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Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes Highlights - Go Island Tours and Travels: Toursl & Safaris Expert in Tanzania Tourist Destinations

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Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes Highlights

Kilimanjaro Mount Info






Long access drive, remote, less frequented, beautiful forests, scenic traverse to Barafu, camping. Excellent for acclimatization

8 (-1)

56 kilometres
(35 mi)


Second most popular route. Beautiful forest, very good for acclimatization, scenic traverse to Barafu.

7 (-1)

49 kilometres
(30 mi)


Very popular(crowded). Gentle gradients and long sections up to 4700m (2.9 mi). Beautiful forests and moorlands, comfortable but basic huts. The 6 day variant provides good time for acclimatization.

6 (-1)

64 kilometres
(40 mi)


Long access drive, remote, less frequented, some fine, wild, least scenic, camping. Good for acclimatization.


65 kilometres
(40 mi)


Shortest and steepest route, very physically taxing and requires serious endurance. Beautiful forest, spectacular ridge, bad for acclimatization, scenic traverse to Barafu, camping.

6 (-1)

37 kilometres
(23 mi)

Northern Circuit

Newest route on Kilimanjaro. Very low traffic due to very long time on the mountain, traverses nearly the entire mountain including the north side. Long route with great views.


90 kilometres
(56 mi)


Machame Route
Some call this the most beautiful route up Kilimanjaro. Where accommodation on the Marangu route is in huts, the Machame route offers strictly tents only. This makes Machame (also referred to as the "Whiskey route") better suited to the slightly more adventurous hiker, however rewarding him/her with a scenic splendor such as not seen on the Marangu route.

• Highly recommended for scenic value, with medium success rate. Not recommended for first-time climbers.
• Most technically difficult route available without a permit due to vertical climb on Day 4
• Great for acclimatization with lots of walk high, sleep low opportunities
• Challenging trek with stunning scenery through 5 diverse climatic zones
• Good opportunity to split pre-summit day climb to leave climbers rested before summiting
• Very popular trail, therefore can be busy
• Fully catered camping only

Marangu Route
Its commonly called the Coca-Cola Route, because it is considered the easiest route and vendors sell Coca-Cola at some of the huts. Marangu is by far the most popular route to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Typical duration is either 5 or 6 days depending upon whether you elect to spend an extra day for acclimatization to the altitude. This is the only route that offers huts versus tents. In spite of these, do be aware that;-

1) a faster ascent means less time for acclimatization and a lower chance of reaching the summit and
2) it is actually colder to stay in huts compared to staying in tents.
• Nicknamed the "Coca-Cola" route due to the older days when Coke used to be bought along the way in tea huts
• Often selected by unprepared, inexperienced climbers because of its reputation for being the "easiest" route, attributing to the lower success rate
• The shortest and cheapest route, but less time to acclimatize, therefore lower success rate
• Dormitory style accommodation in huts
• Less scenic due to ascent and descent on same route

Shira / Lemosho Route
Lemosho Route Little used and more remote than other routes. The route is one of the few where groups may be accompanied on the first day by an armed ranger, as the forests around the Lemosho Glades are rich in buffalo, elephant and other big game animals.

• High success rate. Good for acclimatization
• Remote and spectacular, dramatic gorges and views of west Kilimanjaro
• Converges with Machame on day 4 at Baranco
• Shira offers higher start point compared to Lemosho and poorer acclimatisation
• Fully catered camping only

Rongai Route
The Rongai route provides ascent up Kilimanjaro from the northeastern side of the mountain, along the border between Tanzania and Kenya.

• Only northern approach to Kilimanjaro
• Least scenic route
• Offers a true wilderness experience on the early stages of the climb
• Very tough final summit night from the north
• Less acclimatisation opportunities
• Less scenic and flat
• Fully catered camping only

Umbwe Route

Of all the routes, Machame is by far the most scenic albeit steeper route up the mountain. The Rongai is the easiest camping route and the Marangu is also easy, but accommodation is in huts. As a result, this route tends to be very busy and ascent and descent routes are the same. Although the Rongai route is a flatter walk, it offers less opportunities for acclimatisation. The Machame and Lemosho routes both allow better opportunities to "walk high and sleep low", which is critical to avoiding altitude sickness.

• Steep, short route with lower success rate
• Poor acclimatization because of rapid ascent
• Very remote and quiet
• Fully catered camping only

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