Kilimanjaro National Park is located 300 kilometers south of the equator in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania. The park is near to the town of Moshi and the Kenyan border. Mount Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro National Park is 1,688 square kilometers with latitudes between 2°50′ and 3°10′ South and longitudes between 37°10′ and 37°40′ East. The Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) is in charge of the park, and its primary objective is to preserve and protect Africa’s tallest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as its habitats, ecology, and wildlife/biodiversity.
Kilimanjaro, at 5,895 meters, is the highest peak in Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain in the globe. It is protected and conserved by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority, KINAPA. With its snow-covered summit towering above the savannah, this volcanic massif stands in awe-inspiring isolation above the surrounding plains. The park is home to numerous mammalian species, many of which are endangered.
Mount Kilimanjaro’s three primary volcanic summits are Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. It is the highest mountain in Africa, with a snow-capped summit and glaciers. From the mountain’s base to its peak, there are five distinct vegetation zones: lower elevations, montane forest, heath and moorland, alpine desert, and the summit. Mount Kilimanjaro is regarded as an exceptional example of a superlative natural phenomenon due to its unique combination of characteristics, including its height, physical form, snow summit, and isolation from the surrounding plains.
HISTORY OF KILIMANJARO NATIONAL PARK.
Mount Kilimanjaro consists of three volcanic cones that arose from extensive continental rifting. Volcanic activity is believed to have begun approximately 1 million years ago when molten magma began to burst through lithosphere fractures caused by the crust’s thinning. The initial viscosity of this lava was low, and it spread outward to create a gently sloping base. Continued eruptions discharged denser, more viscous magma, which eventually shaped the Shira volcanic cone. After volcanic activity ceased, the Shira cone collapsed into a vast caldera (a cauldron-like cavity much larger than the original volcano), producing the Shira Ridge. Kilimanjaro’s two additional principal volcanic cones, Mawenzi and the currently inactive Kibo, as well as lesser parasitic cones, were formed as a result of eruptions.
Kilimanjaro was a part of the German Protectorate in 1885, prior to the colonization of Tanzania by Germany. Hans Meyer was the first European to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro, reaching the summit of Kibo in October 1889. It was known as “Germany’s highest peak” at the time. Mount Kilimanjaro and its adjacent forests were designated a game reserve by the German colonial administration until the League of Nations assigned it to the British as a Protectorate until Tanzanian independence in 1961. Kilimanjaro National Park was established in 1973 and comprises 1668 square kilometers of the mountain above 800 meters, in addition to a forest reserve above the foothills. It was designated a United Nations World Heritage Site in 1987, and in 2005, it was expanded to include the entire tropical forest, where certain species discovered on a Kilimanjaro climbing excursion are found nowhere else on earth. The indigenous Chagga people continue to cultivate the mountain’s lower slopes.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT KILIMANJARO NATIONAL PARK?
The optimal time to visit Kilimanjaro National Park depends on the attractions and tourist activities you plan to engage in. Although temperatures do not vary substantially, there are better times to climb Mount Kilimanjaro during certain seasons. The months of January and February are the warmest, making the hike more pleasant as you ascend. Any time of year can be extremely frigid, with temperatures near or below freezing and chilly winds.
August and September are the driest months, making it an ideal time to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro. The warmest months are June and July, implying that the summit may be considerably colder. There is still time to go mountaineering. The heaviest months of the rainy season are April and May. Avoid ascending the mountain during these months. It is possible to climb during these months, but it is more hazardous, challenging, and uncomfortable.
KILIMANJARO NATIONAL PARK ENTRANCE FEES
Kilimanjaro national park fees and costs differ based on a variety of factors, such as your country or geographic region, age group, activities, number of days spent in the national park, and lodging style. In addition, the costs associated with trekking in Kilimanjaro National Park include conservation fees, camping/hut fees, rescue fees, porter/guider/park ranger fees.
Kilimanjaro National Park has an entrance fee of USD 70 for non-east Africans over the age of 16, and USD 20 for non-east Africans between the ages of 5 and 15. Each day a person spends in the park, a charge must be paid. In addition to the entrance fee, there are also rescue fees, lodging fees, ranger fees, and an 18% government tax.
