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Established in 1921 as a forest reserve, Kilimanjaro National Park was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. Covering 1,668 sq km (641 sq miles), the park is home to the highest free-standing mountain (5896 m high) in the world. The three volcanoes responsible for the making of the towering funnel of Mount Kilimanjaro are Shira, Mawenzi and Kibo. The majestic Kilimanjaro adds the crowning glory of the National Park.

The diverse vegetation of the mountain consists of 2500 species of plants. The beautiful red and yellow impatiens Kilimanjaro and the colorful violet viola are the noted ones. The lush green forest is dominated by almost 140 different species. Above 4,000 m one finds the moon like desert is found, where the land is full of rocks and dust. Hikers are rewarded with beautiful sights of glaciers and a deep crater close to the summit.

A lot of people travel to Tanzania to have the personal accomplishment of standing at the roof of Africa. Solo trekkers are not allowed to climb the mountains- so you would definitely need a guide. There are various routes, depending upon different views, difficulty levels, duration flora and fauna. The routes are namely Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Umbwe, Shira, Rongai and the newest Northern circuit route. The most popular are Marangu Route and Machame Route. Kilimanjaro is not a technical climb and is one of the world’s most accessible high summits. The park harbors approximately 140 mammal species. As the areas are pretty dense, so you might have to search for the view of animals. The most seen animals include elephants, buffaloes, leopards, varies antelopes including the rare and endangered abbot duiker as well as primates such as the black and white colobus and the mitis monkey. In addition to this 179 highland bird species have also been recorded in the Kilimanjaro National Park.

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