8 Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes

Kilimanjaro routes: There are 7 different Kilimanjaro climbing routes to the Uhuru peak of Mount Kilimanjaro: Lemosho Route, Machame Route, Marangu Route, Rongai Route, The Shira Route, Northern Circuit & Umbwe route, all in Mount Kilimanjaro National Park

A complete Guide To Mount Kilimanjaro Routes

The Lemosho Route

Typically spans 70 kilometers and requires around 7 to 8 days for completion. Regarded as one of Kilimanjaro’s most picturesque pathways, it has gained popularity for its sparse foot traffic, exceptional summit success rates, and breathtaking panoramic vistas. It comes highly recommended for climbers seeking an unparalleled experience

The Machame Route

Typically requires a minimum of 6 days for climbers to conquer Kilimanjaro. Known for its challenging terrain, it appeals to the adventurous and experienced hikers. Dubbed the ‘whiskey route’, it remains a top choice among our guests due to its demanding nature and remarkable summit vistas

The Marangu Route,

Known as the oldest and simplest path to ascend Kilimanjaro, offers a gradual slope up the mountain. While it can be completed in 5 days, Kilimanjaro-Experience opts for the 6-day option to facilitate better acclimatization. Stretching over 69km, it earns its nickname, the ‘Coca Cola route’, as the most traditional trek up the mountain. It’s particularly favored during the rainy season and follows the same path for both ascent and descent.

The Rongai Route,

Spanning 70km, the Rongai Route Of Mount Kilimanjaro starts from the north, near the Kenyan border. It’s gaining popularity as a less crowded alternative. Taking at least 6 days to complete, it’s considered moderately steep and challenging, suitable for beginners. It’s also favored during the rainy season, offering a distinct trekking experience.

The Shira Route,

Similar to the Lemosho Route, starts from the west and requires approximately 7 days to finish. Climbers must be comfortable with acclimatization, as it begins at a high altitude. Crossing the stunning Shira Plateau, it later merges with the Machame Route, offering a diverse and captivating trekking experience.

The Umbwe Route,

Known for its short and steep terrain, is considered one of the most challenging paths on Kilimanjaro. With limited time for acclimatization, its success rate is lower compared to other routes. Spanning 51km, this climb requires a minimum of 5 days to complete.

The Northern Circuit

Hailed as one of the premier routes to ascend Kilimanjaro and stands as one of the most recent additions. It boasts considerable length, affording ample climbing time and optimal acclimatization. Consequently, it boasts one of the highest success rates for summiting. Featuring diverse scenery and typically fewer visitors, it promises an unforgettable trekking experience.

Summit Circuit

Most climbers Opt for the southern segment of the Summit Circuit, where various exit points are available. This section skirts the Kibo Crater’s base, offering climbers the flexibility to select their preferred route to the summit. Explore further details about the Summit Circuit.

Ascending Kilimanjaro presents six main trails leading to the base of Kibo cone:

Shira (Londorossi)

route Lemosho route

Machame route

Umbwe route

Marangu route

Rongai route

All these paths converge with the Summit circuit, encircling the Kibo cone’s foot. Depending on the mountain side you commenced your journey, you’ll traverse either the Northern or Southern Circuit.

 For the final push to the summit,

There are three routes branching off from the circular path:

Western Breach

Barafu Kibo Huts route The Western Breach, initially closed after a fatal incident in 2006, has since reopened.

However, its perilous conditions, exacerbated by melting glaciers, make it the riskiest route to the summit.  Descent from the mountain entails two trails:

If you ascended via the Machame, Umbwe, Shira, or Lemosho routes, you’ll descend via the Mweka trail. While if you opted for the Rongai or Marangu route, your descent will be via the Marangu route.

Among the most favored Kilimanjaro routes are the Marangu, Machame, and Rongai routes.

The Marangu and Rongai routes are generally regarded as less challenging, while the Machame, Shira, and Lemosho routes are considered more demanding.

Notably, the Marangu route features huts for accommodation, while the others necessitate overnight stays in tents.