Mt Kilimanjaro:

The tallest mountain on the African continent, lying northeast of Arusha, rests quietly at the edge of the plains with its incredibly beautiful snow-capped peaks. Rising above the Kenyan border it stands in Tanzania, 330 km (205 miles) south of the equator. Gazetted fairly recently, in 1973,the Kilimanjaro National Park was officially opened in 1977, and only includes the land above 2,700 m (8,860 ft). This comprises the Shira Plateau at 3,962-m (13,000-ft), and the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi at 5895 m (19,340 ft) and 5,149 m (16,894 ft) respectively. Below the park is an area designated as a forest and game reserve, gazetted in 1921.



FORMATION OF MOUNT KILIMANJARO:

Over a million years ago, the plains were immensely unstable, buckling and cracking from the powerful force of movements deep within the earth. The Kilimanjaro Depression was created as a result of this violent activity and with it molten rock was forced up to the surface and formed the volcanoes Ol Molog, Kibongoto and Kilema along a 100 km long (60 miles) ridge that reached 3,000 m (9,843 ft) in height.

The formation of Kilimanjaro started 750,000 years ago, when it consisted of three large vents: Shira, Kibo and Mawenzi. Over thousands of years Shira eventually collapsed, becoming extinct; Mawenzi remained active a while longer but eventually also became extinct and began to erode; Kibo continued with massive eruptions around 360,000 years ago that released black lava over the Shira crater, creating the area known today as the Saddle, at the base of Mawenzi.The lava also spread far to the north and south. This particular lava is known as rhomb porphyry lava (igneous rock composed of large rhomboid crystals embedded in a mass of smaller crystals), distinct because of its dark color and its crystalline shape.


Though eruptions continued to occur, and Kibo reached a height of almost 5,985-m (19,340-ft), the mountain's growth had ceased about 450,000 years ago and the volcano in fact began to sink. Erosion helped create the tall jagged peaks of Mawenzi and Shira's plateau. Kibo meanwhile leveled out and was covered during the ages with ice and glaciers. The Kibo barranco (a steep-walled ravine) was formed 100,000 years ago by a tremendous landslide. Kilimanjaro's southeastern and northwestern reaches are speckled with numerous vents that erupted during the slow tapering off of volcanic activity in the area. In Kibo's final burst of fury, the Ash Pit, the Inner Crater and the present, perfectly formed caldera (large crater) were created and are now permanent features of this magnificent free-standing mountain.

Although it can be climbed year round the best times of the year for climbing are between June and October, December and March; between mid-March and May it is the wet season. There are six different routes up the mountain ranging in degree of difficulty and there are many tour operators running organized trips. Marangu route (named Coca-Cola), Machame route (named whiskey), Shira route, Umbwe route, Maua route and Rongai route.


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The success of your vacation depends on the symphony of the booking agents, the sales team and the driver guides with you in the field. Coordination and teamwork is therefore very essential for the success of your safari vacation in Tanzanian. Untamed personnel are continuously trained in team building and outdoor schools.

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