1. While classified as a mountain, Kilimanjaro is actually made up of three volcanic cones that were formed by the Great Rift Valley. They are Shira (3,962m), Mawenzi (5,159m), and Kibo (5,895m).
2. Kilimanjaro is the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, and has the highest peak in Africa: Uhuru Peak at 5,895 meters.
3. Climbers can climb the mountain by following one of the six established routes: Marangu, Machame, Shira, Rongai, Umbwe, and the Northern Circuit.
4. While the other two volcanic formations are extinct, some believe Kibo could erupt again one day. The last major eruption was around 360,000 years ago, but some volcanic activity was recorded just 200 years ago.
5. Uhuru Peak is the highest summit on Kibo’s crater rim. Uhuru, Swahili for Freedom, was named in 1961 when Tanganyika gained its independence. Tanganyika later joined with the islands of Zanzibar to form Tanzania.
6. Climbing Kilimanjaro, you will experience five different climate zones. 1) Rainforest 2) Heath 3) Mooreland 4) Alpine Desert 5) Arctic Summit Zone
7. From Kilimanjaro you have a spectacular views of Mount Meru, a volcano 80km west of Kilimanjaro that’s 4,565m high.
8. Despite the strong equatorial sun, a glacier exists on top of Kilimanjaro. It’s brilliant white color is what allows it to survive as it reflects most of the sun’s heat. However, the ice cap has shrunk in size by more than 80 percent since 1912, and it’s predicted that it will be gone in 15 years, perhaps sooner.
9. Once above 4,000 meters (around Karanga Camp), the temperature drops by 1°C for every 150 meters you ascend.
10. Look up! There’s little to no light pollution on Kilimanjaro, so the stars of the Southern Hemisphere are vibrant and plentiful. You won’t see the Big Dipper, but you can see the iconic Southern Cross, and the dark nebulae within the Milky Way make it more pronounced.