Kilimanjaro is, of course, the highest and most famous mountain in Africa. A massive dormant volcano, it rises isolated from east African savannas teeming with wildlife. No other mountain in the world rises so high so alone, with no range of other peaks for support.
Kilimanjaro has two principal summits: Kibo, the highest, is a high, rounded crater rim, with Uhuru Point on the rim the highest point in Africa. Mawenzi (16,893'/5149m) is a subsidiary cone to the east and the third highest peak in Africa, after Kibo and Mount Kenya. The mountain's famous equatorial snows are found mostly on the highest slopes of Kibo, and there is very little glaciation due to the dryness of the climate.
In recent years the few glaciers on the summit have been in a massive retreat, and at current rates there will not be any permanent ice or snow on Kilimanjaro within our lifetimes. Global warming caused by human activity is the most frequently mentioned culprit for this sad loss.
Kilimanjaro, like many other high and famous mountains, would be an easy hike if the atmosphere wasn't so thin up high. Altitude sickness is the main issue on the interesting five-to-ten day hike to the Kibo summit, an extremely popular adventure for visiting tourists. It's an expensive hike, though--the Tanzanian governemnt uses the countiry's top tourist attraction as a revenue generator and a jobs program. Once all the fees are paid and mandatory guides and porters are hired, the cost of a Kilimanjaro hike is usually well above 1000 U.S. dollars.