Ten Interesting Facts about Mount Kilimanjaro

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!

  1. Mount Kilimanjaro was first (successfully) climbed by a German geology professor, Hans Meyer, and an Austrian mountaineer, Ludwig Purtscheller, on 6th October 1889.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. Kilimanjaro homes no less than five different ecological systems, such as alpine desert, moorlands, heath, rain forest, and arctic glaciers.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!

22 Comments Add yours

    1. Thank you! We love your blog… 🙂

  1. Anita Mac says:

    Wow – I can’t imagine climbing Kilimanjaro at the age of 84! I certainly hope to cross this climb off my bucket list long before that! It is such a fascinating mountain…sad to hear that the ice is melting at such a fast rate! The face of the mountain will be forever changed!

    1. I hope you get to climb it soon Anita – it really is amazing! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. fotogfoodie says:

    Very interesting! A lot of things I didn’t know about Kilimanjaro.

    1. Thank you for stopping by, we love your blog and will definitely have a go at recreating some of those recipes! 🙂

      1. fotogfoodie says:

        Thank you! If you do try them, I’d love to know how they turn out and how you liked them!

  3. billyeats says:

    Great blog. Hard not to want to climb Kilimanjaro when you grew up feasting on Hemingway. Great photos. Thank you for checking out and following my blog. billyeats.com

    1. Thank you for stopping by! We really enjoy your blog and hope you get to climb ‘Kili’ one day 🙂

  4. Hi maaate,
    I have Kilimanjaro on the list…just seems a long way off at the moment for various reasons. I haven’t done much trekking since Bhutan four years ago, but there’s at least one more high altitude trek in me!


    1. Hey George! Thanks for stopping by… There’s always room for one more high altitude trek!! 😉

  5. joahnadiyosa says:

    This is very interesting! I’m going to Africa in March, specificaly in Tunisia. and hopefully I can have enought time to travel to Tanzania. 🙂 Wonderful post! 🙂

    1. Thank you for stopping by! Have a wonderful trip to Tunisia, I hope you can make it to Tanzania soon 🙂

  6. Thanks for posting that informative post. You’re a good ambassador for the mount. Thanks also for stopping by my blog!

  7. Diane C says:

    Did you know that last year Spencer West, a Canadian with no legs or pelvis and who walks with his hands climbed Kilimanjaro? I heard him speak at We Day 2012 in Vancouver in October. He said to the crowd of 20,000 students, “If I, a man with no legs can climb Mount Kilimanjaro, just think what you can do!” Amazing.

    1. Hi Diane! Yes, I heard about this amazing man – truly inspirational! 🙂

  8. Aya Walksfar says:

    I didn’t know about the five ecological systems! That is very interesting. I do love learning! Thanks for following my blog.

    1. You are very welcome! Thanks for visiting our blog! 🙂

  9. Kavita Joshi says:

    This is on my long term goal list 🙂 thanks for sharing ..very nice post dear

    1. Thanks Kavita! Hope you make it soon 😉

  10. Thanks for educating me about Kilimanjaro. Thank goodness for the beer at the end. Thanks for following my blog too!

    1. Thank you for stopping by Sundog! Yes, the beer at the end made everything worth while…! 🙂

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