Kilimanjaro Trekking Routes

Kilimanjaro Trekking Routes

Kilimanjaro has a number of official climbing routes. These are: Northern Circuit, Machame, Marangu, Rongai, Londorossi Lemosho, Umbwe, Shira, and Mweka (descent only) all are the best Kilimanjaro Trekking Routes.Route travel times range from five to nine days to summit and return to the base of the mountain. Huts with cooking facilities, bathrooms, and electricity are available on the Marangu route, and camps with fewer facilities are available on many other routes. All huts and many camps have rangers stationed at them with rescue facilities (modified wheelbarrows to transport trekkers stricken with altitude sickness to lower altitudes). The Northern Circuit is also the longest route, taking 9 days. Because of its length, it’s the safest and most successful route up Kilimanjaro with an average top roof success rate of over 95%! If you have the time and want to get off the standard busier routes, this is probably the best option for you.The Machame Route is approximately 62 km/ 37 mls from gate to gate. It is designed for physically fit people with some trekking experience, but plenty of first time trekker use the route as well and do just fine. Trekkers on Mount Kilimanjaro typically have a support crew of guides and porters who are integral in helping climbers reach the summit.

Kilimanjaro Marangu Route

Often referred to as the "Coca-Cola Route" due to its popularity and relative ease, the Marangu Route is the most well-trodden path up Kilimanjaro, Known for its comfortable hut accommodation along the way, making it the only route that offers sleeping huts instead of camping, While it's considered one of the easier routes, it's still a challenging climb, and climbers should be prepared for steep sections and high altitude.

Overview:

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Duration: 5-6 days (depending on itinerary)
  • Distance: Approximately 64 kilometers (39.8 miles) round trip
  • Starting Point: Marangu Gate (1,860 meters / 6,102 feet)
  • Summit: Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters / 19,341 feet)

Tips for Success:

  • Acclimatization: Take your time to acclimatize to the altitude, with gradual ascents and rest days built into your itinerary.
  • Hydration and Nutrition: Stay hydrated and well-fed throughout your trek to maintain energy levels and combat altitude sickness.
  • Clothing and Gear: Dress in layers to accommodate the changing weather conditions. Ensure you have appropriate footwear and equipment for the journey.
  • Physical Preparation: Train beforehand to build stamina and endurance, as the trek can be physically demanding, especially towards the summit.

See more tips & weather Kilimanjaro trekking.

  • Distance: 68km
  • Elevation: 100ft
  • Scenery: Good
  • Traffic: Low

Highlights:

  • Scenic Landscapes: Begin your trek through verdant rainforests filled with exotic flora and fauna. Marvel at towering trees, vibrant birdlife, and the occasional glimpse of monkeys swinging through the canopy.
  • Historical Huts: Along the route, encounter a series of comfortable huts providing shelter and basic amenities for trekkers. These huts, reminiscent of a bygone era, offer a cozy resting place amidst the wilderness.
  • Kilimanjaro's Diversity: As you ascend, witness the dramatic transition from dense forest to moorland, characterized by otherworldly vegetation such as giant lobelias and senecios. The ever-changing scenery adds to the allure of the journey.
  • Gilman's Point: Reach this intermediate summit on Kilimanjaro's crater rim just before dawn. Experience the thrill of watching the sunrise over Mawenzi Peak and the vast African plains stretching below.
  • Uhuru Peak: Conquer the ultimate challenge as you ascend to the summit of Kilimanjaro, Uhuru Peak. Standing at 5,895 meters (19,341 feet), this momentous achievement offers panoramic views unlike any other, making all the effort worthwhile.

Kilimanjaro Machame Route

The Machame route, also known as the Whisky Route is one of the most scenic and recommended routes on Kilimanjaro, This popular route with paths through magnificent forests to gain a ridge leading through the moorland zones to the Shira Plateau, It then traverses beneath the glaciated precipices of the Southern Ice fields to join the Barafu Route to the summit, Because it can be done over longer periods and the incline is more manageable it has a much higher success rate of summit.

