Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain on the African continent and one of the Seven Summits (highest mountains on each of the seven continents).
Below are 20 amazing Kilimanjaro facts and figures, which we hope will inspire you to climb Kili!
- Mount Kilimanjaro is in fact a dormant volcano. The summit is 5,895 meters above sea level (19,340 feet) and is called Uhuru Peak. From the summit you can look down into the crater ash pit. It is possible to camp in the crater, however, at over 5,300 meters, altitude sickness is a very real concern.
- Kilimanjaro is the highest volcano in the world and the highest free-standing mountain on the globe. The behemoths mountains of the Andes and Himalaya are all part of ranges.
- There are 7 official routes on Kilimanjaro. Five routes use the Southern Circuit to the summit, via Stella Point. They are the Lemosho, Shira, Machame, Umbwe and Marangu Route. Two other routes – the Rongai and Northern Circuit – approach from the North-East and use Gilman’s Point to the summit.
- Marangu route is the oldest and only route on Kilimanjaro that has hut accommodation. All other routes require camping.
- The mountain is situated in Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro National Park and requires a permit to enter. All trekkers have to use a registered guide company and most treks are fully supported with porterage crews. Average ratio of support staff to trekkers is 3:1.
- Over 30,000 trekkers from around the World try to climb Kilimanjaro every year. Success rates vary on route and number of days taken. But as a rule of thumb, treks over 7 days tend to have success rates over 80%.
- There are two rainy seasons on Kilimanjaro. They are April-May and November. The busiest season is June-September. December-March is not a bad time to climb, but the weather tends to be colder in the evenings and on the summit. Snow on the summit is more likely during this period.
- There are five climatic zones on Kilimanjaro. The lowest altitude zone is characterised by tropical weather, high rainfall, humidity and forest fauna and flora. This zone gradual becomes semi arid with flora dominated by shrubs and small bushes. As one continues up the landscape and flora becomes more arid and desert-like, eventually reaching the glacial zone at the top of the mountain.
- Kilimanjaro’s glaciers are receding due to climate change. Since records began in 1912, Kilimanjaro’s glaciers have reduced in size on average by 85%. Some glaciers have disappeared altogether.
- Deaths on Kilimanjaro are not actively reported to the media, but some commentators estimate that between 3-7 people die on Kilimanjaro every year. That may sound like a lot but as far as big mountains go, the death rate is less then o.o1% of climbers. Most climbers die from pre-existing diseases like heart conditions or from altitude related issues like HACE and HAPE.
- The first recorded ascent was by a German geologist called Hans Meyer in October 1889.
- The fastest ascent on Kilimanjaro is held by Karl Egloff, a Swiss runner who used the Umbwe route to reach the summit and returned back to the starting point in 6 hours 42 minutes. An incredible feat given that most people take 6 days to reach the summit. Egloff pre-acclimatised on Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro before setting the record.
- The youngest person to climb Kilimanjaro is American Keats Boyd, who reached the summit in 2008, aged 7. The feat is even more remarkable given that the minimum age to gain access to Kilimanjaro National Park is 10 years old.
- A number of octogenarian’s have climbed Kilimanjaro. The oldest person to reach the summit is Angela Vorobeva, who summited in October 2015 aged 86 and 267 days.
- Many disabled people have also climbed Kilimanjaro. The most impressive is probably Kyle Maynard who crawled to the summit of Kilimanjaro in 2012. Kyle was born with a genetic disease that resulted in him having no arms below the elbow or legs below the knee.
- The highest base jump off Kilimanjaro was achieved by Russian, Valery Rozov, in February 2015
- The highest cricket match in the World was played in Kilimanjaro’s crater in September 2014
- A number of climbers have hit golf shots off the summit and into the crater.
- The highest Pizza delivery was recorded by Pizza Hut in May 2016
- Tour de France team, Tinkoff-Saxo, climbed Kilimanjaro in October 2014
Source: Climb Kilimanjaro Guide