Your Eco-resorts Safari Information Newsletter July 2001
Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania
to this week's edition of Karibuni! As many of you are
aware, I have just been in Australia exploring that wonderful,
eco-friendly country. Whilst I enjoyed the trip very much,
I am delighted to be back home in Kenya and once again sending
your regular Karibuni! issues! Enjoy your reading!
Kenya and Tanzania have announced Airport Departure Tax changes
as of the 1st July 2001. In Tanzania, the airport departure
tax charge of US$ 20 per person has been increased to US$
30 per person. Kenya on the other hand has reduced its departure
tax from US$ 40 per person to US$ 20 per person.
flights from Kenya normally include this departure tax in
the ticket cost. However, Tanzania prefers the tax to be paid
directly upon your departure at the airport. Please ensure
that you check your tickets carefully to see what has been
included and what has not.
The Kilimanjaro National Park
Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest
freestanding mountain in the world. Standing at 5,896 meters
(19,340 feet), Kilimanjaro rears up out of the surrounding
African plains to form a snow-capped challenge to any hiker!
thought to be extinct, Kilimanjaro has now been confirmed
as merely dormant and may still erupt at some point in the
future. A young mountain in geological terms, Kilimanjaro
was formed around 750,000 years ago as lava flowed from faults
in the Great Rift Valley.
to its gentle slopes and lack of large cliff faces, Kilimanjaro
is one of the few mountains of the world easily tackled by
the non-technical climber. Most basically fit people can make
it to the peak, although your chances are improved if you
take time to acclimatize to the altitude rather than rushing
are a number of routes available for climbers, including the
easiest and most popular Marangu route, the scenic Machame
route, and the steep but fastest Mweka route.
Kilimanjaro is possible at any point during the year, but
it is recommended that you avoid the rainy seasons from late
March to early June and again in November. The best months
to climb Kilimanjaro are August, September, January and February.
addition to being a challenge for mountaineers, Kilimanjaro
is also a National Park filled with unusual plants and animals
that change as you rise in altitude. There are five distinct
vegetation zones on the mountain, each with its own appeal.
first zone is on the lower slopes, from 800-1,800 meters (2,624
- 5,905 feet). This zone is outside the park and is used for
cultivation and livestock. Human habitation has changed natural
scrub and lowland forest into grasslands and farms. You'll
find small animals in this area, such as bush-babies and Genet
cats, but very few larger animals. This area is excellent
for bird watching with sunbirds, mouse birds, and robin chats
second zone is between 1,800-2,800 meters (5,905 - 9,187 feet)
and is mostly covered by forests. Over 96% of the water that
falls on the mountain originates in this zone. Frequently
covered by fog, the tall date palms, fig trees, junipers and
olive trees are festooned with lianas and moss. This area
contains the majority of the mountain's wildlife, with Colobus
monkeys, leopard, elephant, bushbuck, reedbuck, duiker and
bush pigs all common.
third vegetation zone, located between 2,800-4,000 meters
(9,187 - 13,120 feet) is classified as a low alpine zone.
Heath, moorland, heathers, tussock grasses and grasses cover
this area. Small animals are found in this area; mole rats
and other rodents are the most common. Birds of prey often
visit this area, with buzzards, eagles and ravens the most
desert makes up the fourth zone, ranging from 4,000-5,000
meters in altitude (13,120 - 16,400 feet). Only the very hardiest
of plants survive in this area where temperatures drop below
zero Centigrade at night and frozen ground water uproots plants.
Bare, rocky slopes are covered with hardy lichens, the odd
tussock grass and moss balls. Very few animals live at these
altitudes, with just a few insects and spiders found deep
in the tussocks.
final vegetation zone is the summit area. Starting at 5,000
meters (16,400 feet) and continuing to the peak, this area
has Arctic conditions. Crusty lichens and the very occasional
spider are the only forms of life in this area where virtually
all water is permanently frozen. Bare rocks, snow and ice
form the landscape here.
A superb park for hiking, even if the summit is not your aim,
Kilimanjaro offers a wonderful experience to all its visitors.
Karibuni! has grown over the last few years, those who have
been subscribers from the start will know that the format
and frequency of the newsletter has changed several times.
With the large number of subscribers that Karibuni! now has,
I have had to look for a new method of distribution to simplify
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week, on the 16th July, your Karibuni! issue will be sent
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Changing the world - one journey at a time