- General information
- History of the volcano
- Natural features of Mount Kilimanjaro
- Flora and fauna
- Climatic zones of Kilimanjaro
- Kilimanjaro National Parks
- Climbing routes
- Comparison table for routes
- Video on the topic: Kilimanjaro volcano
The name of the Kilimanjaro volcano is translated as "sparkling mountain". She owns the highest point in Africa (5895 m). Mount Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania. This is the most popular place among the mountains of Africa, which annually attracts more than 40,000 tourists. Considering that almost every one of them leaves more than $1,000, it forms the economic stability of the country.
Features that attract tourists to the Kilimanjaro volcano:
- Breathtaking views of the plain, turning into the highest peak.
- As you climb the mountain, all types of climate are observed. The path begins at the foot in the humid tropics, where the average daytime temperature is +30 °C, and ends on snow-capped peaks with an average daytime temperature barely reaching +5oC, and at night it can even be negative.
- Mount Kilimanjaro and its surrounding areas belong to the national park of the same name, where you can see a huge number of plants and animals in a habitat untouched by man.
- In safari parks you can get acquainted with the rich world of African animals: 7 varieties of primates, 25 each - predators, antelopes and bats.
The history of the volcano
The age of Kilimanjaro is about 2,000,000 years. The mountain appeared as a result of lava flows coming out of the ground and their further solidification. These processes were superimposed one on top of the other, resulting in the formation of the peaks of the Shira, Mawenzi, Kibo, which make up the volcano.
For the first time the snow-capped mountains of Kilimanjaro are mentioned in the II century. But it is believed that the mountain was discovered in May 1848 by the German pastor Johannes Rebman. And since 1861, the first attempts to conquer Kilimanjaro have been made by Count Samuel Teleki from Hungary. From 1861 he advanced from 2500 m to 5270 m in 1887. Teleki was the first person to reach the volcano's snowline.
For the first time, the German traveler Hans Meyer, in a team with an Austrian climber, Ludwig Purtsheller, reached the very top of Mount Kilimanjaro in October 1889. and Klute. Now dozens of climbing routes pass through the mountain.
There are no exact data on the eruptions of the Kilimanjaro volcano. There is information about the eruption about 200 years ago. Today it is an extinct volcano, but it is too early to consider it safe, since at any moment it can become active. Recently, local volcanologists have recorded that emissions of sulfur dioxide occur from the top of Kilimanjaro.
Lava is only 400 m from the highest point of Uhuru Peak. Therefore, there is a danger of a strong eruption as a result of seismic activity. People within a radius of 200 km will be at risk.
The mountain system consists of 3 peaks:
- Shira occupies the western part;
- Mawenzi was located in the east;
- Kibo is in the center.
Mount Kilimanjaro is located above the Masai Flat Mountains. Nearby is the Tanzanian-Kenyan border. The volcano is located in the middle of a rounded plain with a radius of 5 km.
With an area of 388,500 ha, the volcano spread 70 km to the southeast and 50 km to the southwest. The equator is 340 km north of Kilimanjaro, and Kenya Peak is 300 km north. To the south is the city of Moshi, which is the beginning of many trips to the mountain.
Natural features of Mount Kilimanjaro
The unique climate of Mount Kilimanjaro is due to strong winds that direct air flows to the east from the Indian Ocean. They channel moist air upward over the topography of the mountain. As you rise, the temperature drops, as does the pressure of the atmosphere. It is snowing at the top and raining at the bottom.
Mount Kilimanjaro is located in the monsoon intersection area, so 2 distinct seasons can be identified.
From the beginning of March to the end of May, the first tropical rainy season begins. The wind blowing to the southeast brings them with it and meets Mount Kilimanjaro in the south. Therefore, it is more humid here and the vegetation is somewhat richer than in other parts of the mountain.
Then comes the short dry season from early May to October. Winds dehydrate the monsoons passing here. As a result, precipitation falls only at the bottom of the southern part of the mountain, below the 3000 m mark. Then another rainy season begins. It starts in early November and lasts until February. During this period, the predominant share of precipitation brings the northeast monsoon.
In terms of precipitation intensity, the second rainy season is much weaker than the first. This is due to the fact that the winds become less powerful and lose moisture in the arid African continent, long before reaching the volcano. Rains in this case also do not fall at elevations above 3000 m.
