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Kilimanjaro Climate Zone 1 – Cultivated Areas

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The History of Kilimanjaro

National Park

Kilimanjaro, a rose by any name, is a metaphor for the heart warming beauty that is East Africa. When you see it, you begin to understand.  Kilimanjaro’s Mount Uhuru is the highest peak on the African continent; it is also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world.  It rises into the sky in breathtaking isolation from the surrounding landscape.

The great and esteemed Mount Kilimanjaro, which stands at 19,341 feet elevation (5896m), is Africa’s highest mountain.  It is considered the roof of the entire continent and one of it’s most breathtaking sights. Kilimanjaro has not one, but a total of three main volcanic peaks.  These are Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. On a clear day you might get a glimpse of them on the Kilimanjaro Live Web Cam. The name itself “Kilimanjaro” is a mystery wreathed in clouds. It might mean Mountain of Light, Mountain of Greatness or Mountain of Caravans.  The true meaning is elusive. It is a great question to ask, because you will get a variety of answers.

The lay of the land that is Kilimanjaro National Park:

Above the gently rolling hills and plateau of northern Tanzania rises the snowy peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro, it’s slopes and glaciers shimmering above the rising clouds. Kilimanjaro is located near the town of Moshi and is a World Heritage protected area.  It’s been carefully regulated for climbers to enjoy without leaving a trace of their presence. The mountain’s ecosystems are as strikingly beautiful as they are varied and diverse. On the lowland slopes, much of the mountain is farmland, with coffee, bananas, cassava, and maize crops grown for subsistence and cash sales. 

To this day there are a few coffee farms still exist on the lower slopes, but much of the area outside the national park has been subdivided into small plots. You will notice that once you enter the park you will experience a thick lowland forest which covers the lower altitudes and breaks into alpine meadows once the air begins to thin. Near the peak, the landscape is harsh and barren, with rocks and ice the predominant features above a breathtaking African view.

For many people from around the world, Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highlight of most visitors’ experiences in Tanzania.  In addition, Tanzania is also well known for its African Safaris. In regards to Mount Kilimanjaro, there are few mountains that can claim the utter majesty and breathtaking views, such as those of Amboseli National Park in Kenya, the Rift Valley.   At altitude you will also experience the views of the Maasai Steppe, that is part of the Kilimanjaro National Park which is nothing less than breathtaking. 

Kilimanjaro is aptly named the “Rooftop of Africa’ for a reason.  It’s uniqueness as being the highest point on the continent at 5896 metres — presents itself as a true adventure of a lifetime.  It is this fact that drives Tusker Trail to share a uniquely crafted climbing adventure to this summit that stand truly unique among all the other trekking companies.

Tusker Trail have perfected the Kilimanjaro adventure over 43 years.  Tusker’s treks are well known for safety, unmatched adventure and 5-star hospitality.  Our 99% success rate illustrates that everyone from seasoned trekkers to first-time adventure seekers can scale the snowy peak. For more information, click here on ‘Kilimanjaro Climbing Tips‘, to get valuable in depth information from one of the most experienced Kilimanjaro guides on the planet, Mr. Eddie Frank, founding guide of Tusker Trail.

Born to adventure at a very young age, Eddie Frank has spent his life creating, tailoring and leading treks across the globe.  He also boasts 52 personal Kilimanjaro Summits over the last 43 years.

Why call it Kilimanjaro?

This question has been asked many times over the years.  The answer is still a hard one to find. The name itself is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma floating in clouds.  It might mean Mountain of Greatness, Mountain of Light, or Mountain of Caravans. Or it might not. The indigenous people of that region of Tanzania, the Wachagga, don’t even have a name for the collection of peaks on the gargantuan mountain.  They only know it as Kipoo (now known as Kibo) for the familiar snowy peak that stands like a king on a throne, a physically present master of the African continent.

These are the images you see from Tusker Trail’s Kilimanjaro Web Cam.  If you’re curious about the weather you’re witnessing, check out the Tusker Trail Weekly Kilimanjaro Weather Report.

Kilimanjaro has the distinction of being one of the world’s most accessible high summits.  This naturally makes it a beacon for climbers and admirers from around the globe. Most climbers reach the crater rim with a certified climbing company, bringing only their own proper clothing and determination.  Climbing Kilimanjaro is a large industry in Moshi and everyone will tell you they can take you up. But you have to be extremely careful.

First and foremost, safety is the key to success.  Traveling up to 19,341 feet creates a strain on the body that you have to be medically prepared for.  This is why it’s key that you go with the most seasoned and experienced climb company you can find. With 43 years experience, there is no other climb company in Tanzania that can match Tusker Trail’s long tenure of experience leading Kilimanjaro Climbs.  Their 99% success rate is hard earned  , as well as their 100% 5-star reviews.

For those select few who reach Uhuru Point, which is the actual summit of Kilimanjaro, or Gillman’s Point on the lip of the crater, they will have earned their climbing certificates.  This will be a memory that will easily last an entire lifetime. If you are reading this now, the summit is within your grasp and you can achieve this for less than $3k.   Among the premier 5-star service routes Tusker Trail offers.  Tusker also offers a trek using the Marangu Route.  You enjoy the same five star service, hospitality and cuisine as the top-of-the-line routes, at an more affordable rate.

Beyond the summit there is worlds more to experience.  You will travel through 6 different and varied climate zones, each with its own set of conditions, and varied types of flora and fauna.  Nowhere else on earth will you experience the mass diversity that you will find on a Kilimanjaro Trek.

For a full accounting of these plants and animals we recommend looking into The Flora of Kilimanjaro.  

If you can, read it before your climb.  You will get so much more out of your trek, if you have a better understanding of what zone your experiencing and animals and plants you’re looking viewing along your climb.  Buy Your copy of The Flora of Kilimanjaro Here.

The ascent of the slopes is a virtual climatic world tour, many claim its commensurate to a trip from the tropics to the Arctic, because you experience such diverse changes over a period of just a few days.

At the beginning of your amazing journey, and way before you cross the national park boundary (at the 2,700m contour), the cultivated footslopes give way to lush montane forest, inhabited by elusive elephant, leopard, buffalo, the endangered Abbot’s duiker, and other small antelope and primates. Higher still lies the moorland zone, where a cover of giant heather is studded with otherworldly giant lobelias.

Eventually you will rise far above 4,000m, a surreal alpine desert supports little life other than a few hardy mosses and lichen.

Nearing the summit, your final destination you will see the last remnants of vegetation give way to a winter realm of ice and snow.  Here up on the exclusive Uhuru summit you will finally experience the majestic glory and beauty on the roof of the African continent.

For more information about the 6 climate zones of Kilimanjaro, click here.