By Crystal Chung @crystalkchung

A PROFESSIONAL wildlife photographer who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for the fourth time was shocked by the sheer difference in the mountain as it continues to shrink

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Kilimanjaro glaciers attract some 25,000 visitors each year, providing a major revenue source for Tanzania

Paul Joynson-Hicks MBE, climbed Africa’s tallest mountain over 10 days with five other climbers in March 2017.

The Tanzania based photographer said: “Climbing Kilimanjaro isn’t as much of a mission as people might think"

He said; “The images show the beauty of the mountain, indeed, but primarily they show the shrinking permanent glaciers on the mountain.

Kilimanjaro’s shrinking northern glaciers, thought to be 10,000-years-old, could disappear by 2030

“There is a discussion going on about what the reason for this is. The obvious reason is global warming, the temperature on the mountain top, Kibo Peak is getting warmer and so the ice is melting.”

Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, and rises approximately 4,900 metres from its base to 5,895 metres above sea level

According to Live Science, Kilimanjaro’s shrinking northern glaciers, thought to be 10,000-years-old, could disappear by 2030.

Having climbed the mountain several times before, Paul knew what to expect but still had to remain cautious.

The mountain is part of the Kilimanjaro National Park and is a major climbing destination

The Tanzania based photographer said: “Climbing Kilimanjaro isn’t as much of a mission as people might think. You need to be ready to walk many hours a day, but it’s not too stressful.

“The main issues when climbing Kili are altitude sickness and it not getting dealt with properly, that’s how people can die on the mountain.

Paul said: “The main issues when climbing Kili are altitude sickness and it not getting dealt with properly, that’s how people can die on the mountain"

"We were all well aware of that, as was our guide, so we had a firm eye on each other and made sure that we were extremely cautious about it.”

Kilimanjaro glaciers attract some 25,000 visitors each year, providing a major revenue source for Tanzania.

Having climbed the mountain several times before, Paul knew what to expect but still had to remain cautious

Paul said: “When you climb Kilimanjaro it’s an adventure, no doubt.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for us to bond as a team, which we did. We were also led by an incredible guide called Msafiri Munna, who kept us at the right slow pace, checked our blood and oxygen levels each evening and kept us buoyant with his amazing humour.”

Paul Joynson-Hicks MBE, climbed Africa’s tallest mountain over 10 days with five other climbers

“When showing people the images from the climb, there are a lot of mixed emotions. Lots of, ‘Wow beautiful', as it really is, and then lots of sadness at how fast the glaciers are melting.”