Kilimanjaro National Park is a Tanzanian national park, located 300 kilometers (190 mi) south of the equator and in Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania. The park is located near the city of Moshi. The park includes the whole of Mount Kilimanjaro above the tree line and the surrounding montane forest belt above 1,820 meters (5,970 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 administered by the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) Rising above the plains and forests of Tanzania is the “Roof of Africa,” Mount Kilimanjaro. At 19,336 feet, this snow-capped peak is Africa’s highest mountain and also the world’s tallest walk-able mountain. Reaching the summit is an incredible journey in which you ascend through five different ecological zones.
You will be filled with a sense of unparalleled awe when the clouds part and reveal the shining peak of the world’s highest free standing mountain. The snow-covered summit of Kilimanjaro rising from fertile green foothills has become a powerful motif of Tanzania’s extremes. Mount Kilimanjaro provides rich volcanic soil and an endless supply of pure spring waters that have made it a powerful lifeline for the local Chagga people and all who make their lives around the mountain. An amazing aspect of this mountain is that no climbing equipment for previous experience is needed to access the peak. Though it is a considerable challenge, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain that regular tourists can climb. Breathable oxygen at the summit is less than half the level of what is available at sea level, and climbers traverse eighty kilometers over the five days it takes to reach the top and return. There are several different routes for climbing Kilimanjaro. These include the Marangu, Rongai, Lemosho, Shira, Umbwe, and Machame. Every year the number of climbers escalates. In the last century it has risen to over a thousand per year. This has made it necessary for the National Park to insist that all climbers are pre-booked. Passes are no longer issues last minute at the gate. Higher still lies the moorland zone, where a cover of giant heather is studded with other worldly giant lobelias. Above 4,000m, a surreal alpine desert supports little life other than a few hardy mosses and lichen. Then, finally, the last vestigial vegetation gives way to a winter wonderland of ice and snow – and the magnificent beauty of the roof of the continent.