Which is the Best Route to Climbing Kilimanjaro? How to Choose?

Stressed with your regular hustling-bustling busy routine life or the problems you are facing every day? Looking for an escape? Then what can be better than the peak of the tallest freestanding mountain of the world? The peak that will make you realize how tiny you and your problems are and the journey to the peak that will let you learn how to face the unexpected troubles and the calmness of the mountain will let your soul energize amazingly.

Well, Kilimanjaro Hike is not only a dream for the trekkers, but it’s a peak for all. It is for those who love adventure, those who love wondering, those who love heights, and those who love to do something unique, the rugged mountain invite all of them. Thus, the mountain attracts 30,000+ trekkers every year to the foothills trying to summit Uhuru; its highest peak.

This giant mountain offers 7 routes to reach the altitude of 5,895m height, and if you are someone who is planning to Kilimanjaro Trekking but confused about which routes to choose, then here are few tips that will help you to choose your best suitable Kilimanjaro Route.

Study about the routes (Know the routes well)


Kilimanjaro Routes

The success in Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro depends on various factors and choosing a route wisely tops them all. If you are choosing a wrong route that doesn’t match your physical stamina then no matter how well-equipped you are with gadgets or how experienced guides you are accompanied by to hike, your efforts will go in-vain.

Here are the 7 major routes that offer a pathway to the peak of Kilimanjaro.

Machame route:


  • The route usually comes with 6-7 days of itineraries
  • The route is scenic
  • Route provides medium to high success rate depending upon your days
  • Offers only camps to rest
  • Decently challenging route
  • High success rate

Lemosho Route:


  • Starts from the west side of the mountain
  • The most scenic of all the Kilimanjaro Routes
  • The route usually comes with 7-8 days itinerary
  • Fully camping route
  • Comes with high success rate

Marangu Route:


  • Most widely known as Coca-cola route
  • The oldest and established Kilimanjaro route
  • The route usually comes with 5-6 days itinerary
  • The only route with Hut accommodation
  • Less scenic & low success rate

 Rongai Route:


  • The only route initiates from Northern side
  • Offers a great opportunity to meet wildlife of Kilimanjaro
  • Best in rainy season too as it tends to be drier than the southern routes
  • The route usually comes with 7-8 days itinerary
  • Offers camping route while ascending
  • Success rate measured from mid to high depending upon the days

Northern Circuit Route:


  • The longest route on Mount Kilimanjaro
  • The route’s depart point is same as Lemosho route
  • The route usually comes with 9 days itinerary
  • A remote route to explore in quiet
  • A carter camping route
  • Comes with high success rate

Shira Route:


  • Shire is the synonym route of Lemosho; resembles completely
  • Least recommended route due to high starting point
  • An exclusive route with less traffic
  • A carter camping route

Umbwe Route:


  • The shortest and steepest route to ascend Uhuru
  • The route becomes busier after Barranco camp where the trekkers Lemosho, Shira and Machame route joins
  • Umbwe has poor acclimatization opportunities
  • Success rate is relatively low on this route
  • Fully camping route

What are the factors to consider before climbing Kilimanjaro?


Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

There are many factors that you need to consider prior to Climb Kilimanjaro such as:

  • The altitude sickness: Learn about Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness, its impact, and how to fight it. If you can’t fight AMS then probably you can’t complete your trek successfully.
  • The best trek operator: You will find a sea of trekking operators in Kilimanjaro; you need to do a proper research before choosing your best suitable one. Don’t forget to check the licence and always prefer a local operator.
  • Choosing the right route: Choosing the right route according to your physical strength is crucial to have a successful hike
  • Prepare for the portable tented toilet: On your hiking days you the best way to have a clean toilet is the portable tented toilet, get ready for that
  • Hike Pole Pole (slowly slowly): Don’t rush, choose your itinerary carefully those having long days, hike slowly and reach your goal.
  • Bear the right Gear: Last but the most important, carry proper gear as Kilimanjaro climate can change unpredictably at anytime. SO the right gears will help you to cope with the same

How many days are right for you?


Days For Climbing Kilimanjaro

Depending upon your physical stamina choose your itinerary carefully for Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing. If you have high stamina and want to finish your Kilimanjaro hike as soon as possible then you can go for a route like Marangu that is a direct route. But the shortest route demands high physical stamina as it’s hard to climb with poor acclimatization. If you are a first-time climber or want t sure success then choose a route like Lemosho which comes with longer days of trekking offering a great acclimatizing opportunity. 

Which Route to avoid?


Kilimanjaro Routes

Though all the routes have their own positive and negative points every route is different from one another. It solely depends upon a trekker to choose their best route according to their physical stamina and to some extent,mental fitness is needed.

However, we suggest not choosing the following 2 routes:


Northern Circuit Route: The route though comes with a great success rate but usually not chosen by people due to very long itineraries. It usually takes 9-10 days for finishing and the climb as well is quite expensive due to the longer itineraries.

Shira Route: Shira route resembles a lot to Lemosho but comes with a low success rate than lemosho. So it’s much better to opt for Lemosho than the Shira route.

The Route offers great view with optimum challenges


Kilimanjaro Great View

Looking for the optimum route that provides the most scenic view and the one that is the most difficult to climb the 5, 895m altitude? Here is the answer;

Lemosho Route: Lemosho route is the ultimate route that leads a very scenic pathway to the top of Kilimanjaro exposing panoramic vistas on various sides of the mountain.

Umbwe Route: Umbwe route is considered as the most difficult route as the route is one of the direct and steepest routes that lead to the peak of Kilimanjaro.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the peak of this roof of Africa where sunlight claps the altitude and moonlight kisses the snowy glacier defiantly deserves a visit once in a lifetime. When it comes to choose the best trekking operator what can be better than “Ascend Tanzania”?  A truly local company with all valid licenses that arrange well organized trips provides native guides, take through scenic pathways, and let the trekker stay safe while enjoying the journey to the fullest. Just take a look at https://ascendtanzania.com/mount-kilimanjaro-climbing for planning your dream trip.

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