Mount Kilimanjaro Routes

We have a detailed description of each Mount Kilimanjaro route on its own page with printable itineraries and the quick description of the routes is below

Kilimanjaro Route Guide

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Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

You can climb all of the routes on Mount Kilimanjaro with Mount Kilimanjaro Routes on a tailor-made climb with your own itinerary.

There are several routes by which to climb Mt Kilimanjaro to Uhuru Peak, the highest summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. These are Marangu, Rongai, Lemosho, Shira, Umbwe and Machame. Whichever route you choose you will have the same excellent service, the best guides, the best food and the best equipment. More detailed information on each of the routes is on the pages opposite.

The climb to Uhuru Peak is not a technical climb but because of the altitude is a challenging endeavour and ample time must be provided for proper acclimatization to prevent altitude sickness.

Summit attempts up all of the Kilimanjaro routes are generally undertaken at night. First, because the scree is frozen together, making the climb significantly easier and secondly because most people want to reach at least the rim of the crater in time to watch the sunrise over the African plains.

At the summit, there is a sign posted by the Tanzanian government. The sign, printed in English, reads “Congratulations! You are now at Uhuru Peak, Tanzania, 5,895 m. AMSL. Africa’s Highest Point. World’s Highest Free-Standing Mountain.”

It used to have a fourth part of the sign which read, “One of World’s Largest Volcanos. Welcome.”, however, that portion of the sign no longer exists. The sign is covered in travel stickers from past trekkers who have left their mark on the top of the peak.


Packages & Tours for Kilimanjaro

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Machame is one of the most popular Kilimanjaro routes due to its high success rate. It has superb acclimatisation and allows you to “walk high, sleep low”. The Machame route takes you through five distinct climatic zones and offers some of the most dramatic views of the surrounding areas.

Approaching from the west, the Lemosho route is a relatively new route and is one of the best for scenery. It is one of our highly recommended routes, not only for its stunning scenery, but also due to its steady incline and better acclimatisation. 

The Northern Circuit route is the newest officially approved route up Mount Kilimanjaro, and one of the few ways to see its quieter, more remote northern slopes. This is an extended, nine day climb which offers excellent acclimatisation time and provides views of the rugged and highly varied countryside on all sides of the great mountain.

Crater camp is not a route in it’s own right but a challenging extension which in principle can be added to any route. It involves sleeping overnight in the bowl of the crater. An amazing experience enjoyed by only a few of the most adventurous climbers.

The only route that approaches from the north, the Rongai route is much more of a wilderness experience and is relatively quiet. However, it is more expensive as the transfer to the start of the climb is longer and, because of increased agriculture in this area, it is probably one of the least interesting climbs.

The Umbwe route is the shortest and steepest of the routes but has a low success rate. Basically it goes directly up the mountain meeting the Machame route at Barranco camp after two days and following the Machame route from there to the summit.

The Marangu route is the oldest and most established of all the routes and is the easiest in terms of walking. However, it is the worst for acclimatisation (there is only a 42% success rate) and, as the ascent and descent follow the same path, it is also the least interesting. Accommodation along the route is in the form of dormitory style huts.

Which route is best for you?

You can climb Kilimanjaro with us on all of the routes authorised by the Kilimanjaro Park Authorities. We do not offer climbs on what is called the Western breach as this is dangerous for our porters, nor climbs via Arrow Point as this is too dangerous for climbers with falling rocks.

Our summary of the advantages and disadvantages of each route is below. For more detail and daily itineraries just click on the routes to the left. Our favourite is the Machame route over 7 days – a beautiful journey, great acclimatisation and the highest success rates.

If you want a really unique wilderness experience look at the crater camp option- less than 1 % of climbers get to do this and all our climbers who do it rave about it.

For advice on how long each route takes and recommended climbing times see how many days.

For the best chance of success

All the statistics from the Park Authority confirm that the Machame route has the best success rate largely because it offers great acclimatisation.


For great scenery

The Lemosho route provides the best diversity of views with spectacular panorama in all directions as you ascend and cross the Shira plateau.


For a quiet trail

The Rongai route approaching from the North is the quietest route but it is a long drive to the start and the success rate is lower as it offers less natural acclimatisation.


For a real chalenge

If you are really fit and confident about acclimatising then climbing Kilimanjaro and staying in Crater camp is a fantastic option. It is always quiet and the views at sunset and dawn are spectacular.


