In The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Ernest Hemmingway described the mountains: “as wide as all the world, great, high, and unbelievably white in the sun, was the square top of Kilimanjaro”. It is one of the most impressive sights in Africa, visible from as far away as Tsavo National Park in Kenya. Just 80 km east of the eastern branch of the Rift Valley, it is Africa’s highest mountain, with snow-capped peaks rising from a relatively flat plain, the largest free-standing mountain worldwide, measuring 80 km by 40 km, and one of the Earth’s highest dormant volcanoes.
At lower altitudes, the mountain is covered in lush rainforest, which gives way to scrub – there is no bamboo zone on Kilimanjaro – followed by alpine moorland until you get to the ice fields. Try to see it in the early morning before the clouds obscure the view.