First Person To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is a mountain in Africa that has been attempted to be conquered by explorers from all over the world. The summit of this mountain is the highest point on the entire African continent. Hans Meyer, a German geographer, and Ludwig Purtscheller, an Austrian mountaineer, were the first European individuals to climb to the peak in the year 1889 successfully.

Hans Meyer, a German geographer, and Ludwig Purtscheller, an Austrian mountaineer, were the first European individuals to climb to the peak in the year 1889 successfully.Kinyala Lauwo (1871-1996) :  The first Person to Climb Kilimanjaro : In an interview in 1993 said he climbed Kilimanjaro many times before he guided Hans Meyer. He said he had ascended nine times before he realized there was an inner crater.

He also found the dead leopard but when I told him of Hemingway’s book about it, he said he’d never heard of it.

A significant amount of time and effort has been invested by many men spanning multiple generations and continents in organizing their route and getting themselves prepared to climb to the summit of the mountain. This article will discuss the history of Mount Kilimanjaro, including its significance, the first person to climb the mountain, the difficulties he faced, and how he overcame them. Scroll down to read in detail.

The History and Significance of Mount Kilimanjaro

Volcanic eruptions millions of years ago formed the three summits of Kilimanjaro. The three volcanic cones atop Kilimanjaro “melted” together during later eruptions, with Shira eventually going extinct and eroding while Mawenzi and Kibo maintained their independence. Kibo’s iconic Uhuru Peak, which rises about 6,000 meters above sea level, has replaced Mount Everest as the planet’s highest point.


There are many theories as to where the name Kilimanjaro came from. Mount Kilimanjaro is revered by the local population, which gives it names like “White Mountain,” “That which defeats the caravan,” and “Mountain of Greatness” in their languages (Maasai). The Maasai call it “The mountain of Water” since it is where they get most of their water.


The mountain was a beacon for Arab and Chinese traders. The first known mention of Mount Olympus dates back to the time of Ptolemy, a Greek-Roman polymath who lived in the first century AD (described as a snow island in the sky). Chinese scholars only bring it up for a few seven centuries.


Several people didn’t trust missionary Johann Rebmann’s account from 1849. The German Protectorate officially annexed Kilimanjaro in 1885. Hans Meyer created history in October of 1889 when he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and reached the summit of Kibo. At this moment, the title was modified to reflect that this is Germany’s highest peak. The German colonial government designated Mount Kilimanjaro and the surrounding forests as a game reserve. They remained so until the League of Nations assigned the territory to the British as a Protectorate in 1916. This lasted until 1961 when Tanzania gained its independence.

The First Person to Conquer Mt. Kilimanjaro and His Impact on Climbing Culture

As Germany expanded its colonial rule in East Africa, more and more people tried to become the first to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. The most determined attempt to scale Kibo had been made in 1887 by Count Samuel Teleki of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A “certain straining of the membrane of the tympanum of the ear” forced him to turn around, though.


And then Dr. Abbott, an American naturalist who had traveled to Kili primarily to study its flora and fauna, made a rather foolhardy attempt. Abbott became ill early in the climb, but his German East African Company companion, Otto Ehlers, continued. Later, Ehlers claimed that he had climbed to an altitude of 19,680 feet (5904m). But doubt has been expressed about this number in the annals of Kilimanjaro summit attempts. For the most part, it stands at least 8 meters above the peak.


However, Teleki and Abbott contributed to Dr. Hans Meyer’s eventual success on Kilimanjaro. Teleki, who happened to meet Meyer on his first trip to the area in 1887, told him about the climb. And Abbott helped Meyer and his group stay comfortable in Moshi during their 1889 expedition.

Hans Meyer: First Person to Conquer Mt. Kilimanjaro

Geology professor Hans Meyer’s father was a wealthy Leipzig editor. (He was eventually elected to the board and assumed the director role. While a Colonial Geography professor at Leipzig University, he resigned a year before Kilimanjaro was conquered. He made four trips to Mount Kilimanjaro. Meyer attempted the mountain twice; the first time, in 1887, he reached an elevation of 18,000 feet (5,400 meters); the second time, in 1888, he did not. This time, he brought along Dr. Oscar Baumann, a friend, and fellow African explorer.


However, their timing could have been better. Arabs organized an insurrection against German traders along the East African coast known as the Abushiri War. Meyer and his companion Baumann were captured by the insurgency’s leader, Sheikh Abushiri. After the ransom of 10,000 rupees was paid, they were freed.

The Challenges Faced by the First Person to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

On his third attempt, Meyer finally reached the peak of Kilimanjaro in 1889. Despite Meyer’s obvious climbing prowess and dogged determination, the success of the assault can be primarily ascribed to his awareness that a scarcity of food at the summit posed the greatest challenge. To get around this obstacle, Meyer made camp at varying altitudes along his chosen path. Campsites ranged in altitude from 12,980 feet (3,894 meters) at Abbott’s to 14,210 feet (4263 meters) at Kibo and from 15,260 feet (4,700 meters) at small camping by a magma cave and just below the glacier line (4578m).


On top of Kilimanjaro, Ludwig Purtscheller hides in the shadows as Hans Meyer waves a German flag and holds a large rock.

Hans Meyer and Ludwig von Purtscheller reach the summit of Kilimanjaro.


The intermediate camps allowed Meyer to undertake numerous summit attempts without returning to the Kilimanjaro base after each attempt because the porters brought them food daily.

How this Mountaineering Feat has inspired Others

The extraordinary accomplishment that Hans Meyer achieved by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro has served as motivation for a significant number of individuals all around the world. It was a voyage that required bravery and dedication, and as a result, it has served as an example to many others who have followed in his footsteps.

His narrative has been used to inspire and motivate people to embark on objectives they previously believed were impossible for them to accomplish. People have learned from his experience that they can accomplish anything if they put in the effort and dedicate themselves. His ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro should teach us all that we can achieve great things if we persevere and have faith in ourselves.