The different routes

RONGAI ROUTE

A great option for ‘first time’ hikers – or mixed groups of differing fitness levels (like corporate groups)

This route begins on the northern slopes of the mountain, and is one of the least travelled routes. It is a long drive to the starting point, but the rewards are the fantastic views and the likelihood that you will be the only climbers. The descent is as per the Marangu route.

  • Not so frequently used route.
  • Ideal for novice hiker if done as 7 day hike – shorter distances and less steep per day compared to other routes.
  • Ascent on north side of mountain (views into Kenya) and descent on south-eastern side of mountain.
  • A little more expensive due to additional transport costs.
  • Camping on the mountain

Route Summary:

Trail length: 6 day/5 night or may be done as a 7 day/6 night hike

Start: Rongai Gate (1,950 m/6,397.6 ft)

Highest point reached: Uhuru Peak (5,895 m/19,340 ft)

Finish: Marangu Gate (1,843 m/6,046 ft)

Total trail distance: 6 day approx. 70 km / 43,3 miles

Pre/post night accommodation: Keys Hotel, Moshi

Departs: Daily or join a scheduled trip.

Nearest international airport: Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

Best time to go: January-March and the end June-October, but can be climbed any time

MARANGU ROUTE

It is the only route where you stay in communal mountain huts.

The Marangu route takes you on a five or six day round journey of about eighty kilometres to Mt Kilimanjaro’s summit. It is the only route where one could you stay in communal mountain huts., all other routes are based on tented accommodation. The route begins at Marangu Gate at 1 860m, and passes through the tropical rain forest to the Mandara Hut at 2 752m, close to the Maundi Crater. The lush green rainforest is home to Giant tree ferns which flourish underneath huge tropical trees decorated with Oldman’s Beard (usnea lichen) and pretty flowers including a variety of lilies and hibiscus. Colobus and Blue Monkeys are often seen jumping between these old trees with an abundance of birdlife and these forests are never quiet. From here we ascend into the alpine zone and finally the summit.

  • Frequently used route.
  • Same route for ascent and descent on south-western side of mountain.
  • The route may be undertaken in 5 or 6 days, and involves walking about 80 kilometers.
  • Accommodation is in dormitory-style huts during the hike, plus two nights at the base hotel.
  • Route Summary:

Start: Marangu Gate (1,843 m/6,046 ft)

Highest point reached: Uhuru Peak (5,895 m / 19,340 ft)

Finish: Marangu Gate (1,843 m/6,046 ft)

Total trail distance: approx. 80 km / 49,7 miles

Pre/post night accommodation: Keys Hotel, Moshi

Departs: Daily or join a scheduled trip.

Nearest international airport: Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

Country: Tanzania

Best time to go: January-March and the end June-October, but can be climbed any time

Best time to go: January-March and the end June-October

MACHAME ROUTE

A pretty option, traversing from the south-western side of the mountain.

As you hike through the lush green rainforest from the Machame Gate you realize that you have just embarked on an adventure of a lifetime. Giant tree ferns flourish underneath huge tropical trees decorated with Oldman’s Beard (usnea lichen) and pretty flowers including a variety of lilies and hibiscus. Colobus and Blue Monkeys may often be seen jumping between these ancient trees and there is with an abundance of birdlife and …. these forests are never quiet.

A minimum of six days hiking is recommended (we strongly suggest an additional night on the mountain for acclimatisation, particularly if you live at sea level) for this route that starts on the very scenic southwest side of Kilimanjaro, and follows the contours along the southern face, finally ascending from the southeast up past Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak. You will see Kilimanjaro from many angles and the scenery is spectacular!

  • Frequently used route.
  • Ascent on the south-western side of the mountain, traversing around the southern slopes of Kibo and descending on the south side.
  • Camping on the mountain

Route Summary:

Trail length: 6 day/5 night or may be done as a 7 day/6 night hike

Start: Machame Gate (1,490 m/4,890 ft)

Highest point reached: Uhuru Peak (5,895 m / 19,340 ft)

Finish: Mweka Gate (1,980 m/6,500 ft)

Total trail distance: 96.3 km / 59.8 miles

Pre/post night accommodation: Keys Hotel, Moshi

Departs: Daily or join a scheduled trip.

Nearest international airport: Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

Best time to go: January-March and the end June-October, but can be climbed any time

Best time to go: January-March and the end June-October

UMBWE ROUTE

Without any doubt, the most scenic.. but probably the most difficult ‘hiking’ route up Kilimanjaro. Ideal for experienced hikers.

Lose yourself in the incredible beauty of the lush rainforest of the Umbwe route as you make your way towards the Umbwe Caves.

The Umbwe route is challenging, though the shortest in distance it is the steepest and you ascend at a rapid rate.

A steep hike on the first two days lead you up to a picturesque alpine desert where the harsh terrain ensures that only the toughest of plants survive. From here the summit beckons – permanently iced – Kili tempts you to reach the highest point in Africa – Uhuru peak. A magnificent feeling.

On the route, great photo opportunities unfold with red sunlight playing on the cliffs and ice fields. Hikers can expect to wake up above the clouds on the fourth day on the mountain with breath-taking views into the distance below.

* One of the quieter routes going up the mountain

  • Incredible scenery
  • A tough, steep ascent (first 2 days) but with plenty of time to acclimatise on days 3 & 4
  • Additional day may be built in
  • Camping route

Trail length: 6 day/5 night or may be done as a 7 day/6 night hike

Start: Umbwe Gate (1,800

Highest point reached: Uhuru Peak (5,895 m / 19,340 ft)

Finish: Mweka Gate (1,980 m/6,500 ft)

Total trail distance: approx. 81 km / 50,3 miles

Pre/post night accommodation: Keys Hotel, Moshi

Departs: Daily

Nearest international airport: Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

Best time to go: January-March and the end June-October, but can be climbed any time

LEMOSHO GLADES ROUTE

Really off the beaten track.

Before you start your hike, enjoy a drive to the western side of Kili – through a natural game corridor, possibly seeing game along the way. This route is seldom used, and with that comes the possibility of not bumping into others on your first few days of your hike. Definitely a bonus!

Drive to the trailhead at Lemosho Glades and start your trek through the rain forest. In places the vegetation is so untouched that it grows right across the narrow track. The flora and fauna are richer here than on the other more popular routes through the rain forest.

From here we continue to the giant moorland zone. As we continue our hike, we enjoy beautiful scenic valleys and a high altitude desert plateau near Shira.

We then join the more popular route on the last section of the climb, via Barranco and Barafu to Uhuru Peak.

* A long, but quiet first few days on the climb – incredible scenery

Unlikely to meet other hikers

Good chance of seeing some wildlife

  • Camping route

Trail length: 6 day/5 night or may be done as a 7 day/6 night hike

Highest point reached: Uhuru Peak (5,895 m / 19,340

Finish: Mweka Gate (1,980 m/6,500 ft)

Total trail distance: approx. 81 km / 50,3 miles

Pre/post night accommodation: Keys Hotel, Moshi

Departs: Daily

Nearest international airport: Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

Best time to go: January-March and the end June-October, but can be climbed any time