KILIMANJARO NATIONAL PARK
Kilimanjaro, by its name is a metaphor for the compelling beauty of East Africa. When you see it, you understand why, not only is this the highest peak on the African continent; it is also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world with 5,895 meters (19,336 feet).
Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s most accessible high summits, a beacon for visitors from around the world. Most climbers reach the crater rim with little more than a walking stick, proper clothing and determination. And those who reach Uhuru Point, the actual summit, or Gillman’s Point on the lip of the crater, will have earned their climbing certificates for their memories.
Before you cross the national park boundary (at the 2,700m contour), the cultivated foot slopes give way to lush montanes forest, inhabited by elusive elephant, leopard, buffalo, the endangered Abbot’s duiker, and other small antelope and primates. Higher still lies the moorland zone, where a cover of giant heather is studded with otherworldly giant lobelias.
Above 4,000m, a surreal alpine desert supports little life other than a few hardy mosses and lichen. Then, finally, the last vestigial vegetation gives way to a winter wonderland of ice and snow – and the magnificent beauty of the roof of the continent.