Uhuru Peak Elevation / Altitude: 5,895 meters


Uhuru peak is the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, located on Kibo in the arctic zone of Kilimanjaro, The peak is perched on one of the three peaks on the mountain that consists of Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira.

Its name comes from the Swahili word for freedom ‘Uhuru’

The majestic Kilimanjaro is comprised of three main volcanic cones, namely:

  1. Kibo (5, 895m)
  2. Mawenzi (5, 149m)
  3. Shira (3, 962m).

Uhuru Peak located in Kibo’s crater rim is the highest summit that climbers from all over the world attempt to summit Kilimanjaro. Reaching Uhuru peak is every mountain climber’s dream

Standing at a staggering height of 5, 895m, Uhuru Peak holds the title of the highest point in the whole of Africa and second in the world.

This peak also holds the bragging rights of being one of the most sought-after mountain summits in the world.

The Uhuru peak Signpost

It is at Uhuru peak that the famous, jauntily angled summit sign is erected. This signpost is where every Mount Kilimanjaro climber takes their victory photograph. At this signpost on Uhuru peak, climbers take all kinds of photographs holding flags, raising hands in jubilation, smiling, and other poses.

The Uhuru peak sign bears the famous words “congratulations, you are now at Uhuru Peak at 5,895 m” This sign is more than just a mere sign, it is a symbol of achievement and relief. —These rustic planks made out of wood have become an icon for mountain climbers all over the world.

In full the wooden signpost at Uhuru Peak reads

  • MOUNT KILIMANJARO
  • CONGRATULATIONS
  • YOU ARE NOW AT
  • UHURU PEAK, TANZANIA 5895M/19341FT AMSL
  • AFRICA’S HIGHEST POINT
  • WORLD’S HIGHEST FREE-STANDING MOUNTAIN
  • ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST VOLCANOES
  • WORLD HERITAGE AND WONDER OF AFRICA

Uhuru peak Weather & Vegetation Zone

There are no animals or vegetation present at Uhuru peak due to the harsh weather conditions in the area with temperatures falling below zero degrees Celsius, high winds and no rainfall.

The Uhuru peak area is just a vast landscape of pristine white snow and towering peaks.

Mountain climbers go through five different climatic zones before reaching the summit at Uhuru peak.

History and origin of the name “Uhuru” Peak.

“Uhuru” is a Swahili word that means freedom. Uhuru peak is part of Tanzania’s (then Tanganyika) history when they were gaining independence from British colonial rule.

On the eve of 8th December 1961, the late Brigadier. Alexander Nyirenda (then army officer) was tasked to erect the Uhuru torch and Tanzania’s national flag on top of Mount Kilimanjaro as an act of celebrating independence.

Simultaneously as the Tanzanian flag was being hoisted at Uhuru peak, the Union Jack (then the flag of Tanganyika) was being lowered at the national stadium as a sign of a change of things in the new Tanzania.

Kaiser Wilhelm Peak

From the past right until about 3 years after gaining independence from the British, the Uhuru peak was formerly known as the Kaiser Wilhelm peak, named by German explorer Hans Meyer under the then German colonial rule.

On 06.10.1889 the first climbers of Kilimanjaro Dr. Hans Meyer and Ludwig Purtscheller hoisted the German imperial flag at the then still nameless summit and Meyer as expedition leader called the summit with the right of the first climber “Kaiser-Wilhelm-Spitze”.
Hans Meyer with his comrade-in-arms, the Austrian alpinist Ludwig Purtscheller, officially took possession of the summit for the German Emperor: “I planted a small German flag in my rucksack on the weather-beaten lava summit, cheering three times loudly from Mr. Purtscheller and shouting rejoicing: With the right of the first bidder, I baptize this hitherto unknown, nameless peak of the Kibo, the highest point on African and German soil, with the name: Kaiser-Wilhelm-Spitze 1918 the Zugspitze as the highest mountain in Germany. Wilhelm II received a piece of lava rock from the summit. The Peak had its name changed from Kaiser Wilhelm Peak to Uhuru peak in 1964, three years after Tanzania gained independence.

