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Mount Kilimanjaro climb,climbing Mt Kiliamanjaro to Africa Highest Peak. Mt. Kilimanjaro in Mount Kilimanjaro National Park one of the East Africa Mountains at an altitude of 5895m ,the highest freestanding mountain in the world and one of the seven summits.
How the Kilimanjaro got its name


Dating back to the days when Johannes Rebmann (1820-76) stumbled on Mount Kilimanjaro in 1848, there’s been much speculation on the origin of the name, some suggesting it meant ‘Shiny Mountain,’ ‘Great Mountain,’ or some such!

In those days, snow on the mountain started at around 14,000ft above sea level, going up to the gods in the skies: 19,340ft (5,895m OD). No wonder the Kili – the highest peak in Africa – is oftentimes referred to as the ‘Roof of Africa.’

Kilimanjaro is also the highest stand-alone mountain in the world. Indeed, there’re scores of other peaks which ‘stand much taller,’ including the ‘tallest,’ the Everest in Asia’s Himalayas (29,028 feet). But they’re all part of mountain ranges – dozens of them – not single, isolated/stand-alone peaks...

But, that’s not the story here today...
The Kilimanjaro was volcanically thrust slap-bang into the collective lap (so to speak) of the Chagga people this side of the border with Kenya. In olden times, the Chagga used to travel hither and thither in search of sustenance to keep body and soul together.

They were also journeying from here to there, perhaps on the warpath to raid other tribes, or escape from raiders. The ki-Chagga word for this is Kyaro.

But, with the formidable mountain standing in their way (to, say, Kenya), they saw that as a formidable barrier (Kilema) to their escapades. It was also difficult/impossible to climb up (‘Idro’ in ki-Chagga) the densely-forested, wildlife-infested, scraggy and heavy-snowed terrain to the top... Hence the term ‘Kilema-Kyaro,’ ‘Kilelema-Kyaro,’ and ‘Kilema/Kilelema-Idro’...

Foreigners asked: ‘what do you call that?’ ‘Kilema-Kyaro,’ ‘Kilema-Idro,’ the Chaggas retorted. The foreigners couldn’t wrap their tongue round those terms — corrupting them into ‘Kilima-Ndscharo’ in German. The rest is, of course, history, down to Kilimanjaro today!

In this, I draw support from another phenomenon: the hilly road to the German headquarters in what later became ‘Old Moshi’ after the Brits took over ‘Tanganyika’ from the former. Traversing that road from what later became ‘New Moshi’ (‘Nomoshi’ in ki-Chagga) in the mosquito-infested lowlands to the German headquarters in Old Moshi was an uphill task for the donkeys and asses that were common transport under German rule. Halfway up the road, the caravan commanders ordered a ‘pause’ to rest the beasts of burden before struggling up the road again.

The road became known as ‘Kilema-Punda’ to this day, as many of the beasts collapsed on it out of breath and exhaustion. So, juxtaposed cheek-by-jowl with each other, ‘Kilema-Kyaro’ and ‘Kilema-Punda’ remain steeped in History…
Oh, one other thing: my father — in his teens early in the 20th Century CE and living in Old Moshi — so marvelled at the call to PAUSE along Kilema-Punda that he later named one of his sons ‘Pause!’

compliments of Dr Peters (1856-1918) - - a.k.a ‘Mkono-wa-Damu’ (the man with the blood-stained hands) — the German colonial usurper who became Deutsch-Ostafrika Commissioner in 1891, with Kilimanjaro as his Hdqrs. Cheers!

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