A huge fire broke out on Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa and a key attraction for tourists in Kenya and Tanzania.
According to the authorities of the national park in Tanzania, the fire broke out on Sunday afternoon and will still be controlled.
A short media message posted on Twitter by Tanzania’s National Parks (Tanapa) said the fire broke out in Whona, a stop for mountain climbers using the Mandara and Horombo routes.
“Several teams, including residents, students and a local fire brigade, are trying to deploy [out] The fire. Tanapa will continue to take all precautionary measures to ensure the safety of all visitors and their equipment, “said Pascal Shelutete, Tanapa̵
It is not yet known what caused the fire and whether anyone used the affected route when it broke out. Shelutete has promised to issue a comprehensive statement as soon as more information becomes available.
A photo posted on Tanapa’s Twitter account, taken from a distance, shows a line of fire on the mountain’s slopes. Daniel Mema, a journalist based in Moshi, a mountain town, said he could see the fire at 7pm on Sunday.
“Although the fire broke out at the end of the climbing season, if it continues, it will affect tourist activities in Kilimanjaro, as no climber would risk climbing,” Mema said.
Kilimanjaro, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is 5,895 meters above sea level and is the highest free-standing volcanic mountain in the world. UNESCO said human activities, including increased land use in surrounding areas and water and air pollution, are a threat to the mountain’s ecology.
“Tourism poses a significant threat and careful planning of connected infrastructure and access development is needed,” UNESCO said.
The mountain is located on the border between Kenya and Tanzania and the two countries have benefited greatly from the tourist activities around it. Amboseli National Park in Kenya, famous for its huge herds of elephants, draws water from the mountains.