Mount Kilimanjaro greats you on arrival, just as you cross the equator. Kilimanjaro white flat top shimmers in the blue sky Grand and majestic, it looks the whole wide world as Hamingway had seen it standing high 5895 meters high.
Kilimanjaro is the highest landmark in Africa, the highest free standing Mountain in the world as well as one of the highest dormant volcanoes. Rising out of the equator and only 290 km from tropical coast, Kilimanjaro permanent snows defies its tropical location a mystery that for over 2000 years baffled the world.
Plotemy first made reference of Kilimanjaro in his 2nd century geography- a great snow lying in land from Rhapta on the coast of ‘Azania’ the second reference was made by a Portuguese geographer, Fernandes de Encisco in 1519 who noted that west of Mombasa lies the Ethiopian Olympus which is very high; British geographer Desborough Cooley wrote in 1845 about the most famous Mountain in East Africa Kilimanjaro but he did not believe in the snow.
Three years later in 1848a German Missionary Johannes Rebmman caused a heated debate in Europe when he visited the jagga-land (Chagga land) and saw the towering mountain Kilmsharo and reported the glimmering snow cap. Cooley and the entire Royal geographical society ridiculed him! How could be snow at the equator but Rebmman’s report was later in 1898 confirmed beyond doubt when Germen Hans Meyer and Austrian Ludwig Purtscheller succeeded in reaching the immortal snow at the summit.
To African local people living around Mt Kilimanjaro the imposing land mark is surrounded by legends that contribute the obscurity of its name originality. The chagga believed it to be the dwelling of an angry God who punished any one who dared to climb it, but yet they no wholesome name for the mountain except names of the two peaks Kipoo-Kibo and Kimawenzi- Mwenzi, their phrase Kilemieiroya meaning the mountain can not be conquered . Is probably the source as the coastal traders might have corrupted it to Kilimanjaro yet the Maasai word kilimangare meaning mountain of water could have been another source since Kilimanjaro has many streams?
Kilimanjaro was formed about a million years a go after a series of volcano bursts in the Great Rift Valley earth crust, Before the volcanic activity the country was an undulating plain of between 600 and 900 meters above sea level a large river said to have flowed where now Kilimanjaro stands, Eventually 750,000 years a go volcanic activity concentrated at three points of shira, Kibo and Mawenzi which stood 4800 meters but about 500 000 yrs a go shira began to fed and soon after became inactive and it upper cone collapsed to form a crater .
Kibo and Mawenzi continued to grow up to 5,500 meters high and their lava mingled on the slopes to forma saddle, Mawenzi was the first to die out its entire north east wall collapsed after a big explosion and water and debris were released ,creating a spectacular Gorge. Later lava forced its way through clefts which after much erosion left the peak with its present dramatic judged outline.
Kibo continued to grow, though slowly about 360,000 years a go it experienced the most extensive eruptions when lava seeped from the crater filled the shira calderas to the west and funned across the saddle and around mawenzi to the east.
Usefull Informations While Trakking Kilimanjaro
While on Kilimanjaro trekking you must expect to see different ecological zones as cultivated zone, Montane Rain Forest, Heath and Moorland zone, Highland, Alpine desert and Arctic ice cap zone. Diversity of plants Mammals Birds, Insects and permanent ice blocks on the crater at the summit.
During the night Galax of stars, Bright shining planets, Milky way and shooting star can be observed quite clear as you hikes towards the summit please never miss that amazing and interesting phenomenal .
Weather on the mountain is very unpredictable and dramatic changes can occur any time, you can have sun shine, Rain fall or snowfall.
Nights are usually chilly and some time temperatures drop to 5 and 10 c or even to -20 c on the summit although you may also experience strong wind. Physiological changes while trekking is naturally occur when you approaching higher altitudes the following symptoms may be experienced:-
- Increased heart rate
- Increased respiratory rate
- Increased metabolic rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Appetite Decreases
Some other altitudes effects such as Headache, Stomach upset, Nausea, General body weakness, luck of appetite will be common on high altitude but you may not need to worry as the sickness may go a way as soon as you descend, how ever if these symptoms persist or become sever fell free to tell your Guide it is recommended one must stop ascending and seriously consider descending to lower altitudes. Please remember remaining health or in other words your life and safety is most important than reaching the summit.
Oxygen saturation at sea level is or reads as 98-100% according to pulse ox meter, air is pushed in the lungs by atmospheric pressure as altitude increases barometric pressure decreases and therefore les oxygen is pushed in the lungs, your oxygen saturation reading will begin to decrease as you go up the mountain and when oxygen saturation reads below 60% you might be given a supplement oxygen and closely monitored and at that point it is best to descend to lower altitude for safety.