www.allafrica.com Over 50 kilometers of mountain trails on different routes of mount Kilimanjaro have been rehabilitated and stabilized in the on-going project aimed at offering maximum comfort to trekkers, it has been learnt
In the rehabilitation work, the famous Marangu, Machame and Rongai routes have had their trails widened and stabilized using morrum, the Kilimanjaro national Park (KINAPA) Chief Park Warden, Nyamakubati Mafuru has said.
The rehabilitation also included installation of water bars to prevent erosions en-route the Africa's highest peak as well as shaping and trail alignment. The trails have also undergone trimming of vegetation along its entire length that has been rehabilitated.
The Marangu route rehabilitation that started in 1998 has so far covered 29.26 Kms (Marangu- Mandara 8.3 Kms, Mandara - Horombo 11.7 Kms, and Horombo - Kibo 9.26 Kms).
While the Rongai route has been rehabilitated by 7 kilometres, the Machame route which had been under rehabilitation since 2003 has 14.5 kilometres of its trails rehabilitated, moderated and stabilised.
The trail rehabilitation comes, as the number of Kilimanjaro mountain visitation appears to be on the increase, according to Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) officials.
Over 29,000 people trekked Kilimanjaro in 2003 compared to 21,300 who scaled the mountain in 2000, and 26,282 who did so in 2001, according to statistics availed to this paper yesterday.
Kilimanjaro is not only the highest freestanding mountain in the world and the highest peak in Africa, it is also the highest 'walkable' mountain in the world and one of the world's seven summits and the highest point in Africa (19,340').