The clouds streamline across the hilt of Mount Kilimanjaro shrouding the snowcapped peaks in mist, as the morning sun breaks on the horizon the mountain literally flames as the first fingers of light reach out to touch it. At first sight Mount Kilimanjaro is sure to fulfill a traveler’s dream of Africa encompassing the great mysteries, rich mythology and lush landscapes that are an inherent part of this great continent.
Yet whilst the staggering summit calls to adventurers the ascending slopes have a rich tapestry to offer wildlife thrill seekers. From snow dusted caps to tropical rainforest, fields of heather and ancient moors – the natural beauty is astounding.
This world heritage site is without a doubt the best place to explore the wild terrains and mountain slopes of Africa. Once you set foot in the cultivated slopes of the National Park you boost your chances of encountering roaming buffalo, spotted leopards and the occasional elephant within the shaded groves of the Montane Forest. Above your head you will hear the mating call of monkeys as you pad softly across the spongy heather dotted with giant blooming lobelias.
Despite its demanding presence on Earth, Kilimanjaro National Park supports a delicate ecosystem. Kilimanjaro tree hyrax mammals can be found perched in the branches above the timberline, projecting their nerve shattering territorial shrieks across the treetops. Blue Monkeys and the wide eyed bush baby also watch visitors trekking through the forest floor. If you are lucky you may see a leopard slinking into the undergrowth of the Montane Forest. Another of Kilimanjaro’s endangered species called the Abbott’s Duiker is restricted to the slopes of the mountain. The small antelope family is nearing the end of its line and is considered to be on the brink of extinction with only 1,500 left on this planet. Little is known of these secretive creatures other than they boast a rich dark and glossy coat and have a vibrant red tuft in the center of their foreheads.
If you are unable to shake the ghostly figure of Mount Kilimanjaro from your dreams then you could consider defeating Mother Nature and climbing to the top. Whilst the trek is no easy feat many climbers make it to the peak of the summit without specialist gear, working on determination and spirit alone. Once you have passed through the ripe scented green forests and alpine deserts you will find yourself enshrouded in a mystical world of smoke and ice. The summit offers panoramic views across the continent and you will feel as though you are perched on the precipice of the universe.
In the cool mountain air you can settle beside the babbling icy waters that flow from the summit snows and into the creeks. Kilimanjaro has some wonderful opportunities for fly fishing, with fat bellied trout being the top of the menu. Cast your lines, sit back and enjoy listening to the wild cries of the cheetahs and the birdsong drifting downstream in nature’s finest environment.
The Chala Crater Lake is the jewel in the crown of the staggering volcanic mountains that ring the shimmering blue waters. Set on the southern slopes of Kilimanjaro it’s the perfect place to sit back, relax and soak up the sounds and sights of Africa. Savannah woodlands surround the magnificent lake making it a great place to hike, cycle or enjoy al fresco dining whilst watching the rich mountain breeze cast off the rippling waters.