Alice Liles at Uhuru Peak

I Stood on the Roof of Africa

August 6, 2014

In 2007 I decided I wasn’t getting any younger, the world wasn’t getting any saner, and if I ever planned on seeing Africa, this was the time to do it. I also decided, and to save my life I can’t remember where this came from, that I should also climb Mount Kilimanjaro while I was there. Not surprisingly, I couldn’t find a single other person who shared my passion to climb the highest mountain in Africa, so just like the Little Red Hen, I decided, fine, I’ll just do it myself. And I did.

Mawenzi Peak on Mt. Kilimanjaro

How Kibo and Mawenzi Came Apart

June 11, 2014

We often talk about Kilimanjaro as though it’s a single mountain, but in fact, it’s made up of three separate volcanic cones. And when we say separate, we mean separate—the summits of Kibo and Mawenzi are around 7.5 miles apart! As for so many of the mountain’s most recognizable features (like Mawenzi’s jagged top), the Chagga people have a folktale that explains why the two peaks are separated.

Tanzania's lush Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater: The Kilimanjaro That Could Have Been…

January 15, 2014

Ngorongoro once rose much, much higher than the 7500 foot rim. Photo: Andy Biggs Today, the Ngorongoro Crater’s rim rises just 7,500 feet above sea level; visitors might experience chilly nights, and anyone peering from the rim down to the crater floor, which sinks 2,000 feet below, might have a momentary sense of vertigo…but then…

Kilimanjaro's Lava Tower

Can’t Miss on the Mountain: Lava Tower

December 11, 2013

One particular formation on Kilimanjaro has been fascinating and awing climbers for decades, now: Lava Tower. The tower is around 300 feet tall, and previously, climbers were able to hike up it (a scramble that could be treacherous on icy days).

Kilimanjaro, made up of three dormant volcanoes

Kilimanjaro’s Explosive Past

September 4, 2013

Situated near the fault-line of two tectonic plates, Kilimanjaro began to build itself up around 750,000 years ago, via thousands of years of lava explosions from the volcanic cones of Shira, Mawenzi, and Kibo.

Arial view of Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro’s Melting Glaciers

July 31, 2013

The snows of Kilimanjaro are almost as famous as the mountain itself. Global warming is almost certainly speeding up the glaciers’ demise, but it doesn’t appear to be the only cause of the melting.

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