Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa, and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world (ie, not part of a mountain range). The plain it rises out of is only 800 m above sea level. Kilimanjaro itself rises over 5,000 m farther. It is located entirely within Tanzania, near the border of Kenya. It is 330 km south of the equator. Considered an easy climb, the most serious risk to those tackling its slopes is altitude sickness. I've even heard it rumoured that people in the best physical shape are the most likely not to make it to the top - they push too hard.

Kilimanjaro presents a beautiful view to people living in Moshi, Tanzania, and can be seen as far away as Arusha on clear days.

In a twist of fate strongly resembling the Canada-USA debate over Niagara Falls (one has the falls, the other has the view), the best pictures of the mountain are all taken from Kenya.

Kilimanjaro is the name given to the entire massif, which is comprised of three separate extinct volcanoes. Shira is the shortest at 3,962 m (12,999 ft) - it isn't even really noticable. Mawenzi reaches 5,149 m (16,893 ft), and Kibo reaches 5,895 m (19,341 ft). The peak of Mawenzi is sometimes called Hans Meyer Peak. The peak of Kibo is often called Uhuru Peak. Mawenzi is by far the more difficult climb!

Kilimanjaro holds five major ecological zones, which morph into one another with altitude. These are called the Lower Slopes (800 m to 1,800 m); Montane forest (1,800 m to 2,700 m); Heath and moorland forest (2,700 m to 4,000 m); Alpine desert zone (4,000 m to 5,000 m); and the Summit zone (above 5,000 m).

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