Without mincing words, coming to Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro has been a surreal experience for me. At 5,895m, Mount Kilimanjaro is comfortably the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, so it can be truly regarded as the roof of Africa. “As wide as all the world, great, high and unbelievably white,” was Ernest Hemingway’s description.
Now a World Heritage site, its outstanding features are its three major volcanic centres: Shira in the west, Mawenzi in the East and the snow-capped Kibo in the centre. The forests of the surrounding national park are inhabited by elusive elephant, leopard, buffalo, bushbuck, the endangered Abbott’s duiker and numerous other small antelope, primates and rodents. They are however difficult to see due to the dense vegetation.
Temperatures vary around Kilimanjaro according to the season registering a low 15 degrees Centigrade during May to August rising to 22 degrees during December to March. For the whole country, the hottest months are from October to February. The long rainy season is from mid-March to late May.
Getting to Mount Kilimanjaro is pretty easy as visas to Tanzania can be obtained on arrival at the airport. Then you proceed on a two-hour drive from Arusha or one hour from Kilimanjaro International Airport.