Quick Facts About Mount Kilimanjaro National Park

This page of Kilimanjaro facts is an overview and summary.

You will find information regarding altitude and size, location and population, the volcano and the shrinking glaciers, climate, vegetation and animals and facts about Kilimanjaro National Park.

You can find more detailed information on some topics on the respective pages which are linked from here.

Mt. Kilimanjaro's Altitude and Size

  • The height of Kilimanjaro is usually given as 5895 m or 19,340 ft.

  • The most accurate altitude of Kilimanjaro as measured in 2008 is 5891.8 m or 19,330 ft.

  • Kilimanjaro is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. It rises 4877 m above the surrounding plains.

  • It measures up to 40 km across.

  • The base covers an area of about 388,500 ha.

Facts About Kilimanjaro's Geography/Location

  • Mount Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania in east Africa, in the north of the country, near the border between Tanzania and Kenya. (Tanzania map and Kilimanjaro map)

  • The whole area lies between 2° 45' to 3° 25'S and 37° 00' to 37° 43'E (not far south of the equator).

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  • The area surrounding Kilimanjaro is heavily populated.

  • The local tribe living in the foothills is the Chagga.

  • The Chagga arrived about 300 years ago as nomads and settled as farmers, terracing Kilimanjaro's slopes.

  • There are 18 larger "forest villages" in the forest reserve that surrounds Kilimanjaro National Park.

  • Villagers use the forest (illegally) for firewood, farming, beekeeping, hunting, charcoal production and logging.

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Facts About Mount Kilimanjaro's Geology

  • Kilimanjaro is a giant stratovolcano.

  • Kilimanjaro is classified as dormant, not extinct.

  • It is the largest of an east-west belt of volcanoes across northern Tanzania.

  • Kilimanjaro started forming about 750,000 years ago.

  • Kili has three main volcanic peaks (Shira, Mawenzi and Kibo) and a number of smaller parasitic cones.

  • Shira is the oldest peak, Kibo the youngest.

  • Kibo's last major eruption occured about 360,000 years ago.

  • The last volcanic activity was recorded just over 200 years ago and resulted in today's ash pit.

  • Kibo has two concentric craters, 1.9 x 2.7 km and 1.3 km in diameter, respectively.

  • The central ash pit is 350 m deep.

  • Uhuru Peak on the southern rim of the outer crater is the highest point on the mountain.

  • Since 1912 Kilimanjaro has lost 82% of its ice cap.

  • Since 1962 Kilimanjaro has lost 55% of the remaining glaciers.

  • This may be local evidence of climate warming but may also be due to the loss of humidity caused by deforestation and clearing for farms. A big tree planting project is trying to alleviate some of this.

  • Today, the total glacier area is about 2.5 km2.

  • The latest forecasts predict that Kilimanjaro may lose the plateau ice within the next 30-40 years, but the slope glaciers may remain much longer.

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Kilimanjaro Climate Facts

  • There are two wet seasons, November to December and March to May.

  • The driest months are August to October.

  • Rainfall decreases rapidly with altitude.

  • 96% of all rain on Kilimanjaro falls below 3000 m.

  • The average yearly rainfall at Marangu Gate (start of Marangu route) is 2300 mm.

  • Above 4500 m the conditions are desert like.

  • The average yearly rainfall at Kibo Huts (highest hut on Marangu route) is less than 200 mm.

  • The northern side of the mountain is a lot drier than the southern side.

  • January to March are the warmest months.

  • More about the climate and weather on Kilimanjaro.

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Facts about the Vegetation Zones on Mount Kilimanjaro

  • The mountain has five main vegetation zones:

  • Savanna bushland (700-1000 m on southern side and 1400-1600 m on northern side).

  • Sub-montane agro-forest (the densely populated farmlands to the south and south east).

  • Montane forest belt (the rainforest, from 1300 m to 2800 m on southern side, above 1600 m on drier northern side).

  • Sub-alpine moorland and alpine bogs (the heath and moorland, 2800-4000 m).

  • Above this is the alpine desert.

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Facts about Mount Kilimanjaro's Animals

  • 140 species of mammals (87 forest species) live on Kilimanjaro. Species include 7 primates, 25 carnivores, 25 antelopes and 24 species of bat.

  • At least seven larger mammal species have been recorded above the tree line: Kilimanjaro tree hyrax, grey duiker, red duiker, eland, bushbuck, buffalo and elephants.

  • Three primate species live in the montane forests: blue monkey, black and white colobus Colobus and bushbaby.

  • 179 species of birds have been recorded.

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Facts about Kilimanjaro National Park

  • Size of the national park: 75,353 ha.

  • Size of the surrounding forest reserve: 107,828 ha.

  • Mt Kilimanjaro and its forests were declared a game reserve in 1910 by the German colonial government.

  • In 1921 the area was gazetted as a Forest Reserve and in 1973 the mountain above the tree line (2700m) was reclassified as a national park.

  • The national park also protects some of the montane forest, and six access corridors through the forest belt below.

  • Kilimanjaro National Park was opened for public access in 1977.

  • In 1987 the park was inscribed as a World Heritage Site for its natural value.

  • The park is administered by the Tanzania National Parks Authority.

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