ANIMALS AND BIRDS AT KILIMANJARO NATIONAL PARK
Due to the abundance of water and food, more animals persist in the lush tropical rainforests at the base of Kilimanjaro than in the highlands; consequently, fewer wild animals can be observed as one ascends the mountain. Elephants, Cape buffaloes, black rhinos, giraffes, leopards, servals, hyenas, baboons, primates, antelopes, aardvarks, mongooses, porcupines, honey badgers, ree hyraxes, and bush babies are among the animals found in Kilimanjaro national park.
Activities to do in Kilimanjaro National Park
Hiking to Uhuru Peak
Kibo/Uhuru peak is one of the three highest peaks in Kilimanjaro National Park. Depending on the ascending route chosen, hiking to the summit of Uhuru takes between 5 and 8 days. Keep in mind that some routes are easy and others are difficult, that some routes take a long time to hike while others take only a few days, that some routes are expensive while others are not, and that most routes offer an excellent view of Mount Kilimanjaro and the animals. So, if you’re planning a climb to Uhuru Peak, choose a sensible and acceptable route based on your energy level and interest in the sights you wish to see.
Mount Kilimanjaro national park is home to more than 150 bird species, some of which are migratory and others of which are endemic to this region. As you ascend the mountain through various types of vegetation, you will also see mountain birds and forest birds. Kilimanjaro National Park is home to the White-necked Raven, the resident black-shouldered kite, the long-tailed kite, and a variety of other avian species. The ideal time to go birding is from November to April, during the rainy season, when migratory birds from Europe and Asia arrive.
The lush tropical rainforests at the base of Kilimanjaro are home to a greater number of these animals than the highlands, so the higher you trek or ascend the mountain, the fewer animals you will observe. The park is home to numerous species of wild creatures, including vervet monkeys, genet cats, honey badgers, aardvarks, baboons, Columbus monkeys, bush babies, elands, and elephants, among others.
Cycling along the Kilema route to Africa’s highest peak is another popular activity in Kilimanjaro National Park; an additional fee may be levied for this activity. There are three principal stations available for selection. Cycling will transport you through the farmlands of the Chagga people. However, only experienced mountain motorcyclists accompanied by a knowledgeable tourist guide should attempt this activity.
Guided Nature walks
You will have the opportunity to interact more closely with the African wilderness, particularly the wilderness of Kilimanjaro National Park, where you can see and interact with a variety of wild animals, insects, and plant species. Tourists can go on guided nature walks through the Mount Kilimanjaro forest canopy, where they can see a variety of primates, including the red-tailed monkey, olive baboon, and white and black Columbus monkeys, as well as numerous plant species and panoramic views of the Chagga farmlands and surrounding towns. You will be accompanied by a park ranger during this magnificent tourist activity in Kilimanjaro National Park, who will ensure your safety from dangerous animals.
Other visitor activities in Kilimanjaro National Park include camping in various locations throughout the park, cultural excursions including visits to Chagga people who reside in the area encircling the park, picnicking, videography, and photography.
WHERE TO STAY IN KILIMANJARO NATIONAL PARK/ ACCOMMODATIONS
Kilimanjaro National Park provides a variety of lodging options to meet the requirements of its visitors, including camping grounds, huts along the road as you approach the mountain, and a number of excellent lodges ranging from budget to mid-range to luxury. However, due to the proximity of the park to the towns of Moshi and Arusha, you can choose to drive a short distance to these towns after concluding your tour of the park to find a variety of lodging options. When visiting Kilimanjaro national park, the following are some of the most recommended options for overnight lodging.
ü Kaliwa lodge
ü Mai Kilimanjaro home stay
ü Teule guest house
ü Pink flamingo
ü Babylon lodge
ü Mount Kilimanjaro view lodge.
ü Kilemakyalo Mt. Lodge
ü Elerai camp
ü Aishi Machame hotel.
ü Kilimanjaro white house hotel