KILIMANJARO NATIONAL PARK
This national park is found 190 kilometers south of the equator about 300 miles away south wards. The national park is located near the town of Moshi/region and around the whole of Kilimanjaro mountain surrounded by the montane forest about 1820 meters above the sea level.
Kilimanjaro National Park covers an area of 1688km2 and 652 square miles around the park and declared as a UNESCO world heritage site in late This national park is among the most visited national parks in Tanzania administered by Tanzania National Authority.
By 2013, this national park said to have garnered over 51 million the biggest second most in Tanzania garnered revenue recorded 58460 tourists between 2012-2013 of whom 54584 were foreigners and the rest were natives of Tanzania who have hiked the mountain by the Tanzania National Park Authority. This national park is widely known as the one offering the beauty of Africa and the highest point in Africa known as Mountain Kilimanjaro.
The history of Kilimanjaro National Park
The national park was declared as a game reserve by the German colonial government in the early 20th century and by 1921, it was designated a forest reserve. In 1921, the mountain above the tree line of 2700 meters(8900ft) classified as a national park.
The park was the declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organization by 1987. The national park was then expanded to include the entire montane forest which had been part of the Kilimanjaro Forest Reserve.
Flora. This national park has variety of wildlife including animals like, the buffaloes of the Cape found in the Montane forest and occasionally in the moorland and grassland. In the same place, there exist blue monkeys, eastern and the black, or white colobuses, bush babies and leopards also exist in this place. Elephants can be found between the Namwai and Tarakia rivers and sometimes occur at higher elevations. Above the timberline, there exist the Kilimanjaro tree hyrax, the grey duiker and rodents are frequently seen. The bushbucks and the red duiker appear above the timberline.
ACTIVITIES AT KILIMANJARO NATIONAL PARK
This national park has over 30 different animal species and that one makes a fascinating national park in Tanzania. The national park inhabits both small and big mammal species within the park of which include, forest Elephants, Hyenas, Bushbucks, Bush babies, Dik-dik and many others within the park. The animal viewing can only be done in two sessions every day and by the help of the game rangers and the guides if needed just to help spot these animals for the visitors. There is a high chance of viewing the leopard, hyenas, baboons, buffalos, Mongoose and many other animals.
This national park has recorded to have over 750 different bird species and coming to this national park, you will be welcomed by the songs of the birds around the park and this makes it among the top bird viewer destination in the country. As the bird watching around the park is done, visitors also hike around the park. Kilimanjaro national park inhabit the rarest bird that can’t be seen in any national or any place around the world. Among the most sited birds include, Turacos with more sub species including, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Schawlow’s Turaco, Violet Crested Turaco, Rose Turaco and many others. Other bird species around the park include, Narina, Trogon, Silvery-Cheeked Hornbill, Trumpeter Hornbill, and over 30 species of Cuckoos like Emerald Cuckoo, Klass Cuckoo, Lark-Heeled Cuckoo, the white brown Coucal and many others, Kingfishers like, African pygmy kingfisher Malachite Kingfisher and the Bee eaters though there are many other birds recorded to be in this national park. The bird watching until the highest destination is not done in one day as birders camp in the way then continue as they reach the las destination
This is also key activities around this national park because it has a variety of primate species like Baboons, Blue Monkeys, Black-faced Monkey and many others seen at the park. They are seen swinging on the trees, playing ad snatching food staffs from the visitor bags. The primate trekking is done in two sections of the day, that’s during morning and the evening trek and the action is guided by game rangers, and guides who help to spot these primates.
Visiting the Chala Crater
At the edge of mountain Kilimanjaro, there exist the Chala Crater lake inside the high crater rim as one of the largest lakes found at this mountain. The Chala Crater lake covers 1.6 square miles as a point for viewing the fascinating scene of the national park with color ranging from turquois to emerald green depending on the time and the weather of that time. Camping is also supported in this place using tents around the swamp.
Hiking to the Uhuru peak
This activity is enjoyed by everyone who came to this national park and hiking until the peak is not as easy as you may expect but it’s not a war. Some rests are done during the journey. The routes are given and then it’s the visitors choice to choose which trail to take. The hiking routes are six though with the same destination including, Machame route, Rongai route, Shira Route, Lemosho Route Maragu route, and getting to the top of Uhuru may take 7-8 days depending on the fitness and speed of the visitor.
There are many different ways to come to Mountain Kilimanjaro National Park and those using a plane, there is Kilimanjaro International Airport that is located near the towns of Moshi and Arusha where the tourism starts when seeing the mountain Kilimanjaro and the National Park at once. From Arusha or Moshi, you can drive to the main Gate of Kilimanjaro and then begin the hiking,
Accommodation at the park is divided into three categories that is, mid-range accommodation, luxury accommodation and the budget accommodation. The mid-range accommodation facilities include, Babylon lodge at the foothills with all types of foods though prepared on order and well furnished rooms, Snow cottages that is located at Naleimoru east north east of Mountain Kilimanjaro with self-contained rooms and can accommodate up to 3 guests with a restaurant that offers buffets and a fireplace and a variety of wines and whisks, Amans Hotel with meeting cottages, dining table dinners, and others in many other accommodation facilities.
Some of the luxury accommodation facilities include, Kilembeyo Mountain lodge situated at the slope of Kilimanjaro mountain about 1134 meters above the sea level. It’s a perfect base for mountain trekkers and safari makers with all categories of foods locally prepared and the internal foods plus the big bar of drinks
Among the budget accommodation facilities include, Kilimanjaro eco lodge, with all kinds OF foods and well organized located Usa river Off Momela Road, Arusha. And coming her you will not regret.