Kilimanjaro got the name from Swahili word “Kilima”, and the Chagga word “Njaro”. Kilima means the mountain where Njaro means the whiteness. Known as the only freestanding tallest Mountain of the world in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro has an altitude of 19, 340 ft (5895 m).
Mt. Kilimanjaro has got the 7 trekking routes from easiest to hardest to reach the summit point at Uhuru peak. Every year, Mt. Kilimanjaro gets 50,000 hikers among which 66% hikers get success. Those peoples who have failed to reach at the summit, failed not for the routes but for not choosing the suitable route.
Mt. Kilimanjaro Trekking Routes are: Marangu route (Coca-cola route), Machame route (Whiskey route), Lemosho route, Shira route, Rongai route, Umbwe route, and Northern circuit route. Are you worrying about which Kilimanjaro Routes to choose for your trek?
We are here to give you some essential information regarding the Kilimanjaro Trekking Route as one of the Kilimanjaro Trekking Guides.
Accommodation: The Marangu Route or “Coca-cola” Route is the only route which is famous for offering hut and lodge accommodations. During your trekking tours you can avail any one of Mandara huts, Horombo huts, and Kibo huts. You can also take accommodation of Babylone lodge on the Marangu Route.
Success Rate: This route offers gradual slope for a steady and comfortable walk. It is the busiest and easy route, famous as “Tourist route”. The success rate is 65% because of acclimatization time and altitude sickness. This is the shortest Kilimanjaro route and has a poor acclimatization profile. It takes 5 to 6 days to reach at the summit, but it is recommended to take 7 days for a successful summit, due to acclimatization.
Difficulty: It is an easy route and even new unprepared tourists attempts to hike for the summit. The route is sloppy and easy to hike. As the only route to go and return on the same path, the route remains crowded.
Acclimatization: The path of last days gives a distance of more than 1000 m, which results the lack of time needed for acclimatization in the next day walk. With a moderate elevation this route doesn’t give opportunities for “Climb high and sleep low”.
Known for: Marangu is also known as a “tourist route”, because, the only route that provides huts with basic amenities and budget friendly.
Accommodation: The Machame Route or “Whiskey” Route offers only fully catered camping or tent. It approaches from south-west to the peak.
Success Rate: Though some portion of the routes contains valleys and ridges, it has the best profile for acclimatization, which gives more time to recover and chances for “climb high and sleep low”. So the success rate is 85%.
Difficulty: The hiking on Machame Route is not difficult, but strenuous. This is the steeper and more challenging route than Marangu and Rongai route. The level of difficulty is medium. It takes 6 to 7 days to reach at Uhuru peak.
Acclimatization: With a best acclimatization profile, the 7 days is recommended for a successful summit. During 7 days, your body gets enough time to acclimatize and recovery.
Known for: known as the Whiskey route which offers most beautiful & varied Scenery which includes, rain forests, the Shira Plateau, the Lava Tower, and the Barranco Wall. On returning, you can watch the circle Kibo and descending on Mweka route gives a spectacular view of natural scenery.
Accommodation: The Lemosho Route approaches from the west and joins the Machame route. It offers only fully catered camping.
Success Rate: The route is longer route, so the trekkers are needed to be physically feet. Due to longer route, the hikers can get plenty of time for acclimatization. It is recommended to take 8 days for a successful summit. The success rate is 80%.
Difficulty: As a longer route, the Lemosho Route offers the medium level of difficulty. Due to good profile for acclimatization, the difficulty level is medium.
Acclimatization: Acclimatization profile is good as the route offers plenty of time for recovery. Long term Itineraries can provide you a most positive result.
Known for: – the most scenic trail on Kilimanjaro, granting panoramic vistas on various sides of the mountain. On this route, you have to go through beautiful and very remote rainforest. You can enjoy the scenic view of large wildlife and dramatic gorges of western side of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Accommodation: Shira route is the old route of new Lemosho route. You can get full catered camping tents as accommodation.
Success Rate: It offers higher starting points, so there is a little problem for acclimatization. But the success rate is 80% because of the higher operators. If you add extra one day before summit, the chance of success can increase more. This is not the route for inexperienced or new trekkers.
Difficulty: The rate of difficulty is medium as Machame route. After the first day of climb, you will have to climb over 3600 m. On first day, you may face altitude related problems as you skipped the first stage of hiking. This one makes the route little difficult because you doesn’t have the time for acclimatize. It is recommended to take Lemosho route rather than Shira Route.
Acclimatization: Due to the steeper and higher starting point, your body may face poor acclimatization.
Known for: Approaching from the west offers trekkers the experience of hiking across the Shira Plateau, which is one of the largest high-altitude plateaus in the world. Shira route offers most scenic and most fascinating views of Kilimanjaro. This route is not for the new climbers.
Accommodation: Rongai Route is the only route that approaches from the north of Kilimanjaro. You can avail camp accommodations like Sekimba camp, Kikelewe camp, Mawenzi tarn camp, etc.
Success Rate: As a gradual sloppy path, the success rate is 85% as the Marangu route. Further the northern side of Kilimanjaro is drier than other side, which makes it easier for summit.
Difficulty: The difficulty of Rongai Route is easier as the dried and sloppy path offers you a steady walk. The perfect staggering of camp according to the distance makes it easy for the summit.
Acclimatization: Acclimatization is easy because of the perfectly staggered camp are differed by only hundred meters from low altitude to the high altitude.
Known for: Rongai route approaches from the North, the route is known for the less traffic and highly recommended for those who have less bag pack experience.
Northern Circuit Route
Accommodation: Camping with basic amenities is the only accommodation you will get in this longest and newest route on Kilimanjaro
Success Rate: As a longest route has the most acclimatization time with 95% success rate.
Difficulty: Having a highest success rate, the route is easier than any other route. The longest path gives time for acclimatization and “Climb high and sleep low” opportunities.
Acclimatization: As a longest route, this route offers plenty of time to the body for acclimatization. The acclimatization profile is excellent.
Known for: Northern Circuit Route is known for the newest and longest route. This route offers 360 degree most beautiful scenery and wildlife of tropical rain forest. Longest Route & Know For the great view of mountain
Accommodation: You will get tent for camping as accommodation on the Umbwe Route, the steepest and shortest route among all the Kilimanjaro Trekking Routes.
Success Rate: The success rate is 75% as it is the steepest and toughest among the entire route. The alpine desert with worst climate condition before the summit makes most failure.
Difficulty: The steepest path, worst climate condition and acclimatization due to high attitude make this route as the toughest route of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Altitude sickness and dehydration are also the major reasons behind the failure.
Acclimatization: Due to the steepest path with high altitude, you can’t get enough time for acclimatization. So, it is recommended to take 9 days for a successful summit.
Known for: With a least traffic, this route is very well known for the shortest, steepest and toughest route among other Kilimanjaro Trekking Routes.
If you want to go for the trekking to sense an achievement on the top of Roof of Africa, then choose the route which is most suitable for you. Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking Season are January to March and June to October. Though January- March is colder than June-October, you will face less traffic in January to March.
As one of the best Kilimanjaro Tour Operator, we will recommend you to trekking in between the June to October month and choose the longest route, if you are a new climber.
The success rate of Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro differs due to a lot of reasons and the prime one is choosing wrong route and wrong trekking partner. Visit us at kileleclimb.com to know why we claim ourselves one of the best Kilimanjaro trek operators.