At 5,895m, Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain and its striking beauty has inspired thousands to climb it over the last one hundred and fifty years. The great advantage of Mount Kilimanjaro is that it involves no technical climbing, and whilst it does test one’s endurance, fitness and will-power, any healthy person can successfully reach the summit. The trek usually lasts for 5-7 days, although we recommend at least 6 days as you are more likely to reach the top given longer to acclimatise.
Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
There are 7 established hiking routes around Kilimanjaro,
1) Marangu, 2) Machame, 3) Lemosho, 4) Rongai, 5) Shira, 6) Umbwe, 7) Northern Circuit.
The Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe routes all approach from the south of the mountain. The Lemosho, Shira and Northern Circuit routes approach from the west. The Rongai route approaches from the north.
Almost all tourist use Marangu, Machame, Lemosho and Rongai and most popular routes for tourists are Marangu and Machame.
Also known as the “Coca Cola route” - Marangu route is one of the most popular routes leading to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Many hikers believe that Marangu route is the easiest route to Uhuru peak, since it is the only route which can be hiked in 5 days (making it the cheapest option). It is also the only route offering accommodation on the mountain in huts so you can sleep in beds and mattresses at every overnight site. Mineral water, soft drinks, beer and chocolates are also sold at most sites.
It is unfortunately a well-known fact, that the 5 day Marangu route has one of the lowest summit success rates of all the routes up mountain. If you choose the Marangu route, we strongly recommend hiking the route over 6 days, to increase your chance to reach the summit successfully. Marangu route has the least scenic variety of all the routes because utilizes the same route for the ascend and descend so it is the most crowded route.
The Machame route is our most popular and successful route leading to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Hikers sleep in tents which are carried up the mountain by porters. The Machame route is a very scenic and beautiful route, which can be completed in 6 days, however we strongly recommend hiking the route in 7 days, allowing for more time to acclimatize. The key to the success of the Machame route is its topography, allowing hikers to climb high and sleep low, helping towards better acclimatization. Machame Route is the most popular route these days and Lemosho Route join Machame Route from 3rd day of the hike therefore higher numbers of hickers are on this route. The descent is along the Mweka Route, a descent only route.
The Lemosho Route is a very beautiful and unspoiled route and sightings of wildlife like chameleon and sometimes elephant around start point is possible. The Lemosho route is one of the quiet routes, however this advantage disappears when the route combines with the Machame route on the 3rd day of the hike. For those seeking a quiet route away from the crowds, it is a superior option to the Rongai route. Unlike Rongai the Lemosho route has the same excellent pro-acclimatization features of the Machame route, which joins just before reaching Lava Tower.
We do not recommend hiking the Lemosho route during the rainy season as the road to start point of the Lemosho Route is particularly inaccessible during the wet season by vehicles. Climbers should be prepared to walk the final 2-5 kilometers of the road. The descent route along the Mweka Route, a descent-only route.
The Rongai Route ascents from the north eastern side of the mountain, along the border between Tanzania and Kenya. This route retains a scene of unspoiled wilderness and offers a different prespective on Kilimanjaro by approaching from the north. The Rongai route's premier advantage is that is is one of the quietest routes on the mountain. Disadvangate is the long driving time to the starting point of the route. The route also becomes busier when it connects the Marangu route just before reaching Kibo hut. The Rongai route decends along the Marangu route as well, however you still sleep in tents and not use the huts of the Marangu route.
128 km from Arusha. About 1 hour from Kilimanjaro Airport.
From Deceomber to Februaru is clearest and warmest conditions. Dry and also colder from July to September.