Kilimanjaro: Climate zones

Kilimanjaro climate zones

Kilimanjaro has five main climate vegetation zones:

  • The Lower Slopes/Cultivation – Between 2,600 feet and 5,900 feet, this experiences tropical conditions. An average of 45 inches of rain falls there each year. The lowlands are now densely cultivated with coffee and banana plantations.
  • Rain Forest – The zone between 5,900 and 9,200 feet receives the highest amount of rainfall, up to 78 inches per year. The moisture results in a belt of dense rain forest and mist. Brightly coloured butterflies, toucans, and colobus monkeys can be found here.
  • Moorland – The moorland zone is between 9,200 feet and 13,100 feet and is covered with heather and bright flowers. Above the heath is a black moorland where plants such as lobelias and groundsels grow. Antelopes, vultures and elephants can be found here.
  • High Desert – Harsh conditions prevail in the alpine desert between 13,100 and 16,400 feet. The semi-desert region receives less than 10 inches of rain annually. Temperatures range from the mid-80s to below freezing at night. Some plants such as moss or lichens can survive here.
  • Arctic Zone/Summit – The summit zone above 16,400 feet is an icy wasteland, baked by fierce sunshine during the day and frozen at night. The thin air here contains half as much oxygen as at sea level.

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