The top of Kilimanjaro covered with snow rises over a valley
This majestic gray-blue mountain with the top covered with snow rises over the semi-desert of Northern Tanzania
In language of Swahili of Kilimanjaro "the sparkling mountain" - very suitable name for this enormous volcano covered with a snow-white cap means. It is the highest top of Africa - height is 5899 m; she is well visible for many miles of the savannas of Tanzania stretched round it and Kenya. Its outlines are very characteristic: sloping slopes rise to the extended, flat top which is actually huge caldera - a hollow at volcano top. In very hot days from long distance the bluish basis of the mountain happens is indiscernible against the savanna and it seems that the snow-covered top soars in air. The easy clouds which are often passing below snow border, strengthen this illusion.
Mount Kilimanjaro settles down on the area of 97 km. in length and 64 km. in width also it is so great that can even form own climate. (It is fair and for many other big mountains, such as Macque-Kinley on Alaska or Everest in the Himalayas. ) The damp winds blowing from the Indian Ocean, are compelled, coming across Kilimanjaro, to give the brought water in the form of a rain or snow. The bigger amount of precipitation means that the vegetation on the Kilimanjaro and especially on the lower parts of its slopes, considerably differs from semidesertic скрэба, surrounding the mountain. On the bottom slopes of the mountain grow up coffee and corn, and approximately up to the height of 3000 m the damp rainforest grows. And is even higher, at the height about 4400 m, meadows are replaced by mountain lichens and mosses.
At the top of Mount Kilimanjaro eternal ices that is surprising as it is on only three degrees to the south of the equator lie. However data of the latest researches testify that these ices slowly recede. At top of the mountain 200 mm of a precipitation a year drop out only, and it isn't enough of it to compensate an amount of water lost during thawing of snow.
Some scientists believe that the volcano is again warmed and it accelerates process of thawing of its snow cap, meanwhile as others consider that global warming of Earth is guilty in it. What was the reason, glaciers of Kilimanjaro now, undoubtedly, less, than were last century, and it is possible to foretell that if similar rates of warming will remain, Kilimanjaro will lose the ice cap by 2200.
Actually Mount Kilimanjaro is made by three separate volcanoes united by difficult history of eruptions. The most ancient volcano, Shira, lies to the West from the main mountain. Once it was much higher and as it is considered, failed after very powerful eruption, having left only a plateau height 3810м. The volcano second for age - Mavenzi - is distinguishable now in the form of the peak adjoining from East side to the main mountain. And though near top of Kilimanjaro it seems insignificant, its height reaches 5334 m.
Younger and largest of three volcanoes, Kibo, was created during a series of eruptions and is topped with a caldera of 2 km. in the diameter. The second volcanic cone with a crater grew in a caldera during the subsequent eruption, and still later, during the third eruption, in a crater the peplovy cone was created. Kibo's enormous caldera forms characteristic flat top of this beautiful African mountain.