Mount Kilimanjaro National Park

The park covers an area of approximately 1,688 square kilometers and is home to Mount Kilimanjaro, which is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world

Mount Kilimanjaro National Park

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Kilimanjaro National Park is a national park in Tanzania, situated 300 kilometers (190 mi) south of the equator and in Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania. The park is located near the city of Moshi and includes the whole of Mount Kilimanjaro above the tree line and the surrounding montane forest belt above 1,820 meters (5,97 ft.). It covers an area of 1,688 square kilometers (652 sq mi), 2°50’–3°10’S latitude, 37°10’–37°40’E longitude.

The park is managed by the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA). The park made US $51 million in revenue in 2013, the second-most of any Tanzanian national park, and was one of only two Tanzanian national parks to produce a surplus during the 2012-13 budget year. TNPA has noted that the park received 58,460 tourists during the 2012-13 budget year, of whom 54,584 were foreigners. Of the park’s 57,456 tourists during the 2011-12 budget year, 16,425 hiked the mountain, which was well below the volume of 28,470 as specified in the park’s General Management Plan.

In the early 20th century, Mount Kilimanjaro and the adjacent forests were affirmed a game reserve by the German colonial government. In 1921, it was nominated a forest reserve. In 1973, the mountain above the tree line (about 2,700 meters (8,900 ft.)) was reclassified as a national park. The park was affirmed a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1987. In 2005, the park was extended to include the entire montane woodland, which had been part of the Kilimanjaro Forest Reserve. Kilimanjaro National Park is family to the uppermost mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world.

Mount Kilimanjaro contains three volcanoes, that is Shira in the west (4,269 m) Mawenzi in the east (5,280 m) and the youngest volcano Kibo (5,895m). Shira and Mawenzi are nonexistent and the last major eruption of Kibo was between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago. Today Kibo is inactive but could awaken any day. A variety of animals can be found in the park. Above the timberline, the Kilimanjaro tree hyrax, the grey duiker, and rodents are normally encountered. The bushbuck and red duiker give the impression above the timer line in places.

Cape buffaloes are found in the montane woodland and rarely in the moorland and grassland. Elephants can be found between the Namwai and Tarakia rivers and sometimes occur at higher heights. In the montane woodlands, blue monkeys, western black and white colobuses, bush babies, and leopards can be found. The flora on the mountain is also very diverse and some 2,500 species of plants originate here including the pervasive and striking red and yellow impatiens kilimanjari as well as the interesting violet viola. The lower regions of the park are controlled by lush green montane woodlands with almost 140 species of trees. A bit complex up, unique giant lobelias grace the moorland zone. Above 4,000 m visitors find the moonlike desert, where not abundant grows and the land is full of pillars and grime. Nearer to the summit, hikers will be pleased with attractive sights of glaciers and a deep crater.

Getting to Kilimanjaro national park

By road, it’s about one hour’s drive from Kilimanjaro airport and covers a distance of about 128km(80miles) from Arusha.

The nearby International Airport is Kilimanjaro and if coming from Europe, KLM has regular non-stop flights from Amsterdam to JRO. There is also Air Viva that offers connections between Kilimanjaro and several domestic airports like Arusha. As well if you’re coming from Entebbe-Uganda to Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, there are usually three flights per week that take a duration of 1 hour and 50 minutes.

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