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Kilimanjaro Routes : Best Kilimanjaro Route

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Kilimanjaro Routes : Best Kilimanjaro Route

Kilimanjaro routes are known as some of the most iconic and challenging hiking trails in the world. Located in Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa, standing at 19,341 feet (5,895 meters) above sea level. It is a popular destination for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts, offering stunning views and a sense of accomplishment upon reaching the summit.

There are several routes to choose from when planning a trek to Kilimanjaro, each varying in difficulty, length, and scenery. In this article, we will explore the different Kilimanjaro routes and provide some tips for a successful climb.

Which Kilimanjaro route to Choose?

There are seven main routes to the summit of Kilimanjaro: Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Rongai, Northern Circuit, and Umbwe. Each route has its own unique characteristics and challenges, making it important to choose the right one for your fitness level and preferences.

Marangu route, also known as the "Coca-Cola" route, is the most popular and busiest route. It is the only route that offers hut accommodation, and its gradual ascent makes it suitable for novice hikers. However, this route is known for its lack of scenic views and lower success rate due to a shorter acclimatization period.

On the other hand, Machame route is known as the "Whiskey" route due to its challenging nature. It is the most scenic route, but also the most difficult and steeper than Marangu. Therefore, it is recommended for experienced hikers who are physically prepared for a demanding climb.

Lemosho and Shira routes are similar and both take a longer approach to the summit, providing more acclimatization time. These routes offer stunning views and a high success rate, but they are more remote, requiring a longer and more expensive trek.

Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north. It is a less crowded trail and offers a diverse landscape, including river gorges and open plains. This route is generally easier than Machame and Lemosho but does not have as many scenic views.

The Northern Circuit is the newest and longest route on Kilimanjaro, taking approximately nine days to complete. It offers the most extended acclimatization time, making it the safest route with the highest success rate. It also offers stunning views and an off-the-beaten-path experience.

For those seeking a challenging and less crowded route, the Umbwe route is the shortest and steepest route. It is not recommended for inexperienced hikers due to its difficulty and lack of acclimatization time.

Routes Descriptions Overview

Marangu route: 5-6 days, easy to moderate, hut accommodation, less scenic.

Machame route: 6-7 days, challenging, tents, most scenic.

Lemosho/Shira route: 7-8 days, moderate to challenging, tents, more remote, scenic.

Rongai route: 6-7 days, moderate, tents, diverse landscapes.

Northern Circuit: 9 days, moderate, tents, longest and most scenic.

Umbwe route: 5-6 days, challenging, tents, shortest and steepest.

Tips for a Successful Kilimanjaro Trek

1. Train and prepare: Kilimanjaro is a strenuous climb that requires proper training and physical fitness. Incorporate cardio, strength, and endurance exercises into your daily routine for at least six months before your trek.

2. Choose the right route: As mentioned above, choose the Kilimanjaro route that best suits your fitness level and expectations.

3. Acclimatize properly: Acclimatization is crucial for a successful Kilimanjaro trek. The longer the route, the better acclimatization you will have, but it's essential to listen to your body and take necessary breaks.

4. Pack strategically: Packing essentials such as appropriate hiking gear, warm and waterproof clothing, and high-quality boots is crucial. Keep in mind that porters will carry most of your gear, but you will still need a daypack for essentials like water, snacks, and sunscreen.

5. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to prevent altitude sickness and stay hydrated during your climb. Aim for at least three to four liters of water per day.

6. Follow your guide’s instructions: Your guide is there to ensure your safety and success, so it's crucial to listen to their instructions and advice.

7. Take it slow: Going at a slow and steady pace will increase your chances of summiting and decrease the risk of altitude sickness.

Cost and Accommodation Options on the Kilimanjaro Route

The cost of climbing Kilimanjaro varies depending on which route you choose, the number of days, and the tour company. Generally, prices start at $1,500 and can go up to $5,000 or more for longer, more luxury treks.

As for accommodation, most routes offer tent camping, except for Marangu, which has hut accommodation. Campsites are basic but comfortable, and some tour companies offer upgraded options with better amenities and services for an additional cost.

Best Kilimanjaro route for beginners

Marangu route is considered the best route for beginners due to its gradual ascent and hut accommodation. However, it is important to remember that even the easiest route on Kilimanjaro is still a challenging climb, and proper training and preparation are essential for success.

Is Lemosho the best route on Kilimanjaro ?

Lemosho is considered one of the best routes on Kilimanjaro due to its longer acclimatization time, diverse landscapes, and fewer crowds. However, it also comes with a higher price tag, as it is a longer and more remote route.

Final Thoughts on the Kilimanjaro Routes

Climbing Kilimanjaro is an incredible and rewarding experience, but it is not for the faint of heart. Choosing the right route, training and preparing, and following safety guidelines are essential for a successful climb. With proper planning and determination, anyone can conquer the mighty Kilimanjaro and be rewarded with breathtaking views and a sense of accomplishment.

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Kilimanjaro National Park

Kilimanjaro National Park