Kilimanjiaro, from the savannah to the sky

This article is also available in: Italiano

One of the most legendary mountains in terms of landscape and prominence. Kilimanjiaro is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most beautiful and incredible natural heritages that our planet has to offer.

Kilimanjiaro, the African Olympus

With its 5895 meters, Kilimanjiaro is one of the highest peaks in the world, the largest in Tanzania and, of course, in the whole of Africa. Originally a volcano, this mountain was formed millions of years ago with the great eruptions that hit the entire globe, becoming one of the absolute symbols of the entire continent since time immemorial. Already the Greeks knew of the existence of this mythical mountain, long associated with the Moon because of its prominence, so much so that hints are found in Ptolemy, Aeschylus and Herodotus.


At the time, however, the information was not said to be completely precise, traveling through the stories of sailors and merchants rather than written texts or direct experiences, thus not providing us with the certainty that it was precisely Kilimanjiaro rather than, for example, the mountain Kenya. The first to speak concretely of this massif will be the SpaniardMartín Fernández de Enciso who, in his “Summa de Geografìa” of 1519, will deal with a sort of “Mount Olympus”, which he observed west of Mombasa in one of his travels. It will only be in the 19th century, however, that it will begin to climb the top, an ever stronger desire of the new colonizers of the area: the Germans.

The German East African treasure

Since their arrival in the region in 1884, the Teutons have always been fascinated by the wonders of Kilimanjiaro, so much so that they immediately attempt to climb it. The first to report its existence with certainty was the missionary Johannes Rebmann who was also the first to attempt the climb, but he soon failed; however, his texts will be fuel for the enthusiasm of many who, as early as 1861, will come here to attempt the feat.


However, we will have to wait until 1889 before seeing the giant finally tamed and all at the hands of the German Hans Meyer and the Austrian Ludwig Purtscheller, who were also the first to certify that it was a volcano, rather than just a mountain. For the occasion Meyer called the peak called the peak at Kaiser Wilhelm, a denomination that changed only in 1964 when he was called Uhuro, thus dedicating it to freedom.

From the savannah to the sky

The most impressive thing about Kilimanjiaro, however, is its presence in extremely different and varied climates, due to an environment in constant evolution for every meter of climb. This is because, being a de facto volcano in the savannah, its prominence is among the highest in the world, starting from sea level up to almost 6,000 meters.


The temperature, combined with the particular and typical flora and fauna of the African continent, still makes it an unparalleled sight, able to show the climber every natural nuance of the planet and finally allowing him to do it from an unparalleled view. A real natural artistic heritage for charm and beauty, something so beautiful as to seem almost fiction.

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