Deciding for the best route for climbing Kilimanjaro is a very individual question as this depends on your fitness level and on the time that you want to spend on the mountain. In general you can say that the more time you spend on the mountain, the higher is your chance to make it to Uhuru Peak. Your body will have more time to adapt to the high altitude and you can avoid suffering from Altitude Mountain Sickness.
There are seven established routes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Shira Route has been closed so we offer the following six routes:
All climbs start from your accomodation in Moshi by jeep to the different entrance gates around Kilimanjaro. The Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe routes all approach from the south of the mountain. The Mweka Gate is used only for descent. The Lemosho, Shira and Northern Circuit routes arrive from the west. The Rongai route approaches from the north. Below you see an illustration of Moshi Town and the different Gates for your climb.
Tanzania Horizon Safaris offers a variety of Climbing Routes to climb Kilimanjaro. Please see our recommendations according to the route and required days:
The Marangu Route
The Marangu Route is the classic trek on Mount Kilimanjaro as it is the oldest and most famous route. It starts and ends in Marangu Village and is considered to be the fastest climb on the mountain. It is also the only route that offers sleeping huts and dormitory accomodations.
A minimum days required for this route is five days, although the possibility by chosing 5 Days for unexperienced climbers is quite low. Spending an additonal day on the mountain for better acclimatization is highly recommended when chosing the Marangu route.
The route is only recommended for a fast summit as it is the least scenic route with not much variety the ascent and descent are done on the same path and it is the most crowded route for that reason. Marangu is favored only if you are looking for speed and only during the rainy season, where the hut accommodations are preferred over wet ground, or for those who only have five days to climb Kilimanjaro. Please click below for futher information.
The Machame Route
The Machame Route arrives from Machame Village and is now one of the most popular routes on Kilimanjaro. The route is considered to be difficult due to its steepness and long hiking days. Therefore we recommend the Machame Route mostly to experienced climbers and people looking for a bigger challenge.
The route arrived from the southwest to Shira 2 Camp towards Lava Tower, crossing underneath Kilimanjaro's southern ice field to Barafu Camp before summit. The minimum number of days required for this route is six days, although seven days is better for easier acclimitazion. The route is scenically beautiful but quite crowded due to its popularity.
The Lemosho Route
The Lemosho Route is considered to be the most beautiful trek on Kilimanjaro due to its different landscapes and panoramic views and low traffic of visitors. It starts in the west of Kilimanjaro at Londorossi Gate. It starts in a tropical Rain Forest, crossing the entire Shira Plateau. Climbers can expect low traffic until the route reaches Shira 2 Camp and the Machame Route. It then follows through Lava Tower, Barranco and Barafu Camp before summit.
The minimum number of days for this route is six days, but we highly recommend 7 Days Lemosho or even 8 Days Lemosho Route for the highest chance of summiting.
The Northern Circuit Route
The impressive Northern Circuit Route is the newest, and probably the most exciting route on Kilimanjaro. Sharing Londorossi Gate as starting point it follows the Lemosho trail before turning nort to Moir Hut, approaching Kilimanjaro from the northern side. This side of the mountain is rarely visited and offers spectecular views of Kenya and the glaciers.
The Northern Circuit route is a long distance beautiful climb. Therefore we recommend to use 9 Days Northern Circuit for the perfect mixture of enjoying the mountain and having appropriate time for acclimatizion.
With a high stunning scenery, very low number of visitors and high success rate, the Northern Circuit Route is definetely one of the best routes to climb Kilimanjaro.
The Rongai Route
The Rongai Route is mostly recommended during rain season as it is has less rainfall by arriving from the north of Kilimanjaro. It has a similar profile as the Marangu Route but is less crowded. Passes the Rongai Cave ascending straight forward to School Hut Camp and then to summit Uhuru Peak. The Rongai Route is a relatively moderate climb. Descend is done via Marangu Route.
The recommended minimum number of days for Rongai Route is at least 6 Days Rongai but 7 Days Rongai is highly recommended.
The Umbwe Route
If you are looking for a challenge then Umbwe Route might be the perfect choice for you! It is short and steep most of the time and therefore considered to be one of the most difficult routes to climb Kilimanjaro. As the time for acclimatization is short, not many visitors use this exhausting route. A minumum of 6 Days Umbwe is highly recommended and should only be used by strong, experienced climbers. Please contact us for further information!