The results of our expedition are briefly stated here. You can download our report and use it freely as long as you mention the source Kilimanjaro Caving 2011. Original reports in the special edition of our magazine Pierk can be ordered for €10,=



Where did we look?

First a glance of the area with the caves we found

Picture gallery

Click on photo for slide show



 The conclusions of our research questions are as follows:

  • The first, and maybe, most important question was: “Are there any tubes or caves in Kibo lava?” We can definitely answer this question affirmative (see figure above) . We have covered roughly about 5% of the higher slopes of Kibo, the major volcano of Kilimanjaro, and found 20 tubes of different types, 19 lava blisters with a width of more than 5 meters and more than 50% covered with roof and 19 shelters with a width of more than 10 meters and a depth of more than 5 meters. This convinced us that there are many more lava caves to be found on the slopes of Kibo.

  • The tubes we found on the western side of the volcano differ from the three caves near Kibo Hut at east site of Kibo. The lava is different: where near Moir Camp the tubes are found in pahoehoe lobes, the trench tubes near Kibo Hut are formed in lava of a different composition, more porphyry like. This feeds the assumption that the tubes at the east side might be younger.

  • Unfortunately at Mawenzi some of the features in the discovered caves have been destroyed by visiting tourists or locals. This very special and fragile environment deserves protection. Guided visits are possible at some caves but at the same time the regulation to enter caves should be changed. When entering the park you can read that “sleeping in caves has been abolished …”. We strongly advise to change this rule in “Entering caves is strictly forbidden”.

  • Caves can only be protected if one is aware of their presence. We therefore advise the management of TANAPA (Tanzanian National Park ), TAWIRI (Tanzanian Wildlife Research Institute) and COSTECH (Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology) to allow a follow up to this first expedition.

Here you can download or view the complete report

Original copies of the report in the special edition of the magazine Pierk can be ordered for €10,=