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The Alpine Desert Zone of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

The Kilimanjaro Mountains are made up several types of vegetation zones. There are about five distinct vegetation types on the Kilimanjaro.

Every vegetation type runs about 100 meters. In the range of about 800 to about 1800 meters there will be human settlement and human activity.

Each vegetation zone as unique features that distinguishes them from the rest of the zones.

The Kilimanjaro is such a tedious activity as you can compare it to crossing the equator since you keep moving from cold to hot every now and then just like crossing from the north to southern pole.

The Kilimanjaro stands at about 5,895 meters above sea level. Being the tallest mountain in the Africa gives it characteristic to create its own micro-climates which in turn influence different vegetation zones of these ranges.

Therefore, for every sub climate zone you change, the fauna and fauna will also change.

The Base of the mountain is at an average to about 800 meters above sea level and the summit is at 5,895 meters above sea level and this gap will definitely have segments that have climate and vegetation and animals that differ for the other segment.

There are warm temperatures at the base and the snow at the top of course will give you the freezing the temperature at the summit. Here is one of the Zones of the Kilimanjaro.

Alpine Desert Zone

Altitude: 13,200 to 16,500 ft. ASL

DAY TEMPS: 30s – 40s F
NIGHT TEMPS: 10s – 30s F
Precipitation: 10 in (250 mm)

This zone is an arid region. One would think that since the mountain has snow on the top and a forest below then there is no way there would be a desert associated with it.

This area has barely any vegetation in this area. Make sure you have the entire measures to protect you from the sun rays as they are very strong here and you have nothing to protect you at all.

The temperature is really high here and it can reach up to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Here if you haven’t acclimatized ell you will definitely have the altitude sickness and they use the rule of “climb high, sleep low” to control the effect of the illness.

There are a few plants that survive here like the tussock grass, some moss varieties and everlastings. The conditions are really too hard for any animal life to survive.


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