Mount Kilimanjaro Routes

Very important to note: Today it is strictly prohibited to sleep inside the caves since it has caused death to some climbers due to slight earthquakes. Most hikers feel comfortable to hide themselves onto the caves to reduce the direct wind blowing and mist. Don't do it please it is dangerous.

There are six routes officially sanctioned for climbing Kilimanjaro and two routes used for descent.

These are:

Machame
Marangu (used for descending from other route and itself)
Rongai
Lemosho
Umbwe
Shira
Mweka (descent only)

The time shown below for the hiking and descending is approximated depending on the speed of the mountaineers; some does it fast and others slowly or intermediate.

Good news the common and lovely used path to Uhuru Peak the “Western breach” is opened and can be attempted by hikers using the following routes – Machame, shira, Lemosho and Umbwe leaving Mweka route to be a descent route from the above.

Marangu Route:

Commonly called the Tourist Route or Coca-Cola trail; due to the fact that it provides luxuries such as huts, bunk beds, flushing toilets and bottled drinks. It also involves an ascent up the mountain via the gentle eastern slopes, which is said to be far less demanding than the route followed on other Routes such as Machame, Mweka and Shira. Marangu is by far the most popular route to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Typical duration is either 5 or 6 days depending upon whether you elect to spend an extra day for acclimatization to the altitude (which is highly recommended). This is the only route that offers huts versus tents.

How to reach there:

Transfer from you hotel and drive from Moshi to Marangu gate which takes about 45 minutes passing the Marangu village which cultivate bananas and coffee. Unlike Machame Marangu has also number of nice waterfall appeal much to pay a visit.

Day 1: Marangu Gate (1980 m) - Mandara hut (2700 m). Hiking time: 5 hours
Day 2: Mandara hut (2700) - Horombo hut (3720 m). Hiking time: 6 hours
Day 3: Horombo hut (3720 m) - Acclimatization day (if necessary but highly recommended)
Day 4: Horombo hut (3720 m) - Kibo hut (4700 m). Hiking time: 6 hours
Day 5: Kibo hut (4700m) - Uhuru Peak (5895 m) - Horombo hut (3720 m).
Hiking time: 8 hours to Uhuru - 6 hours to descend to Horombo
Day 6: Horombo hut (3720 m) - Marangu Gate (1980 m). Descending time: 6 hours

Machame Route:

The second most popular and indeed one of the most beautiful routes up the mountain is the Machame Route. Also known as the Whisky Route, this trail is both longer and slightly more challenging than the Marangu Route. Where accommodation on the Marangu route is in huts, the Machame route offers strictly tents only. The route is better suited to the slightly more adventurous hiker, however rewarding him with a scenic splendor such as not seen on the Marangu route. Provided of its challenge about 80% of hiker makes to the summit of Africa.

How to reach there: Transfer from you hotel and drive from Moshi to Machame gate which takes about 45 minutes passing the Machame village which cultivate bananas and coffee.

Day 1: Machame Gate (1490 m) - Machame camp (2980 m). Hiking time: 7 hours
Day 2: Machame camp (2980 m) - Shira camp (3840 m). Hiking time: 6 hours
Day 3: Shira (3840 m) - Lava Tower (4630 m) - Barranco camp (3950 m). Hiking time: 7 hours. It is at this channel where climbers opt to use the Barafu camp route or take the famous and most useful Western Breach path to the top passing the Arrow Glacier. Today the path is open after sometime of being close.
Day 4: Barranco camp (3950 m) - Barafu camp (4550 m). Hiking time: 7 hours
Day 5: Barafu camp (4550 m) - Uhuru Peak (5895 m) - Mweka (3100 m). Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak 7/8 hours to descend to Mweka

Lemosho Route:

Little used and more remote than other routes. The route is one of the few where groups are accompanied on the first day by an armed ranger, since t hose electing to take the Lemosho Route will have the bonus of crossing the spectacular Lemosho Glades, which are home to herds of animals such as buffalo, elephant and other big game animals.

