Mount Kilimanjaro national park is Africa’s highest snow-capped mountain Kilimanjaro, the park covers an area of about 1,668 square kilometers and has got a number of mountain climbing routes like Machame route, Umbwe route, Lemosho route, Kilema route for cycling and many others, this routes will expose tourists to Africa’s uninterrupted wilderness of montane forest with different plant species some of which are endemic to this area, the forest harbors primates like the black and white Columbus monkeys. Kili is one of the most porpular places for Tanzania safari tours.
Tourist will also pass the beautiful Lake challa a volcanic caldera and glacial ice fields not far from Uhuru peak summit. The park is visited by about 60,000 tourists in a year.
Mount Kilimanjaro national park is positioned near Moshi town and just about 300 kilometers from the equator; the park was classified among the world heritage sites by U.N.E.S.C.O in 1987. It rewards clients with one of the best adventure holidays and vacations in Tanzania.
Mount Kilimanjaro national park was declared as a game reserve by the German colonial government in the early twentieth century and was declared as a forest reserve in 1921. Finally the mountain above tree line was gazetted as a national park in 1973.
However in 2005, the montane forest which was part of Kilimanjaro forest reserve was included in the entire Mount Kilimanjaro national park. The park was also voted among the seven wonders of Africa in 2013.
There are a lot of activities tourists can do from Mount Kilimanjaro national park some of them can be seen below;
Mountain climbing: The most common activity done in Kilimanjaro is mountain climbing, Climbing africas free standing mountain will give you a thrilling experience you never imagined Kibo peak is the highest peak snow capped through out the year offering magnificent views of the surrounding towns from a far, one of the peaks and the oldest known as shira peak formed up a plateau providing spectacular grasslands and various plant species with a lot of wild life.
Wildlife viewing: A number of various animals can be seen at Mount Kilimanjaro national park though it can not be compared to other national parks in Tanzania, some of the wild lives to expect while on safari at Mount Kilimanjaro are; vervet monkey, genet cat, honey badger, aardvark, baboon, Columbus monkey, bushbaby, elands and elephants mostly seen at the Shira plateua plains.
Bird watching: Mount Kilimanjaro national park boasts with different species of birds, it is believed to be a home to over 150 bird species some of which are migratory birds and others endemic to this area, some of the birds in Mount Kilimanjaro are; white necked Raven, resident black shouldered kite, long tailed trogon, Gabar goshawk, blue napped mouse birds, grey hornbill, African fish eagles, white cheeked barbet, African pygmy kingfisher and red capped robin chat among the rest. The best time to do bird watching is in November to April when migratory birds from Europe and North Africa are present.
Cycling: Tourists can make their safari more experimental by cycling to the highest peak of Africa through the Kilema route; additional fee might be added for this activity. There are three main stations. The cycling will expose you to farmlands of the chagga people. However this activity should be done by well experienced mountain bikes accompanied by a tourist’s guide who’s knowledgeable about Kilimanjaro.
Camping: To have an exclusive bush experience, camping within the 32 camping sites along the second hiking routes will be memorable. The campsites provide comfortable accommodation and bush toilets as well as mouth watering meals to suit your hiking experience.
Nature guided walks: Guided nature walks can be done at the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro forest canopy and tourists can encounter a lot of primates like the red tailed monkey, olive baboon, white and black Columbus monkey and a lot of plant species not forgetting the panoramic views of the chagga farmlands and neighbouring towns.
Picnicking: Mount Kilimanjaro national park boasts with the 13 picking sites where tourists can enjoy this activity in the uninterrupted wilderness, the picnic sites are; Daraja refu, Kilimamchele, Wona, Last water, Machame half way and Jiwe la mbula among the rest. Tourist can enjoy their packed lunch from one of this site.
Filming: Mount Kilimanjaro being Africas free standing mountain offers panoramic views suitable for filming adventure movies, one of he famous films that scooped an award was done from Kilimanjaro this was done in 1952 and the title was the snow’s of Kilimanjaro.
Mount Kilimanjaro national park can be visited all year round, however the best time is from mid June to October and December to mid March. The park can be accessed within two hours from Arusha and one hour from Moshi town, it’s also an hour and half drive from Kilimanjaro international airport.
Accommodation while at Mount Kilimanjaro national park is available mostly in bandas and can be booked in advance.