Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes
Standing at 19,336 feet (5,895 meters), Mt Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa and the largest freestanding mountain in the world. It is also one of the world’s only summits of similar height that can be accessed by a wide range of hikers of different fitness levels and abilities. Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro is a once in a lifetime experience and a draw for mountaineers and thrill-seekers the world over.
The park itself displays an astounding variety of environments. At lower altitudes, the mountain forest provides a home for elephants, buffalo and primates. Climb higher and the forest is overtaken by moorland topography. Higher still and you will come into the alpine desert zone. Finally, the ascent takes you to a glacier of snow and ice, where you stand, on the roof of Africa.
Sirikwa Travel can help you prepare for this amazing adventure through different Kilimanjaro Climbing routes!
For those not wanting to climb, you can view this beautiful mountain from the town of Moshi or even take a day hike on the base of the mountain.
There are 7 routes to climb Mt Kilimanjaro:
|Route||Recommended||Suggested Days||Fitness Difficulty||Scenic beauty||Traffic|
|Machame||Highly recommend||6 to 7 days||High||Excellent||High|
|Lemosho||Highly recommend||7 to 8 days||High||Excellent||Medium|
|Northern Circuit||Highly recommend||9 days||High||Excellent||Very low|
|Rongai||Recommend||6 to 7 days||High||Very good||Low|
|Marangu||Rarely recommended||5 to 6 days||Medium||Good||High|
|Shira||Not recommended||6 to 7 days||High||Excellent||Medium|
|Umbwe||Not recommended||5 to 6 days||Very high||Very god||Very low|
Known as the “Whiskey route”, Machame is by far the most popular route and has a very high success rate of making it to the top. It starts with a nice day of walking through the rainforest and has a nice steady altitude increase each day. Curling around the mountain gives you a variety of different views and beautiful landscapes. For Sirikwa Travel, this is our most popular route and enjoyed by a high percentage of our clients.
This route is extremely beautiful and has a high success rate, like Machame route. You would choose this route if you wanted a more private experience with less climbers. However you will pay a little more, due to the starting point being around the other side of the mountain and higher transport costs in getting yourself and the crew there. It is one of our favorite routes because it offers a great balance of high summit success rate, scenic views and low traffic.
Northern Circuit Route
This is the newest, most exciting route on Kilimanjaro. The trek follows the Lemosho trail in the beginning, approaching Kilimanjaro from the west. However, instead of following the southern traverse like all the other west approaching routes, the Northern Circuit traverses the mountain around the quiet, rarely visited northern slopes. This is a nine day climb, which is the longest route in terms of time and distance travelled. Although it is the most expensive climb option, the small amount of climbers offers a secluded and unique experience, with a very high success rate.
This route is popular for more experienced climbers and offers a greater challenge, especially on summit night. It is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan Border. It is slightly more expensive due to the additional transport costs in getting to/from the park entry gate and therefore it is less crowded. This route provides more shelter from the weather and high winds and descends via the Marangu route.
Known as the “Coco-Cola route”, the Marangu route is the oldest and most well established route. Some prefer this route because the accommodation is in huts, rather than camping however it is less private than having your own tent. During peak season these huts can be very overcrowded. We avoid leading climbs on this route as it’s the least scenic route and does not offer good acclimatization opportunities – therefore a low success rate.
The first day of this route is the Shira Route and then it meets up with the Lemosho route for the rest of the climb. Although distance is shorter than the start of the Lemosho route it is much steeper. Shira is a varied and beautiful route however Lemosho is recommended over Shira due to the high altitude of Shira’s starting point. It is possible that climbers will experience altitude related symptoms on the first day due to lack of acclimatization time.
Umbwe route is a short, steep and direct route. It is a very strenuous walk up very steep paths and only recommended for experienced climbers. Although the traffic on this route is low, the chances of success are also low. This route is not recommended.
Summit success Rate
Sirikwa Travel enjoys a success rate of over 96% of our clients making it to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro. This is Stella or Uhuru Peak and an extremely high success rate. This is due to our fantastic guides who are dedicated and passionate about getting you safely to the Kilimanjaro Summit. They walk slower than most other guides, which is a secret to preventing altitude sickness and increasing your chances of making it to the top.
Choose your best Kilimanjaro climbing route for higher summit success rate!
Our Kilimanjaro head guides receive Wilderness First Responder Medical Training. This is the highest first aid and medical training which specializes on dealing with emergency situations in remote settings. They have worked on Mt Kilimanjaro for a minimum of 10 years each and are a true asset to Sirikwa Travel. They will not only guide you up this incredible mountain but will teach you about the Tanzanian culture and way of life.
We pride ourselves in quality equipment and do everything possible to make our clients comfortable. Our client sleeping tents are imported from the UK and are 4 season mountain tents.