Overview:

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Duration: 5-6 days (depending on itinerary)
  • Distance: Approximately 64 kilometers (39.8 miles) round trip
  • Starting Point: Machame Gate (1,790 meters / 5,873 feet)
  • Summit: Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters / 19,341 feet)

Tips for Success:

  • Acclimatization: Take your time to acclimatize to the altitude, with gradual ascents and rest days built into your itinerary.
  • Hydration and Nutrition: Stay hydrated and well-fed throughout your trek to maintain energy levels and combat altitude sickness.
  • Clothing and Gear: Dress in layers to accommodate the changing weather conditions. Ensure you have appropriate footwear and equipment for the journey.
  • Physical Preparation: Train beforehand to build stamina and endurance, as the trek can be physically demanding, especially towards the summit.

See more tips & weather Kilimanjaro trekking.

  • Distance: 68km
  • Elevation: 100ft
  • Scenery: Excellent
  • Traffic: high

Highlights:

  • Scenic Diversity: The Machame Route offers trekkers a remarkable variety of landscapes, from lush rainforests to alpine meadows and rugged terrain. As you ascend, you'll witness the dramatic changes in scenery, providing an ever-evolving backdrop to your journey.
  • Barranco Wall: One of the most iconic features of the Machame Route is the Barranco Wall, a steep rock face that offers an exhilarating climb and stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Climbing the Barranco Wall is a highlight for many trekkers and adds an element of adventure to the journey.
  • High Success Rate: Despite its challenging nature, the Machame Route boasts a high success rate for summiting Mount Kilimanjaro. The route's longer duration allows for better acclimatization, increasing the likelihood of reaching the summit successfully.
  • Sunrise at Uhuru Peak: The ultimate reward of the Machame Route is reaching Uhuru Peak, the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro. Standing atop the summit at sunrise, surrounded by the vast expanse of the African plains below, is an experience that words cannot fully capture.

Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route

As a newer route, it is more remote and arguably more beautiful, but a bit longer and slightly more expensive. It starts on the Western side of the mountain at the Londorossi Gate which is a further drive from town, and was introduced as an alternative to the Shira route.
After beautiful forests and moorlands it crosses the Shira Plateau on day 3 to connect with the Machame Route at Lava Tower and down towards Barranco Valley via the Southern Circuit. You may be lucky enough to see buffalo, elephant and other game. Because this route can be done over a longer period of time for acclimatization, it has a higher success rate of summit.

Overview:

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Duration: 5-6 days (depending on itinerary)
  • Distance: Approximately 64 kilometers (39.8 miles) round trip
  • Starting Point: Machame Gate (1,790 meters / 5,873 feet)
  • Summit: Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters / 19,341 feet)

Tips for Success:

  • Acclimatization: Take your time to acclimatize to the altitude, with gradual ascents and rest days built into your itinerary.
  • Hydration and Nutrition: Stay hydrated and well-fed throughout your trek to maintain energy levels and combat altitude sickness.
  • Clothing and Gear: Dress in layers to accommodate the changing weather conditions. Ensure you have appropriate footwear and equipment for the journey.
  • Physical Preparation: Train beforehand to build stamina and endurance, as the trek can be physically demanding, especially towards the summit.

See more tips & weather Kilimanjaro trekking.

  • Distance: 68km
  • Elevation: 100ft
  • Scenery: Excellent
  • Traffic: high

Highlights:

  • Lemosho Glades: Begin your trek through the dense rainforests of the Lemosho Glades, where you'll encounter a rich array of flora and fauna, including towering trees, exotic plants, and colorful birdlife.
  • Shira Plateau: Ascend to the expansive Shira Plateau, a high-altitude desert with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and glimpses of Kilimanjaro's towering peaks.
  • Barranco Wall: Conquer the challenging Barranco Wall, a thrilling scramble that rewards climbers with sweeping vistas and a sense of accomplishment as they ascend to higher elevations.
  • Stella Point: Reach Stella Point, the precursor to the summit, as the first light of dawn paints the sky in hues of orange and pink, signaling the final push to Uhuru Peak.
  • Uhuru Peak: Stand atop the "Roof of Africa" at Uhuru Peak, where you'll be treated to awe-inspiring views stretching as far as the eye can see, with the vast African plains sprawling below.

