Mount Kilimanjaro is the Everest of Africa, with its summit close to the altitude of Mt. Everest's base camp. Yet Kilimanjaro does not stand out as the highest peak in a snow-capped mountain range. It rises in complete isolation in a land of flat plains grazed by elephants, zebras and other African animals.
The fertile slopes of the central Highlands were recognised by European settlers as being great farming country for tea, coffee, wheat and flowers. Many came and took the land with the colonial government's blessing. There was little regard for tribal land or local customs and this created great resentment, which erupted into the bloody Mau Mau Rebellion of the 1950's.