Mount Kilimanjaro

Location: 3°04′ South Latitude, 37°21′ East longitude.
Altitude: 5,895 metres (19,341 ft)
First ascent: Hans Meyer 5th October, 1889

Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, is the highest mountain in Africa at 5,895 metres or 19,341 ft above sea level. Its summit is the Uhuru Peak (or Kibo Peak). Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest freestanding mountain in the world, as well as the fourth most prominent, rising 5,882 metres or 19,298 ft from the base. Its local names are Kilima Njaro in Swahili and Oldoinyo Oibor in the Masai language; at the highest elevations the climber finds a zone of permanent ice and snow which is responsible for the name Kilimanjaro, ‘the mountain that glitters’.

There are six routes by which to climb Mt Kilimanjaro. The climb is technically easy, but the combination of altitude, low temperature and occasional high winds make this a difficult and dangerous trek. Acclimatisation is essential due to altitude sickness, cerebral and pulmonary edema. Park estimates indicate that only 40% of climbers actually reach the Uhuru summit, with the majority turning around at Gilman’s Point, just 300 metres short of Uhuru. The very arduous Western Breach scrambling route is highly susceptible to avalanche on the mountain. The Western Breach route was closed in January 2006 when 3 Americans and 5 or 6 guide/porters were killed in a rockslide. Typically, 8 or 9 climbers per year die on the mountain.

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For anyone wishing to join an expedition to climb Mount Kilimjaro I recommend