The Changing Landscape of Mt. Kilimanjaro

Reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, is an accomplishment many climbers dream of achieving. But since its discovery by Europeans in the 1800s, the landscape of Kilimanjaro has been changing drastically. In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of Kilimanjaro, and the changes that have taken place over time.

Climbing Kilimanjaro: Then and Now

Mt. Kilimanjaro was first climbed in 1889 by German geographer Hans Meyer and Austrian mountaineer Ludwig Purtscheller. Since then, Kilimanjaro has become a popular destination for mountaineers and adventurers from around the world. The standard route for climbing Kilimanjaro today is the Marangu route, which is the same route taken by Meyer and Purtscheller in 1889.

Kilimanjaro’s popularity as a climbing destination has grown over the years, and with that, the number of climbers has also increased. In recent years, the number of climbers has skyrocketed, with an estimated 30,000 climbers attempting to summit Kilimanjaro each year. This influx of climbers has put a strain on the mountain, leading to overcrowding and overuse of the trails.

A Look at Kilimanjaro’s Changing Landscape

Kilimanjaro’s landscape has undergone dramatic changes in the past century. The most visible of these changes is the shrinking of the mountain’s iconic snow-capped summit. The snow-capped peak of Kilimanjaro is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Africa, but since 1912, the glacier has shrunk by 82%.

Another major change to the landscape of Kilimanjaro is the increase in the number of trails and roads used by climbers. In order to accommodate the influx of climbers, more trails have been created, leading to more erosion and degradation of the mountain’s ecosystem.

In addition to the physical changes to Kilimanjaro’s landscape, the mountain’s flora and fauna have also changed. Many of the rare species found on the mountain are becoming increasingly rare, and the spread of invasive species is threatening the natural environment.

Mt. Kilimanjaro has seen many changes in the past century, and the impact of human presence has been felt in both the physical and biological landscape of the mountain. As more and more people seek to climb Kilimanjaro, it’s important to be mindful of our impact on the mountain and to take steps to preserve the environment and its native species.

About The Author