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Did you know?

  • The stomach of crocodile has a size of football ball, he eats little, but many times per day.
  • Hippo weights 3,2 tones and is one of the heaviest land mammals.
  • Giraffe is one of the rare animals that have horns at birth.
  • The elephants walk on tiptoe, because under their heel they have thick layer of fat.
  • The biggest snakes of the world can eat a human in one time and a meal lasts for one year.
  • Flamingos get the color of their feathers because of their specific nutrition.
  • African elephant can run faster then a human and can walk several hours without any rest.
  • In first year of hippo’s life 45% of them die.
  • Shark is swimming with average speed of 3km/h and maximum speed of 95 km/h.
  • Giraffe has a same number of vertebrae like most of the mammals, but theirs are much longer.
  • Bushbabies got a name because of their sounds that reminded first explorers of crying babies.
  • Elephants communicate through vibrations that they make by hitting the ground with their feet.
  • Most of the elephants sleep standing and only 2-3 hours per day.
  • Hippo can stay 5 minutes under the water-surface and can even run on the bottom of the lake.
  • The biggest known shark in the world was 13 meters long and had 15 tones
  • Leopard likes to drink water everyday, but he can stay without it up to one month.
  • Wild elephant can eat 230 kg of food and drink 125 liters of water per day sometimes at once.
  • Near relative of African ostrich is South American nandu and Australian emus.
  • Ostrich, zebra and giraffe can kill with their kick even the mighty lion.
  • Turtles, birds and crocs like to rest on the backs of hippos.
  • African tribes are hunting bushbabies by leaving a palm wine in the forest and collecting drunk animals from it.
  • Warthog can run 50 km/h and they are very skillful to defend themselves.
  • The head of the rhino weights 200 kg.
  • Black leopard or Panther was first considered as different species, but in same family can be puppies of normal and black colour.
  • The biggest turtle in the world is belonging to the species of leatherback and weights 752 kg.
  • The grey rat is living everywhere in the world except polar countries. One couple can have up to 800 babies in just one year.
  • Insect-eating bats produce ultrasound of very high frequency, with echoes that bounce back, they get all necessary information.
  • One of the most shamefaced animals in area of high and low tide is octopus.
  • The longest recorded jump of bushbaby from one branch to another was more then 7 meters.
  • From 1830 on each year 10 to 30 thousand slaves were sold at slave market on Zanzibar.
  • Coconut palm can live up to 100 years but can reproduce only 20 years.
  • Warthog’s only enemies are lion and leopard.
  • In darkness leopard can see 6 times and hear 2 times better then human.
  • Monkey species of red colobus are living only in forest Jozani on Zanzibar Island.
  • Cheetahs are running 120 km/h, but only 20 seconds. This is still enough for successful hunting.
  • Insectivorous bats obtain most of the water they need from their prey, cave bats can lick up condensation.

Vegetation of Kilimanjaro

There is 5 types of vegetation zone on the mountain. Each zone rises approximately 1000 meters (3,280 ft) higher then the previous one. Each zone is also colder and drier then the one below.

From 800 to 1800

The lower slopes from 800 to 1800 m (2.625 to 5.905 ft) recieve quite a lot of water from rainfall. Enough rainfall plus rich volcanic soils make this area interesting for cultivation. It is heavily cultivated and extensively cleared for livestock. Original vegetation is possible to see on northern and eastern slopes without a lot of cultivation, because the area is drier and poorer compare to other slopes. Here you can find schrub, bushland, lowland forest, wildflowers, but not many wild animals.

Montane forest

The forest begins at 1800 m (5.905 ft) and it is the most fertile of all mountain zones. Almost all the water (96% of it) on the mountain originates in this montane forest. For that reason the region is extremely humid. Nights can be clear and quite cold and temperature during the day is usually 15˚C (59˚F). The difference with other mountain forests there is no bamboo forest on Kilimanjaro. It appears only in very rare places and it's quite small. It is quite usual to see blue monkey and black-and-white colobus monkey, a lot of squirrels, some duikers, even leopard is living here, but it seldom to see it. The birds of this zone are usually around large fig trees feasting on the sweet fruits.

Low alpine zone

From 2800 m (9.187 ft) is the beginning of so called low alpine zone. There are 2 types of vegetation in this zone. First there is a heath area. From around 3,200m a wide expanse of moorland extends beyond the heath and the cloud line, so that here the skies are generally clear, making the sunshine intense during the days and the nights cool and clear. The climbing incline remains gentle, but thinning oxygen provides less fuel to energise the muscles and can dramatically slow the pace of walking. Hardy endemic species towering up to 4m high thrive in this moorland zone and give the landscape a strangely primeval atmosphere. The alpine zone is cool, the air usually crystal clear. Above 3000 m (9.843 ft) frost is common, yet sun is quite intensive.

Alpine Zone

Even higher, beyond 4,000m (13.124 ft), this sensation intensifies as the landscape develops into a more bizarre alpine desert, with sandy loose earth and intense weather conditions and temperature fluctuations so dramatic that barely any plant species survive other than everlasting flowers, mosses and lichens. Only the odd lichen survives beyond 5000m, after Kibo Huts where the landscape is predominantly rock and ice fields. Here, climbers experience the final steep push to the summit. In this zone it is summer every day and winter every night. Vegetation needs to be hardy and there is only 55 species in this area. Sometimes it is possible to see birds of prey and ravens, but don't live here.

Saddle to Summit

The easterly routes, Marangu, Mweka, Loitokitok and Rongai all converge west of the saddle near Gillmans Point, between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo. Kibos crater is roughly circular with an inner cone extending to 5,800m, (100m lower than the summit at Uhuru Peak). At the centre an inner crater with walls between 12 and 20 m high contains another concentric minor cone, the centre of which falls away into the 360m span of the ash pit. This is the 120 metre deep central core of the volcano, and casts sulphurous boiling smoke from its depths despite the frozen, snowy outskirts.

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