Mount Kilimanjaro or just Kilimanjaro with its three volcanic cones, “Kibo”, “Mawenzi”, and “Shira”, is a dormant volcano in Tanzania.

It is the highest mountain in Africa, about 4,900 meters (16,100 ft) from its base, and 5,895 meters (19,341 ft) above sea level.

It measures up to 40 km across

The first people known to have reached the summit of the mountain were Hans Meyer and Ludwig Purtscheller in 1889.

The mountain is part of the Kilimanjaro National Park and is a major climbing destination. The mountain has been the subject of many scientific studies because of its shrinking glaciers and disappearing ice fields.

Location of Tanzania

Kilimanjaro lies 240 km, 3 degrees below the equator, is contained entirely within Tanzania and is one of Africa’s youngest volcanoes

Facts About Mount Kilimanjaro’s Geology

  • Kilimanjaro is a giant stratovolcano.
  • Kilimanjaro is classified as dormant, not extinct.
  • It is the largest of an east-west belt of volcanoes across northern Tanzania.
  • Kilimanjaro started forming about 750,000 years ago.
  • Kili has three main volcanic peaks (Shira, Mawenzi and Kibo) and a number of smaller parasitic cones.
  • Shira is the oldest peak, Kibo the youngest.
  • Kibo’s last major eruption occured about 360,000 years ago.
  • The last volcanic activity was recorded just over 200 years ago and resulted in today’s ash pit.
  • Kibo has two concentric craters, 1.9 x 2.7 km and 1.3 km in diameter, respectively.
  • The central ash pit is 350 m deep.
  • Uhuru Peak on the southern rim of the outer crater is the highest point on the mountain.
  • Since 1912 Kilimanjaro has lost 82% of its ice cap.
  • Since 1962 Kilimanjaro has lost 55% of the remaining glaciers.
  • This may be local evidence of climate warming but may also be due to the loss of humidity caused by deforestation and clearing for farms. A big tree planting project is trying to alleviate some of this.
  • Today, the total glacier area is about 2.5 km2.
  • The latest forecasts predict that Kilimanjaro may lose the plateau ice within the next 30-40 years, but the slope glaciers may remain much longe

Tipping for Guides and Porters

Tipping for guides and porters is standard. A single climber will have on average one guide, three to five porters and a cook. As a group size increases the climbing support team increase at a similar ratio.

The Kilimanjaro National Park (KINAPA) stipulates a minimum ratio of one guide for every 2 climbers and a maximum weight per porter of 20kg. Tour operators are meant to comply with these standards. In general, you should budget $20-$25 a day for guides, $15-$20 a day for assistant guides, $15 a day for your cook and $10 a day for each porter.

Depending on the length of your climb and the size of your group, your total tip budget should be at least $250-$500. It is recommended that you calculate how much you will be tipping your support team before arriving on the mountain and prepare individual envelopes for each climbing support member whom you distribute at the end of the climb.

Calculate your tip here. The gear used by the porters is mostly substandard and is often not at all fit for the trek. If you can spare some of your gear it would be greatly received by your porters or guides.