Kilimanjaro Rongai Route

Less crowded because of its remote location the route offers trekkers a unique wilderness experience where it is possible to see large wildlife like antelope, elephant and buffalo. As there is typically less moisture on this side of the mountain you are less likely to encounter rain and have more unclouded views of the peak. While it is flatter, it does not give the climb high sleep low option and therefore recommended to select more days for acclimatization.
The Rongai route is one of the easier routes up Kilimanjaro. Rongai is the only route to approach Kilimanjaro from the north and the descent is via the Marangu Route.Summit night from Kibo Hut is steep and follows the same path taken by the Marangu route which passes Gilman’s Point to Uhuru Peak. There are several variations; the one described is a longer route taking in Mawenzi Tarn.

Overview:

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Duration: Typically completed in 6-7 days, though some itineraries may offer a faster pace of 5 days.
  • Distance: Approximately 65 kilometers (40 miles)
  • Starting Point: Rongai Gate (1,950 meters / 6,398 feet)
  • Summit: Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters / 19,341 feet)

Tips for Success:

  • Acclimatization: Take your time to acclimatize to the altitude, with gradual ascents and rest days built into your itinerary.
  • Hydration and Nutrition: Stay hydrated and well-fed throughout your trek to maintain energy levels and combat altitude sickness.
  • Clothing and Gear: Dress in layers to accommodate the changing weather conditions. Ensure you have appropriate footwear and equipment for the journey.
  • Physical Preparation: Train beforehand to build stamina and endurance, as the trek can be physically demanding, especially towards the summit.

See more tips & weather Kilimanjaro trekking.

  • Distance: 68km
  • Elevation: 100ft
  • Scenery: Excellent
  • Traffic: high

Highlights:

  • Untouched Wilderness: Immerse yourself in the unspoiled beauty of Kilimanjaro's northern slopes, where you'll trek through lush forests, open moorlands, and alpine desert landscapes, encountering an array of endemic flora and fauna along the way.
  • Mawenzi Tarn: Marvel at the stunning Mawenzi Tarn, a picturesque alpine lake nestled beneath the jagged peaks of Mount Mawenzi, offering a tranquil oasis and breathtaking views of Kilimanjaro's dramatic scenery.
  • Northern Approach: Enjoy a quieter and less crowded ascent as you trek along the remote northern slopes of Kilimanjaro, away from the busier trails frequented by other climbers, allowing for a more serene and exclusive experience.
  • Kibo Crater Camp: Camp beneath the towering cliffs of Kibo Crater, where you'll spend your final night before the summit push, soaking in the awe-inspiring surroundings and mentally preparing for the exhilarating journey ahead.
  • Uhuru Peak: Reach the pinnacle of Africa at Uhuru Peak, where you'll be greeted by a spectacular sunrise and panoramic vistas stretching across the vast plains below, an unforgettable moment of triumph and accomplishment.

Kilimanjaro Shira Route

The Shira Routes are renowned for their stunning landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and relatively low traffic compared to some of the more popular routes like Machame and Marangu. These routes offer adventurers the opportunity to explore Kilimanjaro's western side, beginning their journey at higher altitudes, which can contribute to better acclimatization.

Overview:

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Duration: The Shira Route typically spans 7 to 8 days.
  • Distance: Covering approximately 56 kilometers (35 miles) in total.
  • Starting Point: The Shira Route begins at the Shira Gate.
  • Summit: Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters / 19,341 feet)

Tips for Success:

  • Acclimatization: Take your time to acclimatize to the altitude, with gradual ascents and rest days built into your itinerary.
  • Hydration and Nutrition: Stay hydrated and well-fed throughout your trek to maintain energy levels and combat altitude sickness.
  • Clothing and Gear: Dress in layers to accommodate the changing weather conditions. Ensure you have appropriate footwear and equipment for the journey.
  • Physical Preparation: Train beforehand to build stamina and endurance, as the trek can be physically demanding, especially towards the summit.