How to reach there: Transfer from you hotel and drive from Moshi to Lemosho gate – 2 hours with our 4WD land cruiser or minibus.
Day 1: Londorossi Gate (2100 m) - Mti Mkubwa camp (2750 m). Hiking time: 3 hours
Day 2: Mti Mkubwa camp (2750 m) - Shira 2 camp (3840 m). Hiking time: 6/7 hours
Day 3: Shira (3840m) - Lava Tower (4630m) - Barranco camp (3950m).
Hiking time: 7 hours. It is at this channel where climbers opt to use the Barafu camp route or take the famous and most useful Western Breach path to the top passing the Arrow Glacier. Today the path is open after sometime of being close.
Day 4: Barranco camp (3950 m) - Barafu camp (4550 m). Hiking time: 7 hours
Day 5: Barafu camp (4550 m) - Uhuru Peak (5895 m) - Mweka (3100 m).
Day 6: Mweka camp (3100 m) - Mweka Gate (1980 m). Hiking time: 3 hours
Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak 7/8 hours to descend to Mweka

A variation on the Lemosho Route inserts two extra days in the itinerary for acclimatization and also to avoid having to climb up to the summit in the dark.
Day 4: Barranco (3950 m) to Karanga Valley (4000 m). Hiking Time 4 hours. This segment takes you up the infamous Barranco Wall
Day 5: Karanga Valley (4000 m) to Barafu camp (4550 m). Hiking Time 3 hours
Day 6: Barafu camp (4550 m) - Uhuru Peak (5895 m) - Crater Camp (5640 m). Hiking Time about 8 hours
Day 7: Crater Camp (5640 m) - Mweka (3100 m). Hiking time: 7/8 hours to Descend

Rongai Route:

The Rongai route ascents Kilimanjaro from the northeastern side of the mountain, along the border between Tanzania and Kenya.

How to reach there: Transfer from you hotel and drive from Moshi to Rongai gate – 2 hours with our 4WD land cruiser or minibus.

Day 1: Rongai Gate (1950 m) - 1st Caves camp (2600 m). Hiking time: 5 hours
Day 2: 1st Cave (2600 m) - Kikelewa Cave (3600 m). Hiking time: 6/7 hours
Day 3: Kikelewa Cave (3600) - Mawenzi Tarn camp (4330 m). Hiking time: 3/4 hours
Day 4: Mawenzi Tarn camp (4330m) - Kibo hut (4700 m). Hiking time: 4/5 hours
Day 5: Kibo hut (4700 m) - Uhuru Peak (5895 m) - Horombo hut (3720 m). Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru - 6 hours to descend to Horombo
Day 6: Horombo hut (3720 m) - Marangu Gate (1980 m). Hiking time: 6 hours

Umbwe Route:

Unlike Marangu, all other routes to Uhuru's Peak make use of tented accommodation. The Umbwe Route is renowned for its caves, one of which actually was used provides climbers with their first nights shelter on the mountain. Today it is strictly prohibited to sleep inside the caves since it has caused death to some climbers due to slight earthquakes.

How to reach there: Transfer from you hotel and drive from Moshi to Umbwe gate–50 minutes with our 4WD land cruiser or minibus.

Shira Route:

The Shira Route is a relatively gentle and incredibly scenic route to the Roof top of Africa (“Uhuru Peak” Uhuru a Swahili word which mean Liberation). Encompassing the Shira Plateau, this route provides breathtaking views of the African landscape below. Finally, the Western Breach Summit path is a more difficult route to the summit which incorporates some serious scrambling and climbing. It is thus generally favored by those individuals looking to add a bit of an extra challenge to their climbing experience.

How to reach there:

Transfer from you hotel and drive from Moshi to Shira gate – 2 hours then you drive from the gate to near Simba campsite for 1 and half hours with our 4WD land cruiser or minibus.