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KILIMANJARO BEST ROUTE

Which is Kilimanjaro’s Best Route Should I Use?

There are seven established routes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro up to Summit the Uhuru Peak (5895m)

After deciding to climb Kilimanjaro, you’ll need to choose your route.

  •  Marangu Route (“Coca-Cola” Route)
  • Machame Route (“Whiskey” Route)
  •  Lemosho Route
  • Shira Route
  • Rongai Route
  • Northern Circuit Route
  • Umbwe Route
  • The Machame and Umbwe routes approach from the south of the mountain (Mweka is used only for descent).
  •  The Lemosho, Shira and Northern Circuit routes come from the west. (Mweka is used only for descent)
  • The Marangu route approaches the south-eastern side of the mountain before continuing northwest to reach the peak. (Marangu is used only for descent)
  • The Rongai route approaches from the north. (Marangu is used only for descent)

Selecting a Kilimanjaro Best Route is a tough choice for most.

To find Kilimanjaro’s Best route for you, considerations should be taken for the route’s scenery, difficulty, foot traffic, and altitude acclimatisation, as depicted below.

 

Kilimanjaro Route

Min. Days
Rec. Days
Difficulty
Scenery
Traffic
Rating

Northern Circuit Route

99highexcellentvery low****

Lemosho Route

68highexcellentmedium****

Rongai Route

67mediumvery goodlow****

Machame Route

67highexcellenthigh***

Shira Route

67highexcellentmedium**

Marangu Route

56mediumgoodhigh**

Umbwe Route

57very highvery goodvery low**

Recommended Route to Climb

Good Route  to Climb

OK Route to Climb

Not Recommended to Climb

Highest Success rate and overall Kilimanjaro best route to climb.

Suppose you want the highest chance of summiting the best route to climb Kilimanjaro: Northern circuit route, Lemosho route, and Machame route over 7 or 9 days. In that case, excellent acclimatization and a more uncomplicated summit night make these winners by a long way. And as reaching the top is the most important thing for most of our climbers, we make this our overall winners as the best route to climb Kilimanjaro.

Our Top Recommended Kilimanjaro Best Route

Ethical Kilimanjaro via Northern Circuit Route 9 Days 

The Northern Circuit route is one of the best routes on Kilimanjaro.The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the west….

From USD $3250

Ethical Kilimanjaro via Lemosho Route 8   Days 

The Lemosho route is one of the newer routes on the mountain and a superb choice for your climb, It is our preferred route…

From USD $2950

Ethical Kilimanjaro via Machame Route 7   Days 

Machame (“Whiskey”) Route is also known as the “Whiskey” route, the Machame route is now the most popular route on the …

From USD $2650

The most scenic route to climb Kilimanjaro

The Lemosho route approaching from the West wins hands down for the best views with spectacular vistas in all directions.

Quietest route to climb Kilimanjaro

If keeping away from the crowds is your top priority, the Rongai route has to be your choice as the best route for your Kilimanjaro climb. But be warned the success rate is lower.

Most challenging route to climb Kilimanjaro

If you are looking for an adventure and a unique wilderness experience, the crater camp option is the best route to climb Kilimanjaro for you- less than 1 % of climbers get to do this, and all our climbers who do it rave about it.

Our summary of the advantages and disadvantages of each route is below.

 

Northern Circuit Route – from USD 3,250

  • An excellent route to climb Kilimanjaro with a high success rate.
  • The Longest Route on Kilimanjaro enables better acclimatization.
  • Remote and spectacular approach with dramatic gorges and give 360-degree path around Kilimanjaro
  • Fully catered camping.

Lemosho Route – from USD 2,950

  • An excellent route to climb Kilimanjaro with a high success rate.
  • Allows climbers to “walk high, sleep low”, enabling better acclimatization.
  • Remote and spectacular approach with dramatic gorges and views of west Kilimanjaro.
  • Fully catered camping.

