kilimanjaro Route

kilimanjaro Routes

What takes you up the summit of the top of the world in Tanzania are the Kilimanjaro Routes, who accompany you along with the dedicated guides and porters to help you achieve your incredible dreams. You will learn so much from these gorgeous Kilimanjaro Walking Routes, who have hosted thousands of travelers up the summit. They are stunning, soothing, and noteworthy.

The Kilimanjaro Hiking Routes are of 7 varieties, the most popular of them being:

The two other Kilimanjaro Trekking Routes are:

  • Shrira Route
  • Umbwe Route

Kilimanjaro Routes

Kilimanjaro Route
Machame Route Lemosho Route Marangu Route Rongai Route Northern Circuit
Start Machame Gate Londorossi Gate Marangu Gate Rongai Gate Londorossi Gate
Finish Mweka Gate Mweka Gate Marangu Gate Marangu Gate Mweka Gate
Distance 62Km 70 Km 72 Km 73 Km 98 Km
Duration 6-7 Days 7-9 Days 5-7 Days 6-7 Days 8-9 Days
Traffic High Medium High Low High
Acclimatization Good Good Poor Poor Good
Package 6 Days | 7 Days 7 Days | 8 Days 6 Days 7 Days 9 Days
Difficulty Moderately difficult Moderately difficult Comparatively easy Relatively easy Easy
Success Percentage 85% 90% 80% 80% 95%
Success Rate Medium To High High High Medium To High Very High
Landscape 4 Out Of 5 5 Out Of 5 2 Out Of 5 3 Out Of 5 4 Out Of 5
% Of Climbers On Route 45% 8% 35% 5% 1%
Western Breach Options Yes Yes No No No
Scenery Incredibly beautiful Most scenic Good Not as scenic Extremely beautiful
Best Season Round the Year Round the Year Round the Year Round the Year June to September, November
Crowds Very Crowded Expect few crowds as its remote Expect Large Crowds Fewer crowds due to remote location Extremely Remote
Accommodation Camping Camping Sleeping Hut Camping Camping
Ratings **** **** *** *** ****
Feedback Ok Recommended Not Recommended Good Recommended

Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes

Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes that are approachable any time. Researching Kilimanjaro is not an easy task. Making the right choice when it comes to the Kilimanjaro Routes is an important bit towards a successful summit. We at Jerry Tanzania Tours want to give you as much information as possible to help you make this choice.

Among the 7 Kilimanjaro routes, all routes have their pros and cons, some people may agree or disagree but it comes down to your personal choice to choose a route for climbing. For you to figure out which is the best, ask yourself these questions:

  • How Many Days do you have?
  • When do you want to climb?
  • What is your budget?
  • What you want to get out of this climb?

How Many Days do you have?

You can start Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro anywhere between, 5-9 days, most people go for maybe 7 or 8 days. Remember though that these are the days that you are hiking the mountain. So you need one more day for arrival, and one more after departure. 

So if you choose the 7 – Day route, it means you guys have like nine days for that.

When do you want to climb?

You can start Kilimanjaro Climb all year round, there are two wet seasons though, and there is a long and a short period. The long is from March to May, and the short one is just November.

What is your Budget?

You can climb Kilimanjaro from $1500 - $2000 on a six days budget. It goes all the way to four, five and even six thousand dollars, on a longer luxurious climb. Most clients set around $2500 for a seven-day value for money climb.

What do you want to get out of this?

What do you want to get out of this climb? Are you there for the beautiful scenery? Do you prefer a less crowded Kilimanjaro Hike or are you there just for the mental and physical challenge?

Kilimanjaro Routes Explained (The 5 Best Kilimanjaro Routes)

Let us understand the brief overview of the 5 routes:

  • Only one route that approaches the mountain from the north, is the Rongai Route.
  • One route from the east which is the Marangu Route, all the five approach the mountain from the west or southwest.
  • This includes Lemosho Route, Machame Route, and also the northern circuit route.
  • Four out of these five use southern track routes, so that means they all start at different points, but they all meet at Barranco Camp and circle the mountain on the south side to the summit.
  • The fifth route is the only one, and the newest route that uses the northern slopes, of the mountain. That’s why it’s also called the Northern Circuit Route.

Lemosho Route

Difficulty

Medium

Distance

70 km

Duration

7-8 days

Success rate

High

The Lemosho Route is considered the most scenic route, on Kilimanjaro and is also one of the newest routes. The only difference it has from the Machame route is that it has, fewer people and has a different start. So both the groups join each other on day three and do the last couple of days together.

