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Top 10 Mountains to Climb


5
Mount Kilimanjaro
Scientists say the snow atop Africa's highest peak is melting because of global warming.
Scientists say the snow atop Africa's highest peak is melting because of global warming.
Sisse Brimberg and Cotton Coulson/Getty Images

The tallest mountain in Africa, flat-topped Kilimanjaro is located near Tanzania's northern border. Kilimanjaro is made up of three extinct volcanoes: Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. Uhuru, Kilimanjaro's highest peak, reaches approximately 19,330 feet (5,892 meters) tall.

Kilimanjaro is a unique climb in that you don't need much climbing equipment or experience to conquer its heights. A physically fit novice climber can climb Kilimanjaro in about five days.

You'll likely begin your climb in the lush lowland forest area where you'll see vegetation like beautiful heather and proteas. At an elevation of about 10,498 feet (3,200 meters), you'll encounter a dramatic expanse of moorland with plants like giant groundsels and lobelia. At 13,123 feet (4,000 meters), the landscape changes to a breathtaking alpine desert. Then, at 16,404 feet (5,000 meters), you'll begin your trek to the summit where you'll encounter the Kibo crater, 600 feet (182 meters) deep and 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) across, and Uhuru's peak on Kibo's rim. Of the three volcanic summits on Kilimanjaro, Kibo looks the most like a volcanic crater and is covered with snow due the glaciers in its surface.