Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano located in Tanzania, Africa. It is famous for being the highest mountain in Africa and is one of the ‘Seven Summits’ of the World.
Kilimanjaro is made up of not just one but three dormant volcanoes. Situated near the fault-line of two tectonic plates, Kilimanjaro began to build itself up around 750,000 years ago, via thousands of years of lava explosions from the volcanic cones of Shira, Mawenzi, and Kibo .
One by one, the three cones died out.
- Shira was the first to go, collapsing once it had reached around 16,400 ft .
- Kibo and Mawenzi continued to erupt, forming the ridge now known as “the saddle”, before Mawenzi died out at a height of about 18,000 ft .
- Kibo continued to explode until somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago , by which point it had reached the 19,341 ft elevation we know today (it’s possible Kibo reached even higher back then, since Kilimanjaro stopped erupting, the biggest change in its height has come from erosion by the elements) .
scientists don’t expect any volcanic activity from Kili in the foreseeable future.
The mountain and its surrounding forests were designated a game reserve in the early part of the 20th century.
In 1973 Mount Kilimanjaro National Park was established to protect the mountain above the tree line as well as the six forest corridors that extend downslope through the montane forest belt. The park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.