Lemosho Route also offers a great acclimatization profile, therefore has a very high success rate.

Choose this route if you:

Difficulty: Difficult

Want to see wildlife

Distance: 44 miles (70km)

Prefer a secluded time

Style: Camping

Have at least 7 days to climb

Duration: 7-8 Days

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Northern Circuit Route

Difficulty

High

Distance

98 km

Duration

9-10 days

Success rate

High

Northern Circuit is also a western approaching route, but it’s the only one that circles the mountain on the northern side than on the southern side. That makes it less crowded and also offers some beautiful views. The only side of the Northern Circuit is that you need nine days, but if you have the time and a little more budget, it is a very beautiful route.

This route also has a high success rate due to the length of nine days.

Choose this route if you:

Difficulty: Moderate

Prefer to be alone with mountaine

Distance: 56 miles (90km)

Want to take longest path up

Style: Camping

Can deal with 8 or more day of camping

Duration: 8-9 Days

Northern Circuit Route

Northern Circuit Route

Machame Route

Difficulty

Medium

Distance

62 km

Duration

6-8 days

Success rate

High

The Machame Route is one of the most scenic routes on the mountain and is also one of the western approaching routes. It’s considered very beautiful, it has a great acclimatization profile, which leads to a high success rate.

It can be done in six days, mostly it’s done in seven days. That’s also what we would recommend. The only downside of the Machame Route is that it has become very popular, so it can get crowded than other routes.

Choose this route if you:

Difficulty: Difficult

Want to climb high & sleep low

Distance: 39 miles (62 km)

Want a balanced challenge

Style: Camping

Dont mind foot traffic

Duration: 6-7 Days

Machame Route

Machame Route

Marangu Route

Difficulty

Low

Distance

72 km

Duration

5-6 days

Success rate

Low

The Marangu Route is the oldest and the most established route on Kilimanjaro. Sometimes referred to as the polar route or the tourist route as well, it’s the only route that offers accommodation, and it can be climbed between five or six days. It’s a popular choice if you climb during the wet season. Mainly because of the huts which offer, more protection from the rain than you would have when you camp on other routes.

Marangu route is not very scenic. So we wouldn’t necessarily recommend it also because it goes up and down the same path.

Choose this route if you:

Difficulty: Moderate

Enjoy coca cola

Distance: 45 miles (72km)

Have experience with high altitude

Style: Huts

Don’t like camping

Duration: 5-6 Days

Marangu Route

Marangu Route

Rongai Route

Difficulty

Low

Distance

73 km

Duration

6-7 days

Success rate

Medium

The Rongai Route is a medium difficulty route. It’s a particularly good choice if you are climbing during the wet season. This is because it approaches the mountain from the North.

That means it receives less rain compared to the western route. It’s not as scenic as the western routes. It doesn’t have as much variety as compared to for instance Lemosho Route or Northern Circuit Route. But it still is a beautiful and popular route.

You can complete the Kilimanjaro Route climb in 6 days, but normally we would recommend, to do it in seven days.

Choose this route if you:

Difficulty: Moderate

Prefer a secluded climb

Distance: 45 miles (73km)

Want to increase your chances of seeing wildlife

Style: Camping

Want to see the view from the north

Duration: 6-7 Days

Rongai Route

Rongai Route

Kilimanjaro Routes Success Rates

The following is the detailed list of the Kilimanjaro Routes Success Rates:

Kilimanjaro Routes Success Rates

From the above table the following conclusion can be drawn:

  • Lemosho Route has the highest Kilimanjaro Success Rate on the mountain. With the 7 – Days Kilimanjaro Route providing over 100% success rate for both males and females, the highest success rate on this package is recorded for the age group of 15-30 years of age.
  • Among these trekkers, over 50% of the climbers used Diamox while the age group of 46 – 60 also had a 100% success rate.
  • Some other trek packages that offered 100% success rates are – Machame 6 –Days climb, Rongai 6 – Days climb, Rongai 7 Days Climb and Umbwe 7 Days climb.
  • Among these statistics, the age group from 15 – 30 achieved the highest success rate.
  • The highest number of people to use Diamox was on the Umbwe Route with over 100% of the climbers using this medication to reduce Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).
  • Among the data presentation, the lowest Kilimanjaro Success Rate is offered on the Marangu 5 Days climb. Which is the lowest success rate compared to all other treks – 67%. The cause of this is having less time to acclimatize on the mountain due to a shorter itinerary.

Kilimanjaro Routes Map

Why do you think understanding the Kilimanjaro Route Map is so essential? To identify the Best Route To Climb Kilimanjaro, understanding the map of various Kilimanjaro Routes approaching the mountain is essential. Let’s have a look at the following map:

What do you observe?

