Routes

MARANGU ROUTE

MOUNT KILIMANJARO MARANGU ROUTE

Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed via six routes – Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Rongai, and Umbwe. Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe all approach the mountain from the south. Routes Lemosho and Shira approach from the west. Near Kenya, the Rongai route approaches from the north. Mweka is the starting point for all routes except Marangu and Rongai.

The Marangu Route to Mount Kilimanjaro

There are permanent sleep huts at the campsites on the Marangu Route, commonly known as the Coca Cola Route because it can be completed in fewer days.

Summit night from Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak is steep and passes through Gilman’s Point. It tends to have a lower summit success rate because it is a shorter route, with a steeper incline and less time for acclimatization. There is only one route where the ascent and descent routes are shared, resulting in more traffic.

  • Duration: 5 or 6 days
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Scenery: Good
  • Traffic: High

MACHAME ROUTE

MOUNT KILIMANJARO MACHAME ROUTE

Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed via six routes – Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Rongai, and Umbwe. Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe all approach the mountain from the south. Routes Lemosho and Shira approach from the west. Near Kenya, the Rongai route approaches from the north. Mweka is the starting point for all routes except Marangu and Rongai.

Machame Route climb of Mount Kilimanjaro

Machame, also known as the Whisky Route, is one of the most scenics and recommended routes on Kilimanjaro.  The route follows paths through magnificent forests before reaching a ridge that leads through moorland zones to the Shira Plateau. It then passes beneath the glaciated precipices of the Southern Ice Fields to join the Barafu Route. Since it can be done over a longer period of time and the slope is more manageable, it has a much higher success rate.

  • Duration: 6 or 7 days
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Scenery: Excellent
  • Traffic: High

 

LEMOSHO ROUTE

MOUNT KILIMANJARO LEMOSHO ROUTE

Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed via six routes – Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Rongai, and Umbwe. Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe all approach the mountain from the south. Routes Lemosho and Shira approach from the west. Near Kenya, the Rongai route approaches from the north. Except for Marangu, all routes descend via Mweka.

Mount Kilimanjaro’s Lemosho Route

The Lemosho Route on Mount Kilimanjaro

The newer route is more remote and arguably more beautiful, but it is also a bit longer and costlier. The route begins at the Londorossi Gate, which is further away from town, and was introduced as an alternative to the Shira route.

On day 3, it crosses the Shira Plateau to connect with the Machame Route at Lava Tower and then descends the Southern Circuit to Barranco Valley. It is possible to see buffalo, elephants, and other animals. This route can be done over a longer period of time for acclimatization, which increases the chances of summit success.

  • Duration: 7 – 8 days
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Scenery: Excellent
  • Traffic: Medium

 

NORTHERN CIRCUIT ROUTE

MOUNT KILIMANJARO NORTHERN CIRCUIT ROUTE

Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed via six routes – Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Rongai, and Umbwe. Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe all approach the mountain from the south. Routes Lemosho and Shira approach from the west. Near Kenya, the Rongai route approaches from the north. Mweka is the starting point for all routes except Marangu and Rongai.

Among the best routes on Kilimanjaro, the Northern Circuit offers nearly 360 degrees of beautiful scenery, including the quiet, rarely visited northern slopes. Because the Northern Circuit is the longest route on Kilimanjaro, it offers the best acclimatization time and the highest summit success rate.

Mount Kilimanjaro is accessed from the west, beginning with a long drive from Moshi to the Londorossi Gate. From there, the first two days are spent trekking through the rainforest to Shira Ridge and then crossing the Shira Plateau. From Moir Hut, the route circles clockwise to Buffalo Camp to School Hut, before summiting from the east.

  • Duration: 9 or 10 days
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Scenery: Excellent
  • Traffic: Low

 

RONGAI ROUTE

MOUNT KILIMANJARO RONGAI ROUTE

Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed via six routes – Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Rongai, and Umbwe. Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe all approach the mountain from the south. Routes Lemosho and Shira approach from the west. Rongai approaches from the north. Except for Marangu and Rongai, all routes descend via Mwerka.

