Routes Up Kilimanjaro
With a growing number of climbers attempting Mount Kilimanjaro each year, thousands of climbers have left their marks on the mountain’s trails. So when did the Kilimanjaro Climbing Trail start, and how did it become so well-known? How the ecosystem of Kilimanjaro is being impacted by our ecological imprints on the mountain? What kind of plant is there naturally on the mountain?
To help you learn more about the breathtaking Kilimanjaro Trails and to provide answers to your queries, precious safaris is here. then let’s get going!
TEXT OF THE CHAPTER
- How did the Mount Kilimanjaro Trails for Climbing start?
- Trails of Kilimanjaro Records
- In Culture Today
- Special Occasions
- Climate change's impact on Kilimanjaro
- reducing the environmental impact on the Kilimanjaro trails
- Zones Of Mount Kilimanjaro's Ecology
- Agricultural Zone
- Zone of Forest and Rainforest
- Comfort Zone
- Desert region of Apline
- Arctic Region
- On Kilimanjaro, the Biodiversity is Changing
- Kilimanjaro Animals and Plants
- Kilimanjaro wildlife
- With Jerry Tanzania Tours, Explore Various Kilimanjaro Trails
WHAT WAS THE ORIGIN OF THE CLIMBING MOUNT KILIMANJARO TRAILS?
Three summits of Mount Kilimanjaro were created millions of years ago as a result of volcanic eruptions. The other two volcanoes, Mawenzi and Kibo, ‘melted’ together as a result of successive eruptions, whereas Shira (one of the volcanic cones) is now extinct and degraded. The highest mountain, Kibo, is about 6000m above sea level and is home to the well-known Uhuru peak.
Unconventional path climbing Kilimanjaro from the west. Shira is frequently regarded as the most picturesque route because of its approach through a rainforest and heathland. There were some challenging climbing days, including a steep ascent up the Barranco Wall, but the lengthier approach had excellent acclimatisation results. Near the peak, the Machame route merges.
During the busiest months, this heavily travelled route can become highly congested. Beautiful scenery may be seen while climbing to Shira plateau and throughout the southern crossing. Several days of challenging, steep climbing, especially on the Barranco Wall. The climber’s proverb & climb high, sleep low" offers a superb acclimatisation profile, though. close to top, joins the Lemosho/Shira path.
After Machame, the ‘cola-cola’ route is the busiest and most cost-effective route. Kilimanjaro is approached from the southeast. a gradual rise that is often easy. Since the descent follows the same track, less of the mountain is seen. The oldest trail on the mountain, the only one to provide basic dorm-style lodging for the duration of the ascent (most climbers prefer the privacy of a tent), and the trail with the lowest success rate due to its typical rise of 5 to 6 miles per day.
Circuit in the North
The mountain's longest route. Shira or Lemosho paths are used to access the mountain from the west. After splitting off to traverse the entire mountain’s northern face, one meets the Rongai route for the summit ascent. Excellent profile of acclimatisation. Complete separation from the throngs. However, being remote makes rescue more difficult.
Unconventional path climbing Kilimanjaro from the north. Trailhead is far from Arusha, hence it is less travelled than alternative routes. A climb that is reasonably simple and has a good acclimatisation profile. However, because of where high camp was located, it was the longest and hardest summit night. Due to reduced rainfall on Kilimanjaro’s northern face, this approach to the mountain is less scenically appealing than western routes, but it offers a very distinctive walk across an alpine desert.
CLIMATICAL CHANGE’S IMPACT ON KILIMANJARO
Although climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is every climber’s dream, the snow-capped mountain peak of Kilimanjaro has an impact on both the global climate change and the ecological footprints we leave on the Kilimanjaro Trails. Starting at the mountain’s foot, the Mt. Kilimanjaro Trail ascends the top for around five vertical km. From Tanzania’s tropical warmth, the temperatures drop sharply.
The main goal is more than just reaching the summit, though. The glacier will melt entirely in more than 20 years. The equator’s glaciers cannot be
saved; nevertheless, we may still combat climate change to preserve more of the world’s ice. On the mountain, it’s crucial to leave a minimal environmental impact, and if you must consume, prioritise experiences above goods.
ON KILIMANJARO TRAILS, REDUCING ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT
Sadly, the ecological and natural issues on the Kilimanjaro Trails are getting worse, especially at Crater Camp. The camp may soon be shut down due to the amount of trash and human waste that has amassed here. To avert closure, cleaning initiatives have started recently.
Human waste cannot be buried in the frozen ground because of the high altitude and low temperatures, and it also does not break down.
Although some tour operators offer portable chemical toilets, many of the weary and weakened porters simply empty them on site rather than bringing them down the mountain. This is because many climbers prefer to climb without portable toilets.
Lower on the mountain are deep holes in the earth with long drop toilets.
Even these restrooms can no longer handle the influx of tourists.
In addition, crawling down the shale while descending was once a tactical move to increase speed, but it is now discouraged due of its negative impact on the erosion of loose rocks.
