Monday, January 28, 2008

Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro - Tanzania - Africa

Mount Kilimanjaro Tanzania Africa Kibo Summit of Kilimanjaro

To read a sign-board!

Congratulations! You are now on the Uhuru Peak, Tanzania; 5895 M. AMSL. Africa’s highest point. World’s highest free standing mountain. One of the world’s largest volcanoes; Welcome! These are words written on a sign board placed at the top of the Uluru Peak at the top of Kilimanjaro Mountain, Tanzania Africa. If you have to read the board yourself; have to climb a height of 19340 feet (4600meters) by foot from its base. Anyone with good health and average climbing experience can do it provided he has four or five days to spare!


Mount Kilimanjaro Tanzania Africa

Map of Mount Kilimanjaro courtesy:

Tanzania is a medium sized nation located in the east coast of the African Continent. Size is not its prominence for Tanzania; it holds about a dozen of the gems; of which Africa can be proud of like, Zanzibar (an island in east coast of Africa with exciting beaches and lush plantations, it is rich in history and culture. Those who can have vacation in remote islands can have it in nearby Mafia or Pemba islands with shores of live corals and rare fish.

Serengeti, Ngorongoro (hot destinations for wild life migrations)

Katavi National Park; a virtual Garden of Eden protected and surrounded by swamps infested by crocodiles. Katavi is the richest park for its biodiversity where hippos, zebras all characters of the wide African panorama roam free.

Ruaha National Park a remote location on the banks of River Rufiji swarmed with game animals during the summer seasons (June to December). It is rich in lion, wild dog and elephant populations. It is mostly a destination for those who opt for air safari. Tarangire Park is also rich in elephant populations.

All these locations remain the spectacular ones of Africa; but Kilimanjaro Mountain remains as the trump-card of Tanzania’s pack of cards.

A silver chariot in the African sky

Mount Kilimanjaro Tanzania AfricaThe rapidly retreating Furtwängler Glacier is near the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro in Swahili means ‘shining mountain’ (Kilima = shining + Enjaro = Mount), during their reign Germans named it Kaiser Wilhelm-Spitze; but the British reversed its name to the old Kilimanjaro.

It does not stand among a crowd of mountains like other mounts, it is towering, snow white and standing apart giving its magnificent view of its snow clad peaks glittering in the sun during day; during nights it gives an illusion of a silver chariot floating in a sky along with the moon that is studded on the sky surrounded by stars. Uluru is a towering delight; that is visible to one standing miles apart in the African planes.

No piggy-back riding

As stated in the sign-board Kilimanjaro is world’s highest freestanding mountain (one may naturally doubt whether other mountains like Mount Everest are supported by some thing like a stay or bracing)! But that is the real height of the mount when measured from base of the mount to its top. Mount Everest is standing on the Tibetan plateau that is world’s highest plateau that is 4700 meters high. Kilimanjaro doesn’t stand piggyback on any plateau; hence it is the free standing mount.

Heights have different measures

Mount Kilimanjaro Tanzania Africa

Mountain Nation height from base to summit height from sea level

Kilimanjaro........Tanzania...........4600 M..............................5895 M

Mount Everest....China...............4200 M..............................8848 M

Mauna Kea.........Hawaii............10200 M ............................ 4205 M

Denali.................Alaska US..........6193 M............................. 5900 M

The Seven Summits

Mount Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania belongs to one of the ‘seven summits’ of the world. This ‘Seven Summits’ is a concept put forward by Richard Bass in 1980 (He was a civic leader was the first to ascend all these summits), in which one mount from each continent is named.

One who ascends these seven summits belonging to the seven continents is regarded as a great achiever in mountaineering. They include 1 Everest of Asia, 2. Kilimanjaro of Africa, 3 Mt. Elbrus of Europe, 4 Denali of North America, 5 Kosciuszka of Oceania, 6 Aconcagua of South America and 7 Canrtensz of Australia.

Strato Volcano

It is an inactive strato volcano with no recorded history of eruption. Kilimanjaro is grouped as a strato or a composite volcano; which is generally tall and conical shaped. The strato volcanoes are formed of solidified lava and volcanic ash. Its lava is viscous with acidic nature and cools off quickly without spreading thereby adding height to the cone.

Who climbed it first?

Mount Kilimanjaro Tanzania Africa Mount Kilimanjaro seen from the air, with Mt Meru beyond

The Kilimanjaro is comprised of three volcanoes; the highest peak is Uluru on the Kibo Volcano (it has the largest crater on its top which is 1.5 km wide), Mawensi and Shira are the other two. Uhuru’s snow clad summit has always remained a challenge to mountaineers all over the world.

It is believed that an Afrikaner by name Yohanas Kinyala Lauwa -a member of Marangu Scouts- scaled it first. As per records it was first climbed in 6th October 1889 by Hans Meyer a German and Luwig Putscheller an Austrian. At present Tanzanian Government has made necessary facilities for those who attempt to climb the summit. At present a climb on Kilimanjaro is a comparatively easier one; hence it is described as a ‘walkable mountain’!

Short-cuts and huts

There are three short routes to climb Marangu, Rombal and Machama, and three huts provided on the ways with trained rangers with life saving facilities. Climbers who are not accustomed to high altitudes usually fall ill and experience giddiness and breathing problems; the rangers here are experienced in giving first-aids and transporting them on wheel barrows to nearby hospitals.

These camps have facilities for the people to refresh and recoup the first camp (hut) is at Mantara at 2700 meters. The second is Horombo at 3700 meters and the third and the final hut is the Kibo at 4500 meters.

Darling! now I am at the top

Mount Kilimanjaro Tanzania Africa Mount Kilimanjaro from the air

The summit of Kilimanjaro is no more a remote corner cut off from the modern world, it is at present accessible by mobile telephony – it has gained the status of being the highest place on earth with this facility, your spouse can access the progress of your trek by remaining at home. Ernest Hemingway’s story titled ‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro’, a feat that has made Kilimanjaro the darling of not just explorers but even of the ‘couch-potatoes!

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

My in-law Kinyala Johannes Lauwo born 1871 died 1996 (sic) was a Chagga from Ashira Marangu Kilimanjaro not an Afrikaner.

Bets wishes

Dr Bernard Leeman