Mount Kilimanjaro National Park
Mt Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania © Charles Asik
Rising 19,341ft (5,895m) above the African plains, the magnificent solitary peak of Mount Kilimanjaro is the dominant feature of this national park. The lush rainforest on its lower slopes is home to a number of animals including elephant, buffalo, rhino, monkey, and leopard. Its dormant volcano is remarkable in many ways, not only for its snow-covered peaks and glaciers rising out of a humid equatorial jungle, but also because it is the highest freestanding mountain in the world, a huge cone unattached to a mountain range, and Africa's highest peak. Its magnetism has attracted researchers, mountaineers, and adventurers for years. It is the only mountain of its size that can be scaled by inexperienced hikers, although altitude sickness is common and can be fatal. There are six different routes with varying degrees of difficulty, and a wide range of organised treks and experienced guides. But the easiest and most popular way to reach the summit is on the Marangu Trail, which takes about five days, with nights spent in huts along the way. Views from the top are breath-taking, especially at dawn, with the best time to climb the mountain between August and November.
Address: The Kilimanjaro National Park headquarters is situated at Marangu