Antitrade winds, which blow Kilimanjaro between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo, move across and sometimes develop such power that they reach the top. Then it is very windy on the volcano, and a huge amount of clouds over the mountain cause heavy snowfalls.
Often the climate in this area is unpredictable - here you always need to prepare for rain and good weather. Above the 4000 m mark, there are strong average daily temperature drops. Mount Kilimanjaro is in fog for most of the year. But it is possible to climb it at any time. During the rainy season, more animals can be seen in national parks than during the dry season.
Flora and fauna
Habitat in the area of the mountain has hundreds of species of plants and animals, some of them are recognized as endangered, which was one of the reasons for the creation of the reserve and the national park. At the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, up to 1 km in the south and 1.6 km on the northern slopes, there is a lot of herbaceous vegetation typical of the savannah.
There are shrubs and small trees here. The soil is fertile, so there are plots of land cultivated by the local population. Rice, beans, maize, coffee, corn, peanuts, sunflowers are actively growing here. In addition, there are whole plantations of bananas and sugar cane.
rain. This area is characterized by ferns, junipers, mosses.
At an altitude of up to 4000 m, the soil becomes poorer, there are fewer nutrients in it, and clay begins to predominate in the composition. Rainforest gradually gives way to alpine shrubs. The soil acquires porosity, so moisture does not linger in its upper layers. Precipitation falls up to 1000 mm.
A large number of plants of cereal and bulbous families are found here. It is noteworthy that the bamboo zone, characteristic of mountains of this type, is absent on Kilimanjaro. At an altitude of 4000–4600 m, there are mainly swamps and meadows covered with flowers.
At the level of 5000 m, the landscape gives way to an arid area with little precipitation (about 200 mm per year) ] C) and small vegetation. There is strong solar radiation. The air is thin.
Above 5000 m on the mountain, the vegetation is represented by mosses, lichens and daisy-like flowers, - plants that can survive in the snow, ice and cold stone.
Mount Kilimanjaro is located in an area rich in wildlife. Here, 140 species of mammals are distinguished, which live mainly below the forests. Above - only small insectivorous animals.
Climatic zones of Kilimanjaro
The following types of climate occur on Mount Kilimanjaro:
- Cultivation zone (800–1800 m). Precipitation is about 1000 mm and average temperatures are about 27 °C.
- Forest zone with rains (1800–2800 m). The richness of plants and animals is facilitated by abundant annual precipitation of 2000 mm. In this belt there are rare representatives of flora and fauna. This area is warm, humid, and rich in wildlife, although it can get quite chilly at night.
- Heather meadow zone (2800–4000 m). With height, precipitation decreases, the forest thins out, and at 3000 m it ends altogether. It is replaced by meadows, swamps with plants, mainly represented by heather.
- Alpine wasteland zone (4000–5000 m). An arid zone with low rainfall, the abundance of vegetation is noticeably reduced. Large average daily temperature drops are characteristic, approximately 40 ° C (from +35 to -5 ° C).
- Arctic zone (5000–5895 m). It gets even colder at night, down to -9°C. There are almost no plants and animals. In this zone there are only snow, ice and stones.
Kilimanjaro is an extinct stratovolcano with the shape of an almost regular cone. At the top, Kibo forms an elliptical caldera measuring 2.4 km by 3.6 km. It surrounds the Reish Crater, in the middle of which is the Ash Pit. The diameter of its cone is 200 m. On the edge, in the south of the crater, there is Uhuru Peak, also called Ugur.
The inner cone on the Kibo volcano is located at an altitude of 5835 m. Other famous points should also be noted: Hans Mayer Point, Gilmans Point, Leopard Point. Here is the Johann Gorge, which bears the name of the first person who conquered the mountain. From the south-west side there is a western break formed as a result of a great shift approximately 100,000 years ago.
Mavenyi ranks third in height among the highest mountains of Africa. Now Kibo is very erosioned. She departs from nearby peak, more reminding dam. In the east of their foundation there are several clefts. The most famous are big and small Barranco. Between Mavenyi and Cybo, a large plateau is located about 3,600 hectares - saddle.
