Which Kilimanjaro Route Will You Choose? A Guide to Climbing Africa’s Tallest Mountain

Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa. It is located in northeast Tanzania and south of the border with Kenya. The highest point of the mountain is Uhuru Peak (5895 meters) on the edge of the Kibo volcano crater. The name Kilimanjaro means shining mountain in Swahili. Due to its specific location near the equator and its height, climbers traverse most climatic zones during the ascent to the top. Climbers can choose from eight routes to climb Kilimanjaro, with the choice of route being crucial. It must meet your requirements and contribute to your success in reaching the summit.

Which Kilimanjaro route will you choose?

  1. The Marangu Route – also known as the Coca-Cola route. It is one of the most popular routes to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Many hikers consider it the easiest route to reach the highest point, Uhuru Peak. To successfully reach the summit, you must allow at least 6 days or more for the ascent and descent. It is the only route that offers mountain huts equipped with beds and mattresses. The route can be used for both ascent and descent.
  2. The Machame Route – is also a very popular and successful route to the summit. During the ascent to the top, hikers sleep in tents set up by mountain guides. The route can be completed in 6 days, but it is recommended to allow at least 7 days for hikers to have more time for acclimatization. The route has two downsides. One is that a section of the route is physically demanding due to the Shira ridge and Barranco wall. The other downside is that on the third day of ascent, the routes merge, resulting in a larger number of hikers on it.
  3. The Umbwe Route – the route is known for its caves. The first night is spent at the Umbwe cave camp, which can also be visited, and later nights are spent in tents. It is one of the shortest routes to the southern glaciers and at the same time one of the most scenic, non-technical routes on Kilimanjaro. The route merges with the Machame Route after the second night.
  4. The Shira Route – Shira Plateau is one of the most scenic and interesting areas on Kilimanjaro. This route allows driving through forests, meadows, and swamps to an altitude of approximately 4000 meters. Due to the rapid ascent, a longer time for acclimatization is necessary, making it suitable for hikers accustomed to such rapid changes and ascents.
  5. The Lemosho Route – is very beautiful, leading through pristine nature, where wildlife can be observed in the forest. It is also one of the quieter routes on Kilimanjaro. The route merges with the Machame Route on the third day of the hike. The route is not suitable during the rainy season as the starting point, Lemosho, is inaccessible during the wet season.
  6. The Rongai (Naro Moru) Route – ascends to the summit from the northeastern side of the mountain, along the border between Tanzania and Kenya. The route offers a different view of the mountain compared to the northern side. It is one of the quieter routes. A drawback of the route is that the journey to the starting point of the route is very long. Below the Kibo hut, the route begins to merge with the Marangu route, although hikers still sleep in tents rather than mountain huts.
  7. The Mweka Route – is used as the descent route from the summit to all western routes.

Now that you’re equipped with knowledge about the various routes up Kilimanjaro, it’s time to embark on this exhilarating adventure. Whether you seek a challenging ascent or a more scenic route, there’s a path that suits your preferences and abilities. Join us as we conquer Kilimanjaro, experiencing its breathtaking beauty and overcoming its formidable heights.

Are you ready to make your mark on Africa’s tallest peak? Book your journey with us today and let’s climb Kilimanjaro together!