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Kilimanjaro Trekking Routes

Mt Kilimanjaro routes are superb places to unwind. Surrounded by the pristine nature, you will be trekking to the highest point of Africa in a company of accomplished mountaineering professionals. Captivating scenic vistas, cheerful encounters, easiest Kilimanjaro route and amazing wildlife await you!

RajaTours Tanzania is a team of dedicated mountaineering aficionados. We will guide you through all stages of your dream adventure in Tanzania, making sure that you choose the best Kilimanjaro route. Your expedition with us will be a safe, comfortable and enjoyable adventure!

How much does it cost to climb Kilimanjaro?

Briefly, it does not take spending a fortune for a safe, comfortable and successful climb. However, the price below USD 1600 should alert you, as it is the first signal that your tour operator for sakes basic safety measures and hires semi-qualified (or unqualified altogether) guides and porters, who agreed to work for a pay far below the market average. Some tour operators do not pay their climbing crews at all, who sign up for the expedition relying on tips only.

In addition to that, “budget” a Kilimanjaro climb means poor diet, second-rate obsolete equipment and no operations in place. Thus, though embarking on a cheap trip may seem attractive financially, in reality, it jeopardizes your safety and perpetuates porters mistreatment.

RajaTours Tanzania offers various climbing packages that differ in pre- and post-climb accommodation and extra services and amenities on the Mount. However, each expedition of RajaTours Tanzania features the same safety standards and the same professionalism of our climbing crews.

Which route to choose for hiking?

There are several routes for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Those seeking seclusion, scenic value and good acclimatization transition should consider Lemosho or Northern Traverse. A pocket-friendly and picturesque Machame provides good acclimatization transition, though it is a bit crowded during the high season.

Due to a popular misconception of being the easiest, Marangu route is the most popular and cheapest option. It is the only route providing hut accommodation (all other routes are camping only), which are handy for hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro during the rainy season. Marangu, however, features poor acclimatization and scenic value, as the trail is used for ascent and descent.

Rongai is one of the least crowded and the only route approaching the Mount from the North. It is a physically challenging option for Kilimanjaro hiking and is ideal for those who value remoteness. This route is recommended for hiking Kilimanjaro during the rainy seasons (Northern side of the Mountain protects the climbers from precipitation).

Umbwe route is the for the real adventurers. The steepest and shortest option to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Umbwe is a challenging test of your endurance, stamina and determination. The route offers unique panoramic sceneries. The cost of that is, however, the weakest acclimatization transition.

Lemosho route

Kilimanjaro climb on Lemosho Route is a premium trek designed for 6 to 8 days. Climbing through different climate zones it starts on heaths and winds further across alpine meadows to ascend to the arctic zone near Uhuru Peak. The descent, in turn, passes through rainforest. All this makes this route the most scenic on Kilimanjaro. Lemosho offers the smoothest acclimatization and the highest success rates of 85%, 90% and 95% for 6, 7 and 8-day tours, respectively. The total distance covered on Lemosho Route is 46 km (28.5 miles).         

Machame route

At a total length of 65km, Machame (Whiskey Route) is one of the most popular for Kilimanjaro climbers. We, at RajaTours Tanzania, would recommend the short 6-day trekking only to those with climbing experience, reasonable level of fitness and a yearning for a challenge. The main difficulty lies in an altitude gain of over 2,000m (6,600 feet) in 24hrs including summiting, resulting in a 7% drop in success rates. If you are planning to take Machame Route in November, April or May, the path may be eroded by rain making the climb more difficult. The 7-day trip, on the other hand, offers success rates of 85% due to gradual acclimatization and will suit anyone aspiring to climb Kilimanjaro.

Marangu Route

Marangu – or “Coca-Cola” – route is rightfully popular amongst Kilimanjaro climbers. It is unique in that it provides extra comfort with its permanent huts. Fabulous vistas of Kilimanjaro Mawenzi and Kibo peaks are an added advantage of Coca-Cola Route! Marangu Route offers 6 and 5-day itineraries, the latter being the way to go for experienced trekkers. The 6 days Marangu Route itinerary with its longer acclimatization is preferable if this is to be your first climb. Those who climb Kilimanjaro on Marangu can look forward to a trek that covers the distance of 64 km (40 miles) with comfortable conditions resulting in a 92% success rate for the longer programme.

Rongai route

Rongai is the only northern route up Kilimanjaro. It will take you past the second-highest point in Tanzania – Mawenzi while offering bird’s-eye views of the mountain’s rainforest. The gentle gradient and its gradual acclimatization bring one safely to the highest point of Africa – Kilimanjaro Uhuru peak, at 5,895 m. Rongai Route boasts high success rates of 84 and 94 percent on 6 and 7-day climbs, respectively. Rongai is great for travelers with previous exposure to high altitude and offers an escape from fellow-climbers, as it requires the longest drive before reaching the park gate. Rongai Route will leave you with great impressions while testing your strength over the distance of 65 km (40 miles).

Umbwe route

Umbwe Route is arguably the least frequented on Kilimanjaro. Starting at the tropical rainforest it runs along Machame Route, joining it at Barranco Camp (3800m). The shortest of the routes, Umbwe – with its steep climb and short acclimatization periods – is amongst the most taxing on Kilimanjaro, while still showing off the beauties of the mountain terrain with its different habitat zones and panoramic views. While the camps along Umbwe Route to Uhuru Peak are well suited to acclimatization, this is still one of the more challenging ways to climb Kilimanjaro.

Previous climbing experience is, therefore, highly recommended for climbers contemplating taking Umbwe Route on the way to the highest point in Africa.

Northern Circuit

Northern Circuit is Kilimanjaro’s newest route. Being the longest way to Uhuru Peak makes it the least frequented. The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the rainforest on the western slopes of Shira Plateau and passes through the northern part of the Kilimanjaro massif to end up on the eastern slope. Northern Circuit is also the only route that makes an arc of 270° allowing you to see different aspects of the Kibo Volcano This makes climbing Kilimanjaro on the Northern Circuit Route highly popular amongst photographers. Moreover, the longer duration of this trek makes for better acclimatization and an easier climb to Uhuru Peak.