Shira is a split crater without the northeast edge, where the mountain has a 6200 hectares of a plateau. On both sides, these 3 peaks fade at least 250 small cones. They are located in the northwest and southeast.
The height of the ice cap is limited by the Mountain Cybo. According to 2003, it ranked 2 km2.
- Top: Fürtvangler glacier;
- Northern Field: Drigal, Big and Small Penk, Pengal, Lörtsher Notch, Crederner;
- Western: Glacier Barranco, Strela, Uzig;
- South Field: Balletto, Heim, Kersten, Decan, Rebris, Ratzel, Brilliant;
- Eastern glacier part.
The ice hat quickly melts, but before it was impressive sizes. Its area declined from 12.1 square meters. km to 3.3 square meters. km for 1912-1996 She lost 82% of the area, 17 m thickness, and by 2020 may disappear at all.
There is a decrease in precipitation on Kilimanjaro, so the ice hat loses the volume from about 1850. But in the XX century, this phenomenon is strongly accelerated. First of all, experts associate a decrease in the ice cap with an abundant cutting of forests leading to a decrease in plant density and a decrease in the amount of moisture in the atmosphere.
another factor affecting the reduction of the glacier is the absorption and propagation of heat in volcanic rocks inside. Then the glacier melts, reaches an unstable state and is destroyed, and its surface that is subjected to solar radiation increases.
Kilimanjaro National Parks
National Parks Tanzania are unique ecosystems that preserve the animal and plant world of the country in its original form. At the beginning of the 20th century, many European hunters arrived here, but only in 1950-1980. Some territories received the status of national parks and reserves.
Serengeti Park is located on the north of Tanzania to the south of Kenya and occupies an approximately square territory. 30 km. It recorded the greatest animal density in Africa.
The landscape is quite varied: grasslands in the south give way to savannas in the center, followed by mountain forests in the north. This vast area contains more than 35 species of unique animals, 350 subclasses of reptiles, 500 species of birds, and thousands of insects.
The Serengeti is famous for animal migrations. Every year, with the onset of drought (October-November), huge herds move from the mountainous north into the savannas.
Short tropical rains fall during this period in the southern part. With their beginning (April - June), herds of animals keep their way to the west and north. In this case, the movement does not necessarily take place in the Serengeti Park. Herds can go to other areas.
Reasons why the Serengeti is attractive to tourists:
- many animal species, whose life can be observed;
- a memorable hot air balloon safari;
- visiting the Serengeti crater;
- musical rocks;
- ancient Masai rock paintings;
- beautiful views of savannas and grasslands;
- the opportunity to see the hunt of predators and the migration of animals.
Tarangire is located in the northeastern part of Tanzania. It is a very picturesque area with landscapes and vegetation unique for this country (baobabs, tall grasses, acacias, shrubs). The park ranks second in terms of animal density and first in terms of the number of elephants (about 6,000 individuals).
Only one river flows in the park, dividing the park in half - Tarangire - the source of water for everything around. In dry years, it dries up completely. The area of the park is characterized by swamps and hills reaching large sizes (Loksiale, Kvaraha).
Lemion is located at the beginning of the park. Here you can watch birds, elephants, leopards. Going further inland, you can take part in bird safaris. Pelicans and marabou storks live here. Elephants, buffaloes, hippos and antelopes (the largest in Africa) graze in the central part of the park.
The park also includes the Masai villages - the indigenous inhabitants of this area participating in safaris, working as guides on excursions, as well as concerned about the preservation of the park.
The dry season covers the period from June to September. Because of it, animals migrate en masse in search of water. The period from June to February is the perfect time to watch them. At this time there is a flight of birds from other continents. Therefore, it is believed that Tarangire is the best place to observe them, and there are about 450 species of them.
Features that attract tourists to Tarangire:
- unique landscapes and vegetation;
- northern safari;
- a wide variety of animals;
- there are rock paintings in Barabaig;
- opportunity for bird watching;
- organizing trips to nearby Aboriginal villages;
- visit to the Ngorongoro Crater.
There are several climbing routes to Mount Kilimanjaro: 6 of them are for tourists approved by TANAPA, the rest are for professionals.