See more tips & weather Kilimanjaro trekking.

  • Distance: 68km
  • Elevation: 100ft
  • Scenery: Excellent
  • Traffic: Low

Highlights:

  • Shira Plateau: Begin your adventure with a thrilling drive through the scenic Shira Plateau, where you'll be treated to sweeping views of Kilimanjaro's majestic slopes and distant horizons. This high-altitude desert is characterized by its vast expanse and unique flora, offering a stark yet captivating introduction to the mountain.
  • Lava Tower: Reach the iconic Lava Tower, a towering volcanic formation situated at an altitude of approximately 4,630 meters (15,190 feet). This natural landmark serves as a key acclimatization point, allowing climbers to adjust to the thinning air while marveling at the rugged beauty of their surroundings.
  • Barranco Valley: Descend into the scenic Barranco Valley, a verdant oasis nestled amidst the rocky cliffs of Kilimanjaro. Here, you'll traverse through lush vegetation, cross sparkling streams, and soak in the tranquility of this idyllic alpine setting.
  • Barranco Wall: Conquer the formidable Barranco Wall, a challenging yet exhilarating climb that rewards adventurers with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Ascend using hands and feet along the rocky face of the wall, testing your mettle and agility as you make your way to higher elevations.
  • Stella Point: Approach Stella Point, the gateway to the summit, as the first light of dawn bathes the mountain in a golden glow. From here, you'll embark on the final leg of your journey, summoning your strength and determination to reach the pinnacle of Uhuru Peak.
  • Uhuru Peak: Stand triumphantly atop Uhuru Peak, the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the culmination of your epic adventure. Gaze out across the vast African plains stretching below, savoring the sense of accomplishment and awe-inspiring beauty that surrounds you.

Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route

The Umbwe Route is renowned for its steep ascent and rugged terrain, making it a favorite among experienced hikers seeking a more challenging climb. This route is often chosen by those looking to escape the crowds and immerse themselves in the pristine wilderness of Kilimanjaro.

Overview:

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Duration: Typically, the Umbwe Route takes around 5 to 6 days to complete.
  • Distance: The Umbwe Route covers approximately 53 kilometers (33 miles) round trip.
  • Starting Point: The Umbwe Route starts at the Umbwe Gate.
  • Summit: Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters / 19,341 feet)

Tips for Success:

  • Acclimatization: Take your time to acclimatize to the altitude, with gradual ascents and rest days built into your itinerary.
  • Hydration and Nutrition: Stay hydrated and well-fed throughout your trek to maintain energy levels and combat altitude sickness.
  • Clothing and Gear: Dress in layers to accommodate the changing weather conditions. Ensure you have appropriate footwear and equipment for the journey.
  • Physical Preparation: Train beforehand to build stamina and endurance, as the trek can be physically demanding, especially towards the summit.

See more tips & weather Kilimanjaro trekking.

  • Distance: 68km
  • Elevation: 100ft
  • Scenery: Excellent
  • Traffic: high

Highlights:

  • Steep and Direct: Known as the most challenging route, Umbwe offers a direct and steep ascent to Kilimanjaro's summit, making it ideal for experienced climbers seeking a rigorous adventure.
  • Scenic Beauty: Despite its difficulty, Umbwe rewards climbers with stunning views of Kilimanjaro's glaciers, lush rainforests, and dramatic landscapes, providing a truly immersive experience.
  • Less Crowded: Compared to other routes, Umbwe sees fewer climbers, offering a sense of solitude and tranquility amidst the mountain's rugged terrain.
  • Ultimate Test of Endurance: With its steep inclines and demanding terrain, Umbwe presents a physical and mental challenge, pushing climbers to their limits and rewarding them with a profound sense of accomplishment upon reaching Uhuru Peak.

