AS tourists’ numbers keep on rising in the country, Tanzania’s and Africa’s highest Mountain Kilimanjaro is becoming more recognised in different parts of the world, according to the latest Andhra Pradesh report from India.
This comes in the background of a nine-year old girl from the south-eastern coastal Region of India managing to climb the mount to its peak.
The girl, Kadapala Rithvika Sri from Anantapur climbed Mount Kilimanjaro on February 25, and the report was widely circulated in India and some Asian countries.
The Class II pupil climbed to Gilman’s Point at 5,681 metres above mean sea level with her father and guide. By completing that feat, Rithvika has become one of the youngest persons to scale Mount Kilimanjaro.
Situated at the edge of the crater rim, climbers who reach Gilman’s Point receive the official Kilimanjaro climbing certificate and can proudly claim that they reached the top of the tallest mountain in Africa.
In a related development, in 1889, German geographer Hans Meyer and Austrian mountaineer Ludwig Purtscheller became the first people on record to have reached the summit of Kilimanjaro.
Since then, Kilimanjaro has become a popular hiking spot for locals and tourists. In 1973, the mountain and its six surrounding forest corridors were named Kilimanjaro National Park in order to protect its unique environment.
The park was named a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage site in 1987. A variety of animals live in the area surrounding the mountain, including the blue monkey.
Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano and the highest single free-standing mountain in the world at 19,340 feet.
Gilman’s Point is one of the three summit points of Mount Kilimanjaro. Climbers who manage to reach that point receive the official Kilimanjaro climbing certificate.
Highest mountains are part of ranges, such as Mount Everest’s Himalayan Mountain Range.
These are formed in a process called plate tectonics. Below the ground, Earth’s crust is made up of multiple tectonic plates. These plates have been moving since the beginning of time due to geologic activity.
Free standing mountains like Kilimanjaro are usually a result of volcanic activity. Volcanic mountains are formed when molten rock erupts, and piles upon the surface.
Rithvika’s father, Kadapala Sankar, is a cricket coach and sports coordinator in the Special Olympics Bharat wing of Rural Development Trust, Anantapur. He scaled the peak last year and took his daughter along this time.
On the social networks, such as Twitter, there have been pouring congratulatory messages to Rithvika.
“Congratulations to Ritwika Sree of Ananthapur for becoming the world’s second youngest and Asia’s youngest girl to scale Mt Kilimanjaro. “You have grabbed the opportunities despite many odds. Keep inspiring,” read a tweet from Gandham ChandruduIAS@ ChandruduIAS.
Some of media outlets that had the news about Rithvika and Mount Kilimanjaro are ‘The Hindu’, ‘Times Now’, ‘The Free Press Journal’ and ‘New Indian Express’.
She took Level 1 training in mountaineering at Rock Climbing School at Bhongir in Telangana and Level 2 training at Ladakh.
“Rithvika Sri took part in the mountaineering expedition with enthusiasm and she could make it in her first attempt,’’ Shankar was quoted. Andhra Pradesh is a state in the south-eastern coastal region of India.
It is the seventhlargest state by area covering an expanse of 162,975 km² and tenth-most populous state with 49,386,799 inhabitants.
Celebrities who have scaled Mount Kilimanjaro include Jessica Biel, Isabel Lucas, Lupe Fiasco, Emile Hirsch (2010), Mandy Moore (2018), Haloti Ngata (2019), Brian Blessed (1988), Cheryl Cole (2009) and Dan Walker in 2019.