Rising majestically above the African plains, the 20,000-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro has beckoned to climbers since the first recorded summit in 1889. Here are 10 interesting facts to help inspire your own future summit:
1. Mount Kilimanjaro the tallest mountain on the African continent and the highest free-standing mountain in the world – at an imperious 5,895 metres (19,336 feet).
2. Kilimanjaro is composed of three distinct volcanic cones, Mawenzi, Shira and Kibo. Mawenzi and Shira are extinct but Kibo, the highest peak, is dormant and could erupt again. The most recent activity was about 200 years ago; the last major eruption was 360,000 years ago.
3. There's all sorts of terrain - Almost every kind of ecological system is found on the mountain: cultivated land, rain forest, heath, moorland, alpine desert and an arctic summit.
4. Nearly every climber who has summitted Uhuru Peak, the highest summit on Kibo's crater rim, has recorded his or her thoughts about the accomplishment in a book stored in a wooden box at the top.
5. A porter from the very first successful summit lived up to see the 100th celebration of the climb. He was 118 years old at that time
6. Despite an age-limit of 10 years for a permit, Keats Boyd of Los Angeles was only 7 years old when he summited Kilimanjaro on January 21, 2008.
7. The oldest person ever to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro was 87-year-old Frenchman Valtee Daniel.
8. The fasted verified ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro occurred in 2001 when Italian Bruno Brunod summitted Uhuru Peak in 5 hours 38 minutes 40 seconds. The fastest roundtrip was accomplished in 2004, when local guide Simon Mtuy went up and down the mountain in 8 hours 27 minutes.
9. A German missionary by the name of Johannes Rebmann is considered to be the discoverer of Mount Kilimanjaro in 1848 when he explored the lower scopes and sent the Royal Geographical Society his findings, including a description of a snow-capped summit. The experts of those times doubted the real possibility of a snow-capped mountain situated near the equator. In 1889, German geographer Hans Meyer and Austrian mountain climber Ludwig Purtscheller were the first to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. It took about six weeks in comparison to today when an average climber can do it in five or six days.
10. See the snow before it goes forever -The mountain's snow caps are diminishing, having lost more than 80 percent of their mass since 1912. In fact, they may be completely ice free within the next 20 years, according to scientists.
11. If he can do it, then so can you - South African Bernard Goosen twice scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in a wheelchair. His first summit, in 2003, took nine days; his second, four years later, took only six. Born with cerebral palsy, Goosen used a modified wheelchair, mostly without assistance, to climb the mountain.
12. Be one of the elite few in 2015 - Approximately 25,000 people attempt to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro annually. Approximately two-thirds are successful. Altitude-related problems is the most common reason climbers turn back.
Do you fancy giving this amazing mountain summit a try yourself? By climbing the mountain with Awland Safaris you'll be in the safest of hands and be the most prepared you can possibly be for this exciting challenge.