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.
Kilimanjaro National Park
Kilimanjaro is a mountain like no other - here you can hike for more than 90 kilometres, gain 4 000 meters in altitude, and pass through five very different ecological zones (rain forest, moorland, alpine desert, snow fields and ice cliffs) – hardly the conditions anyone would expect to find 330 kilometres from the equator.
The tallest mountain of the African continent is lying northeast of Arusha. It rests at the edge of plain and it is recognizable with its snow-capped peaks. It stands in Tanzania but very close to Kenyan border and just 330 km south of equator.
Kilimanjaro is situated inside the Kilimanjaro National Park in northern Tanzania, close to the border of Kenya, where it begins to rise from the flatlands at roughly 2000 meters until it reaches its highest peak at 5 895 meters. Agriculture forms a big part of life in the region and most of the lower slopes are used for this purpose. One of Tanzania’s biggest exports – their coffee - is harvested here.
The Kilimanjaro National Park was officially opened in 1977 and includes only the land above 2700 m (8.860 ft). Below the park is an area designated as a forest and game reserve, established in 1921.
Some scientists believe that Kili’s ice cover could disappear by 2020 if the current rise in global warming persists – spelling bad news for Kibo’s main glaciers - Heim, Rebmann, Decken and Arrow.
Because of Kilimanjaro’s close proximity to the equator (330km), the region basically experiences summer all year long. It’s either hot and dry or hot and wet - with most rain falling during the two rainy seasons. The first lasts from March to May (monsoon season – so lots of rain) while the second is slightly shorter (October to November/December) with a lower recorded rainfall.
The most rain falls in the forests and a staggering annual figure of 2 000mm is not uncommon! By contrast, less than 100mm per year is recorded at the summit. Be warned though - rain and snow can be encountered at any time of the year.
Temperatures can range vastly from 25°-30° C at the foot of the mountain to -10° to -20° C on the summit – giving a potential drop of 50° C from the foothills to the peak! Halfway up at 3000m, night and day temperatures range from a minimum of around -2° C to a maximum of around 15° C. You will get a really interesting perspective on these extreme temperature ranges when you are halfway up to the summit, when you can clearly see the African plains stretched out below you and the misty snowcaps and glaciers looming up behind you.
The oldest person to reach the summit was Valtee Daniel, an 87 year old Frenchman. On the other end of the scale the youngest is reportedly a 9 year old boy. About 22 000 climbers and hikers set out every year to conquer Kilimanjaro - as many as 40% of those turn back before they reach Uhuru peak.
Kilimanjaro is one of the highest peaks accessible to hikers in the world. Apart from the hiking routes, there are also extremely severe climbs available. Hikers make up the majority of all those who conquer Kilimanjaro.