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Top Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes

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Mount Kilimanjaro located in the Northern part of Tanzania, is a free-standing, snow-covered dormant volcano. Majestically the highest mountain in Africa, towering 5,895m above sea level with over five Best routes. Kilimanjaro has been one of the popular destination points for around 80,000. Mountaineering enthusiasts moving through the Different routes to climb Kilimanjaro. As it is situated on the border of Tanzania and Kenya. Kilimanjaro is easily accessible once in Tanzania to begin your climb, with all the famous Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro routes being in Tanzania. The Easiest route to climb Kilimanjaro is the Marangu route. Here are the different Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes.

THE MARANGU ROUTE

The Marangu route is a comfortable walking path with a very steady, gradual. The Marangu Route is also referred to as the “Tourist Route” or “Coca-Cola Route.” It’s called the “Tourist Route” for two reasons. One reason is its popularity: it makes this Kilimanjaro climbing route somewhat touristic. Also, because it is supposed to be “easy,” the Marangu route is used by many shockingly unprepared “tourists” rather than trekkers. The name “Coca-Cola Route” stems from the sleeping huts along the route. They sell the stuff (as well as bottled water and candy bars).

The Marangu Route is the only Kilimanjaro climbing route that offers hut accommodation, which means camping is not allowed. A climb on the Marangu route is comparatively cheap. It would be best if you had no camping equipment, and no cost for extra porters to carry the equipment. Also, many cutthroat budget operators run treks on this route. But make no mistake: the Marangu route is not easy, and it is not for tourists! It is a serious climb with meager success rates.

Only a quarter to a third of the climbers on this route reach the summit of Kilimanjaro. Even if not as scenic as other routes, it is still a spectacular experience with fantastic views all along.

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THE RONGAI ROUTE

For those looking for an easy climb with excellent success rates, but away from the crowds. Rongai is the answer, with incredible scenery and a wilderness feel to it. It is slightly more expensive. The Rongai route is the only climb route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north. The descent is in the southeast via the Marangu route, so you get to see both sides of the mountain. The extra transport cost makes a Rongai route climb more expensive.

The Rongai route has a reputation for being less scenic. However, there is not quite as much variety as on Machame, but it is still a spectacular route, especially in the latter days. The camp beneath Mawenzi Peak is one of the most scenic on the mountain. Rongai is also one of the routes where seeing wildlife on Kilimanjaro is still possible. The route has the same easy, gradual climb profile as the Marangu route. It rises very steadily; there aren’t any steep climbs involved, and no significant ups and downs. However, the camps are staggered a lot better than in Marangu.

On your last day before the summit attempt, you only ascend a few hundred meters, and you have all afternoon to rest and acclimatize. If you have some trekking experience, your chances of making it to the summit could be as good as 95%. The remaining 5% comes down to the weather, individual preparation, individual altitude tolerance, and unforeseen mishaps.

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THE SHIRA ROUTE

The Shira route approaches Kilimanjaro from the west and then joins the Machame route. The first day on the Shira route is very different from other Kilimanjaro climbing routes: It follows a four-wheel-drive route. So, you either walk on the road for most of the day, which is boring or opt to drive as far as possible. The latter not only means you skip the first stage of the climb, the rainforest zone. It also means that you catapult your body to a height of over 3500 m/11500 ft without time for proper acclimatization. Overall, Shira has excellent success rates if the schedule involves a night at Karanga Valley. However, the success rate is partly due to the operators being higher than on the more crowded trails.

THE LEMOSHO ROUTE

Like the Shira route, the Lemosho route approaches Kilimanjaro from the west and then joins the Machame route. The first two days on the Lemosho route take you through a beautiful and very remote rainforest, with good chances of seeing wildlife. The start of the trail is also known as the Lemosho Glades. Lemosho is usually a longer trek compared to other different routes to climb Kilimanjaro. Seven or eight days, and there are many variations. Which one you take depends on the operator. An excellent operator will also time their departure and stagger their camps in a way that avoids the heaviest traffic when you get to the Machame trail. It is a route for people who are confident in their ability to hike in difficult terrain and camp out for extended periods, who want a superb wilderness experience, and for whom cost is not the primary consideration.

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THE UMBWE ROUTE

Contrary to other different routes to climb Kilimanjaro, the Umbwe route is not technical, but it is straightforward, steep, challenging, and in parts very exposed. The Umbwe route joins the Machame route near the Barranco Camp on the second night. On the other routes, Barranco Camp is reached on the third or fourth night. Which shows how much steeper the Umbwe route is. Parts of the trail on the first day are steep; they can only be negotiated because the tree roots provide steps. The tree roots also serve as handlebars to haul yourself up where needed.

The second day is also steep and uphill all the way. The exposed ridge is not for people uncomfortable at height. And have a guess why the “Rope Rock” (Jiwe Kamba) is called “Rope Rock.” It is the most challenging and demanding of all Kilimanjaro climbing routes. Don’t even think about it. Otherwise, it is a spectacular route!

THE MACHAME ROUTE

The Machame Route is also called the “Whiskey Route. “ Machame is indeed a more challenging climb in some respects, but it does have much higher success rates than Marangu, especially if you choose the seven-day version. According to estimates, about 60% of the climbers on Machame make it to the summit, and over three-quarters reach the crater rim. The Machame route is not technically challenging. It is more strenuous than most climbing Mt Kilimanjaro routes. The trail is often steeper, and it involves many ups and downs, crossing a succession of valleys and ridges. But that’s why it is also one day longer than Marangu. Still, people who have never done hikes in their lives and are not well prepared can be demanding and tiring.

There is also the Barranco Wall to cross, a very steep, one-and-a-half-hour climb that will require you to use your hands for balance occasionally. It sounds and looks a lot more complicated than it is! As for scenery, the Machame route is spectacular among the climbing Mt Kilimanjaro routes: the Shira Plateau, the Lava Tower, and the Barranco Wall. You start from the west, circle Kibo on the southern side, and then descend on the Mweka route in the southeast. The variety is hard to beat. Machame route is considered the most scenic Kilimanjaro climbing.

For that reason, the Machame route has become the most famous Climbing mt Kilimanjaro route of the most Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes. The disadvantage is that the Machame route is very crowded. If you are confident in your ability to hike in rugged terrain for days in a row, if you like camping and nature, but money is very tight, then Machame may be the Kilimanjaro climb route of choice for you.

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