West Kilimanjaro Forest plantation is established on part of the Mount Kilimanjaro Forest Reserve which was gazetted in 1921 and regazetted in 1940 under Government Notice No. 227 Cap. 132. The plantation was established in 1954, and is located between 2º59’ - 3º10’ South and 2º30’ - 37º10’ East on the western slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro Forest Reserve, in Siha district, Kilimanjaro region. It is about 70 km from Moshi town, 102 km Arusha and 71 km from Kilimanjaro International airport. The plantation covers a total area of 7,630 ha.
At the beginning, the forest plantation was planted with Pinus patula, Cupressus lusitanica and Pinus radiata and Juniperus procera, through Taungya system (licensed cultivators). Currently, the plantation is planted with Pinus patula, Cupressus lusitanica, Greville arobusta, Eucalyptus spp and Acrocarpus fraxinifolius while the in remaining natural forest indigenous tree species of Podocarpus falcatus, Olea europaea, Scutia myrtina, Ficus thonningii and Cassipourea molasana are found.
The aim of establishing the plantation at that time was to increase the watershed protective capacity. The other aim was to reduce the erosion problem on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and to supply wood products in the regions of Arusha and Kilimanjaro.
Tree age class distribution at West Kilimanjaro Forest plantation is as follows: 1 -5 years (13%), 6 -10 years (25%), 11 - 15 years (35%), 17 - 20 years (23%) and ≥ 21 years (4%). The most dominated species being Pinus patula (46%), Cupressus lusitanica (30%) and Grevillea robusta(17%).
This plantation borders Mount Kilimanjaro, which is the tallest mountain on the African continent and the highest free standing mountain in the world. Londorosi gate is located in West Kilimanjaro Forest plantation and the plantation connects tourists to Mount Kilimanjaro. The forest also harbours different wild animals ranging from monkey, baboons, white and black colobus, buffaloes and elephants. The natural forests asre also important for bee keeping activites.
Tourists who climb Mount Kilimanjaro through Lemosho and Shira route pass through West Kilimanjaro Forest Plantation. Also there are day trips where tourists visit within the plantation to see different attractions such as natural ecosystems and different wild animals such as monkey, baboons, white and black colobus.
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
West Kilimanjaro Forest Plantation,
P.o Box . 161