The Kilimanjaro has many caves that have been in existence for many years. Some are natural caves while others were built by the locals and other by the first explorers to the Kilimanjaro Mountain Ranges.
It is also one of the only and largest strato-volcanoes in the world. With a process like volcanicity, you expect a lot of features on this mountain.
Here are some of the caves on the Kilimanjaro.
Hans Meyer Cave
You will rest and energize and acclimatize while you rest here.
The Hans Meyer cave is located at an Altitude of about 5,150 meters above sea level. The cave is about 3 hours away from the Kibo huts.
The cave is in the arctic vegetation zone of the Kilimanjaro. This place is covered in rocks and ice. The nights usually cold to the extreme and the sun has scotching rays during the day.
This area has no life that survives and those small plants that try to grow can’t go beyond.
Navigating past these rocks would require you to take huge steps and caution as they can be slippery and as you approach Gilman’s Point at 5,681m above sea level which is about 5-6 hours away from School Hut, the slope becomes steeper.
On reaching Gilman’s Point towards Stella Point, you will meet a more gradual slope.
In order to reach the summit at Uhuru Peak, climbers are forced to wake up at midnight, a journey that passes through Gilman’s point to Stella Point.
You will need another two hours from the Stella Point to the Uhuru Peak.
Han Meyer was a German geologist and was a son to one of the wealthiest writers in German town of Leipzig. He has worked for his father and later took over the business.
He retired in 1888. In 1887 he had made an attempt to hike the Kilimanjaro but wasn’t successful. After retiring, he returned in the following year to make a second attempt.
He made several attempts before he succeeded in reaching the summit.
During this attempt, the timing was really not the best as both Meyer and his friend were captured by the Sheikh Abushiri who was leading that Abushiri revolution that was happening at the time. They were held hostage until and a ransom of over ten thousand rupees was paid.
The Second cave stands at an elevation of about 3450 meters above sea level. The cave used to be used for accommodation in the first days of the Kilimanjaro hike. The case is however longer used due to safety issues.
The moorland vegetation however where this cave is found has very short vegetation and this makes you prone to the strong winds of the mountain since there is little cover.
The temperatures are also high in this area compared to those you have experienced at the previous camp.
The Alpine region has lot temperature variations during the days and night. This level of the mountain will barely have any plant life.
The landscape is a bit desolate with some yellow daisies. On the other hand the Moorland vegetation zone of the Kilimanjaro, you will see a lot of Lobelias, giant goundsel, colorful red pokers and Scenarios trees.
This area of the mountain mainly receives rain through the mist which usually covers the area without notice. The temperatures here of course will be below 0 degrees.
This cave will therefore share little bit of both vegetation zone characteristics and this makes the camp a good place to acclimatize as you will soon be joining the Alpine zone that is a bit hard for the human life.
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