Which Route Should I Use to Climb Kilimanjaro?
There are seven established routes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro – Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Rongai, Northern Circuit and Umbwe. The Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe routes all approach from the south of the mountain (Mweka is used only for descent). The Lemosho, Shira and Northern Circuit routes approach from the west. The Rongai route approaches from the north. The illustrations below depict a three-dimensional view of Kilimanjaro’s climbing routes and a close up of the approaches to the summit.
Selecting a route is a tough choice for most. To find the best Kilimanjaro route for you, considerations should be taken for the route’s scenery, difficulty, foot traffic and its altitude acclimatization characteristics, as depicted in the table below. Trust Tours has assigned overall ratings to each route. Kilimanjaro Route Min. Days Rec. Days Difficulty Scenery Traffic Rating Northern Circuit 9 9 high excellent very low
Lemosho Route 7,10 a high excellent medium
Rongai Route 6 7 medium very good low
Machame Route 6 7 high excellent high
Shira Route 7 9 high excellent medium
Marangu Route 5 6 medium good high
Umbwe Route 5 7 very high very good very low
The reason for the difference in route popularity is that we favor the best Kilimanjaro routes – those with the most favorable combination of high success rates, excellent scenery, and low foot traffic. Detailed route descriptions, assessments, and profiles can be found below, along with a map of each of the Kilimanjaro routes.