Kilimanjaro Routes
Kilimanjaro Routes
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Kilimanjaro Routes

There are a number of routes to climb the mountain, of which we recommend four. The Rongai and Marangu are the easiest, while Machame and Shira provide more enduring walks while ascending. The journey to the roof of the mountain takes at least five days and is best attempted during Tanzania's dry seasons-July through September and January through March.

Marangu Route
Known as the "Coca-Cola" route, the Marangu route approaches Kilimanjaro from the southeast. It is the oldest, most well-established route. Many favor the Marangu route because it is considered to be the easiest path on the mountain, given its gradual slope and direct path. Marangu is the only route that offers sleeping huts in dormitory-style accommodations. There are 60 bunk beds each at Mandara and Kibo Huts, and 120 bunk beds at Horombo Hut. 

Guests are supplied with mattresses and pillows, but sleeping bags are still required. The huts have communal dining halls and basic washrooms, ranging from flushing toilets and running water at the lower huts to long drop toilets and buckets of water at Kibo Hut. Also available for consumption are soft drinks, bottled water, and beer.

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Machame Route
The Machame route, known as the "Whiskey" route, is now the most popular route on the mountain. Machame approaches from the southwest and descends using Mweka, rewarding climbers with views of the expansive Shira Plateau, an optional scramble up Lava Tower, a climb up the Great Barranco Wall, and a traverse underneath Kilimanjaro's Southern Ice field. The descent occurs on the Mweka route. Climbers sleep in supplied tents at designated campsites and eat meals either outdoors or inside a large dining tent. Our staff prepares all meals and sets up the tents.

Rongai Route
The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, the Rongai route still experiences low traffic. Rongai is the preferred route for those looking for an alternative to the crowded Marangu route, for those who would like a more remote hike, and for those who are climbing during the rainy season (the north side receives less precipitation).

Lemosho Route
The Lemosho Route is known to be the longest route and popular due to the fact that it is a beautiful route to ascend this mountain. You will see some of the most extraordinary scenery with well-preserved forests, sweeping moorland, heather forests, and high desert. Lemosho Route allows for easy walking and provides plenty of opportunity for altitude adjustment. The route approaches the summit from the west via the Londorossi Gate and one of the most remote quarters of the region.

Umbwe Route
The Umbwe route has a well-deserved reputation of being the most challenging route on Mount Kilimanjaro. Approaching from the south, the Umbwe route is a short, steep, and direct climb. After reaching Barranco Camp, the trail follows the southern circuit to the summit. The descent is done via the Mweka route.

Umbwe is considered to be a very difficult, taxing route - one that should only be attempted by strong hikers who are also confident of their ability to acclimatize to the altitude.

Shira Route
The Shira Route is a path that approaches Kilimanjaro from the west and is nearly identical to the Lemosho route. In fact, Shira was the original route and Lemosho is the improved variation. While Lemosho starts at Londorossi Gate and treks through the rain forest to Shira 1 Camp, the Shira route bypasses this walk by using a vehicle to transport climbers to Shira Gate, located near the Shira Ridge. On the first day on the mountain, climbers begin their hike from 11,800 feet (3,600 m) and spend their first night at the same elevation at Simba Camp. Then, the route merges with Lemosho at Shira 2 and follows the southern circuit route, traversing beneath the Southern Ice fields before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made on the Mweka route.

Kilimanjaro Popular Treks