Mount Kilimanjaro Volcanic Cones: Shira, Kibo And Mawenzi Peaks

Mount Kilimanjaro Volcanic Cones Shira, Kibo And Mawenzi Peaks Background (2)

Mount Kilimanjaro is a stratovolcano, or big volcano made up of ash, lava, and rock.

Mount Kilimanjaro, located in Tanzania, is Africa’s highest point, towering 5,895 meters (19,340 feet) above sea level. The three volcanic cones that make up the magnificent sight are Mawenzi, Shira, and Kibo. Despite the fact that Mawenzi and Shira are no longer active, Kibo, the mountain’s highest peak, is dormant and could erupt at any time. The last significant eruption occurred 360,000 years ago, while the most recent activity occurred around 200 years ago. In this article, you’re going to take an in-depth look at the 3 peaks that make up Africa’s meanest giant— starting with Shira Peak.

Shira Peak

Shira Peak is the smallest peak on Mount Kilimanjaro. Shira Ridge’s Johnsell Point (3962 m) and Klute Peak, the Cone (3840 m), Shira Needle, Shira Cathedral, and East Shira Hill are the most prominent summits of the volcanic cone.

The volcanic cone was formed when molten lava erupted from a crack in the Great Rift Valley’s surface approximately 750,000 years ago. The immense pressure that generated the eruption also forced a portion of the Earth’s crust skywards, generating the Shira volcano, the oldest of the Kilimanjaro massif’s volcanoes, which ceased to erupt and became extinct around 500,000 years ago. When the volcanic cone fell, the Shira Ridge became part of the Caldera Rim. Before collapsing, it was estimated to have been about 16,000 feet tall. Following this, Mawenzi and Kibo were created by subsequent eruptions over the next 50,000 years.

Elevation (feet):4877m/16,000ft
Kilimanjaro Routes:Machame Route, Lemosho Route & Northern Circuit Route
Continent:Africa
Country:Tanzania
Range/Region:Northeast Tanzania
Latitude:-3.028392
Longitude:37.212596
Difficulty:Easy
Best months for climbing:Jan, Feb, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
Year first climbed:1912 July, 29
First successful climber(s):N/A
Nearest major airport:Kilimanjaro International Airport
Convenient Center:Arusha or Moshi

Machame, Lemosho, and the Northern Circuit route all provide access to Shira Peak. These routes normally take 7 to 9 days to complete and approach the peak from the western and southern breach before joining at Shira 2 camp. Because of their excellent acclimatization landscapes, the Machame, Lemosho, and Northern Circuit routes rank first in overall success rates.

Mawenzi Peak

This is Africa’s third tallest peak, after Mount Kenya (5199 meters) and Kilimanjaro’s Kibo summit (5895 meters). Mawenzi’s highest peak is Hans Meyer Peak (5149m). Among the other points on Mawenzi are Purtscheller Peak, Borchers Peak, Klute Peak, Latham Peak, South Peak, Nordecke, and Wissman Peak.

Elevation (feet):5,149m/16,893ft
Kilimanjaro Routes:Marangu Route & Rongai Route
Continent:Africa
Country:Tanzania
Range/Region:Northeast Tanzania
Latitude:-3.075833
Longitude:37.353333
Difficulty:Hard
Best months for climbing:Jan, Feb, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
Year first climbed:1912 July, 29
First successful climber(s):E.Oehler & F.Klute
Nearest major airport:Kilimanjaro International Airport
Convenient Center:Arusha or Moshi

The only way to reach the Mawenzi summit is by the Rongai and Marangu paths. The Rongai route approaches the mountain from the northern breach while the Marangu trail approaches the peak from the east. Hikers who follow the Rongai path are typically rewarded with unspoiled wilderness and rare wildlife sightings (antelopes, buffaloes, and elephants). The trails are not only one of the shortest but also one of the least traveled on the mountain.

Mountaineering was banned on Mawenzi in the early twenty-first century due to the high number of fatalities on the summit. One tragic climber’s body was notoriously left dangling from a rope near the summit for several days until a marksman was hired to sever the rope and shoot down the corpse because no other climber was available or brave enough to climb up and carry the body down. Authorities have agreed to return climbers to Kilimanjaro’s Mawenzi Peak after a decade of restrictions.

Kibo Peak

Kibo is the youngest, tallest, and also the central cone on Mount Kilimanjaro. The peak was formed 460,000 years ago, rising to 5895m (19340ft) above sea level. This is also where Kilimanjaro’s summit lies. Kibo’s snow-covered dome has a caldera (crater) on its southern side that is 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) across and 980 feet (300 meters) deep, with an inner cone that shows residual volcanic activity.

Elevation (feet):5895m/19340ft
Kilimanjaro Routes:Machame Route, Rongai Route, Marangu Route, Umbwe Route, Lemosho Route & Northern Circuit Route
Continent:Africa
Country:Tanzania
Range/Region:Northeast Tanzania
Latitude:-3.028392
Longitude:37.212596
Difficulty:Medium
Best months for climbing:Jan, Feb, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
Year first climbed:1912 July, 29
First successful climber(s):E.Oehler & F.Klute
Nearest major airport:Kilimanjaro International Airport
Convenient Center:Arusha or Moshi

The ascent to the rim and subsequently the trip around the rim to Uhuru Peak (5895m) can be separated into two parts: Stella Point and Gilman’s Point. At Stella Point (5,685m), the trails (Machame, Lemosho, and Umbwe route) connects to the peak of the rim, whereas the other paths (Rongai, Northern Circuit, and Marangu route) reaches the rim at Gillman’s Point (5,681m). Between camp and the rim, you’ll gain about 1,000 meters in altitude. This phase entails a slow ascent up the scree, with little to see but the innumerable headlamps of your fellow climbers slithering up the mountain in the dark.

error: