Mount Kilimanjaro’s three peaks were formed after volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. One volcanic cone, Shira, is now extinct and eroded, while the other two, Mawenzi and Kibo, ‘melted’ together after subsequent eruptions. Kibo is now the highest with its famous Uhuru peak at almost 6000m above sea level.
There is no single explanation for Kilimanjaro’s name and there are many theories as to where it comes from. Local peoples have looked at Kilimanjaro with reverence and named it ‘Mountain of Greatness’ (Swahili) or ‘That which defeats the caravan’ (Chagga) or ‘White Mountain’ (Maasai). The Maasai have also called it the `The mountain of Water’, as it is the source of water for the area.