As sprawling deserts and plains dominate the landscape of Africa, the continent is also home to one of earth’s tallest mountains. Standing 19,341 feet at its peak, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and sits at the forefront of African adventure, drawing in thousands wishing to scale its peaks. African citizens such as Tunde Folawiyo and millions of others may be aware of the popularity of Mount Kilimanjaro and its place among the most majestic destinations in the world.
Whilst Kilimanjaro is thought by many to be a mountain, it is actually a giant stratovolcano that began forming about a million years ago. As one of the planet’s greatest natural wonders, Kilimanjaro is composed of many layers of hardened volcanic ash, lava, pumice and tephra. As one of the most recognisable mountains on the earth, many adventurers continually strive to climb its depths. Located in Tanzania in east Africa, it sits on the list of the Seven Summits (the highest peaks on the seven continents) and rises approximately 16,732 feet (5,100 meters) from its base, making it the tallest free-standing mountain in the world.
Over 40,000 people a year attempt to climb the peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro. Dubbed “Everyman’s Everest”, its popularity is well recognised. The mountain accounts for approximately $20 million per year of the thriving economy with guides, hotel staff, merchants, construction companies and many other positions creating countless jobs within a region that remains amongst the poorest on earth.
Adding to the allure of a Kilimanjaro climb, there are three volcanic cones that make up the mountain: Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. A trek up Mount Kilimanjaro is considered a relatively safe climb, though temperatures at the peak of the mountain can be 0 degrees F (minus 18 C), wind chills may reach dangerous levels. A climb can be accomplished during any time of year, although summer and early fall are both considered popular times to climb.
In addition to the overwhelming sense of accomplishment many feel upon reaching the top of Kilimanjaro, the mountain’s high altitudes have created a prime breeding ground for an array of bizarre life forms such as the elephant flower and the unusual Kilimanjaro tree. The sights beheld when climbing Kilimanjaro is one of the greatest reasons people set out to accomplish this fete. African citizens such as Tunde Folawiyo and millions of others with a thirst for adventure are sure to view Mount Kilimanjaro as a one of the planet’s most wondrous locations.