  • The Rongai Route approaches from the Nalemoru gate from the Northern side of the mountain. It passes through the Simba Camp, the second cave Camp, Kikelewa Camp, etc. to reach the peak and descents in almost the same path.
  • The Marangu route approaches the mountain from the southern side, and offers camping at – Mandara Huts, Horombo Huts, Kibo Camp Hut, etc.
  • Lemosho Route approaches the mountain from the Lemosho Route Gate, and offers camping at – Shira Camp 1, New Shira Camp, and Lava Tower Camp.
  • Machame, Shira, and Umbwe are all Kilimanjaro western approach routes. Among these Machame is the most popular, Shira is the older version of Lemosho Route and Umbwe is the steepest route.
  • Another important route is the Northern Circuit route, which approaches the mountain from the west but circles the mountain and hikes from the north. This route provides the longest itinerary and the highest success rate.

Kilimanjaro Routes Comparison (With Kilimanjaro Routes Distance)

To help you understand and choose the right Kilimanjaro route, we have provided you with the following Kilimanjaro Route comparison based on the Kilimanjaro Routes Distance as follow:

Route Description Days Length
Northern Circuit
  • Newest route on Kilimanjaro
  • Very low traffic due to a very long time on the mountain,
  • Traverses nearly the entire mountain including the north side
  • Long route with great views
9 90 kilometers (56 mi)
Lemosho
  • Long access drive,
  • Remote,
  • Less frequented,
  • Beautiful forests,
  • Scenic traverse to Barafu,
  • Camping
  • Excellent for acclimatization
8(-1) 56 kilometres (35 mi)
Machame
  • The second most popular route
  • Beautiful forest,
  • very good for acclimatization,
  • scenic traverse to Barafu
9 90 kilometers (56 mi)
Marangu
  • Very popular (crowded)
  • Gentle gradients and long sections up to 4700m (2.9 mi)
  • Not a very scenic route as compared to Machame and Lemosho, comfortable but basic huts
  • The 6-day variant provides a good time for acclimatization due to a rest day at Horombo Hut
6 (-1) 64 kilometers (40 mi)
Rongai
  • Long access drive,
  • remote,
  • less frequented,
  • some fine,
  • wild,
  • least scenic,
  • camping
  • Good for acclimatization
9 90 kilometers (56 mi)
Umbwe
  • The shortest and steepest route,
  • Very physically taxing and requires serious endurance
  • Beautiful forest,
  • spectacular ridge,
  • bad for acclimatization,
  • scenic traverse to Barafu,
  • camping
  • Dangerous route
6 (-1) 37 kilometres (23 mi)

The best route to Climb Kilimanjaro

As per Jerry Tanzania Tours, the Best Route to Climb Kilimanjaro is the Lemosho route as it is the most beautiful and scenic route on Mount Kilimanjaro. This route also provides a high Kilimanjaro Success Rate as well due to the longer itinerary of 7-8 Days on the mountain.

Apart from the Lemosho route other Kilimanjaro routes such as the Machame, Lemosho, Northern Circuit, and Rongai Routes are also considered to provide a high success rate of up to 97% on the mountain. These routes are scenic as well. The Best Kilimanjaro Route for any climber is the one that helps you acclimatize well and reach the summit successfully.

Kilimanjaro Routes Difficulty

The Kilimanjaro Routes Difficulty level is considered to be highest on the Umbwe Route. This is the steepest route approaching the mountain. This route is also considered the most demanding yet most spectacular Kilimanjaro Route on the mountain. This route is chosen by the experienced climbers only.

Have a look at the difficulty level of each of the Kilimanjaro routes:

Kilimanjaro Routes Difficulty

From the above image, the following can be deciphered:

  • The Umbwe Route is the most difficult route up the mountain.
  • The routes with moderate difficulty levels are the Marangu route, Rongai route, and Northern Circuit route
  • While Shira Route, Machame route, and Lemosho route are equally challenging.
  • The highest scenic views are offered on the Machame and Lemosho routes while other routes are moderately scenic, the least scenic route is the Marangu route.

Kilimanjaro Routes Cost

The Kilimanjaro Routes Cost are the major part of the Kilimanjaro Climb Cost some of which are mentioned below:

Route Period Private Group
Marangu 6 Days $1900 $1660
Lemosho 7 Days $2100 $1900
8 Days $2300 $1930
6 Days $1930 $1660
Machame 7 Days $2100 $1730
Rongai 7 Days $2300 $1900
Northern Circuit 9 Days $3100 $2700

The most popular of the Kilimanjaro Route Packages are 8 Days Lemosho route and 7 Days Machame route. The cost of these packages that we provide are all less than $2000 for mid-range to luxury climbs on the mountain.

