Mount Kilimanjaro Routes

There are many different trekking and climbing tours available for those wishing to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. In fact, even those who have climbed the mountain before can find a new adventure on this stunning mountain. You can choose whether to climb alone, join an existing climb, or bring a group of your own.

Marangu (Coca Cola) Route

Marangu Route is often called the Tourist Route or the Coca Cola Route, and is both the least difficult and the shortest way to reach Uhuru Peak. It is also the oldest of the routes. 70% of all climbers choose to take this route, as it mostly consists of easy hiking. While this is the ‘easiest’ route, it also has a high failure rate due to poor preparation. If you take the route seriously and prepare adequately, you’ll be fine.

Marangu is not considered as scenic as other routes, but it has the benefit of boasting hut accommodation along the route – which makes it a good choice in the rainy season.
You can choose to complete this route in either five days or six days.The path along the slope of volcano Kilimanjaro between Horombo and Kibo - Tanzania

Rongai Route

Rongai Route is the only route up the north-eastern part of the mountain. Second to the Marangu Route in terms of difficulty, this path is also gaining popularity due to the stunning and unique wilderness conditions it features. You spend several days hiking through true wilderness before joining up with the Marangu Route at Kibo Camp. Caves along the way offer an opportunity to overnight in a completely unique fashion, and the route is a popular choice for those wanting to avoid the Marangu crowds. The Rongai Route takes six days.

Machame (Whiskey) Route

Considered to be the most beautiful and scenic of the various routes up Mount Kilimanjaro, the Machame Route is appropriate for more adventurous hikers who wish for a more physically demanding climb than Marangu or Rongai can offer. Machame is presently the most popular route despite its higher degree of difficulty, so you can expect to not be the only one climbing. You can choose to complete this route in either six days or seven days.

Lemosho Route

With two options when it comes to reaching Uhuru Peak, the longer Lemosho Glades Route is an alternative way to ascend up to the Shira Plateau. The Lemosho route offers climbers an opportunity to see some of Africa’s most iconic animals up close, and the first day’s climbing even requires the presence of an armed ranger. You can choose to take the easier Machame route to the summit or brave the Western Breach/Arrow Glacier route.

Lemosho offers a great combination of scenic views, low climber density, and a high success rate. It is recommended to allow six to eight days for completion of Lemosho Route.

Shira Route

The Shira Route is very similar to Lemosho Route, but starts at a higher altitude. In fact, Lemosho was a route designed to improve upon Shira Route, and is considered a vastly superior climbing experience. Climbers will need to be very confident in their ability to acclimatize should they take this route. Given Lemosho is an improved version of this route, we discourage people using the Shira Route.

Umbwe Route

The hardest and steepest route to reach Kilimanjaro’s summit, Umbwe is recommended only for truly experienced climbers. The direct route means that very little time is allowed for acclimatizing, and the trying climbing conditions combine with this to make it the route with the lowest success rate. We discourage using this route.

Northern Circuit Route

The newest route to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the Northern Circuit is the longest of the routes but promises a quieter, more personal climb. Beginning on the Lemosho Route, climbers will eventually split away and traverse the mountain’s northern slopes far away from the crowds. The extra time taken to adjust to high altitude on this climb mean it boasts the highest success rate of all routes. The Northern Circuit takes nine days to complete.