How tall is Kilimanjaro?


I've been writing this blog for a few months now and monitoring daily the web conversations and articles about Kilimanjaro to keep up to date. And I'm amazed at the variety of facts and figures people quote about this humble mountain. For the next few posts I think we need to clarify a few things about Kilimanjaro.

First, the mountain is officially 5,895 meters or 19,341 feet above sea level as stated by the Tanzanian Embassy. Some people don't round up with the metric conversion and call it at 19,340 feet. But I recently saw a post that Kilimanjaro is over 20,000 feet above sea level (no link to avoid embarrassment). Wiki knows it's 19,340 feet. Even the Journal of the Tanganyika Society (Tanganyika was the original country name before adding Zanzibar and renaming it Tanzania) reported the correct height back in 1965. Even my watch's altimeter knew it wasn't 20,000 feet above sea level, although it would have been cool to show people a reading above 20,000 feet when I got home.

I can almost understand people getting the height of the mountain wrong, what with everyone converting back and forth between metric and English measurements. But the fact that really confuses me is the debate about where the mountain is actually located. Some people continue to think a portion of the mountain is in Kenya. It isn't. 100% of Kilimanjaro has been in Tanzania for a very long time. Germany and the UK cut the country borders a while ago and they have not changed. If you don't believe the Tanzanian Embassy then maybe you'll at least believe Google Earth.
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