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KILIMANJARO ROUTES

W hether it is your first time trekking or you’ve climbed many peaks, we have several Kilimanjaro routes to offer. Selecting the appropriate route for you will maximize your enjoyment and chance of success. We will be with you every step of the way.

There are six main climbing routes on Kilimanjaro. However, we only offer the Lemosho, Northern Circuit, Machame, and Rongai routes as group climbs. We believe these are the best routes on Mount Kilimanjaro. Furthermore, we recommend taking the longer routes as they will give you the highest chance of successfully summiting.

We have a variety of group climbs scheduled weekly throughout the year, except during the rainy season (November and March-May). Group climbs have a maximum capacity of 12 people.

Group climbs are available on the following routes:

In addition to the above-mentioned four routes, we do offer private climbs on all major routes on the mountain. No other parties or persons are added to private climbs. The people in your party are the only ones on the climb.

KILIMANJARO ROUTE OVERVIEW

Kilimanjaro Routes

ROUTE MILES DESCRIPTION
DAYS
Lemosho
(Recommended)
46 The Lemosho route is considered the most beautiful on Kilimanjaro. It begins on the west side of Kilimanjaro and climbs to the Shira Plateau before circling counter-clockwise and approaching the Summit from the southeast.
8
Northern Circuit
(Recommended)
54 The Northern Circuit Route also starts from the west, this is the only route that circles clockwise around the northside before approaching the summit from the northeast.
9
Rongai
(Recommended)
43 The Rongai route begins in the remote northern side of Kilimanjaro near the Kenyan border. It ascends towards the jagged Mawenzi Peak, crosses the saddle, and approaches the Summit via the eastern side
6
Machame 39 The Machame Route is also known as the “Whiskey” route. It begins from the south. It ascends the Shira Plateau, joins the Lemosho route, and summits from the southeast.
7
Marangu
(Private only)
43 The Marangu Route is also known as the “Coca-Cola” route. It begins from the southeast and ascends and descends on the same route. The Marangu route is the first commercial route up Kilimanjaro and the only route where clients sleep in huts.
6

Click the upper right corner of the map below to see each Kilimanjaro route. Once the map is full screen, you can toggle each layer on and off to view the routes. If you need more help feel free to contact us.

LEMOSHO ROUTE

T he Lemosho Route is regarded as the prettiest route on Kilimanjaro. It begins with a long transfer by vehicle to the western gate. From there, you’ll trek in the lush rainforest until you reach the wildflowers of the Heather/Moorland zone.

As you continue east, you’ll cross the beautiful Shira Plateau. You’ll then traverse Kilimanjaro along the southern circuit. You’ll hike beneath the Southern Icefield, pass through the Barranco Valley, and summit from Barafu Hut. This route has a high success rate and is the one we recommend.

Pros

  • Eight days on the mountain.
  • Better chance of acclimatization
  • Prettiest route
  • Not as crowded
  • 90%+ Summit success rate

Cons

  • Joins with the busy Machame route on day 4
  • Barranco Wall (if you are afraid of heights)

NORTHERN CIRCUIT ROUTE

T he Northern Circuit is the only route that circles clockwise around the north side of Kilimanjaro. It has fewer people on it than any other route. The views of the Kenya plains below are amazing! If solitary hiking is something you desire then this is the route for you.

The Northern Circuit begins at the same trailhead as the Lemosho route but departs near Lava Tower. It takes nine days to complete this route. Therefore the Northern Circuit has a much higher success rate since eight or more days on the mountain are the ideal amount of time to allow your body to acclimate to the extreme elevation gain.

Pros

  • Best acclimatization route
  • 90%+ Summit success rate
  • Secluded (unless you’d rather be with many people)
  • Driest route during the rainy season

Cons

  • 9 days on the mountain
  • Secluded (unless you like that)

THE RONGAI ROUTE

T he Rongai Route begins at the remote north side of Kilimanjaro, near the Kenyan border.

You will hike through a remote section of Mount Kilimanjaro as you ascend toward Mawenzi Peak. You’ll continue through the desolate desert saddle before summiting from the eastern crater wall.

The Rongai route has a more gradual approach to the summit and is recommended for those who have no trekking experience or have limited time. Just because it is easier does not mean it is any less enjoyable for those who are trek experts.

The Rongai Route is six days on the mountain.

Pros

  • Shorter Route (6 days)
  • Secluded
  • More gradual ascent
  • Good for beginners

Cons

  • 50-60% success rate
  • Not enough time for acclimatization

THE MACHAME ROUTE

T he Machame Route, also known as the “Whiskey” route, is the most popular route on Kilimanjaro. 45% of all treks are on this route.

The route begins at Machame Gate which is on the southern side of Kilimanjaro. Like the Lemosho and Northern Circuits, it starts in the lush rainforest. It also climbs to the Shira Plateau before joining the Lemosho route and summiting from the southeast.

Because of the popularity of this route, it can be crowded during busy months. Many groups share campsites. This route is a good choice for people who want to enjoy a scenic hike on a challenging route, but do not mind the company of other climbers.

The Machame Route is seven days on the mountain.

Pros

  • Good for experienced trekkers
  • Pretty route
  • Popular route

Cons

  • Crowded
  • 70% Summit success rate
  • Steep first few days

THE MARANGU ROUTE: PRIVATE ONLY

E mbark on an extraordinary adventure up the majestic Kilimanjaro, following the legendary Marangu route, aptly nicknamed the “Coca-Cola” route. As the very first established commercial pathway to conquer this iconic peak, Marangu holds a special place in mountaineering history.

Unlike other routes that demand camping, you’ll find comfort in dormitory-style sleeping huts along the way, adding a touch of convenience to your expedition. For this reason, we offer it as a private climb only. We recommend this route if you plan on climbing Kilimanjaro during the rainy seasons. The rainy seasons are from mid-March through the end of May and November.

What sets Marangu apart is its gradual ascent, making it the favored choice for those seeking a slightly easier climb. However, it’s important to note that this popularity comes at a cost. The ascent and descent share the same trail, resulting in larger crowds and fewer awe-inspiring vistas. But don’t let that deter you, as the allure of Kilimanjaro lies not only in its scenery but also in the sheer triumph of reaching its summit.

Pros

  • Sleep in huts during the rainy season
  • Gradual approach

Cons

  • Huts can be noisy
  • Ascend and descend on the same trail
  • Not as pretty
  • Low summit success rate (50%)