Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, located in Northeast Tanzania, near the Kenya border. Kilimanjaro is an extinct volcano, and is one of the most massive in the world. It towers 15,000 feet above the surrounding arid plains, and 2.5 square miles of its surface are over 18,500 feet. Beneath its ice dome, snow extends down long gullies that have been eroded in the mountain sides..
Kilimanjaro’s summit crater, known as Kibo, measures an incredible 1.5 miles across. The highest point on Kibo’s steep rim is Uhuru, the highest peak in Africa. Nestled in the center of Kibo is a smaller crater, 600-feet deep in sulfurous ashes.
Mawenzi (16,893 ft), Kilimanjaro’s smaller second cone, is seven miles east of Kibo, separated by a long saddle. Mawenzi is an older cone, jagged from erosion, with sheer faces on all sides. Despite its lower elevation, Mawenzi is the more difficult climb, and no approach is possible without rock climbing and/or snow and ice climbing skills. Mawenzi is the third highest peak in Africa. Mount Kenya (17,057 ft.) is second..
The approach and climb provides spectacular diversity, from scrub-lands thick with African wildlife to lush forests to flowering alpine tundra. All this finally gives way to snow and rock above 15,000 feet..