Climatic zones on Mount Kilimanjaro
Climatic zones on Mount Kilimanjaro: Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa which is snow capped at 5895 meters and is located in the northern part of Tanzania near Kenya. This mountain is made up of 5 different climatic zones.
Tourists from different parts of the world visit Mount Kilimanjaro annually to engage in hiking along the hiking routes on the mountain to get to the peak. These hiking experiences start in the neighboring town of Moshi at the foothills of the mountain.
There are also day trips which are carried out on Mount Kilimanjaro for an experience on the highest mountain in Africa.
The climatic zones on Mount Kilimanjaro include the following;
- Bushland zone or cultivated zone
The Bushland zone on Mount Kilimanjaro is at 800m to 1800 meters and is at the foothills of the mountain. A lot of rainfall is received annually in this zone which also consists of plantations of bananas as well as other crops such as coffee and different fruits are also grown at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Villages of the Chagga people are also found in the bushland zone of Mount Kilimanjaro and the visitors interested in climbing the mountain pass through these villages. Porters and guides as well as cooks employed on Mount Kilimanjaro also live in these villages at the foothills of the mountain.
The Chagga people are mainly farmers and they also live in neighboring towns such as Moshi where Maasai people can also be encountered during a hiking experience on Mount Kilimanjaro.
- Rainforest zone
Another climatic zone on Mount Kilimanjaro is the rainforest zone which lies between 1800 m and 2800 m. this zone covers a big part of the mountain which also consists of a forest where different wildlife species can be seen such as colobus monkeys, baboons, buffalos among others.
Spotting these wildlife species during a hiking experience on Mount Kilimanjaro is rare. The rainforest zone is lush and green with diverse flora and fauna. The forest continues to the Kenyan part of the mountain and apart from the forest, along the trail which leads through the rainforest zone gorges can also be seen.
- Moorland zone
The moorland zone lies between 2800m and 4000 m on Mount Kilimanjaro which has beautiful views. Temperature in this zone varies depending on the altitude and is known to drop up to below the freezing point in the night. Another characteristic of the moorland zone is that it has rocky trails with little cloud cover hence a lot of sunshine.
It is recommended that hikers carry sunscreen to protect themselves from the heat of the sun in the Moorland zone. This information is provided by tour operators who offer hiking safaris to Mount Kilimanjaro.
Vegetation in the moorland zone on Mount Kilimanjaro consists of shrubs and heathers. During the night hikers can enjoy many stars as they hike in the moorland zone.
- Alpine desert zone
The alpine desert zone on Mount Kilimanjaro is in the altitude range of between 4000 m to 5000 m. There is minimal plant life in the alpine desert zone with beautiful views of Kibo the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro.
In the alpine zone on Mount Kilimanjaro, there are many volcanic rocks as well as dust. A few plants can also be seen during hikes in this zone and they are adapted to the conditions of the alpine desert zone.
Views of the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro as well as the crater can be spotted while in the alpine desert zone.
- Arctic zone
The arctic zone on Mount Kilimanjaro and is found in the altitude range of 5000m to 5895 m which is the highest point on the mountain. Treks to the top of the mountain or summit attempts start in the night at around midnight.
The slopes in the arctic zones are made up of scree, loose dirt as well as gravel and ice. After enjoying watching the sunset from the summit on Mount Kilimanjaro, the hikers start the descend from the mountain.
Glaciers can also be seen during hikes in the arctic zone on Mount Kilimanjaro and they include the Rebman glacier.
The various routes which are used for hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro include Lemosho route, Marangu route, Machame route, Shira route, Umbwe route and Rongai route. It takes about 6 to 8 days or more to hike along the different routes on Mount Kilimanjaro.
Mount Kilimanjaro is part of Kilimanjaro national park which is located in Moshi town in the northern part of Tanzania.
Visit Mount Kilimanjaro and enjoy a hiking experience through the different climatic zones during your safari in Tanzania.