Why Is The Height Of Mount Kilimanjaro So Tall?

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Last updated on June 3rd, 2023 at 04:34 am

Kilimanjaro Height

When picturing the African land, the image of a towering mountain isn’t the first thing that pops into the mind. However, in the eastern section of Africa, the continent’s highest peak stands, reaching an impressive altitude of 5895 meters. This is Mount Kilimanjaro which serves as a magnet for hiking enthusiasts from across the planet to conquer its height and come out on top.

In this post, we will assess the various components of this majestic mountain, along with providing insightful background information on the Kilimanjaro Height. Hoping, it will ultimately prove invaluable for your forthcoming Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing expedition.

Kilimanjaro Height – Background

Kilimanjaro Heights

The Kilimanjaro Height in Feet is officially 19,364 ft. and its height in metres is 5,895. Also, the signpost on Uhuru Peak reads the same. British cartographers were the first ones to calculate this figure in 1952.

But some sixty years before that, Hans Meyer, the first ever person to reach Uhuru Peak estimated a rough height of Mt Kilimanjaro on his trailblazing climb. They estimated the Mt Kilimanjaro Elevation to be 6045 metres at that time, and this figure was widely believed to be the exact one for six decades.  

Let’s understand the chronological events that have happened thereafter, to find the answer to the most intriguing question- Where Does Kilimanjaro Stand in Height?

  • Revised measurements have been made with the advancement of technology.
  • In 1999, a team remeasured the Height of Kilimanjaro, declaring it to be 5892.55 metres. The margin was not too large.
  • In 2008, Kilimanjaro was measured again; this time, the readings were 5,891.8 metres.
  • The research team which conducted the task applied a combination of gravity methodologies and GPS.

Regardless, the difference between both estimations isn’t that significant, and most sources prefer to stick to the conventional number when it comes to Kilimanjaro Summit Height. The figure that is widely believed to be accurate is 5,895 metres above sea level.

Where does Mount Kilimanjaro Rank in the World?

Mount Kilimanjaro holds great appeal for hikers, mountain climbers, and adventurers, making it a popular destination of choice. Now, turning our attention back to the initial question- as compared to the other renowned peaks known as the Seven Summits, Where Does Mount Kilimanjaro Rank in Height in the World? 

Among these magnificent Seven summits, Mount Kilimanjaro secures an impressive position as the fourth most significant mountain globally. Below, we provide Mount Kilimanjaro Ranking among the illustrious group of the Seven Summits.

  • Mount Everest in Asia -29,035 feet/8,850 m
  • Aconcagua in South America- 22,829 feet/6962 m
  • Denali in North America – 20,320 feet/6190 m
  • Kilimanjaro in Africa- 19,340 feet/ 5895 m
  • Mt. Elbrus in Europe- 18,510 feet/5642 m
  • Mt. Carstenz or Mount Kosciuszko in Oceania- 16,023 feet/4884 m or 7310 feet/2228 m, respectively.
  • Mt. Vinson in Antarctica -16,067 feet/4892m

Another important point that deserves a mention here is that Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the easiest of the Seven Summits to scale up to the top. Also, the climb is not technical at all and doesn’t require any mountaineering skills.

Highest Free-Standing Mountain on Earth

The Kilimanjaro Height makes it not only the highest peak in Africa but also the highest free-standing mountain in the world. All of the other mountains in the world are usually parts of a mountain range, meaning there’s a combination of other mountains. For example, Mount Everest belongs to the Himalayas, Aconcagua to the Andes massif, and Elbrus to the Caucasus Mountains.

However, the mountains of Tanzania stand in contrast to other mountain ranges in the world. And, Mount Kilimanjaro follows the same suit. It stands freely amid the tropical rainforest while rising from a flat plain, and doesn’t belong to any mountain range. Thus, bagging it the honour of being the highest free-standing mountain in the world.

