Kilimanjaro Climbing Guide

Kilimanjaro Climbing Guide

A perfect mixture of beauty and beast, Mount Kilimanjaro is a nature’s marvel that leaves no stone unturned as it pertains to alluring trekkers to its summit. From being truly a dormant volcanic mountain and ranking at a daunting level of 5895 meters, to hosting a solid wood box at the very top where summiteers leave their thoughts and being home to nearly every ecological system entirely on earth, this mountain offers everything.

For all people likely to reach the apex of Mount Kilimanjaro, we’ve gathered everything that you might need in this comprehensive guide to obtain ready for the task ahead. This article is written from our immediate experience of managing 1000s of Kilimanjaro climbing expeditions over time and reviews from our clients and tutorials. By the end of this article, you will have a very good idea of what things to expect, how to prepare, conditions on the mountain, costs engaged, packaging list, Tanzania VISA info and other tips.

We encourage you to undergo it entirely. However, if you are brief promptly, you can skip to the section highly relevant to your stage of planning the Kilimanjaro climb by selecting from the below Index
What are the various Routes Available for Climbing Kilimanjaro?
Choosing the wrong route can be the difference between a life-changing and life-threatening experience. Hence it is crucial that you should understand the professionals and cons every course has to offer.

You will discover 7 main routes that one may use to climb to the peak:

Marangu Route
Machame Route
Rongai Route
Umbwe Route
Shira Route
Lemosho Route
Northern Circuit Route
Let’s look into each of these routes one at a time –

Marangu Route
Ascent Distance: 36.75 Km
Descent Distance: 36.75 Km (Marangu Route)
Total Distance: 73.5 Km
Total Trek Duration: 5-7 Days
Trek Difficulty: Easy
Point out: Camping PROHIBITED, Cheap
Also known as the Coca Cola Route, this is actually the only route on the list that uses the same path while ascending and descending. It is also the only course that attracts a whole lot of tourists who can’t be graded as serious trekkers but are somewhat there to look at the beauty the mountain provides. Its popularity comes from the amount of its trek which is mostly a comfortable walking avenue with a reliable and progressive slope. Distributed hut accommodations are one common sight and you could even get your hands on amenities such as normal water bottles and chocolate bars.

Though, one major problem that climbers face here is the acclimatization problem posed by the small amount of time it takes to attain the summit. Hence, a great option in that situation is to invest an additional day at the Horombo Hut to provide your body some time to respond to the height.

If you are getting excited about camping, you might try another course since camping is not possible on Marangu.

Machame Route
Ascent Distance: 40.16 Km
Descent Distance: 20.6 Km (Mweka Route)
Total Distance: 60.76 Km
Total Trek Duration: 6-7 Days
Trek Difficulty: Strenuous
Point out: Very Crowded, Most Popular,

Also called the Whiskey Route, Machame route is known as to be the most promising route as it pertains to scenic beauty. The Shira Plateau, the Lava Tower, and the Barranco Wall are a delicacy to the sight. But as the word goes, “danger is based on beauty and beauty in peril”. Machame often actually is a steep climb with a whole lot of fluctuations plus a succession of valleys and ridges. This can certainly prove to be a monumental problem for first timers and low experienced trekkers. Furthermore, Machame is typically the most popular way on the list with an gross annual crowd greater than 22,000 climbers. This can either be a turn-off or a motivating factor, depending on your cognitive inclination.

Rongai Route
Ascent Distance: 37.65 Km
Descent Distance: 36.75 Km (Marangu Route)
Total Distance: 74.4 Km
Total Trek Duration: 5-7 Days
Trek Difficulty: Easy
Focus on: Less Crowd, Monsoon Route
Rongai is one path of Kilimanjaro that provides the probability of encountering wildlife. It is the third most popular way on the list, due mainly to its easy climb which goes up gradually with no steep fluctuations, thus being truly a great option to the Marangu Road. Another great good thing about Rongai is the success rate that it provides. As much as 90% of the climbers with some past connection with trekking reach the summit. What’s more? The option lies in a relatively drier portion of the pile, rendering it fitting for a climb through the rainy season. Even the acclimatization account of Rongai is very good as it offers ample a chance to climbers to get accustomed to the bigger altitudes.

Umbwe Route
Ascent Distance: 27.71 Km
Descent Distance: 20.6 Km (Mweka Route)
Total Distance: 48.31 Km
Total Trek Duration: 6-8 Days
Trek Difficulty: Strenuous, Steep
Spotlight: Steep, For experienced climbers only
Although this isn’t such a technical climb, the Umbwe Route is quite different from the ones above. You would have probably seen the reduced ascent and descent distances, and these make Umbwe a fairly steep climb. That is quite a troublesome one and therefore, recommended limited to experienced trekkers. People often use trees on the slopes to yank themselves up and maintain balance.

Shira Route
Ascent Distance: 34 Km
Descent Distance: 20.6 Km (Mweka Route)
Total Distance: 54.6 Km
Total Trek Duration: 6-7 Days
Trek Difficulty: Strenuous
Point out: Expensive, Quick
Since this course joins the Machame Route eventually, the characteristics are very similar compared to that of Machame. Why is the path different is that it is possible to pay the initial part of the climb in a four-wheeler. This is a good way if you’re seeking to save time and directly push the body into acclimatization method.

Lemosho Route
Ascent Distance: 46.26 Km
Descent Distance: 20.6 Km (Mweka Route)
Total Distance: 66.86 Km
Total Trek Duration: 6-9 Days
Trek Difficulty: Moderate
Point out: Expensive
Lemosho route is a less frequented path that solutions from the western world and joins the Machame Option. The pros of choosing this way to the most notable are that it provides a scenic beauty as well as an excellent way to acclimatize to the altitudes because of its soft elevation gain. The first two times of the climb are particularly notable since it requires trekkers through a remote rainforest. This often makes wildlife spotting possible, hence dubbing Lemosho as the best routes to the most notable. Although it can be covered in 6 times, a minimum of 8 days is advised for an improved altitude adjustment process and an increased success rate of achieving the top.

Northern Circuit Route
Ascent Distance: 48.9 Km
Descent Distance: 20.6 Km (Mweka Route)
Total Distance: 69.5 Km
Total Trek Duration: 7-9 Days
Trek Difficulty: Moderate
Spotlight: Expensive, Longest Route
This is actually the latest addition to the set of Kilimanjaro routes which is quite unique because of the fact it traverses around the whole mountain (nearly 360-degree traverse) which is also the one route that treks through the northern slopes. The Northern Circuit is the longest climb to the most notable. Though this can be appealing for serial trekkers, an extended route means an increased trekking time and hence, an increased cost.