Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak and the world’s highest free-standing mountain at 5,895 metres, (or 19,341 ft) above the sea level. It is a dormant volcanic mountain with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. Due to its easy climbing, Mount Kilimanjaro has become a major destination for mountaineers and trekkers from around the world.
Moutn Kilimanjaro showcases some truly unique features : its lower slopes are dense with lush forest yet the mountain is surrounded by vast expanses of dry savannah, its caldera is covered with ice yet this dormant volcano is situated near the equator.
How to reach
The nearest airport is Kilimanjaro International Airport and if you are coming from Europe, then you have to come from several domestic airport also like Arusha Airport.
From there, you can schedule shuttle buses, which start daily at 08.00 am and 14:00 pm, for about USD25/person, and its a 5-6 hours bus ride for one way.
And if you are coming from Dar es Salaam, you can fly into JRO for USD 320/person or you can take bus ride for USD 20/person, its a 7-8 hours bus ride for one way to Arusha or Moshi.
Best Time To Visit
Tanzania can be visited any time of the year but the best time for either a safari or climb is from January to early April and from July to early November. December to February are the warmest months. To witness the incredible migration in the Serengeti May to June is the ideal time.
Flora and Fauna
The mountain is rich in flora and fauna. The lower slopes of the mountains are heavily cultivated, where as in south it receives plenty of rainfall. Elsewhere lower rainfall coupled with the porosity of the lava soils that makes condition less suitable for cultivation. The forest belt extends from 1800m to 2900m providing the best condition for plant life.
There you can see tropical rainforest, the evergreen forest, the moorlands and the alpine deserts in between. The cultivated belts contains many small holdings, where the bananas and various vegetations are grown. The area is also suitable for coffee and there are several major plantations. You can see some unique plants and flowers on the mountain which is specific to Mount Kilimanjaro.
There are number of species that thrive in the area. In contrast to Mount Kenya, few large animals are found in this zone, though colobus and blue monkeys are often be seen but other inhabitants such as smaller antelopes and leopards are very shy. Blue monkeys which are actually not blue but grey or black with a white throat. Olive baboons, civets, leopards, mongooses and bush pigs, which have a distinctive white stripe running along its back from head to tail, are abundant.
There are honey badgers and aardvarks, but visitors rarely get to see these nocturnal creatutrez. Noisy bushbabies, are also nocturnal creatures, can be more easily heard rather than seen. There are also small-spotted genets with distinctive black and white tails, and the loud tree hyddraxes that are similar to chipmunks.
Many colourful birds can be seen here, the most noticeable being the Hornbill, and the Turaco with its dark red wings markings. Eagles and buzzards soar high above and smaller birds such as the and the streaky seed eater can be seen.