 Machame route – from USD 2,650 

  • Highly recommended, best success rate.
  • Allows “walk high, sleep low” for better acclimatization.
  • Stunning scenery climbing through five diverse climatic zones.
  • Ascent and descent are via different routes.
  • Fully catered camping.

 Rongai – Route from USD 2750

  • Only northern approach route to Mount Kilimanjaro’s summit.
  • Offers an actual wilderness experience in the early stages of the climb.
  • Very tough final summit night.
  • Less natural acclimatization with no opportunities to “walk high, sleep low”.
  • Fully catered camping.

Marangu Route – from USD 2,450

  • The shortest route to the summit means less time to acclimatize.
  • Much lower success rate.
  • Dormitory style accommodation can be noisy.
  • Less scenic due to ascent and descent on the same route.

Shira Route – from USD 2750

  • Shira route offers a higher start point; therefore is less suitable for acclimatization.
  • Poor acclimatization due to rapid ascent.
  • Fully catered camping.

 Umbwe Route – from USD 2650

  • Steep, short route with very low success rate.
  • Poor acclimatization due to rapid ascent.
  • Very remote and quiet for the first two days.
  • Fully catered camping.

Which route is Kilimanjaro’s Best Route to climb?

When you are planning your Kilimanjaro climb, there are six factors that you need to consider in deciding which is the best route to climb Kilimanjaro for you.

  • Acclimatization
  • The difficulty of the summit night
  • How busy the route is
  • What are the accommodation options
  • Safety
  • What is the success rate

Acclimatization on Kilimanjaro

The golden rule is to walk high and sleep low when climbing to altitude, and following this rule minimizes the risk of altitude sickness and improves your chance of summiting. The best routes to climb Kilimanjaro for acclimatization are the Northern CircuitLemosho and Machame routes, as these naturally allow you to walk high and sleep low.

The difficulty of the summit night

The most challenging summit nights are on the Rongai route and the Marangu route: they reach the crater rim of Kilimanjaro on the North, opposite Uhuru Peak and more than 2 hours from the summit itself. The best routes to climb Kilimanjaro to avoid this are the Machame and Lemosho routes as they reach the crater at Stellar point less than an hour’s walk from the summit. An extra hour on a very long day is often the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

How busy the route is

The amount of climbers on the mountain varies a lot depending on the season and the day of the week, but even taking this into account, if you want to have the mountain more to yourself, the best route to climb Kilimanjaro is the Rongai route. This route starts in the North and is used by fewer climbers than the prevalent southern routes.

Accommodation on the climb

The only route you do not have to camp on is the Marangu route, so if you hate tents, this is the best route to climb Kilimanjaro. Be warned, though, the huts are very basic and noisy.

Kilimanjaro Routes Safety

We consider all of the routes except the Arrow Point route relatively safe if walked sensibly. There is a higher risk of falling rock unmanageable at the Arrow Point route, and this is not the best route to climb Kilimanjaro.

Which route has the highest Summit Success rate

As a result of the better acclimatization offered and the easier summit night, the best route to climb Kilimanjaro in terms of summit success rate is the 9 Day Northern Circuit routeLemosho route over 8 days, followed by the Machame route over 7 days.

We operate group climbs starting every month through the year with different routes each week. If you are looking for a particular route, you can see when we are running that route below.

 

Book Your ethical  Kilimanjaro Climb

  • All our climbs are guaranteed Departure even if you are the only one who book the climb.
  • You will need to pay the US $300 per person, which is non-refundable. Still, it’s the lifetime deposit for your climb for reservation.
  • The rest of the money you will pay 30 days before your arrival date or have the monthly payment plan as you wish to afford this climb.

Your Life deposit is good for life!

Our Lifetime Deposit policy allows you to save your initial deposit (one per person, per confirmed tour) for an unlimited time, be it ten weeks or ten years. Put, We want to do the right thing by our travellers and ensure you can still take another trip if your plans have to change due to some circumstance example covid etc.

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