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5 Fun Facts about Kilimanjaro

Islamic Relief UK have recently launched a Hike Kilimanjaro challenge. You are in for a chance to join us on this unforgettable experience and hike one of the highest peaks in the world, this January 2024.

Here are five reasons why you should sign up and head out to Kili!

Freestanding mountain

Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa, and the world’s tallest freestanding mountain, is actually a snow-capped volcano.

All the other highest world peaks- think Mt Everest, Aconcagua and Denali – are part of mountain ranges, formed through the living Earth’s natural movement of shifting plates.

The Earth’s crust is made up of giant slabs of solid rock, known as tectonic plates. As they push against each other, over millions of years, this natural push forces rocks to rise, and creates mountain ranges. 

If these same plates pull away, a gap in the Earth’s crust allows magma to rise and creates volcanoes, like Kilimanjaro.

Sleeping not extinct

Kilimanjaro once had three active volcanic cones – Mawenzi, Shira and Kibo. 

Two of these, Mawenzi and Shira, are now extinct which means they are cut off from their lava supply. 

Kibo, also the highest peak, is dormant, which means it could erupt again. Walk near it and the distinct must of Sulphur still lingers in the air. 


Uhuru is the highest point climbers can reach at 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) above sea level.

It was named Uhuru in 1961 after Tanganyika, a state now part of Tanzania, gained independence from the UK. 

Uhuru means ‘freedom’ in Swahili, one of the 120 languages spoken in Tanzania. Others include English, and Maasai. 

Crossing the world in one climb

Climbers of Kili will trek across FIVE ecological zones, starting at equator temperatures and reaching a climate similar to the North Pole. 

The trek begins in hot and dry bushland, passing through a warm and humid rainforest, reaching moorland and then entering an Alpine desert zone before ascending to the summit, the icy, rocky Arctic zone.

Tall trees

Africa’s tallest tree, an Entandrophragma excelsum is believed to be growing in the valleys of Kilimanjaro. At 81.5 meters high, the tree is thought to be at least 600 years old. 

tall trees next to mount kilimanjaro

Although located away from the popular climbing routes, this tree won’t be seen by hikers, but other stunning vegetation can be soaked in when climbing up, especially through the moorland and Alpine stretches. 

Sign up now to join the Kilimanjaro Challenge in January 2024. It’s your chance to start the year by raising money to help provide clean water to communities across Africa, while making the trek of a lifetime. 

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