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Tour Kilimanjaro


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Summit Alpine Desert Moorland Heath Rain Forest Cultivated Areas

Introduction

Alpine Desert

Very few plants and animals can make a living in the barren desert of the upper mountain.

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Zone 5: Alpine Desert
Altitude: roughly 13,200 to 16,500 feet

Blinding glare, high evaporation, and wide daily changes in temperature characterize the alpine desert, which can drop to freezing at night and soar to over 100°F during the day. Water is scarce, and the zone's thin soils retain little of what does materialize. The kinds of plants that can withstand such harsh conditions run to certain tough everlastings and tussock grasses, along with the curious moss ball, which envelops nodules of soil and rolls about with the breeze. Some of the same animals that visit the moorland appear here, but they're only passing through. The views are stunning, both out over the undulating savannah far below and up toward Kilimanjaro's twin summits, Kibo and Mawenzi (16,896 feet).

   

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