Kilimanjaro’s Rongai Route

Using the Rongai Route to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Since this route is less crowded due to its remote location, trekkers have an opportunity to view large animals such as antelopes, elephants, and buffalo on the route. On this side of the mountain, there is typically less moisture, so you are less likely to encounter rain and have clearer views of the peak.  Although it is flatter, there is no option to climb high and sleep low, so more days are recommended for acclimatization.

Rongai is one of the easier routes up Kilimanjaro. There is only one route up Kilimanjaro from the north and the descent follows the Marangu route. The summit night route from Kibo Hut is steep and follows Gilman’s Point to Uhuru Peak.

There are several variations; the one described is a longer route that includes Mawenzi Tarn.

  • Duration: 5 or 6 days
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Scenery: Very good
  • Traffic: Low

 

SHIRA ROUTE

MOUNT KILIMANJARO SHIRA ROUTE

Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed via six routes – Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Rongai, and Umbwe. Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe all approach the mountain from the south. Routes Lemosho and Shira approach from the west. Rongai approaches from the north. Except for Marangu and Rongai, all routes descend via the Mweka route

Shira Route on Mount Kilimanjaro

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro via The Shira Route

Similar to Lemosho, but it starts at 3,600 meters and is therefore not ideal for trekkers with little or no experience of high altitude hiking.

You begin at Shira Gate and travel to Simba Camp on the first day before joining the Lemosho Route on day two at Shira Camp 2. Although the high starting point is a major negative for this route, many suffer from altitude sickness from the first day without adequate time to acclimatize.

After Shira Camp 2, the route joins the Machame Route via Lava Tower and then descends to the Barranco Camp via the Southern Circuit. Uhuru Peak is reached via Barafu Camp and up the southern slopes of Kibo.

The route is seldom used by other trekkers, so your initial two days on the mountain are less crowded than on most other routes.

  • Duration: 6 – 8 days
  • Difficulty: High
  • Scenery: Excellent
  • Traffic: Medium

 

UMBWE ROUTE

MOUNT KILIMANJARO UMBWE ROUTE

Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed via six routes – Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Rongai, and Umbwe. Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe all approach the mountain from the south. Routes Lemosho and Shira approach from the west. Rongai approaches from the north. The Mweka Route is used by all routes except Marangu and Rongai.

Mount Kilimanjaro’s Umbwe Route

The Umbwe Route for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

It is the steepest, shortest, and most direct route to the Southern Glaciers, Western Breach, and Uhuru Peak. On Kilimanjaro, it is probably the most scenic, non-technical route. Although it is quite taxing due to the relatively fast ascent to higher altitude, the rewards are plentiful. The route is steep and best suited to experienced trekkers.

  • Duration: 6 – 7 days.
  • Difficulty: Very High
  • Scenery: Very good
  • Traffic: Very low

This route is not used much. The Umbwe route is only suitable for people with extensive mountain climbing experience.

 

The “ZONES OF KILIMANJARO”

Cultivated Zone (800m – 1860m)

In this zone, Tanzanians have settled and survived on agriculture of crops such as coffee, bananas, corn, sunflowers, and more.

Tropic Rainforest (1860m – 3000m)

In the second Zone, a dense forest provides habitat for wildlife and endemic plants and flowers.

Moorland / Heather (3000m – 4000m)

In the third of five Zones, the trees become smaller and sparser, providing excellent views and the opportunity to view unique flowers. Climbers begin to feel the effects of altitude here.

Alpine Desert (4000m – 4600m)

Weather extremes vary throughout the day and night here, with very little precipitation. Here, only a few kinds of grass and flowers can survive.

Summit / Arctic Zone (4600m – 5895m)

Rocks and loose gravel cover the landscape. Kilimanjaro’s glaciers are in this Zone, where no life is sustained.

 

YOUTUBE

 

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