Reviews of the Kilimanjaro Routes

Had an amazing experience from beginning to end. We did the 7 day Machame route hike in Kilimanjaro with Mount Kilimanjaro Routes
Jerry Papadapoulos
Machame Route
Mount Kilimanjaro route reviews
Northern Circuit was an easy pick for us since it was our first time. Long route but very scenic just like they told us. The crew was just amazing
Oliver Bischoff
Northern Circuit
Mount Kilimanjaro route reviews
Did the 8 day Lemosho route and made it to the summit. Very beautiful trail along the way. PS: Remember to drink lots of water for acclimatisation.
Katerina Kolesnichenko
Lemosho Route
Mount Kilimanjaro route reviews

Which is the easiest route on Mount Kilimanjaro?

To various people, the word “easy” has varied connotations. The difficulty of climbing Kilimanjaro is almost the same. As a result, we concentrate on two factors: daily walking time and ascent. The Machame Route, which takes 7 days and has the least amount of trekking per day of all the routes, is your best choice for an easy journey. The advantage of “climb high, sleep low” is also a plus. Continuous altitude acclimation is greatly aided by this. The 8-day Lemosho Route, on the other hand, is your best option if you are more concerned about the ascents than the quantity of walking. To begin with, this path has the least amount of climb. Because it’s a longer route, there’s much to see and do.

To begin with, this path has the least amount of climb. Because it is a longer route, it provides enough opportunity for acclimatization.

What are the main differences between Mount Kilimanjaro routes?

The length, duration, difficulty, scenery, altitude profile, accessibility, and (lack of) amenities of the routes on Kilimanjaro vary. The more popular a route is, the higher it ranks on all of these factors. Popularity is beneficial if you want to share your climbing experience with a large group of people and create a lot of new acquaintances. It’s also ideal if you’re searching for a low-cost climbing experience. If you’re seeking peace and wilderness, the most popular routes might not be the greatest option.

How much does it cost to climb Kilimanjaro with the Machame Route?

The Machame route, which takes seven days to climb Kilimanjaro, is the most popular. As a result, there are several open-joining group excursions available. As a result, the Machame Route is one of the most cost-effective choices, particularly for solo travelers.

Which is the shortest route to climb Kilimanjaro?

In terms of distance, the 5-Day Umbwe route is the quickest way to climb Kilimanjaro. It is the shortest and most direct route to Uhuru Peak. The 5-Day Rongai Route, on the other hand, maybe completed in the same length of time. In addition, the Marangu route may be completed in 5 days. However, don’t confuse short with easy; on Kilimanjaro, the reverse is true. You must still overcome almost the same height difference as on any other path. The steeper the slope and the less time you have to acclimate to the high altitude, the shorter the journey is. Only pre-acclimatized or highly fit climbers who are confident in their ability to acclimate to high altitude should choose a short route.

Which is the most challenging Kilimanjaro route for ultimate adventurers?

If you’re searching for a hard Kilimanjaro route and a thrilling journey away from the masses, the following routes and itinerary variants may provide you with precisely the type of one-of-a-kind experience you’re looking for: Combine your Kilimanjaro climb with an overnight stay in Crater Camp, where you’ll sleep next to one of the mountain’s last glaciers. Scale two of East Africa’s highest peaks in one day by combining your Kilimanjaro climb with a pre-acclimatization climb on Mount Kenya (or Mount Meru). Take on the steep and difficult Umbwe Route or the 5-day Rongai Route for a 5-day speed ascent.

Due to the risk of rockfall and increased risk of altitude sickness, we do not advocate using the so-called Western Breach shortcut to the top.

Which is the most dangerous hiking route on Mt Kilimanjaro?

The most hazardous of all the roads is Umbwe. This is due to the fact that it is extremely steep, difficult, and exposed in places. The trail is so steep in certain places that you’ll have to rely on neighboring tree ways to get over. It’s also a short path, so your body won’t have as much time to adjust to the higher altitude. The hazards are compounded by the fact that some operators will even take you across the Western Breach on this route, putting you at risk of falling boulders and injuries. As a result, this should only be attempted by experienced climbers who are used to high-altitude hiking.

Despite the fact that the Western Breach may be incorporated in alternative itineraries, we strongly advise against it. Due to melting glaciers above it, it is one of the most dangerous areas on Mount Kilimanjaro as a steep slope in the west of Kibo cone. Glaciers discharge rocks as they melt. When climbing the Western Breach, even with a well-trained and experienced guide, the risk of death from rockfall cannot be completely avoided.

Which is the best Kilimanjaro route during rainy season?

Climbing during the dry season and avoiding the rains as much as possible is strongly recommended for the great majority of climbers. If you are used to severe weather and the outdoors, though, you may have your own reasons for preferring to climb during the wet season, one of which is to avoid the crowds.
When climbing during the rainy season, try to limit your exposure to the rain as much as possible, and keep dry at camp at all times. If you want to know what the finest Kilimanjaro routes are during the rainy season, here are some alternative routes and options:

Mount Kilimanjaro Routes
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