Of the 6 standard routes, 2 are easy (Marangu, Mashame), 4 are camping (Shira, Lemosho, Umbwe, Rongai). Climbers who have chosen Marangu and Rongai must descend the Marangu. For the rest, there is a special path for the descent - Mweka.
Camping, little visited, 7-day route, 3 of which pass in conditions that are far from civilized, but conducive to direct study of nature. At around 3840 m, the path passes mostly crowded, it becomes extremely busy.
Shira is a very scenic route, but Lemosho is often preferred, because to the starting point of Shira Gate, located at an altitude of 3600 m, tourists are taken by transport. Without proper acclimatization at such a height it is extremely difficult, and people suffer from altitude sickness. Therefore, this route is best chosen by experienced climbers who are able to quickly acclimatize.
The Shira route runs along the path: Shira Gate - Simba Camp - Shira 2 Camp - Lava Tower Camp - Barranco Camp - Karanga Camp - Kosovo Camp - Barafu Camp - Uhuru Peak - Millennium Camp - Mweka Gate.
Popular camping route. In terms of acclimatization, it is quite light, so it is suitable for beginners. Eight-day Lemosho itinerary: Londorossi Gate - Shira Camp 1 - Shira Camp 2 - Lava Tower Camp - Barranco Camp - Karanga Camp - Kosovo Camp - Barafu Camp - Uhuru Peak - Millennium Camp - Mweka Gate.
Crowded tourist route. There are many beautiful scenery here, but it is a very difficult path, so it is not desirable for beginners.
The route takes 7 days: Mashame Gate - Mashame camp - Shira Hut - Barranco camp - Karanga camp - Barafu camp - Uhuru peak - Mweka camp - Mweka gate.
Rarely visited camping route. The small popularity of this path is associated with the danger of a plot on the edge of the crater. Climbing Kilimanjaro on this route will be quite complicated, as there are very steep slopes, deep gorges, and to rise, clinging to the branches and roots of trees.
The seven-day route includes: Umbva Gate - Camp Umbva - Barranco camp - Barafa camp - Peak Wuora - MVEK Gate.
Tourist, very popular crowded route. Only on this path there are equipped huts, toilets, water. Here is a convenient trail for lifting. Mobilization of rescuers is best organized on this route.
Because of the amenities, there are more of unprepared tourists on this path than in all the rest. Usually the route takes 6 days and runs around: Maranga Gate - Mandara Hat - Khorombo Hut - Kibo Hut - Peak Wuora - Khorombo Hut - Marangu Gate.
Northern Camping, a low-transmitted route. There are much fewer people on this path than the Marangu route. Types here are not so beautiful, but you can see the mountain surface of the Mavents volcano. Rongai runs through zones hidden from wet winds, so recommended during periods when warm weather has not yet established.
This is the easiest route, but it passes directly, which suits not all climbers. By duration, Rongai route takes 7 days: Rongai Gate - 1st Cave - 2-Aya Cave - Cave Kikyleva - Carrot Lake Maveny - Kibo Hut - Peak Wuorah - Khorombo Hat - Marangu Gate.
Comparative Table on the routes
The choice of a climbing route depends on painting, workload, complexity, acclimatization:
|Route||Distance||Time for passing||begins||ends||cost|
|Shira||50 km||7 days||Shira Gate||MVEK Gate||120,000 rubles.|
|Lemosho||56 km||8 days||Londorossey Gates||MVEG Gate||130 000 rub.|
|Mashama||49 km||7 days||Mashama Gate||MVEZ Gate||129 000 rub.|
|UMBVE||37 km||7 days||Umbve Gate||MVEGE Gate||125,000 rubles.|
|Marangu||64 km||6 days||Marangu Gate||Marange Gate||136 000 rub.|
|Rongai||65 km||7 days||Rongai Gate||Marange Gate||133 000 rub.|
Kilimanjaro volcano and nearby national parks allow even a cramped traveler to feel the spirit of real Africa, to participate in safari, feel the difference in climatic zones.
Each adventure seeker, which is here, can climb the mountain, watch birds and animals.
Article author: Roksana Van DIN (15262)
Registration of Articles: Svetlana Ovsynikov
Video on the topic: Kilimanjaro volcano
Mountain (volcano) Kilimanjaro: