The Mt. Kilimanjaro has 3 volcanic conoids namely Mawenzi, Kibo & Shira & is a hibernating volcano in South Africa’s Tanzania. It is approximately 4.9km high from its plateau basal region. It is also the 4th among the most topographically large peaks in the world. The very initial individuals celebrated to have reached the peak of this mountain were Ludwig Purtscheller and Hans Meyer in 1889. The mountain is also on the research list of scientists due to its vanishing ice fields and shriveling glaciers.
Physical Characteristics of Mt. Kilimanjaro
The highest volcano of Kilimanjaro is Kibo, then comes volcano Mawnzi resting at 5.899km, the lowest being Shira located at 4.005km. Out of these, Kibo is dormant, which is expected to erupt again whereas Mawenzi & Shira are non-existent now. The Uhuru peak is known as the highest point on this mountain & is located on Kibo’s crater flange. Those going on the Kilimanjaro trip should not fear the eruption according to research scientists’ data. Kibo is reported to still have gas-emitting holes or spots from where gas emits on its crater. The Kibo is capped by steep artificial slopes formed by erosion.
Mt. Everest has a network of rivers. Lumi is on its east and Pangani on its South. There is a natural forest on Kilimanjaro which covers almost 1000 sq. km. on it. The vegetation of maize, sunflowers, and beans is done in the foothill side whereas wheat is cultivated in its western region. Some of the Savanna vegetation also occurs here. Coffee is also grown here.
Planning for Successful Trekking
Several thousands of people sign-up for Kilimanjaro trekking tours every year. Prior to climbing, you need to have some planning & preparedness which will help you in reaching your dream summit.
- It’s important to make your body adequately braced for the physical contests of Kilimanjaro.
- It is always suggested to stay in a positive mindset but not overconfident. The most difficult points are from Kibo to Uhuru &/or Barufu to Uhuru. Your dedication will make you cross these.
- Before you climb, adequate travel insurance is a must-have. Also, check with your insurance company as some consider trekking as an adventurous activity and normal policies don’t cover these.
- While on the mountain, move slowly with the pole (a pole cuts down the pressure on your knee joint close to 20%).It’s a very crucial policy during your initial days of the visit. Even though you experience being in a healthy and energetic state, you still don’t pace up. If you reach height too fast, your body won’t get enough time to acclimate with height.
- Consuming 3-4lt of mineral water is preferred during Kilimanjaro trekking tours. Running stream water can be consumed but only after the first day that too after treating it by purification tablets.
- Understanding that Kilimanjaro trip will be a minimum of 5-6 days, your packing should include adequate clothes. Socks should be taken in good quantities. While in a group or for family, it is advised to always have individual packings as there are numerous streams and frequent rainfalls on the mountain. Tanzania has a plastic ban. Do keep a liner bag inside so that your clothes and other belongings don’t get wet due to stream or sudden rainfall.
- On the tour, you are required to wear thermal socks, mitten gloves, raincoat, head protection hat, good pair of sunglasses & sun protection cream. Hiking boots, jogging shoes of good quality, outer jacket. Don’t use tight clothes as it will obstruct the blood flow and will discomfort you while on the tour.
- A balaclava helmet is as important as food for you because it will fortify your face against sunlight, wind, cold and snowfall too.
- While the day temperature is high and hiking on the lower steep, you might prefer wearing shorts, T-shirts. These might ease your journey hassles.
- Acute Mountain Sickness affects individuals at higher altitudes. This can be hazardous if it is not attended immediately or is avoided. Almost 70% of all the people trekking Kilimanjaro are said to suffer from this medical condition.
- Malaria also occurs below 1800m.
- Wet Wipes are useful on the tour as there is no water to wash or bath at Barafu, Kibo & the Arrow Glacier.
- Snacks like Energy bars are useful especially for cereal types.
- Thermo flask is mandatory as water bottles may freeze at night.
- A fully automatic camera works fine. A new battery is always recommended to be kept. Cameras don’t stop functioning when exposed to the cold atmosphere rather if it is kept under the jacket, there are chances of condensation. Once exposed outside to extreme cold, the condensate will freeze and thus it will stop functioning.
The author was a charismatic person. He was a natural scientist, a zoo-keeper, and a TV artist as well. He had funded many wildlife caring NGOs. He has written incredible articles on the Kilimanjaro trip. He did several projects to preserve threatened wildlife. He made several attempts for Kilimanjaro trekking tours and was successful each time following different routes.