Mount Kilimanjaro is a snow-capped peak rising above the savanna of eastern Africa, just 200 miles south of the equator. With a summit of 19,341 feet, this is Africa's tallest mountain.It is also the world's largest free-standing mountain.
Mount Kilimanjaro was formed about 3 million years ago during the formation if the Great Rift Valley. Then nearly a million years ago volcanic activities centered on a few specific points. Kilimanjaro is not one single mountain peak but rather three volcanoes lying practically on top of one another. The lowest summit, Shira, at 12,995 feet last erupted half a million years ago and is now considered extinct. The other two peaks are dormant and have not erupted for centuries. Mawenzi, at 16,896 feet is linked to the highest summit, Kibo, by a broad ridge which gives the summit of Kilimanjaro a “saddle” shape.
The Lava Tower is a rock tower formed thousand of years ago by molten lava which formed the tower and then solidified and hardened as it cooled. This can be accessed from the Machame Route and is at an altitude of 4630m.
This was the "Geocache of the Week" for 7/18/10
1. Standing facing the lava tower from the trail, determine the direction that the lava was flowing. Send me an e-mail with your thoughts as to how the Lava Tower was formed, why it is such a distinct geologic feature, and in which direction the lava flowed.
2. Take a photo of the members in your party with the Lava Tower in the background. (optional)