Mount Kilimanjaro is the crown of Tanzania. The view of this majestic mountain's gigantic snow-capped summit dome, rising high above the surrounding savannah is one of Africa's classic images . At 5895 metres (19,340 ft), Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, and one of the highest volcanoes in the world, attracting trekkers and climbers from every corner of the world. The attraction is even greater because with time and adequate preparation, it is possible to walk all the way to the summit without technical mountaineering equipment or experience.
The Kilimanjaro massif has two main peak areas: Kibo, the flat topped dome at the centre of the massif, and Mawenzi a group of jagged points and pinnacles on the eastern side. The top of Kibo dips inwards to form a crater which cannot be seen from below. Although Mount Kilimanjaro lies just three degrees south of the equator, Kibo has a permanent cap of snow and ice. The highest point on Kibo and the whole Kilimanjaro massif is Uhuru Peak. Also on Kibo is the slightly lower peak of Gillman's Point, both are goals for most trekkers. The peaks of Mawenzi are for mountaineers only. Kilimanjaro has been designated as a national park by the government of Tanzania.
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Most climbers reach the crater rim with little more than a walking stick, proper clothing and determination. And those who reach Uhuru Point, the actual summit, or Gillman's Point on the lip of the crater, will have earned their climbing certificates. And their memories. But there is so much more to Kili than her summit. The ascent of the slopes is a virtual climatic world tour, from the tropics to the arctic. Even before you cross the national park boundary (at the 2,700m contour), the cultivated slopes give way to lush montane forest, inhabited by elusive elephant, leopard, buffalo, the endangered Abbot’s duiker, and other small antelope and primates.