Not only is this Mount Kilimanjaro the highest peak on the African continent; or fourth highest of the Seven Summits, it is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, rising 15,100 feet (4,600 meters) from base to summit.
Kilimanjaro structure is composed of three volcanic cones, Shira , Kibo and Mawenzi. Mawenzi and Shira are extinct but Kibo, the highest peak, is dormant and could erupt again. The most recent activity was about 200 years ago; the last major eruption was 360,000 years ago. The Holy Grail of all Kilimanjaro climbers is Uhuru Peak that is the highest point of Kibo, and the highest point of the mountain.
Rising majestically above the African plains, Mt. Kilimanjaro has beckoned to climbers since the first recorded summit in 1889 as a spiritual journey or as a personal challenge. Today, approximately 25,000 people attempt to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro each year, and around 70% of those are successful.
Elevation: 19,340 feet (5,895 meters above sea level)
Country: Tanzania, east Africa (3 degrees south of the equator).
Origin of Name: It is largely a product of speculation. It is thought to be a combination of the Swahili word Kilima, meaning “mountain,” and the KiChagga word Njaro, loosely translated as “whiteness,” giving the name White Mountain.
Location: Located in the 756-square-kilometer Kilimanjaro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
First Ascent: Hans Meyer (Germany), Yoanas Kinyala Lauwo (Tanzania), and Ludwig Purtscheller (Austria) on October 5, 1889.
Fastest ascent: Bruno Brunod (2001) summitted Uhuru Peak in 5:38.
Fastest roundtrip: Local guide Simon Mtuy (2004) went up and down the mountain in 8:27.
Oldest person ever to summit: 87-year-old Frenchman Valtee Daniel.
Ecological Life: Mount Kilimanjaro Is one of the few places on earth that encompasses every ecological life zone including tropical jungle, savannah, and desert to montane forests, subalpine plants, and the alpine zone above timberline.
Swahili Word for ‘Slowly, Slowly’: Polle Polle (this one is for you pilots!)