Kilimanjaro Travel Guide

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Sunrise from near the top...

Sunrise from near the top...

Mike Norris

Part of history

The controversy over the Nile originating from Kilimanjaro spurred African exploration and European imperialism. German explorers and missionaries arrived to ‘discover’ the truth and to attempt to convert the natives to Christianity. Eventually, treaties were formed with the Wachagga and the German, Carl Juhlke. The British also formed treaties with locals to the north, in Taveta, which will later result in the current border between Kenya and Tanzania. The Wachagga is a new tribe, only establishing itself within the last hundred years.

Where do they live?

The Wachagga can be found in northern Tanzania in the Kilimanjaro region. They live on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, where banana groves flourish to provide the people with their main staple food. Especially, you may visit the village Machame/Uduru in Hai district, about 20 km from Moshi town. Uduru, also known as Kiduru in Kimachame, means "an elevated area or top of a hill." Similarly, before being globally known as Kilimanjaro, it was named Kelemakyaro by the Wachagga, meaning "a high mountain and the mountain of God."

How is the weather?

As a result of the altitude, the climate is cooler and moisture is more abundant than the lower lands. In fact, as the elevation increases, the temperatures drops gradually while animal and plant growth also changes. Kilimanjaro’s highest peak can still be seen sporting a white crown of snow, although the amount of snow is steadily decreasing due to changes in climate.

Who are the Wachagga?

The residents of Kilimanjaro region are the Wachagga and Wapare tribesmen. The Wapare live in an area called Upare, but the dominant ethnic group is Wachagga. being one of the earliest communities influenced by Roman catholic and Lutheran missionaries, western education, and cash cropping through cooperative farming, they have impacted the fabric of Tanzanian life in the medical, educational, and business realms. They are also famous for their versatility in utilizing bananas in food and drink, including in the production of the famed banana wine.

Trekking up Kilimanjaro - What Routes?

Kilimanjaro is one of the worlds tallest mountains at over 19,000 feet (nearly 6km), yet treks up to Uhuru Peak are non-technical and can be undertaken by any reasonably physically fit person. There are several routes ranging from the popular Marangu route which offers accommodations in mountain huts and the more challenging Machame route which is a camping route. Aim 4 Africa, based in the UK but with strong links in Tanzania, also organise treks using less busy routes such as Londorossi and Rongai. Treks are tailored and include a full, local mountain crew, ensuring extremely high success rates and enjoyable experience. Treks average between 6-7 days depending on the route taken. For more information visit www.aim4africa.com or call +44 114 255 2533 (or 0845 4084541 from within the UK)



Contributors

December 23, 2004 change by yonamaro

March 29, 2005 change by giorgio

June 06, 2005 change by ingvar

June 27, 2007 change by travel_star

July 01, 2004 new by hpharmsen

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