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Mount kilimanjaro, at 5891.8 metres ( 19330 ft) is the highest peak in Africa providing a dramatic and breathtaking views of the surrounding plains. It is unknown where the name Kilimanjaro comes from, but a number of theories exist. European explorers had adopted the name by 1860 and reported that it was its Swahili name. It is also one of the largest stratovolcanoes in the world, otherwise known as a composite volcano, it comprises numerous layers of lava, tephra and volcanic ash. However, at the moment it is dormant. According to experts there have been no eruptions in living memory. Recent studies suggest the last eruptions on the mountain were between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago.

Kilimanjaro has unique vegetation such as the water holding cabbage in the tussock grassland and other plants like this all adapted to living in alpine conditions. Kilimanjaro has a large variety of forest types over an altitudinal range of 3,000 m containing over 1,200 vascular plant species. Montane Ocotea forests occur on the wet southern slope. Cassipourea and Juniperus forests grow on the dry northern slope. Subalpine Erica forests at 4,100 m represent the highest elevation cloud forests in Africa. In contrast to this enormous biodiversity, the degree of endemism is low. However, forest relicts in the deepest valleys of the cultivated lower areas suggest that a rich forest flora inhabited Mt Kilimanjaro in the past, with restricted-range species otherwise only known from the Eastern Arc mountains. The low degree of endemism on Kilimanjaro may result from destruction of lower altitude forest rather than the relatively young age of the mountain. Another feature of the forests of Kilimanjaro is the absence of a bamboo zone, which occurs on all other tall mountains in East Africa.

There are several routes by which to climb Mt Kilimanjaro, namely, Marangu, Rongai, Lemosho, Shira, Umbwe and Machame. Of all the routes, Machame is by far the most scenic albeit steeper route up the mountain, which can be done in 6 or 7 days.

Some of the records on climbing the Mount kilimanjaro include:

  • Fastest ascent: Bruno Brunod, 5 hours 38 minutes 40 seconds
  • Fastest ascent (female): Rebecca Rees-Evans 13 hours 16 minutes 37 seconds
  • Fastest ascent and descent: Simon Mtuy, 8 hours 27 minutes
  • Youngest person to summit: Keats Boyd, 7-years old
  • Oldest person to summit: Karl Haupt, 79 years old or Valtee Daniel, 87 years old
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This is an educational quiz on geographical formations of mountains. These are some of the most beautiful and awe inspiring locations in the world


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