If you are thinking about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, you will probably already know that it is the highest free-standing mountain in the world, and that it reaches 5,895 metres above sea level.
What you might not know, is that there are loads of interesting fact and figures surrounding this magnificent peak, and here we share our favourite ten to give you a little inspiration!
- Mount Kilimanjaro was first (successfully) climbed by a German geology professor, Hans Meyer, and an Austrian mountaineer, Ludwig Purtscheller, on 6th October 1889.
- While classed as a mountain, Kilimanjaro is actually made up of three volcanic cones, namely Mawenzi, Shira and Kibo. While dormant, some believe Kibo could erupt again one day in the future, but don’t let that put you off – the last major eruption was around 360,000 years ago!
- According to the Guinness World Records, the oldest man to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is Richard Byerley, who reached the summit on 6th October 2011 (exactly 122 years after Meyer & Purtscheller), aged 84 years and 71 days.
- Kilimanjaro homes no less than five different ecological systems, such as alpine desert, moorlands, heath, rain forest, and arctic glaciers.
- The Guinness World Records also state that the fastest solo-unsupported ascent-descent of Mount Kilimanjaro was completed in just 9 hours, 21 minutes and 47 seconds by Tanzanian Simon Mtuy, on 22nd February 2006.
- An average of 25,000 people attempt Mount Kilimanjaro each year, the success rates vary, but most reports indicate that 65-75% make it to Uhuru Peak.
- Bernard Goosen from South Africa has scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro twice – in a wheelchair! His first attempt took nine days; his second took just six – proving that anyone with strength and determination can conquer Africa’s highest peak.
- Sadly, the glaciers on top of Kilimanjaro are diminishing rapidly. Scientists claim that 80% has already disappeared, and if global warming continues at the same rate, the glistening snow caps of Kili may be gone for good in less than 30 years.
- Mount Kilimanjaro sits within the Kilimanjaro National Park, and as such, you cannot climb it on your own. It is mandatory that you climb with a licensed mountain guide and use porters to carry your equipment. This supports the local economy and ensures that the Tanzanian people get to benefit from this world-famous attraction.
- Finally, (now this is very important!) you can buy beer at the base camps on Kilimanjaro descent routes! Whether you made it to the peak or not, you can still treat yourself to a beer… As the Kilimanjaro Beer Bottle states – if you can’t Climb it…Drink it!