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Kilimanjaro Best Routes

Kilimanjaro best climbing routes.

There are several routes you can decide to take when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro but each of them offers different challenges and expectations. Choosing the best climbing route for your Mount Kilimanjaro climbing shall surely improve your prospects of reaching the peak of the mountain. To make such a decision, there are number of factors you have to consider: how many days are available for your climbing?  What is your budget?  What kind of accommodation are you expecting and other factors. To really break it down for you, see the routes details below.

Route clarifications.

Kilimanjaro routeMinimum daysRecommended daysRoute sceneryRoute trafficDifficultySummit rateRating
Marangu route5-days6-daysGoodHighMediumBelow 40%**
Rongai route5-days6-daysVery goodLowMediumBelow 60%***
Machame route6-days7-daysExcellentVery highHighAbove 60%****
Lemosho route6-days8-daysExcellentMediumModerateAbove 80%*****
Northern circuit7-days9-daysExcellentLowModerateAbove 80%*****
Umbwe route5-days7-daysVery goodVery lowVery difficultyBelow 30%**

Marangu route- Not highly recommended (Good) **

Route overview.

Minimum climbing days: 5-days

Recommended: 6-days

Route scenery: Good

Route traffic: Very high especially during peak seasons

Difficult level: Moderate

Accommodation: Shared mountain hut with bed and mattresses.

Summit successful rate: Low, below 40

Rating **

Marangu route is the classic trek on the Mount Kilimanjaro; it is the oldest, most well established route. Many favor Marangu route because it is considered to be easiest path on the

Mountain, given its gradual slope. It is also the only route which offers accommodation in huts in dormitory arrangement style. The minimum days required is five although the probability of reaching the top in that time period is quite low.

Spending an extra day for acclimatization is highly recommended when using this route.

However, despite its immense popularity, the route has the least scenic view compared to the rest of the routes because ascend and descend trail is the same, for this reason the route is heavily crowded especially the peak seasons. (June to October)

The route is favored only during rainy season where the hut accommodation is preferred over wet ground, or for those who only have five days only to climb Kilimanjaro.

More information about Marangu route:

5-days Kilimanjaro climb Marangu route

6-days Kilimanjaro climb Marangu route

Rongai route – Recommended ***

Route overview:

Minimum climbing days: 5-days

Recommended climbing days: 6 & 7 days

Route scenery: Very good

Route traffic: Very low

Difficult level: Moderate

Accommodation: Public tents camping

Summit successful rate: Good, about 60%

Rongai route is the only route that approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the North-East side, close to Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, Rongai is characterized by the very low traffic. It is the preferred route for those looking for an alternative to the crowded Marangu route, for those who would like more remote hike, and for those who are climbing during rainy season. The minimum number of days required for this route is five but six and seven days are highly recommended. The hiking scenery is very beautiful especially for the first day passing through the villages and true wilderness areas. The descending trail is from Marangu route.

More information about Rongai route

5-days Kilimanjaro climb Rongai route

6-days Kilimanjaro climb Rongai route

Machame Route – Highly Recommended (Very good****)

Route overview:

Minimum climbing days: 6-days

Recommended: 7-days

Route scenery: Very good

Route traffic: Very high throughout

Difficult level: Challenging

Accommodation: Public tents camping

Summit successful rate: High, above 80%

Machame route is now the most popular and busiest route on mountain compared to the rest of the routes. The days on Machame route are longer and the walk are steeper and challenging, its better suited for more adventurous folks and those with some hiking or backpacking experience. The route begins from the south, then heads east, traversing underneath Kilimanjaro southern ice filed before summiting.

For more information about Machame route click the links below.

6-days Kilimanjaro climb Machame route.

7-days Kilimanjaro climb Machame route.

Lemosho route –Highly Recommended (Excellent*****)

Route overview.

Minimum hiking days: 6-days

Recommended days: 7 & 8 days

Route scenery: Very beautiful

Route traffic: Not high

Difficulty level: Moderate

Summit successful rate: Very high, about 90%

Accommodation: Tents camping

Lemosho route is one of the newest routes, it approach Mount Kilimanjaro from the western side, it begins in the west and rather simply intersecting Shira Plateau, crosses Shira ridge to Shira camp. Climbers’ encounters low traffic until the route joins Machame route at Lava tower to Barranco, Karanga and Barafu. Lemosho is considered the most beautiful route on Kilimanjaro and grants panoramic view on various sides of the mountain. It is our favorite route because it offers a great balance of low traffic, scenic view and a high summit success rate.

For more information about Lemosho route click the links below.

Climb Kilimanjaro 7-days Lemosho route

Climb Kilimanjaro 8-days Lemosho route

Umbwe route-Not recommended**

Route overview:

Minimum climbing days: 6-days

Route traffic: Very low

Scenery: Good

Difficulty level: High

Accommodation: Tents camping

Summit successful rate: Very low

The Umbwe route is a short, steep and direct route. It is considered to be very difficult and is the most challenging way up Mount Kilimanjaro. Due to the quick ascend, Umbwe does not provide the necessary stages for altitude acclimatization. Although the traffic on this route is very low, the chances of success are also low. The Umbwe route should only be tempted by those who are very strong hikers and are confident in their ability to acclimatize. We do not recommend any of our clients to climb Kilimanjaro via this route.

For more information about Umbwe route please click the link below.

Climb Kilimanjaro 6-days Umbwe route.

Mount Kilimanjaro climb: Tips for safe and successful Kilimanjaro summit.

-Choose the best route that offers good acclimatization, oxygen decreases as you climb to higher elevation, choose the routes that offer the acclimatization throughout to avoid the possibility of experiencing higher altitude mountain sickness. In this case Rongai, Lemosho, and Machame routes are highly recommended.

-Be well prepared and full equipped for Kilimanjaro trekking, do not forget to carry all necessary trekking equipments and gears. Remember, weather in the mountain is not precisely predictable; having with you the all weather gears is the best decision.

-Do not carry too much heavy day-pack. Most of your item luggage will be carried by Kilimanjaro porters; you will just carry your light day pack bag, which contains the most necessary personal use for a day only.

-Listen carefully to your guide, do not ignore the little advice from your guide, our Kilimanjaro guides are having more than 10-years experience, they have a broad working knowledge of Mount Kilimanjaro, please listen to what they direct you to do.

-Eat enough food and drink more water so that your body won’t run out of energy, long day working requires body energy, make sure you eat as much as you can. Do not forget to go to bed early so that you will wake up with new energy to continue climbing.

-Choose the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Your chance to summit Kilimanjaro peak is highly influenced by the external factors like bad weather, knowing the best time to go for Kilimanjaro trekking will help you to plan your adventure accordingly.

Best time of the year to go for Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing:

  • June to October-peak of high season, most of the Kilimanjaro routes and hotels are crowded; it’s a good time to climb.
  • October to December-Most of the Kilimanjaro routes are less crowded, this season may be associated with low seasonal rainfall so not that much good for climbing.
  • December to end of February-High season most of the routes and hotels are crowded, good season for climbing.
  • March to early of June-Low season, it’s the peak of the wet season as these months are associated with heavy rainfalls so not ideal for climbing.
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