Kilimanjaro means Mountain of Light, Mountain of Greatness or Mountain of Caravans. It consists of 3 summits: to the west, the Shira plateau, to the east Mawenzi peak and between the two the snow-capped summit of Kibo which reaches 5,895 meters. There are several ways to reach the top: Marangu route (to the west) is the most popular, Machame (to the west), Umbwe and Mweka (to the south) are more demanding.
Those who reach Uhuru point, the actual summit, or Gillman’s Point on the lip of the crater, will have earned their climbing certificates and their memories. The journey up the slope takes you through climatic world tour from the tropic to the artic. The grassy and cultivated lower slopes turn into lush rainforest, inhabited by elusive elephant, leopard, buffalo and antelope.
Higher still, heath and moorland, covered with giant heathers, becomes surreal alpine desert and finally, ice, snow and the magnificent beauty of the top of the continent. One should allow a minimum of 4 nights, preferably 5 or even more nights for the climb to increase your acclimatization time and maximize your chances of reaching the summit. Take your time and enjoy the beauty of the mountain.
Area –1668 km2
Getting there : About an hours drive from Arusha