When planning a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the right route for your goals and abilities. There are several routes to choose from, each with its own unique challenges and benefits.
The Marangu Route is considered the easiest and most popular route, and is often referred to as the “Coca-Cola” route. The route is well-established, with huts and campsites along the way, making it a comfortable option.
However, the route is also the most crowded and has a lower success rate compared to other routes. The Marangu Route takes 5-6 days to complete. Given its slight slope, the Marangu route is popular since it is seen to be the easiest path on the mountain. Additionally, it is the only route that provides dormitory-style sleeping huts.
When ascending Kilimanjaro through the Marangu route, it is highly advised to spend an additional day acclimatizing on the peak. Marangu Route only manages to reach the summit 50% of the time. Because climbers often rush to the summit. The average success rate of 50% could be drastically decreased by skipping one extra day of acclimatization.
The Machame Route is considered one of the most scenic routes, and is often referred to as the “Whiskey” route. The route is steeper and more challenging than the Marangu Route, but it also has a higher success rate. The Machame Route takes 6-7 days to complete.
The climb starts from the south and then ended up turning east, passing through the southern ice field of Kilimanjaro before reaching the summit. You’ll climb up one way and descend the other.
The Lemosho Route is considered one of the most beautiful routes, and is often referred to as the “Lemon” route. The route is less crowded than the Marangu and Machame Routes and has a higher success rate. The Lemosho Route takes 7-8 days to complete.
Lemosho offers spectacular view of the mountain’s different faces and is regarded as the most scenic route on Kilimanjaro. It is our preferred route because it strikes the perfect combination between little traffic, beautiful scenery, and a high rate of summit success. Lemosho is therefore highly recommended. Lemosho is used by most of our clients.
The Rongai Route is considered the most unique route and it is the only route that starts from the northern side of the mountain. The route is less crowded than the other routes, and it has a higher success rate. The Rongai Route takes 6-7 days to complete.
The 7-day Rongai Route has a high summit success percentage of 80%, compared to the 6-day Rongai Route that has a lower success rate of 65%.
The Umbwe Route is considered the most challenging route and it is the shortest route. The route is the least crowded and has a higher success rate. The Umbwe Route takes 5-6 days to complete.
The Umbwe Route has a 60% to 70% summit success rate, but if you allow yourself an extra day for acclimatization, your chances of success increase.
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The steep, breathtaking, and direct Umbwe Route on Kilimanjaro leads to Uhuru Peak. This journey must last at least 6 days. For additional acclimatization, Mount Kilimanjaro Routes strongly advises making the Umbwe Route a 7-day trip.
The Shira Route is considered one of the most remote and less traveled routes on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is one of the longer routes, taking 7-8 days to complete and has a success rate of around 80-85%. This route starts on the western side of the mountain and is accessed by a 4×4 vehicle, and then climbers hike up to the Shira Plateau, where the route begins.
One of the main benefits of the Shira Route is that it offers a more gradual ascent and allows climbers to acclimatize better before reaching the summit. This makes it a good option for those who may be more susceptible to altitude sickness. Additionally, the route offers some of the most stunning and varied scenery on the mountain, including the Shira Plateau, the Western Breach, and the Lava Tower.
It’s important to keep in mind, though, that there are risks associated with the Shira Route. It can be difficult to navigate the route due to its high winds, especially on the Western Breach. In addition to being one of the longest ways, it is regarded as being more difficult than some of the other routes.
At Kilimanjaro Advisor, we recommend the Lemosho Route as the best option for most climbers. This route offers a good balance of challenge and comfort, and it has a high success rate. In conclusion, choosing the right route for your climb of Mount Kilimanjaro is an important decision that should be based on your abilities, interests, and goals.
Each of the six official routes has its own unique characteristics, risks, and benefits.
The Marangu Route is the easiest and most popular route, but it is also the most crowded and offers less variety in terms of scenery. The Machame Route is considered one of the most scenic routes, but it is also a bit more challenging than the Marangu Route. The Umbwe Route is the steepest and most direct route, but it is also the most challenging route and is recommended for experienced climbers.
The Lemosho Route is considered one of the most beautiful routes and the least crowded route, and it has a success rate of around 85-90%. It is a great option for those looking for a more challenging and scenic climb. The Rongai Route is the easiest and most direct route from the north side and has a success rate of around 80-85%. The Shira Route is considered one of the most remote and less traveled routes, it offers a more gradual ascent, and allows climbers to acclimatize better before reaching the summit. It also offers some of the most stunning and varied scenery on the mountain.