Zones of the Mount Kilimanjaro Ecosystem There are five different climate zones on the Kilimanjaro Trails. One of these is:
- Mountain Desert
- Arctic climatic zones, too
Let's examine these in more detail:
Agricultural ZoneThe Woodland Zone, sometimes known as the bushland zone, is the lowest zone on the Northern Tanzanian foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. Due to its stable farming, many people believe this area to be the most recent and intriguing area. The developed area has a wealth of resources of its own and offers much to the new guest starting a Kilimanjaro hiking excursion. At a height of roughly 800 to 1,800 metres (2660 to 6,000 feet), this zone is located. Despite this, this part of the mountain has fertile volcanic soil and receives the most annual rainfall. The top of Kilimanjaro’s glacier has created a number of rivers as well as an excellent field for agricultural activities.
Zone of Forest and Rainforest
The height of Mount Kilimanjaro ranges from 1800 metres to 2800 metres, or 6,000 to 9,200 feet. A well-known circle of Mount Kilimanjaro is this area.
Six to seven feet of rain fall on the rainforest region annually, and it is teeming with species.
In this climate zone of dense forest, the daytime temperature is warm and the humidity level is high.
It can get shockingly cold when it rains at night.
This area has a vast range of flora and fauna, including ferns, olive trees, and palms with drippy leaves, among other species of plants and animals.
Climbers approaching the Rongai Route, Lemosho Route, and the margins of the Shira Plateau may be fortunate to view a few creatures from the thinner jungle, including antelope, both Blue and Colobus monkeys, and more.
The altitude of the heather zone ranges from 2800 metres to 4000 metres, or around 9,200 feet to 13,200 feet.
This semi-alpine zone, which is in the high altitude ‘region’ in accordance with mountain medicine, is characterised by heath-like vegetation and an abundance of wildflowers.
At the upper end of this zone, you can anticipate stunning blue skies with sparse cloud cover shielding you from the sun.
Zone of Alpine Desert
The alpine desert zone is located between 4,000 and 5000 metres (13,200 to 16,500 feet) above sea level.
The mountain receives little precipitation in this area, and daytime highs of above 100° F are common.
In this region, the yearly rainfall is less than 8 inches.
Because of the thin atmosphere and closeness to the equator, there is an extremely high level of solar radiation.
Volcanic rock fields in diverse sizes and shapes serve as a reminder of this area’s turbulent past.
In this area, you are close enough to Kibo’s pinecone to observe the enormous glaciers that perilously cling to its jagged ledges.
You will see in this area that the molten lava that shot through during prehistoric eruptions years ago has carved deep canyons on the hillsides and breaches in the crater rim.
The arctic region is located between 5000 and 5895 metres (about 16,000 to 19,340 feet) above sea level. Scree, or loose gravel and dust, makes up the lowest portion of this zone.
The Scree is where the Kilimanjaro Trails become the most challenging. However, coming across a region like this in the equatorial belt of Africa is comparable to discovering a patch of rainforest in the middle of an Arctic glacier.
At Stella Point, you will be escorted to the volcano's rim before heading west.
To reach Uhuru Peak, continue along the crater rim as it ascends next to a sizable glacier.
Congratulations, you are at 5895 metres above sea level on the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, the sign that reads, may be found here. Years ago has carved deep canyons on the hillsides and breaches in the crater rim.
KILIMANJARO’S BIODIVERSITY IS CHANGING
The Kilimanjaro Trails are undergoing change, and Jerry Tanzania Tours is here to clarify the murky relationships between human land use, local biodiversity, and regional climate conditions.
Researchers believe that tropical mountains like Kilimanjaro are ideal locations for researching how climate change and human activity affect biodiversity. They claim that these mountains contain these enormous climate differences in a very small area.
The Mount Kilimanjaro region’s human population has more than doubled over the past 30 years despite the region’s diverse land use patterns.
Industrial-scale coffee plantations have been carved out of the rainforest, cornfields have appeared all across the savanna, and logging has left clear-cuts and burn sites all over the once-pristine forest.
Not only is the shifting biodiversity difficult, but it is also irreversible. At Jerry Tanzania Tours, we endeavour to climb mountains sustainably and with as little impact to the environment as possible in order to preserve it.
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ANIMALS AND FLORA OF KILIMANJARO
You will see a lot of Kilimanjaro Flora and Fauna along the full length of the trails. The following ‘level’ of plants can be found in the deep rainforest between 1800 and 2800 metres. The annual rainfall in this Rainforest zone ranges from 1000 to 2000 mm.
The lower-lying sections, like the forest zone, are home to a wide variety of birds, including tropical Boubous, Hartlaub Turacos, Green Wood Hoopoes, Silvery cheeked Hornbills, and more.
Primates including olive baboons, colobus monkeys, and blue monkeys may be seen peering up into the trees.
On the mountain, you can also frequently see civets, dik-dik, leopards, mongooses, bushpigs, elephants, and Abbott’s duikers.
WHAT KILIMANDAROS TRAILS SHOULD YOU SELECT, THEN?
You must gather more knowledge and learn how the various Kilimanjaro Routes differ before you can select one. On Mount Kilimanjaro, there are seven recognised routes for climbing.