Our Trekking Packages

From $1850 per person
9 Days Machame Route

7 days 6 nights in mountain 2 nights after and before climb

From $1970 per person
10 Days Lemosho Route

8 days 7 nights in mountain 2 nights after and before climb

From $1690 per person
8 Days Marangu Route

6 days 5 nights in mountain 2 nights after and before climb

From $1800 per person
8 Days Rongai Route

6 days 5 nights in mountain 2 nights after and before climb

From $2340 per person
11 Days Northern Route

9 days 8 nights in mountain 2 nights after and before climb

From $1780 per person
8 Days Umbwe Route

6 days 5 nights in mountain 2 nights after and before climb

From $1880 per person
7 Days Cyclic on Mt. Kilimanjaro

5 days 4 nights in mountain 2 nights after and before climb

From $2300 per person
11 Days Kilimanjaro crater Route

9 days 8 nights in mountain 2 nights after and before climb

From $1830 per person
9 Days Lemosho Route

7 days 6 nights in mountain 2 nights after and before climb

From $1500 per person
7 Days Marangu Route

5 days 4 nights in mountain 2 nights after and before climb

Climbing Challenges

Summit Experience

Uhuru Peak, the highest point on Kilimanjaro, offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding plains and distant mountains. Climbers often experience a sense of accomplishment and euphoria upon reaching the summit, celebrating their achievement and capturing memorable photos. Weather conditions at the summit can be harsh, with freezing temperatures, strong winds, and low oxygen levels, so climbers are advised to dress warmly and stay hydrated.

Cultural Significance

Kilimanjaro holds cultural significance for the indigenous Chagga people, who have inhabited the region for centuries. Local guides and porters play an essential role in supporting climbers during their ascent, sharing their knowledge of the mountain and cultural traditions. Kilimanjaro National Park, established in 1977, protects the mountain's diverse ecosystems and wildlife. Sustainable tourism practices, including waste management and trail maintenance, are crucial for preserving Kilimanjaro's natural beauty and ecological integrity.

Planning and Preparation

Climbing Kilimanjaro requires careful planning, including obtaining permits, hiring a licensed guide, and arranging transportation and accommodation.

Climbers should undergo physical training, acquire appropriate gear and equipment, and acclimatize gradually to altitude before attempting the climb.

Mount Kilimanjaro offers a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for climbers seeking to conquer Africa's highest peak and experience its awe-inspiring beauty and natural wonders.

When planning a Kilimanjaro climb, climbers often have many questions. Here are some popular ones:

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Kilimanjaro offers several routes, each with its own characteristics in terms of difficulty, scenery, and traffic. Understanding the differences between routes can help climbers choose the one that best suits their preferences and abilities.

Proper gear is essential for a successful and safe climb. Climbers often ask about clothing, footwear, sleeping bags, trekking poles, and other necessary equipment for the varying conditions encountered on the mountain.

Climbing Kilimanjaro requires a good level of physical fitness. Questions about training routines, exercises, and preparation strategies are common among climbers looking to ensure they are adequately prepared for the challenge.

Altitude sickness is a real concern when climbing Kilimanjaro due to the rapid ascent. Climbers often inquire about symptoms, prevention strategies, and how to acclimatize effectively to reduce the risk of altitude-related illnesses.

Kilimanjaro offers a range of accommodation options, from basic campsites to more luxurious tented camps. Climbers may have questions about the amenities provided at each campsite and what to expect in terms of sleeping arrangements and facilities.

The weather and climbing conditions on Kilimanjaro vary depending on the time of year. Climbers often seek advice on the optimal months for climbing, taking into account factors such as weather patterns, crowd levels, and visibility.

The duration of a Kilimanjaro climb can vary depending on the chosen route and itinerary. Climbers often ask about the typical duration of different routes and the number of days required for ascent and descent.

Safety is paramount when climbing Kilimanjaro. Climbers often inquire about the experience and qualifications of guides, emergency procedures, and the availability of medical facilities on the mountain.

Kilimanjaro is located in a richly biodiverse region, and climbers may encounter various flora and fauna during their ascent. Questions about the wildlife, including endemic species and conservation efforts, are common among climbers.

n addition to its natural beauty, Kilimanjaro offers opportunities to learn about the local culture and interact with the communities surrounding the mountain. Climbers may inquire about cultural experiences such as visits to nearby villages, encounters with local guides and porters, and cultural traditions observed during the climb.

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