Short Profile of Each Route


Below is a breakdown of each of the routes up Mt. Kilimanjaro. For good reason, 95 percent of all Kilimanjaro climbers follow the two main routes. However, there are other quality routes with less people, parallel beauty, more time on the mountain and allow you to feel like there are only a small handful of people on Africa’s highest mountain.

Routes on Mt. Kilimanjaro include:

Lemosho Route:
This is a less crowded route, with lots of wilderness and is highly recommended. You usually spend eight days on the mountain.

Machame Route:
This starts with beautiful rainforest, and traverse through the various eco-systems of Kilimanjaro. It’s by far the most popular camping route. Around 40 percent of all Kilimanjaro climbers follow this route. It’s usually completed in six to seven days. There are a couple different routes on Machame trail.

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Marangu Route:
This is a very basic, entry level route, recommended for less experience climbers, often called the Coca Cola route. There are huts to sleep in each night and, each day – except for the last – is a basic hike. This route receives a majority of the climbers on Kilimanjaro.

Rongai Route:
This is a wilderness, less crowded route that starts near the border of Kenya, on the northern side of Mt. Kilimanjaro. It’s highly recommended because it’s not used as much, and allows you much of the mountain to yourself.

Umbwe Route:
This is recommended only for very experienced climbers, and is a very quick route up the mountain.

There are other routes up Kilimanjaro, like Shira, trails that traverse the mountain, and other ways to summit, like taking this Western Breach off the Machame Route, which will be profiled in an upcoming article.