Is Amboseli Kenya the best place to see the Kilimanjaro Mountain of Tanzania

View of Kili from Amboseli

Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro Mountain is popularly referred to as the “Roof of Africa” because it is the tallest mountain in Africa reaching a height of 5,895m (19,341ft) above sea level. It is also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world.

Kilimanjaro is the most popular mountain hiking and climbing destination in Africa attracting tens of thousands of hiking enthusiasts every year who take on the challenge of trekking to the highest spot in Africa, the snowcapped Uhuru peak.

Many who cannot hike Kili look forward to catching a glimpse of the roof of Africa and taking this iconic photo during their safari trip, and, indeed the world’s tallest free-standing mountain is quite a sight to behold, as this massive conic structure with a white crest (snow) elevates above the African plains that are home to the big five and towers through the floating clouds pushed by the monsoon winds blowing from the coastal Indian Ocean.

The controversy of the best place to see Mount Kilimanjaro…

The Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania near the border with Kenya. Therefore, you can see the Kilimanjaro Mountain from Kenya as well. One of the places in Kenya that will give you a brilliant view of the mountain is the Amboseli National Park, so much so that Kenyans have convinced travelers that Kenya is the best place to see the Mount Kilimanjaro, of course to the ire of the Tanzanians who have the mountain.

But, is it true that you will get the best views of Mt. Kilimanjaro from Kenya/Amboseli? Well to appreciate this question you need to know the two sides (or call them faces) of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Understanding the two sides of Kilimanjaro Mountain..

There is the windward side of mountain Kilimanjaro which receives more rain because the winds blow from this side. This side of the mountain is very lush with heavy vegetation and forests. This windward side faces Tanzanian mainland.

Meanwhile the other side of the mountain is the leeward side or rain shadow that receives less rains because the winds loose most of the moisture on the windward side before reaching the leeward side. The land on the leeward side is therefore largely of dry semi-arid plains. This is the side of the mountain that faces Kenya mainland and the epitome of its effect is the Amboseli national park which is a dusty plain in the foothills below the Kilimanjaro

The windward side in Tanzania does not provide the clearest views of the whole mountain due to the vegetation, while the leeward side provides sweeping views of the Kili.

Amboseli in Kenya is arguably the best place to see the roof Africa.

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