A MAJESTIC ROCKY GIANT, Mount Kilimanjaro is crowned by an icecap, impressively dominating the scenery. Mount Kilimanjaro towers above the Masai Steppe or the Great Rift Valley, which is believed to be the site of the origin of humankind. Pictures that shaped our imagination of East Africa are firmly connected to Kilimanjaro. The highest mountain of Africa is a volcanic massif situated in the territory of northeastern Tanzania. The mountain consists of lava-dominated shield volcanoes and has 3 main volcanic centers, named Shira, Kibo, and Mawenzi. The highest point of the Kilimanjaro at the crater Kibo is called Uhuru Peak. At 19,340 foot (5,895 meter) above sea level, it is Africa’s highest elevation point. Mawenzi (east of Kibo) rises to 16,896 foot (5,149 meter), and Shira (west of Kibo) to 13,000 foot (3,962 meter). Kilimanjaro is a very young volcanic massif: it started to grow less than 1 million years ago and ceased to grow about 450,000 to 300,000 years ago. Volcanic activity subsequently became sporadic, and today the inner crater of the Kibo shows only residual activity. The last blow of ash from the Kibo could be witnessed probably about 200 years ago. The volcanoes of the Kilimanjaro are part of a chain of Cenozoic volcanoes in East Africa. The major factors influencing the volcanic activity of this area are the plate tectonics of the East African Rift System (EARS), which marks the lines along which the eastern subplate is separating from western subplate.