In place of the flag and torch that was placed on Uhuru peak back in the year 1961, a signpost stands there thanks to the park authorities.

Location of Uhuru peak

Uhuru peak is situated along the crater rim of Mount Kilimanjaro on the Kibo volcanic cone.

The area surrounding Uhuru Peak is covered with temperatures falling even lower at night times.

The high altitude and huge size of the mountain affect gravity on the mountain in such a way that it is difficult to exactly tell which way is up.

The main reason why you need experienced guides and porters to take you to the Uhuru peak is that when you are at the summit you may get lost easily because the peak may not seem like the highest point to you.

Highest Summit on Kibo Peak

The heart of Kilimanjaro is Kibo. Kibo, the highest peak of Kilimanjaro (19,340 ft/ 5,895 m), is crowned by Uhuru Peak. It is here that the conclusion of what we refer to as a “real Kilimanjaro climb” takes place. There are all of the peak camps.
One can witness the renowned Reusch Crater and Ash Pit and Kilimanjaro glaciers in the Kibo crater area.
Barranco Wall, another well-known landmark of Mount Kilimanjaro, is located on Kibo’s southern slope. The view from the peak is nothing short of amazing and is only surpassed by the views from Uhuru Peak itself when Kilimanjaro trekkers pass over it on their route from Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp.

Vegetation and Climatic Zone of the Uhuru peak

Uhuru Peak on Kibo lies in the arctic zone of Mount Kilimanjaro and as you climb to this summit, you pass across many natural zones. The lower slopes range in elevation from 800 to 1800 meters, and residents grow maize, coffee, and bananas in this fertile volcanic soil. Between 1800 and 2800 meters, there is a rainforest zone with abundant precipitation and lovely flowers like Protea Kilimandsharica and Impatients Kilimanjarii.

Between 2800 and 4000 meters is the heath and moorland zone. At night, expect frost, while throughout the day, expect scorching sunlight. The moorland is filled with enormous groundsels. There will be a lot of white-necked ravens around as well. Low precipitation occurs in the high desert, which is 4000 to 5000 meters above sea level. Finally, the summit zone where Uhuru peak is located is almost 5000 meters above sea level and has arctic temperatures at night.

How to get to Uhuru peak

Uhuru Peak can be reached best by trekking because Mount Kilimanjaro is a ‘walkable” mountain. Getting to Uhuru peak can be made possible via a number of routes. These routes vary in the level of difficulty, traffic, and scenic beauty of the surroundings.

The easiest route to get to the Uhuru peaks summit is the Marangu Route and Rongai route while the most difficult routes to climb are the Machame, Shira, and Lemosho routes.

There are approximately 8 routes (including the special permission western breach) that head to Uhuru peak, with most getting there within 5 or 6 days of trekking on foot.

How high is Uhuru Peak?

Uhuru Peak is the highest summit on Kibo’s crater rim. The Tanzania National Parks Authority, a Tanzanian government agency, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization list the height of Uhuru Peak as 5,895 m (19,341 ft), based on a British survey in 1952.

Which is the highest peak in Kilimanjaro?

Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa at 19,341 feet (5,895 meters), but it isn’t a mountain in a traditional sense.

How tall is the Mount Kilimanjaro sign?

The sign on top of Mount Kilimanjaro’s peak, at the summit, is located at an altitude or elevation of 5,895 meters or 19,340 ft.
The sign at Uhuru peak has this distance written on it.

Is Uhuru Peak the top of Kilimanjaro?

Yes, Uhuru Peak on Kibo’s crater rim is the highest point on top of Mount Kilimanjaro that is why climbers scaling the mountain aim to reach this point on top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

What does the sign say on top of Mount Kilimanjaro?

The sign on top of Mount Kilimanjaro, at Uhuru peak, is a congratulatory message, that says congratulations for reaching Uhuru Peak at a height of 5,895m above sea level which is the highest point in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the whole world.

Additional information

Climatic ZoneArctic Zone

uhuru peak, Kilimanjaro
uhuru peak
uhuru peak, Kilimanjaro