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Where is Kilimanjaro?

Mount Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania, a country in East Africa.

The mountain is part of Kilimanjaro National Park, which spans 250 square miles (650 square kilometers) and is governed by the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA). The park is located in the northeastern area of Tanzania, and stretches to the border of Tanzania, to Kenya.

Kilimanjaro National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mount Kilimanjaro Facts

Here are some quick facts about Mount Kilimanjaro.

  • Elevation: 19,340 feet (5,895 meters)
  • Name of Summit: Uhuru Point
  • Prominence: 19,308 feet (5,885 meters), most prominent mountain in Africa
  • Location: Tanzania, East Africa
  • Coordinates: -3.075844 S / 37.353312 E or 03°04′33″ S / 37°21′12″ E
  • Airport: Kilimanjaro International Airport (code: JRO)

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in the continent of Africa, making it one of the Seven Summits (the seven highest peaks on each of the seven continents). It is the fourth tallest of the Seven Summits. However, this should not to be confused with the fourth tallest peak in the world, which Kilimanjaro is not.

In comparison to the world’s tallest peaks, Kilimanjaro ranks approximately in 230th place. Most of the highest peaks in the world are found in Asia.

Kilimanjaro does have the title for the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. Meaning, it is not part of a mountain range. The world’s tallest mountains like Everest and K2 are part of the Himalaya mountain range.

Part of Kilimanjaro’s fame comes from its glaciers near the summit. The mountain used to have 16 named glaciers and three icefields. However, the glaciers have been shrinking since at least the 1880s.

Present day, at least four glaciers have disappeared and the remaining glaciers have retreated. Between 2014 and 2020, Furtwängler, Kilimanjaro’s largest glacier, retreated by 70%. Over the last 100 years, the ice coverage has decreased more than 90%. Recent estimates indicate that most of the ice on Kilimanjaro will be gone by 2040

The Origin of Kilimanjaro

The mountain is actually comprised of three volcanoes: Kibo 19,340 feet (5,895 meters), Mawenzi 16,896 feet (5,149 meters), and Shira 13,000 feet (3,962 meters). The mountain was built by successive lava flows.

Mawenzi and Shira are extinct while Kibo, the highest peak, is dormant and could erupt again. The last major eruption was 360,000 years ago, while the most recent activity was only 200 years ago.

Mount Kilimanjaro is known as the largest volcanic mountain in the world by volume, which is estimated to be more than 1,150 cubic miles (4,793 cubic kilometers).

Tanzania Facts

Tanzania is located just south of the Equator on the eastern coast of Africa.

With an area of 364,900 square miles (76,150 square kilometers), Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa. Its territory includes the beautiful islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia – located in the Indian Ocean. Tanzania is the 13th largest country in Africa and the 31st largest country in the world.

Known officially as the United Republic of Tanzania, the country borders eight countries: Kenya, Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo to the west; Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique to the south.

Tanzania’s Wildllife

Tanzania attracts more than 1,000,000 people per year. Most tourists who visit come for a safari or to climb Kilimanjaro, or both.

The country is one of the world’s top destinations for safaris. It offers superb wildlife viewing in its many parks and conservation areas. There are 16 national parks in the country, plus 15 other conservation areas and game reserves. More than 25% of Tanzania’s land is dedicated to National Parks and conservation areas.

The most popular route for Tanzanian safari goers is the Northern Safari Circuit. These tours include visits to Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro, Serengeti, and Tarangire.  

TANAPA manages and protects the country’s national parks.

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