The nearest mountain to Kilimanjaro is Mount Meru, with a distance of 100 km between the two peaks. This is why, Kilimanjaro looks isolated and towers over the African savannah landscape while evoking feelings of awe and amazement.

Kilimanjaro’s Peaks

Free-standing mountains similar to Mount Kilimanjaro are generally a result of volcanic activity. When molten rocks erupt and pile up on the surface, they form these volcanic mountains.

One of the most fascinating facts about Mount Kilimanjaro is that it is made up of three volcanic cones – Kibo, Shira, and Mawenzi. Below is an in-depth look into each of Kilimanjaro’s peaks:

Kibo – Kili’s Highest Point

The place where the true Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing experience culminates is Kibo Peak. The peak is crowned by Uhuru Peak and is the highest point of Kilimanjaro. The famous Ash Pit and Kilimanjaro glaciers can be seen in the crater area.

While the southern slope of Kibo is home to the Barranco Wall. Climbers traverse the peak on the way from Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp and the views from the top are nothing short of spectacular.

Mawenzi Peak – Kili’s second-highest point

Located on the eastern part of Kilimanjaro, Mawenzi stands at a height of 5,148 metres. Hikers can expect excellent views from the Mawenzi Camp when Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro via the Rongai Route.

Point to Note – The slopes of Mawenzi are very rocky and steep which is why only those who have skilled alpine skills are allowed to climb Mawenzi. One should be able to use carbines, ropes, and other safety gear to navigate the difficult trail.

Shira Peak – Home to the scenic Shira Plateau

At one point in time, Shira was the third volcanic cone of Mt Kilimanjaro. One of its early eruptions led to the destruction of the rim and over time a flat plateau was formed.

Now, this plateau is called the Lemosho Glades or Shira Plateau and has since become one of the most scenic sights to see when Climbing Kilimanjaro. Climbers reach the plateau by travelling through Lemosho and Northern Kilimanjaro Routes.

The following is a brief rundown of some of the prime Kilimanjaro Peaks:

Uhuru Peak5,895
Mawenzi Peak5,149
Shira Peak3,962
Kibo Peak4,900
The Saddle4,400

Kilimanjaro’s Elevation Gain

On a Kilimanjaro Climb, you should be ready to gain several metres in elevation daily. The fact that the mountain stands at 5,895 metres doesn’t mean that this is the exact Mt Kilimanjaro Elevation gained during the climb.

The whole region of Kilimanjaro is located in the highlands which are already significantly above sea level. For instance, the regional capital known as Moshi lies at 800 m above sea level.

Most of the trailheads are even higher, meaning that you will not climb 5,895 metres throughout your climb but stand at that elevation upon reaching Uhuru Peak.

For further information on Kilimanjaro Height Ranking, prominence, and altitude gain, you can read our related blog linked here.

Kilimanjaro Height – Starting Levels and Proper Acclimatization

All the climbing expeditions begin at one of the Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes trailheads designated by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority (KINAPA). They are represented below:

Londorossi GateLemosho and Northern Circuit Routes2,360 m above sea level2,395 m
Marangu GateMarangu Route2,700 m above sea level3,195 m
Machame GateMachame Route1,740 m above sea level4,155 m
Nalemuru GateRongai Route1,950 m above sea level3,945 m
Note – The challenging Umbwe Route starts at 5,250 feet, which means that you will have to climb 4,295 metres up the mountain. Never fall into the trap of thinking that the higher you start, the easier your climbing Kilimanjaro experience will be. Proper acclimatization is the most crucial aspect of a Kilimanjaro Climb, which is why we suggest that you should always pick a Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Package that has an itinerary of 7 or more days.

Deducing the mysterious Kilimanjaro Height!

The Kilimanjaro Height is a result of complex geological and environmental factors that have shaped the mountain over millions of years. From tectonic plate movements to volcanic activity and glaciation, each process has contributed to the mountain’s impressive height.

Why not inspire curiosity and fascination for years to come by booking a Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Package from our wide selection?

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