Uhuru peak

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    Altitude: 5895 m.a.m.s.l.

    Uhuru peak is the summit (highest point) of mt. Kilimanjaro, and also the highest point of the Kibo volcanic cone. It's name comes from the swahili word for freedom (Uhuru), due to its part in the history of Tanzania's (then Tanganyika) independence from British colonial rule. On 8th December 1961, the eve of the country's independence day, the late Brig. Alexander Nyirenda (then army officer) erected the Uhuru torch and the national flag on top of the mountain as a celebratory act, at the same time as the Union Jack (then flag of Tanganyika) was lowered at the national stadium.

    Formerly known as the Kaiser Wilhelm peak by German explorer Hans Meyer (under then German colonial rule), it was renamed in 1964, three years after Tanzania got independence. Since then it has been the target of many people, aiming to reach the highest point in Africa. Most climbs to the peak start at midnight the day before, reaching the summit anywhere from just before to just after sunrise (depending on fitness).

    Uhuru peak is now marked by a huge signpost, courtesy of the park authorities and there are no remains of the torch or flag that was erected back in 1961. There are about 8 routes (including the special permission western breach) to Uhuru peak, most getting there within 5 or 6 days.

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    Location of Uhuru peak

    Uhuru peak is located along the crater rim of Africa's highest mountain - Kilimanjaro and well within view of the vast plateau that is its crater. There is no vegetation growth in the area and almost no animals in sight, mainly due to the harsh conditions in the area, mainly sub zero temperatures, high winds and no rainfall. However, there is snow in the area from moisture that has condensed during the night when temperature are even lower.

    The high altitude and sheer size of the mountain affect gravity in a way that makes it tough to know exactly which way is up. The peak may not seem like the highest point to those on the mountain thus making it easier to get lost, another reason as to why you would need an experienced guide on the mountain.

    Abbreviationsm.a.m.s.l - metres above metric sea level

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