топик Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro lies on the border of Tanzania and Kenya, three degrees south of the equator . On a clear day, snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro can be seen from more than 100 miles away.

Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, the highest free-standing mountain in the world, and one of the largest volcanoes ever to burst through the earth’s surface.

The three summits of Mount Kilimanjaro are Shira, Kibo and Mawenzi. Shira and Mawenzi both have eroded, and only jagged peaks remain. Kibo, the central and highest peak, has survived as an almost perfect cone. Since reaching a height thought to be 5900 meters during its last major eruption 360,000 years ago, glaciers, rivers and landslides have eroded Kibo to its current height of 5895 meters. Kilimanjaro is thought to be losing its glaciers due to global warming.

It is unlikely that early man was attracted to the steep and cold slopes of Kilimanjaro when it was active and dangerous. Arab and Chinese traders and historians mentioned a giant mountain lying inland from Zanzibar, but few early traders traveled into the interior of the continent.

Slave traders passed below Kilimanjaro, and raided villages located on the fertile volcanic soil around the base of the mountain. But there was no real interest in the mountain until the middle of the 19th century.

In 1848 Johann Rebmann, a missionary from Germany, saw Mount Kilimanjaro while crossing the plains of Tsavo. His guide told tales of porters who were sent up the mountain to bring back silver and treasures from the summit, and returned with only water. Rebmann’s report, published in 1849, created great interest in Germany. Several expeditions were organized, first by Baron von Decken and later by Dr. Hans Meyer who finally stood on the highest point on October 5, 1889.

Mount Kilimanjaro now attracts many thousands of walkers each year. Tourists who come to climb are surprised by the distinct bands of trees, shrubs and flowering plants that change with the elevation.

Because certain plants will only grow at certain altitudes, Kilimanjaro changes from lush rain forests to permanent ice fields. Animals that have adapted to mountain life live within these different habitats.

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