimanjaro is like going from the Equator to the Arctic
cultivated band (800 m to 1,800 m) rainforest band (1,800 m to 2,800 m) Afro-alpine moorland band (2,800 m to 4,000 m) alpine desert band (4,000 m to 5,000 m) arctic summit (above 5,000 m)
6. Less than 50% of climbers reach the summit
Those who climb eight-day routes have an 85% summit success rate – a wildly higher stat than the average.
Only 27% of climbers hiking five-day routes summited the mountain Only 44% of climbers hiking six-day route s summited the mountain A far better 64% of climbers hiking seven-day routes summited the mountain As much as 85% of climbers hiking eight-day routes summited the mountain
7. Painted wolves were spotted at the summit
The painted wolf is Africa's second most endangered carnivore (after the Ethiopian wolf).
8. A beautiful flower in Kilimanjaro's forest grows nowhere else
9. The mountain's moorland vegetation is otherworldly
Giant groundsels ( dendrosenecio kilimanjari ), which are probably the most mountain's most iconic plant (see photo above). Alpine sugarbushes ( protea kilimandscharica ), a very pretty type of protea that has reddish-brown and pale yellow blooms (see photo below). Thomson's red hot pokers ( kniphofia thomsonii ) are a species of red hot pokers that are also known, rather poetically, as torch lilies, for their red, orange and yellow flowers. Giant lobelias ( lobelia deckenii ), which are endemic to the mountains of Tanzania (see photo below).
10. Nobody is certain where the name Kilimanjaro comes from
Uhuru Peak means 'freedom peak' – a name given that celebrates Tanzania's independence.