Kilimanjaro Route Duration of Climb

The Kilimanjaro Route Duration of the climb are mentioned below with estimated tourist traffic, difficulty level, and the number of days it takes for a climber to complete the climb:

Sr. No. Route Name Difficulty Level Traffic Estimated Days
1 Northern Circuit High Low 9
2 Lemosho Route High Medium 8
3 Rongai Route Medium Low 7
4 Machame Route High High 7
5 Shira Route High Medium 7
6 Marangu Route Medium High 6
7 Umbwe Route Very High Low 7

As you can observe from the above Mount Kilimanjaro Routes the maximum time is taken by the Northern Circuit Route to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. The shortest itinerary is provided by the Marangu route while all other Kilimanjaro Routes take about 7 to 8 days on the mountain.

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  • Lemosho Route
    Lemosho is the most beautiful Kilimanjaro route
  • Machame Route
    The Machame is the most popular Kilimanjaro route
  • Marangu Route
    The Marangu route offers hut accommodation
  • Rongai Route
    Rongai is the only route that approaches the summit from the north
  • Northern Circuit
    The Northern Circuit is the newest and longest Kilimanjaro route

Accomodation

Destination

Meals

Transport

Value For Money

Overall

  • Drink Lots - We recommend a fluid intake of 4-5 litres a day. This improves circulation and most other bodily functions.
  • Walk Slowly - For good acclimatisation it is vital to place as little strain on your body whilst it's trying to adapt to the reducing oxygen supply.
  • Walk High, Sleep Low - A well-planned itinerary that includes afternoon walks to a higher level than where sleeping overnight.

Want to know more about the Kilimanjaro Routes?

To know the essential details of the Kilimanjaro climb like the Best Time To Climb Kilimanjaro or the Kilimanjaro Climb Cost, you can speak to our travel experts directly and get a clear and overall view of the Best Route To Climb Kilimanjaro as well along with all necessary information about Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

About 90% of the climbers face Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness, and our Kilimanjaro Guides can help you avoid it on the mountain. Speaking to our travel experts beforehand also helps you take the right Vaccinations for Kilimanjaro before entering the country as well.

The following pages take each of the routes, individually, and go through a day-by-day description of them. So if you want an authentic, first-hand account of the routes – read on!

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro guide

Read our climbing guide and learn more about health-check, training, packing lists, visas & insurance, accommodation and all other interesting thing you have to know!

Kilimanjaro Routes Faq's

Check our top most Kilimanjaro Frequently Asked Questions guide about Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Jerry Tanzania Tours Has Collected All Your Queries In The Following Kilimanjaro FAQs List And Have Tried To Solve Them In The Best Possible Way. Read On To Find Out.

Mount Kilimanjaro has 5 of its best Kilimanjaro route to climb to the roof of Africa. You will need to make sure the route which you have chosen is the right one.

Best Route To Climb Kilimanjaro would be very confusing as each of the routes has its own unique way of attraction. However, there are few things which you can consider for choosing the best Kilimanjaro route. Here are some:

  • Scenic views
  • Success Rate
  • Scenic views
  • Success Rate

The main recommended Kilimanjaro route is Lemosho Route and Northern Circuit Route. These route has the longer days and gives you time for proper acclimatization. Apart from these routes, you can go with Machame Route, Marangu Route and Rongai Route which also make your climbing more interesting.

The highest Kilimanjaro Success Rate is offered by Lemosho Route and Northern Circuit Route. It has a success rate of above 95% and gives you more time for acclimatization. The long itinerary of these routes makes it a wonder for the climbers to summit the highest peak of Africa. These routes offer gives you more time to sleep in the low elevations and spend more time on the mountains. The accommodation facility is camp based and all the camps are equipped with essential requirements like; sleeping bag, flush toilet, bucket shower and a separate dinning tent. It also provides you adequate liquid on the top.

Two of the Kilimanjaro routes that are considered the Best Route To Climb Kilimanjaro are, Lemosho route and the Northern Circuit route. Lemosho route is the most scenic route on the mountain and the Northern Circuit route is the longest yet the best route to achieve a high Kilimanjaro Success Rate.

Known as the "Coca-Cola" route, the Marangu route is a classic climbing route on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the oldest, most well established route. Many favour the Marangu route because it is considered to be the easiest path on the mountain, given its gradual slope.

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