20 Amazing Kilimanjaro Facts and Figures

Updated: March 26, 2024

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain on the African continent and one of the Seven Summits (the 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!

20 Amazing Kilimanjaro Facts and Figures

1. Kilimanjaro isn't just a mountain - it's also a volcano.

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.

2. Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest freestanding mountain and freestanding volcano in the world. 

Kilimanjaro is the highest freestanding volcano in the world and the highest free-standing mountain on the globe. The behemoths of the Andes and Himalayas are all part of ranges.

3. There are 7 routes that go up Kilimanjaro. 

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.

4. Marangu is the oldest route on Mount Kilimanjaro. 

Marangu route is the oldest and only route on Kilimanjaro that has hut accommodation. All other routes require camping.

5. Mount Kilimanjaro is located inside a national park. 

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.

6. Kilimanjaro is one of the most popular and easiest of the Seven Summits in the world. 

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%.

7. Kilimanjaro has two rainy seasons. 

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.


8. Mount Kilimanjaro has five climatic zones. 

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.

9. Kilimanjaro's glaciers are steadily decreasing in size every year. 

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.

10. Less than 1% of trekkers die while climbing Kilimanjaro. 

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.

11. The first person recorded to climb Kilimanjaro wasn't a local. 

The first recorded ascent was by a German geologist called Hans Meyer in October 1889.

12. The fascent ascent up Mount Kilimanjaro was done in 2014. 

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.

13. The youngest person to climb Kilimanjaro was a 6-year old. 

The youngest person to climb Kilimanjaro is currently American Coltan Tanner, who reached the summit in October 2018 at the tender age of 6. The feat is even more remarkable given that the minimum age to gain access to Kilimanjaro National Park is 10 years old.

14. A few older trekkers have set impressive records for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. 

A number of octogenarian's have climbed Kilimanjaro. The oldest person to reach the summit is currently Anne Lorimor, who summited in July 2019 at the age of 89.

15. Several disabled trekkers have set outstanding records for ascending Kilimanjaro. 

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.

16. People have performed base jumps on Kilimanjaro. 

The highest base jump off Kilimanjaro was achieved by Russian, Valery Rozov, in February 2015. 

17. People have even played cricket on Kilimanjaro. 

The highest cricket match in the World was played in Kilimanjaro's crater in September 2014

18. People have aimed golf shots off the slopes of Kilimanjaro. 

A number of climbers have hit golf shots off the summit and into the crater.

19. Someone once delivered a pizza on Mount Kilimanjaro. 

The highest Pizza delivery was recorded by Pizza Hut in May 2016. 

20. Even professional cyclists have made it to the summit of Kilimanjaro.  

Tinkoff-Saxo, the tour de France team, climbed Kilimanjaro in October 2014

Source: Climb Kilimanjaro Guide

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About the author 

Mark Whitman

Mark has trekked extensively in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. He founded Mountain IQ in 2014 with the sole aim to be the best online information portal to some of the most popular mountain destinations around the world. When not writing for Mountain IQ, Mark is out exploring the outdoors with his wife!

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    1. Hi Mary Lou, no, the two main towns at the base of Kilimanjaro are Moshi and Arusha. There is an airport at the base, near Arusha, called Kilimanjaro International.

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