Number of Tourists
Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Africa, with millions of people travelling from around the world to experience the beauty of the Tanzanian mountain every year. While exact figures are hard to come by, experts estimate that around 30,000 tourists visit the mountain annually.
The tourist influx to the mountain is facilitated by its well-developed tourist infrastructure, with the Tanzanian government investing heavily in making it easier for those looking to scale the summit. The main routes used by tourists can be divided into the Marangu Route, the Machame Route, the Lemosho Route, and the Umbwe Route. There are also a series of campsites on the mountain, each located at various altitudes in order to provide visitors with a gradual acclimatisation process.
Mount Kilimanjaro is a protected region with the Tanzanian government working hard to protect the environment surrounding the mountain. As a result, there have been several measures put in place to control the number of visitors to the mountain each year and help preserve its delicate ecology. These measures include capping the number of people that are allowed to summit the mountain each year.
However, environmental concerns are still a significant issue at the mountain. The large number of tourists means that the delicate ecosystems found within the mountain can be negatively affected. These changes to the environment can be seen in the form of increased levels of pollution, deforestation, and soil erosion.
Despite the potential issues that come with increased tourism to the mountain, its presence as a major tourist attraction has also brought a wealth of economic benefits to the surrounding area. The tourism industry has yielded a great deal of wealth for the Tanzanian economy, of which the mountain is an integral part.
The majority of this income is generated from those that come to take part in the mountain’s many activities. This includes visitors to the mountain’s training facilities, hotels, restaurants, and other tourist attractions. The Tanzanian economy has seen a dramatic increase in wealth since the influx of tourists to the mountain, with estimates suggesting that the economy has seen a growth of around 10% since 2014.
The number of tourists visiting the mountain each year has fluctuated in recent years, largely due to the changing global climate and economic conditions. In 2019, the mountain saw a notable rise in visitors – with the number reaching over 35,000 – making it the busiest year yet. However, 2020 has seen a significant drop in visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of visitors estimated to be around 20,000.
Despite this drop, experts predict that the number of visitors to the mountain will see a steady rise once the pandemic is over. Tourism operators have already reported an increase in enquiries and bookings for 2021 as countries begin to lift their restrictions on international travel.
Impact on Local Communities
The increased number of visitors to the mountain in recent years has had a positive impact on local communities, who have seen an influx in tourism-related jobs and wages, as well as an overall increase in quality of life.
This has enabled the communities to access better infrastructure and services, such as improved healthcare and education. The additional economic benefits have also allowed many of the local people to set up their own businesses, providing them with greater financial security and independence.
Mount Kilimanjaro also offers a range of educational opportunities for those looking to gain insight into the mountain’s ecology. As well as the popular guided tours and treks, visitors can attend lectures, workshops, and seminars organised by the Tanzanian government.
These educational opportunities help to spread awareness of the mountain, its environment, and its ecological importance, as well as giving visitors a unique insight into the mountain.
While exact figures are hard to come by, experts estimate that around 30,000 tourists visit Mount Kilimanjaro annually. Despite the potential environmental and economic concerns, the increased number of visitors to the mountain in recent years has had a positive effect on the local communities in terms of job creation and quality of life. The mountain also provides a range of educational opportunities, enabling individuals to gain insight into its ecology and environment. As such, Mount Kilimanjaro continues to be a major draw for tourists from across the globe.