I have been trying for a while to get together a post on this famous Tanzanian volcano, but the legends kept getting in the way — not the traditional lore of local people, but the heavy Hemingway influence, the movie cameos, the song.
Most of the climbing videos I found for Kilimanjaro seemed to be of tourists, particularly young white well-to-do tourists, trying to measure themselves by this famous cultural landmark.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. This is a very tough stick to measure up to.
But those videos only show me the view through their eyes, not Mount Kilimanjaro as it really is.
All volcanoes are just themselves and do not give any explanation for their existence. This fascinates scientists and laypeople alike.
For good or for evil, human beings are drawn to everything that is powerful, majestic, and mysterious all at the same time.
Here are two videos that gave me a good sense of that in Kilimanjaro, followed by one of the hike to the summit. (And, for reference, here is the volcano’s GVP page and an article by the UK’s Geological Society.)
Note the small foreground fumarole at the summit crater. This giant probably has been sleeping since its last rumble in the Pleistocene; it is not extinct. (GVP)
Featured image: Sergey Novikov/Shutterstock
What an interesting post! – with your interest in Kilimanjaro, I’m wondering if you have read Douglas Adams’ wonderful account of hiking to Kilimanjaro in a rhino suit (he didn’t climb it), an effort to raise $ for rhinocerous protection. Unfortunately, I’m not sure what book I read it in, but it is one of my favorites of his writing. I wish the whole world could read it.