Kilimanjaro Route Comparison

Marangu Route

* It is the easiest route with gentle gradients
* You can do it in 5 days and it is therefore the most affordable option
* It offers the comfort of sleeping in simple dormitory-style huts; good choice when hiking during rainy season
* There are 60 bunk beds each at Mandara and Kibo Huts and 120 at Horombo hut and shared basic washrooms and toilets
* Soft drinks, beer and bottled water are sold
* You will see less variety of the mountain, as descent and ascent are the same, but it has a beautiful rainforest section at lower altitudes
* Due to its shorter duration, it is not so good for acclimatization

Machame Route

* It is very scenically varied; you ascent in the west and descent down the north
* It is more difficult than Marangu due to steep terrain
* Recommended if you have hiking experience
* It is very good for acclimatization; 6 days hike
* Only camping available
* It is the second most popular route after Marangu Route and can have heavy traffic, too

Rongai Route

* It is remote and less frequented, a quiet hike
* It is relatively easy with gentle gradients
* It is beautiful, but not as scenically varied as Machame
* Only camping available
* Good for acclimatization; 6 days hike
* More recommended during rainy season than Machame, as the north side receives less rainfall

Lemosho Route

* As for this route you will longer on the mountain with shorter elevation gains compared to all other routes, this route is best for acclimatization to the high altitude and the prevention of high altitude sickness, hence the route has the highest success rate for reaching the summit (>90%)
* Limited crowds on this route
* Often described as the most beautiful route on Mount Kilimanjaro
* Only camping available
* Higher price than other routes due to more days spent on the mountain and long drive for the starting point in the western base of the mountain

While climbing the Kilimanjaro maybe a lifelong dream or an adventure you decided to plunge into, there are several considerations you need to keep in kind before choosing the route you want to take:

• The expertise of the whole group: How much experience does each individual in the group have in climbing? Is there anybody who is new to climbing?

• Your time and budget constraints

• Climbing the Kilimanjaro can be extremely strenuous if the right route is not chosen. Are you up for a challenge or do you prefer an easy hike? 

• Do you prefer a kind of scenery over another? Or would you rather have a little bit of everything? The routes can take you through breathtaking beauty – through forests, rocks, fields, waterfalls, etc. 

• What are your reasons for climbing? Is it to reach the summit as a personal challenge? Or is it for the scenic beauty and the best pictures? 

• The time of your climb is also an important consideration – keep in mind weather conditions and popular climbing seasons.