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Which animals can you see during a hike on Kilimanjaro?

Updated: 5 days ago

Mountain Kilimanjaro.
Mountain Kilimanjaro.

Mount Kilimanjaro is a free-standing volcanic mountain located in Tanzania, East Africa. It's the highest mountain on the African continent and stands at an impressive 19,341 feet (5,895 meters) above sea level. Kilimanjaro is renowned for its stunning snow-capped peaks, dramatic landscapes, and diverse ecosystems, making it a popular destination for hikers and climbers from around the world. The mountain is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is part of Kilimanjaro National Park, offering various routes to reach its summit, Uhuru Peak.

Can you spot animals during a hike on Kilimanjaro?

Yes, you can see animals during a hike on Mount Kilimanjaro, particularly in the lower elevations of the mountain. While Kilimanjaro is not primarily known for its wildlife, it is surrounded by national parks and reserves where you might encounter various species, such as monkeys, antelopes, and a variety of birds. As you ascend the mountain, the environment changes from lush rainforests to alpine deserts, and the chances of seeing wildlife decrease. The main attraction of Kilimanjaro, however, is its stunning landscapes and the challenge of reaching its summit, Uhuru Peak.

What animals can one see on Kilimanjaro?

Kilimanjaro's lower lush tropical rainforests host a greater abundance of wildlife compared to the highlands, mainly due to the accessibility of water and food. As your expedition ascends, the presence of wildlife gradually diminishes. All animals within Tanzania's National Parks are entirely free to roam, assuring that any sightings on Kilimanjaro are indeed of 'wild' creatures. Thankfully, there's no need to worry about encountering dangerous predators like lions during your climb. Instead, you're more likely to come across timid species like Abbott's Duiker or hear the playful chatter of monkeys as you make your way. Here are eight of our favorite animals sighted on Kilimanjaro.

Elephants: While less common, some hikers have reported elephant sightings in the forests at lower elevations of Kilimanjaro. The presence of these gentle giants is a rare and memorable experience.


Buffalo: Cape buffalo are occasionally seen in the montane forests of Kilimanjaro. These large and powerful herbivores can be observed grazing in the undergrowth.

Blue Monkeys: The Blue Monkey, also known as the Sykes' Monkey, is a common sight in the lower rainforest areas of Kilimanjaro. These monkeys are known for their striking blue-gray fur, and their playful antics in the treetops make them a favorite among hikers.

Colobus Monkeys: The Black-and-white Colobus Monkey is another primate often seen in the rainforest zones of Kilimanjaro. These monkeys are easily identifiable by their long, shaggy black fur with a distinctive white mantle around their shoulders.

Mantled Guereza: Also known as the Eastern black-and-white colobus, the Mantled Guereza is native to the region. They share the same striking black-and-white fur pattern as the Colobus Monkeys and are often seen leaping through the trees.

Bushbucks: Bushbucks are among the larger animals that can be found in the forested zones of Kilimanjaro. These shy antelopes are well adapted to forest environments and may occasionally be spotted by observant hikers.


Sykes' Monkeys: Named after British naturalist Sir Henry Sykes, these monkeys are recognizable by their distinct facial markings. They inhabit the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro and are known for their vibrant calls.

Birds: Kilimanjaro is home to a rich diversity of bird species. Turacos, sunbirds, and barbets are just a few examples. The forests and moorland areas provide excellent opportunities for birdwatching, with their colorful plumage and unique calls adding to the mountain's natural beauty.

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